SQL Server Estate by Raj Pochiraju

This article first appeared in the SQLServerGeeks Magazine.
Author: Raj Pochiraju
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What is data modernization and why Cloud is a means?
Data modernization is a process of moving siloed data from legacy databases and stores to modern cloud-based databases or lakes.
In this digital world, the large amounts data is being generated every nano second, from countless sources and devices, at the same time these devices also leverage data insights and deliver advanced scenarios to customers. The data growth even accelerated exponentially in COVID era as several business fully moved to online. This has been increasingly challenging for organizations maintain, process huge amounts of these data, derive business insights and run predictive analysis for decision making.
While storage is an issue, but organizations also struggling to process wide variety of data formats, structured, semi/unstructured data and derive insights.
All this is driving the CIOs and CTOs to modernize their organizations overall data story, while modernizations can happen on-prem, but also requires developing scalable, flexible, highly available data stack, modernizing the existing data centers and dealing yet with complex integrations. That’s where customers are looking after Cloud to modernize their data assets and leverage built-in, readily available cloud native services to render modern customer experiences, generate business insights aiding decision making process.
Achieving the data modernization by means of cloud, provide capacity, elasticity, scalability, access to more advanced services like machine learning and AI. Cloud also provides advanced integration services, high performance, and fully automated pipelines. To the end several studies show cloud offers overall reduction in Total cost of ownership (TCO).

Migration /Modernization Journey:
There are few challenges in migrating and modernization data to cloud requires careful consideration and effective mitigation plans. Understanding the phases, approaches in migration journey and leveraging various resources are the key step forward. Rest of the article dive into phases and provide guidance navigating through it.

1. Application portfolio assessment
This step helps to assess your applications and data determines the readiness of the modernization of your organization workloads. The outcome of this exercise helps you setup a roadmap for your cloud migrations and modernizations, the specific migration strategy (5Rs), categorize the applications that continue to stay on-premises, applications lift and shifted, applications require re-factoring and re-architect, start leveraging PaaS and container services and applications that may have to re-build.

2. Discover and assess your apps, databases, and infrastructure
The next step is to discovery the servers, infrastructure and databases hosting your applications and workloads, find the relative dependencies and assess for cloud readiness. You also determine the respective cloud deployment options, the right SKUs fit your workloads and architect how each of the key services land on the cloud.
Azure Migrate documentation | Microsoft Docs
Discover servers running in a VMware environment with Azure Migrate Discovery and assessment – Azure Migrate | Microsoft Docs
Tutorial to assess SQL instances for migration to Azure SQL Managed Instance and Azure SQL Database – Azure Migrate | Microsoft Docs


3. Calculate Total cost of ownership (TCO) to make a business case for migration
A business case provides a view of the technical and financial timeline of your environment and can represent the opportunities for reinvestment into further modernization.
The key components of the business case to consider below:
1. Cost to run today: How much it costs running my environment today, servers, software licenses, data center operations, next hardware refresh etc.
2. Projection of future on-prem costs if not migrated to cloud: Forecast for next few years running and expanding on-prem.
3. On-prem costs in Azure scenario: What will be on-prem costs remaining when you migrate to cloud in an Azure scenario.
4. Migration costs and Azure costs: Project the migration timelines and Azure costs (optimized) for a given environment.

You can take your Azure view and compare it to your on-premises or status quo scenario with no migration so you can assess the benefit of migrating to the cloud.

Discover, assess SQL Server data estate migrating to Azure SQL and get monthly estimates.
Create a business case – Cloud Adoption Framework | Microsoft Docs
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator | Microsoft Azure

4.Setting up the cloud landing zone
Cloud environment that comply with organizations, security and privacy policies. An environment that adheres to best practices and guidelines. “Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure” is proven guidance that’s designed to help you create and implement the business and technology strategies necessary for your organization to succeed in the cloud.

5. Migrate
Once the migration planning, strategies and timelines are determined, next logical step is to start migrating your workloads to Azure. The typical migration activities include below. For each of the below, customers begin with a POC migration, get familiar with the migration methods and tools before setting up production migrations.
Rehost an application on Azure VMs by using Azure Migrate – Cloud Adoption Framework | Microsoft Docs
Migrate your SQL Server, Oracle, DB2 estate to Azure SQL.
Rehost an application by migrating it to Azure VMs and SQL Server Always On availability groups – Cloud Adoption Framework | Microsoft Docs

6. Post Migration
Once you migrate to Azure, leverage Azure services that help you to monitor, manage and optimize further.
Manage after migration – Azure SQL Database | Microsoft Docs

This article first appeared in the SQLServerGeeks Magazine.
Author: Raj Pochiraju
Subscribe to get your copy.


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