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A Smarter Azure Migration: The Cloud Economic Assessment

According to Gartner, the average enterprise will overspend by 70% in the first 18 months of cloud deployment.

Organizations have come to accept the public cloud as an inevitable destination for computing resources, applications, and data. Cloud offers an incredible range of services, resiliency, cost optimization, and reduced operational overhead.

However, there is work to be done to ensure a cloud migration starts off on the right foot and avoids common pitfalls – including Gartner’s eye-opening statement on excessive spend.  Organizations need to know what to move, what the risks are, what it will cost moving forward, and how people and resources will be governed once the cloud gates are open.

It All Starts with Discovery

“We don’t know what we don’t know” isn’t a viable migration strategy. Moving your full set of resources 1:1 from data centers to public cloud is almost certainly bringing legacy skeletons into your new home along with incurring high consumption costs.  It’s important to understand what resources actually exist in-house. This is essential for intelligent decisions to be made based on data, not tribal knowledge and outdated spreadsheets.

“Virtualization (VM) Sprawl” occurs when the number of virtual machines reaches a point wither the administrator cannot manage them effectively. “VM Sprawl” is real. If not identified upfront, it will have significant impacts on any cloud strategy.

Enter the Microsoft Cloud Economic Assessment (CEA)

A Microsoft CEA performed by a trusted and certified partner (like us) can quickly identify the physical and virtual machines and databases that reside in your existing environment.  A Cloud Economic Assessment leverages a data-driven discovery tool owned by Microsoft called Movere to scan the environment, map dependencies, aggregate findings, expose analytics, and apply advanced AI/ML concepts to produce cloud “right-sizing” optimization recommendations along with proven economic forecasting.

The assessment time period varies based on your preference. Over time an intelligent view of resource consumption emerges. When it does, you learn what exists, when and how it is being used, and by whom.

Even if cloud migration isn’t an immediate next step, the analytics portal, licensing analysis, and dependency mappings alone provide invaluable insight for your organization.

The Basics of CEA

As your CEA partner, we will guide your organization through the entire process.  At the most basic level, Microsoft provides access to the Movere tooling – often with funding involved thanks to our unique partnership.

We bring consultative expertise, analysis, and strategic planning.  A common assessment is completed over 3-5 weeks with a target of a “Wave 1” migration plan.

Firing Up the Azure Engine

It is common for some parallel activities to occur alongside a CEA discovery effort:

  • Azure Foundations: Defining the people, process and tools for cloud governance, security, monitoring, and cost management
  • Azure Resiliency and Disaster Recovery: Leverage Azure Site Recovery and Azure Backup to implement resilient hybrid architectures and provide an additional (or first) layer of DR protection
  • Application Modernization: Refactoring applications to PaaS, embracing containerization and microservice architecture to “strangle the monolith”, adopt modern DevOps and reduce operational maintenance
  • Azure Data proof-of-value: Similar to VM or application migrations, embrace Azure’s native data platform as the destination for consolidated, modern data architectures, ML, AI, and BI capabilities

Public cloud offers a limitless set of capabilities; investing a small effort on resource discovery and governance upfront will pay long-term dividends as you expand farther on your cloud adoption journey.

To learn more about our Azure expertise, click here.

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Steve Holstad, Principal - Cloud

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