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What if migrating your data to the cloud was as easy as looking up at the sky and visualizing all your stuff perched atop one of those ethereal looking fluffy white masses hovering over our heads? While it’s not quite that simple, migrating to the cloud is a surefire way to future-proof your business—which makes it the smart thing to do.

Although it’s a touch more involved than gazing at the clouds, Azure Data Migration is a tool that can be harnessed to simplify, automate, and guide your database migration. Why not make it as easy as possible to migrate your data, outlines, and objects from multiple sources to the cloud—at scale? Not a trick question.

Empower yourself to innovate in all-new ways by adopting a cloud operations-based model using IaaS (infrastructure as a service) technology. As a bonus, you’ll also be able to modernize by taking advantage of fully managed PaaS (platform as a service) offerings.

Understanding data types

First things first: selecting the right type of data store is essential to a successful migration. The store you choose will determine the migration protocols to be followed. It will also form the foundation of your cloud solution.

Azure supports multiple data types. These range from structured data, like relational database management systems (which support data stored in SQL databases), to unstructured data (which can be stored in blobs, files, queues or NoSQL tables).

Five ways to migrate your data to Azure

Tools for migrating unstructured data from network attached storage (NAS) to an Azure file offering include:

  1. Azure Files can be used to completely replace or supplement traditional on-site file servers or NAS devices. Popular operating systems such as Windows, macOS, and Linux can directly mount Azure file shares anywhere in the great, big world.
  2. Azure NetApp Files makes it easy for enterprise line-of-business and storage professionals to migrate and run complex, file-based applications with no code change. NetApp stores unstructured data using the highest-performing cloud storage technology out there.
  3. ISV (independent software vendor) solutions often provide file services in Azure. A full list of verified ISV solutions is available onAzure Storage partners for primary and secondary storage.

Tools for migrating objects from object storage solutions to the Azure object storage platform include:

  1. Azure Blob Storage helps you create data lakes for all your analytics needs. It also provides storage geared at building next-level cloud-native and mobile apps. To optimize costs, choose tiered storage for your long-term data.
  2. Azure Data Lake Storage (also known as ADLS Gen2) is a data lakesolution for big data analytics. It builds file system semantics, file-level security, and scale into Azure Blob Storage. We’re talking low-cost tiered storage, high availability, and disaster recovery features to boot.

Now that you you’ve been introduced to some useful tools, consider the following tips for helping you make the most of your Azure data migration experience.

Select your migration method

You’ll need to choose between an online and offline migration method. The online method uses the network for data migration, utilizing either the public internet or Azure ExpressRoute. If the service doesn’t have a public endpoint, you’ll need yo use a VPN with public internet. The offline method, on the other hand, requires using one of the Azure Data Box devices. Data Boxes let you move large amounts of data to Azure—even when you’re short on time, network availability, or costs.

Whether your setup requires an online or offline method depends on your available network bandwidth. If you have enough network bandwidth to perform a migration in a timely fashion, the online method is the way to go. Of course, a combination of both methods can also be used.

Automate your database migrations/ take the phased migration approach

You can save precious time and effort by automating your Azure Data Migration with PowerShell, a task automation and configuration management program. Database Migration Service works with PowerShell cmdlets to automatically migrate a list of databases.

Leverage the latest technology to transform your business

It’s 2022, so it should go without saying that embracing the latest in cutting edge technologies is the best way to stay ahead of the competition. It’s also the smart way to grow, transform, and futurize your business.

Manage and monitor

You’ll want to configure the relevant management and monitoring systems at the same time as the migration phase commences. This way, if any issues come up during the migration, you can deal with them before they jeopardize your regular business operations.

Staying on top of monitoring ensures that you can proactively respond to any issues that may threaten the availability of your Azure environment. Luckily, Microsoft has several services designed to help manage and monitor Azure services. For instance, you might leverage Azure Monitor, which consumes data from other point-monitoring solutions. Using a service like this, you can easily address any security, performance, or availability issues.

Begin your data migration with Azure

Planning, preparation, and due diligence are integral to the success of your Azure Data Migration. Start by planning your migration—taking care to determine the type of storage you will need to use on Azure. Once you’ve figured this out, you might use a graphical interface tool such as Azure Storage Explorer to efficiently connect and manage your Azure storage service accounts and resources across subscriptions and organizations. You may also be able to use one of the many other command line tools available for use.

And finally, if your network does not possess the speed or capacity to handle the volume of data you need to migrate, you can make use of Azure Import/Export to securely copy your data and deliver it to its final destination.

Ready to take the leap but could you use some expert guidance? Join Sherweb’s partner program for help navigating the Microsoft partner ecosystem!

Written by The Sherweb Team Collaborators @ Sherweb