Getting a leg up: Grow your IT to match your business
Every business wants to grow, but many fail to. Why? Their resources don’t match up. Scaling your IT, for example, is a challenging feat. It’s expensive to refresh hardware and extend data centre environments, and it requires copious amounts of in-house resources and expertise to ensure its success.
But, there’s another option: Microsoft Azure is out-of-the-box scalable IT, built for any growing business. Azure allows you to extend your infrastructure in the cloud at any time. And you pay monthly based on your usage so you can avoid large up-front costs.
Making the most of a good situation
At Cloud Direct, we’ll audit your IT environment, provide a cost analysis that compares your current set up to an Azure-hosted solution, and develop a business case and a migration timeline. We’ll even manage the migration on your behalf.
Cloud Direct delivers a complete project management service that builds your new Azure environment for you. And we’ll thoroughly test your IT before and after the move. Zero failures. That’s our promise.
‘We knew Microsoft could give us the security levels we require, and that we could leave the brunt of the IT work to the professionals at Cloud Direct, letting us get on with servicing our clients’ – Stewart Martin, partner, Edmund Carr
Sound good to you?
Pre-flight checklist: Preparing your move
Nobody achieves success alone. At Cloud Direct, our consultants will guide you through a planning and assessment process. We’ll focus on three areas:
We’ll look at your entire data centre environment. We’ll understand your needs, compliance requirements and strategy, and develop a plan that fits your current and future objectives.
We’ll then ask you to provide detailed information about your IT environment, including your current contracts and costs. Our consultants will use this information to build a comprehensive cost analysis, business case and migration strategy.
Of course, collecting this information can be tough. We’ll give you the tools to capture the full specification and usage of each server and virtual machine.
The Discovery workshop is structured around the following topics:
Understanding your business drivers, scope, timeframes, priority
and conflicts with other areas.
Contracts and compliance
Looking at the implications of changing the underlying
service provider or location of the solution to hyper-scale cloud platforms.
Technical and security
Taking a high-level view of the current environment,
including consolidation and migration to Azure.
People and skills
Assessing who in your business will be involved at a technical
and operational level.
Covering the operational and support aspects of the
modernisation to Azure.
Migration strategy planning
With this information, we’ll present a business case and migration strategy. This includes a cost analysis, your Azure spend, confirmation of the virtual machine resources needed and a detailed migration plan.
Why Cloud Direct?
That’s an easy one. Quite simply, we’re a Gold Microsoft Cloud Solution Partner (CSP). We provide expert advice about Microsoft Cloud technologies. Since our launch, we’ve achieved key certifications and competencies, including Gold Cloud Platform and Gold Data Centre.
We’ve migrated many customers (and our own infrastructure) to Azure from private data centres. Frankly, we know the processes and pitfalls to avoid. We’re experienced.
Oh, and did we mention that we’ve developed our own My Azure dashboard to help you track spending and manage budgets?
Ongoing management of your Azure setup is vital. To achieve cost and efficiency savings, we’ll continue to identify areas that need improving. You’ll have access to the My Azure dashboard, through our customer portal PROVIDE™, for real-time visibility of your Azure costs.
You can view spend against individual components and cost forecasts based on current usage. You can even work out how much each virtual machine is costing you.
5 ways to migrate applications to the Cloud
Migrating to the cloud is a little more complicated than just giving the order and following through. To do it right, you need to pick your route. We will recommend a blend of approaches based on Gartner’s 5 Rs for application migration.
First up, you can re-host your applications on a new hardware environment. It’s the complete Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) way. It makes for a swift migration to the cloud, but a quick move isn’t always best. One of the prize features of the cloud is scalability, and taking this route could mean you miss out on that.
If you don’t want to go full IaaS, you can take the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) route instead. This way, you run the same applications on your cloud provider’s infrastructure with the ability to reuse frameworks and languages. Like with IaaS, however, you might end up missing out on some crucial capabilities so you need to do your research first.
This way brings in a little of both of the above. You start by revising your current code base to support a more modern legacy environment. Then, you can either re-host or refactor on IaaS or PaaS to deploy to the cloud. The problem with this route is that it requires some hefty upfront costs. So it’s not for the faint of heart.
You can think of rebuild as starting afresh. You’re not getting rid of everything, but you’re re-architecting your solution from the foundations and moving to PaaS. It gives you a lot of opportunity to leverage your provider’s resources, but be aware of lock-in. If your provider changes the pricing or technical specifications, you might need to jump ship.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And you can’t deny that commercial software and applications certainly aren’t broken. They’re reliable, functional and easy to mobilise. That’s why this route takes advantage of them instead of customising your own platform. Of course, with this comes the risk of data access issues and, potentially, vendor lock-in.
You’ll notice that none of the routes are perfect. But, hey, no one said this was easy. To achieve the best, most efficient migration you need to face the facts and – sometimes – take a little risk.
Unsure which route is best for your business? Let us help you figure it out.
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