Has your organization begun migrating to the ‘cloud’? If not, it’s almost certain that at some point soon, it will. The cost savings of cloud computing is attractive to business stakeholders and the ease of management and reliability makes cloud computing attractive to IT departments.
There are many cloud service providers to choose from: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and IBM, just to name a few. AWS currently has the largest market share in cloud computing while Microsoft’s Azure is second and is experiencing the greatest growth. If your organization has been running Windows operating systems and you have an established support relationship with Microsoft you may find that Azure will be the best choice. Ongoing support during your migration can be critical to a smooth transition.
Microsoft provides several tools to assist with planning and executing the migration to Azure. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator can be used to compare your organization's current IT infrastructure costs to the cost of hosting the same services in Azure. The tool will generate a detailed report that will show how much money can be saved by migrating to Azure. Many companies begin their migration to Azure by moving their on-premises virtual environment to Azure IaaS virtual machines. This is the easiest method of migrating to the cloud, however it is not necessarily the most cost effective.
Hosting a virtual environment on Azure transfers the responsibility of the hardware to Azure while the customer maintains responsibility over the operating system and any services and applications hosted on the virtual machines. This approach still requires a considerable amount of ongoing administrative but it does allow the greatest flexibility and control. Businesses will realize the greatest cost savings, in the long run, by hosting their applications and databases on Azure PaaS offerings, such as Azure Web Apps and Azure databases. Azure PaaS services cost more, per hour, than Azure virtual machines, however, they require much less ongoing administration and management, since Azure manages the hardware, operating system and the platform (SQL Server, IIS web server, etc) while the customer only manages their instance of SQL Server or web application.
At the time of this writing, Microsoft is offering 12 months of free services to customers who migrate their workload to Azure. Learn more at “Migrate workloads to the cloud with your Azure free account.” If you need Azure, AWS, Google Cloud or more training for yourself or a team, feel free to request a quote!