Cloud computing is a technology that enables businesses to harness the benefits of cloud-based, secure and remote-access corporate applications to improve their day-to-day operations. A leading cloud computing service provider which is radically imparting the business landscape is Microsoft Azure. Currently, 90% of Fortune 500 companies trust Microsoft Azure to power their business.
What Is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is an online portal and cloud computing platform designed to make it easier for organizations to access and manage Microsoft’s cloud services and resources.
Azure offers a broad range of several cloud services, including networking, computation, analytics and storage.
How it Works
All of the services available in the Azure interface are accessible when you subscribe to Azure. Cloud-based resources, such as virtual machines and databases, can be created using Azure services like Advisor, Anomaly Detector, API Management, and Azure Active Directory. These services can also be used to host workloads and store data. The following types of cloud computing are provided by Azure:
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS);
- Platform as a service (PaaS);
- Software as a service (SaaS);
- Serverless functions.
Why You Should Migrate to Microsoft Azure
“Migration” is the process of transferring your company’s infrastructure and data from physical servers, such as a Window File Server, to the cloud. Microsoft Azure is used by various industries, including healthcare, banking and financial services and retail, as a go-to cloud platform. The fact that Azure consistently finds ways to address the issues with on-premises infrastructure is what makes it the most sought-after solution by many businesses. Here are reasons you should migrate to Azure.
Azure's pricing structure guarantees that customers will only be billed for the precise resources and services they have used. Also, Azure offers you a ton of services for free. These services include Azure blob storage, Azure virtual machine Linux, Azure migration and so on.
Microsoft Azure easily adapts to any changes that may occur in your business. Unlike traditional hosting, Azure allows you to change to different service plans depending on the peculiarities of your needs.
Ease of Accessibility
Azure Cloud Services allow access to your data at any location and at any time. With over 40 data centers, sometimes, you don't even need a VPN to gain access to your data, any time of the day, from any place.
Azure data centers are some of the most secure - Microsoft invests a whopping $1 billion each year to strengthen its data security, authentication protocols and data permissions. Also, the Microsoft Cyber Defence Center works round the clock to detect, protect and respond to threats that may occur in the Azure cloud infrastructure.
The Azure hosting service possesses built-in integration that works seamlessly, saving you loads of time. You can quickly develop, test, and deploy applications; process massive amounts of data with artificial intelligence and machine learning; retrieve data from remote storage facilities or virtual machines.
The Azure platform works well with open-source technologies. Users are given the freedom to utilize their favorite tools and technologies, allowing them to think of the best ways to market their service, app or product.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
Azure helps to improve your continuity plan in case of disasters. Microsoft Azure's disaster recovery tools are worth looking into if you want to minimize downtime or need a more dependable method for data backups.
Another benefit of Azure Cloud is its robust testing capabilities. With Azure, you'll get access to over 40 services for free with up to $200 upfront. You can virtually test your continuity plans to see "how it works," which will provide you with the knowledge you need to make reviews and modifications where they are needed.
An on-premises data center and a public cloud are combined to create a hybrid cloud. This computing environment enables data and applications to be shared across both platforms.
The choice of choosing a hybrid cloud environment depends upon the nature of your enterprise and your IT strategy. Cloud service latency is the delay that occurs between a client's request and a cloud service provider's response. This inevitably occurs in cloud computing. So, if latency is a critical determinant for your business, a hybrid cloud environment becomes necessary. Also, companies that handle sensitive data, such as banks, are likely to adopt a hybrid cloud model where they can store data on the public cloud as well as on their own private, on-premises servers. Azure file sync recognizes the need for a hybrid cloud environment and helps you synchronize your on-premise server with your Azure files.
Ease of Migration
Cloud migration is often accompanied by its own set of risks and threats. This is due to complexities associated with choosing the right cloud migration strategy. Azure is built to ease the process through its simple infrastructure and migration tools. Also, if your business has already invested in Microsoft Office 365, Dynamics 365 other server development tools, migrating to Azure becomes a breeze.
The switch to a new service is a big move. The series of processes make it a hassle, even for some experts. Typically, the migration process involves defining the migration strategy, building a reliable and secure infrastructure in the cloud, setting and optimizing the performance of corporate services and databases and ensuring the safety and continuity of the infrastructure. Whether you are a new user or an expert, Microsoft's vast migration service, the Azure Migration Center, is your best bet to run the process effectively.
Azure Migration Center
Azure Migration Center, or simply Azure Migrate, provides a simplified migration and optimization service. Whether you wish to:
- Migrate file server to Azure files;
- Migrate on premise server to Azure;
- Migrate VM to Azure;
The Azure Migration Center will help you achieve a seamless transition. It provides the following:
1. Single migration interface: The same portal is used to start, run and monitor the process as you perform the migration.
2. Azure migrate tool: These are tools for assessment and migration. The tools include:
- Azure Migrate: Discovers, assesses and migrates servers, including SQL and web apps.
- Data Migration Assistant: Identifies SQL Server databases that should be evaluated for migration to Azure SQL Database, Azure VMs that run the SQL Server.
- Assesses SQL Server databases for migration to Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Managed Instance, or Azure VMs running SQL Server.
- Azure Data Box: Migrates large offline data.
3. Assessment, migration and modernization: In the Azure Migrate hub, you can assess, migrate and modernize servers, databases, web apps and virtual machines.
Options To Migrate a File Server to Microsoft Azure
1. Migrate File Server to a Virtual Machine With Attached Storage
VM migration refers to the transfer of virtual machines (VMs) from one resource to another. This could be, for example, transferring a VM from one physical host or data store to another one. VM migration can be cold or live VM migration. In cold migration, the VM is shutdown while in live migration, the VM remains active.
- When the physical infrastructure needs to be maintained, and the application that is currently running on it is mission-critical, live migration is very helpful.
- Disk structures on-premise can be migrated as is with a lift and shift approach, keeping paths and permissions intact. A welcome aspect to any IT team.
- An ample option of managed disks for storage makes segregating file temperatures across different storage types a great benefit for cost savings.
- The high bandwidth requirements for VM migration pose a real challenge for low bandwidth networks.
- Because each VM comprises its own guest operating system, libraries, binaries, kernel and application, enterprise file servers tends to be large and many terabytes in size.
2. Migrate File Server to Microsoft Sharepoint Online as Document Libraries
The cloud-based collaboration software called SharePoint Online, or SPO, is a platform that enables companies to store, manage, and share data.
You can migrate from an on-premises SharePoint setup to SharePoint Online utilizing one of four techniques. You can manually upload your files to SharePoint Online, use the OneDrive Sync Client, PowerShell or the SharePoint Migration Tool.
- Depending on the size and quantity of the files that need to be migrated, you have a variety of migration options when planning a migration to SharePoint Online.
- A rather straightforward command line application called the SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool, which also contains the SharePoint Migration Identity Management Tool, scans the contents of an on-premises SharePoint library to determine the impact of moving to SharePoint online.
- It's a solution that provides an avenue for effective collaboration
- The migration path you select will depend strictly on a number of variables, including the total quantity of data to be moved, the size of the individual files being transferred, and the current location of the material to be migrated.
- When transferring multiple files in a single operation, the files must not exceed 30,000, not exceed 100GB, and each file must be below 15GB.
3. Migrate File Server To Azure Files
Azure Files is a shared storage service. It enables you to mount file shares on Windows, Linux, or Mac computers in the Azure cloud and access files via the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol.
- Azure makes it possible to securely and flexibly store resources in the cloud. These resources could be structured or semi-structured data.
- The Azure Binary Large Objects (blob) storage offers the simplest method of storing files in Azure and can hold large amounts of data. Each file has a 1TB limit.
- You can replace existing file shares with Azure file shares without making any changes to legacy applications because the SMB protocol that is used by the majority of on-premises applications is supported by Azure File Storage.
- Azure File ensures the durability of your data by storing them in multiple Azure data centers.
- Your applications can continue file sharing between machines whether they are located in the Azure cloud or on-premises.
- Azure Files can be automated using tools such as PowerShell, Azure CLI, as well as using the Azure Portal and Azure Storage Explorer.
- Azure Files has a limit of 1TB for individual files, 200,000 file system objects, and 255 characters for object names. You may have these limitations when running legacy apps.
- Azure file shares require a storage account key which is distributed to all users. This can be a source of security risks.
To solve these problems, Microsoft partners with third-party companies like NetApp to create a native solution for Azure Files.
Generally, Azure Files is your best bet for quick migration strategies because it allows automation and supports “lift and shift” from your current platforms.
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