Infrastructure & Database Assessments are designed to help the customer understand the benefits of migrating workloads from on-premise environments into the cloud. Auxilion provides these assessments free of charge and minimal input is required from the customer after the initial setup. A full assessment generally takes 2-4 weeks and provides a range of benefits. Assessments will identify potential financial savings, technical opportunities, and potential improvements in productivity and cybersecurity.
Who Are Assessments For?
Assessments will provide value for any customer with a significant reliance on Microsoft resources. Aside from this, there are no real parameters. Any organisation with a high consumption of Microsoft resources will benefit. An assessment will provide detailed estimates of operating costs after migrating from on-premise to Azure.
The customer is required to work with Microsoft and Auxilion to open up a certain amount of their IT environment to facilitate the installation of the tooling needed to run the assessment. Aside from that, the assessment comes with no cost and no commitment. The customer will receive a report, delivered by Microsoft and Auxilion, with a full assessment of the current on-premise setup and recommendations on how Azure can benefit the organisation from the perspective of consumption, cost, and overall efficacy.
Key Questions & Timelines
Trying to migrate an entire IT estate into Azure will usually be a lengthy and complicated process. Our method is to identify the right parts of the estate to migrate initially. There are a few key questions to discuss at the outset of the project:
-What type of assets, and how many of them, need to be migrated?
-Are support staff ready to manage the new environment?
-Does the project have the appropriate approval and budget to complete the migration?
-Does the business have a specific change process that the project needs to adhere to?
-Does the business have to comply with any compliance regulations?
Once these questions have been answered, we will then work with you to identify assets for the initial migration. Once this is done, there will be a few hours of work up front required from your IT team to grant access to Auxilion’s team to allow them to place the necessary tooling in the environment. Then, there will be around one month’s lapse time while the full assessment takes place. During this time, no further input will be required from the customer side.
Breakdown of Assessment Process & Requirements
Cloud Adoption Framework
The Cloud Adoption Framework is a collection of documentation, implementation and tooling guidance, and best practices provided by Microsoft to accelerate the cloud adoption journey. Auxilion integrates with Microsoft protocols and uses the Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure throughout the migration process. Once the customer has successfully made the business case for migration, Auxilion will provide an Enterprise Scale Landing Zone environment into which they can upload specified assets.
Auxilion and the customer will work together to identify candidates for migration. Customers often install the toolset, see hundreds of machines, and panic on the basis that they won’t be able to migrate so many. Microsoft talk about the power of 10: taking ten selected workloads to migrate and moving them to Azure. You can then assess the results of this migration: have the migrations worked? Are they saving you money? Can your team support them? Are there opportunities to innovate on the migrated workloads? Assess the key criteria for this first batch, and then iterate on those. You’ll then have a clearer idea of the potential benefits of migration.
Once a detailed assessment has been carried out, selected workloads can be incrementally migrated in “Migration Sprints,” with a batch being migrated within each sprint.
A Better Methodology
Migration is commonly associated with the terms “lift and shift” or “rehost.” Auxilion’s methodology and the steps described above are based on the belief that no datacentre and few workloads should be migrated using a pure rehost approach. Rather than simply migrating batches of workloads, customers can choose to modernise specific assets within each workload. Customers can therefore improve assets as part of the overall migration process.
Migrating workloads from on-premise to Azure may not automatically be cheaper. Cost-efficiency can be improved by innovating and modernising assets as part of the migration process. Once the first batch for migration has been established, Auxilion will install the necessary tooling to initiate the process.
The tooling used for the assessment is quite flexible. There are various tools available. The basic premise of all of them is that they are placed within the customer environment and set up to gather specific information. After a period, usually around 2-4 weeks, it will have assessed costs and identified server dependencies, whether the operating system or database is supported, etc. We will present candidates for migration with an estimate of savings and benefits when placed in Azure. If customers choose to make some or all of the suggested migrations and to innovate on the migrated workloads, Auxilion will be available to support those processes.
The initial assessment will:
-Assess whether on-premise servers are ready for migration to Azure
-Estimate the size of Azure virtual machines (VMs) or Azure SQL configuration
-Estimate costs for running on-premise servers in Azure
-Identify cross-server dependencies and optimisation strategies for moving interdependent servers to Azure
Potential Benefits of Assessment
An assessment brings a range of potential benefits:
-Understand the value of leveraging Azure as opposed to on-premise to run workloads.
-Identify potential financial savings. Migrating applications to Azure can increase cost-efficiency in various ways. An assessment will show you how.
-Cybersecurity recommendations. Migrating key functions and applications from on-premise to Azure will modernise your organisation’s cybersecurity infrastructure. Azure uses the latest and most effective cybersecurity technology and protocols to protect against cybersecurity threats. An assessment will provide an indication of the potential cybersecurity benefits of a planned migration.
-Identify technical opportunities. Migrating functions and applications to Azure allows your organisation to utilise the latest and best of Microsoft technology. Operating in the cloud makes it much easier to leverage other Microsoft data services. Your organisation can plug into other data services around analytics, AI, machine learning and reporting. An assessment will identify specific technical opportunities related to migration.
-Identify opportunities to improve process productivity and growth capacity. An assessment will provide clear indication on how you can modernise your datacentre and applications. Azure is extremely flexible and comes with great potential for scaling up and for automation. If you are running out of space in an on-premise datacentre, an assessment will also offer opportunities to ease pressure by moving workloads into the cloud.
-Increase carbon efficiency. An assessment will demonstrate how cloud can help you to reduce expenditure on hardware and decrease reliance on the energy grid.
-Find solutions to supply chain and legacy hardware issues. Moving workloads into the cloud can make your organisation less dependent on legacy hardware or items of hardware that may be in short supply.
The only potential downside to an assessment is that it identifies no benefits and recommends that the status quo should be maintained. However, this is very unlikely. In most cases, actions will be recommended and one or more of the potential benefits listed above will be achievable. An assessment will identify these benefits and provide comprehensive detail.
As part of the assessment, Auxilion will provide input on migration costs, retiring legacy hardware, ensuring that you have capacity for growth, and making sure that your organisation has the potential to modernise its data centre and applications. We will also work with you to ensure that everyone involved in any migration project is aware of the size of the digital estate and the way that it will be impacted. It’s also important to ensure that your organisation is prepared for the shift from a CAPEX to an OPEX model.
There are various relevant stakeholders in the assessment and migration process. At the outset, Auxilion works with customers to identify the relevant contacts in finance, IT infrastructure, application groups, and any other sections of the business deemed relevant to the process.
Those in the finance section of the business are key stakeholders who should be involved in the process from the outset. The shift from a Capex model to Opex is significant and needs to be managed effectively. It requires a shift for various people within the business. Significant savings can be made by shifting applications to Azure. It’s important for finance teams to understand how these savings can be achieved.
The head of IT is also naturally a key stakeholder. The migration to Azure represents an evolution for the traditional IT team and the traditional way of buying IT resources. Whoever is responsible for IT strategy and budget will be heavily involved.
After An Assessment
If you choose to proceed with the migrations recommended by the assessment, Auxilion’s team will provide the following supports:
-Help prepare for cloud adoption and guide overall cloud migration efforts
-Take responsibility for understanding cloud technologies and migration processes
-Identify and communicate the business justification for migrations
-Determine the best high-level solutions for migration efforts
-Help to identify and work with specific applications and business stakeholders
We will be publishing a series of short blogs on individual benefits of Infrastructure & Database Assessments.
You can find more detailed information on the benefits of Infrastructure & Database Assessments here.
If you would like to speak to a member of our team about an Infrastructure & Database Assessment for your organisation, contact firstname.lastname@example.org