Is migrating an on-premise SQL database to Azure right for my organisation?
Cloud migration could save your organisation infrastructure and administration costs, improve system performance, scalability, security, and provide superior availability and disaster recovery options. However, migrating from on-prem to Azure should be a considered move to make sure that it’s right for your organisation. Our partner, Simpson Associates’ Senior BI Consultant, David Mills explores the pros and cons.
A successful cloud migration considers cost and resource, and analyses the solutions that Azure offers to assess whether the pros of the move outweigh the cons.
The seven main reasons to consider an on-premise to Azure database migration are:
1. Cost saving
On-premise data centres can be costly to run and require trained IT specialists to setup and maintain, but with Azure products, you only pay for what you use.
Microsoft’s pricing calculator configures and estimates the monthly cost of your proposed environment to help you understand if a move to the cloud is more cost-effective than your current on-premise solution.
Azure allows you to scale up or scale down your storage and performance requirements with minimal downtime, and avoid purchasing additional hardware to cope with increased demand and storage needs.
3. Disaster recovery and high availability
Azure data centres are located in various places around the globe, so if there is an issue with one, databases will automatically failover to another location with no downtime. Plus, as database backups are provided by Microsoft, point-in-time and full database recoveries are easy to action.
Azure products meet strict compliance standards, which automatically apply to your organisation’s data when using the cloud, ensuring that your data is safe and your organisation complies with the relevant regulatory standards.
Microsoft heavily invest in database upgrades, tuning, architecture, machine learning, and security, so you can be sure that the latest cutting-edge technologies are implemented into the Azure framework.
6. Resource and time saving
When you switch to the cloud, Azure manages your organisation’s entire database, including backups, security, infrastructure, and upgrades. This saves valuable time and resource, which would otherwise be spent managing your database and allows your teams to focus their efforts on projects that drive your business goals.
7. Hybrid migration
Migrating to Azure is not a hard-line solution and you can choose to keep one or more of your databases on-premise, while moving others across to the cloud. This can be especially useful if you need to keep some of your databases confidential from the wider organisation, such as an HR database, for example.
Things to consider before you switch to Azure
While there are a lot of benefits to migrating from on-premise to Azure, a database move may not be right for every organisation. Before you decide to switch, there are a few factors to consider first:
If your organisation’s database has extremely high in-put – out-put (I/O) intensive workloads you may need a higher investment premium-level service, which may not be as cost-effective as on-prem.
Some features in on-premise SQL databases are not available in the cloud, so you will need to check whether your organisation’s existing applications and data tools are compatible with Azure to avoid running into issues when migrating to Azure.
Successfully completing a migration can be a time-consuming process and more urgent wider company events may cause progress to be put on hold to avoid a strain on internal resources. Therefore, before your organisation begins a migration to Azure, you should identify the team handling the migration and assess whether they can work uninterrupted on the project until it is complete.
In some cases, the information stored on an on-premise database is highly confidential and migrating to Azure could compromise your organisation’s security policy.
Once all factors for and against a cloud migration have been assessed, if there are more positives than negatives, the final question you should answer before making a decision on whether to move to the cloud is, ‘Will migrating to Azure be more cost-effective and make our processes more efficient?’ If the answer is ‘yes’, you can be confident that switching to Azure from an on-premise infrastructure is the right decision for your organisation.
Ready to migrate? Read our step-by-step guide to approaching a migration from on-prem to Azure.