February 4, 2020

Migration and innovation in the cloud

By Jerry Rhoads

This is the fourth installment of Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure blog series. In the last three posts we provided an introduction to Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure, strategizing your move to the cloud, and planning and readying your move into the cloud. In this installment, we will talk about migrating workloads and innovation with building net-new workloads on Microsoft Azure.

In the last post, we covered various motivations for moving to the cloud. This is important, as the tools and strategy used for migrating your application depend largely on your identified business motivations, technology requirements, and timelines, as well as a deep understanding of the actual workload and assets (infrastructure, apps, and data) being migrated. A great tool to assist with migration is the Azure Migration Guide.

Figure 1 – The five R’s of rationalization.

Migration approach

Begin shaping your migration strategy by analyzing how compatible your candidate applications are with available cloud-hosting technologies. The Cloud Adoption Framework’s migration tools decision guide will get you started. Whichever migration approach you choose – rehost, refactor, rearchitect, rebuild – there are first and third party tools to assist with migration as well as project management (tools which you may already own).

Once the workload(s) are determined, you’re ready to begin migration. The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure recommends the following steps for a smooth migration:

  1. Create a balanced portfolio with an end-state in mind
  2. Validate that the landing zone has been deployed and is ready to host workloads
  3. Use the Azure Migration Guide to guide your first migration workload
  4. Modifications are okay – if necessary expand the scope of the cloud migration
  5. Validate any modifications against Azure migration best practices
  6. Improve the migration process by evaluating and optimizing aspects of your process as you scale

Innovation in the cloud

Most cloud adoption efforts focus on the migration and modernization of existing workloads. Innovation, however, can provide the greatest business value. Cloud adoption-related innovation can unlock new technical skills and expanded business capabilities.

Figure 2 – The lifecycle of applications born in the cloud.

The innovation phase of the Cloud Adoption Framework focuses on the elements of your portfolio that drive the greatest return on investment. Just like with migration, planning and preparation precede successful cloud-based innovation!

Begin innovating with these steps, recommended in the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure:

  1. Build consensus on the business value of innovation
  2. Create a minimum viable product (MVP), reference the Azure Innovation guide
  3. Ensure architectural decisions follow best practices for each tool in the toolchain
  4. Build, measure, learn by creating customer partnerships – e.g. implement feedback loops in each iteration of the product

Successful innovation is not a big-bang transformational event or an elusive magical unicorn. Success in innovation is more of a balancing act, illustrated by a simple equation: Innovation = Invention + Adoption.

Whew! We covered a lot of information in this blog post and we could run a series on the migration and innovation topic alone. However, the purpose of this post is to familiarize you with the phases of the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure and provide the opportunities to dive deeper via the links provided throughout.

As we mentioned earlier, this is the fourth post in a blog series that will continue to dive deep into the lifecycle components and the tools of the Cloud Adoption Framework. The next post will focus on helping your customers govern and manage their workloads in Azure Cloud.

Partners in commercial and government sales & implementation will benefit from understanding the lifecycle of Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure, as it will enable them to help their customers and deliver a successful migration to the cloud. Furthermore, partners can build a practice (or refine their cloud practice) around the various phases or components of Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure.

Join us at Azure Gov DC Meetup on February 26, 2020

Recent announcements

Microsoft Ignite: The Tour Government Feb 6-7

Serial Console for Azure Virtual Machines now available (preview) in Azure Government

Azure Shared Image Gallery now available (preview) in Azure US Government

Azure Maps now available (preview) in Azure US Government region

Azure Monitor for containers is now available in Azure US Government region

Azure Government Expands FedRAMP High coverage

Azure Blueprint for NIST SP 800-53 R4 now available in Azure Government

Updated Azure Public services by audit scope

Updated Azure Government services by audit scope

Useful links

Azure Government site

Azure Government documentation

Azure Government blog

Azure Government videos

Azure Government free trial

Azure Government D.C. user community

US Federal, State & Local Government Technical Community

Yammer group

Blog series

Other posts you may like

Microsoft Azure’s Cloud Adoption Framework

Strategizing your move to the cloud

Planning and readying the move into the cloud

Other posts you may like