Everything You Need to Know to Prepare to Migrate From On-Premises to the Microsoft Azure Cloud

Cloud Migration, Microsoft Azure Cloud
8 min read


Cloud computing is undoubtedly making a mark in the business world due to the cost-efficiency, flexibility, high-performance levels, scalability, and robust security that it promises. According to a recent market report, the value of the global cloud computing market is projected to hit the $623.3 billion mark by 2023.

Microsoft Azure Cloud is among the leading cloud computing platforms that have contributed to this cloud computing’s rapid growth. That’s why organizations across the globe are making the switch from on-premises to the Microsoft Azure Cloud in droves. This article will dig deeper into everything you need to know when migrating from legacy on-premises infrastructure to the Microsoft Azure Cloud.

Migration & Modernization Triggers

Microsoft Azure Cloud Migration Strategies

Migrating your business operations from your on-premises data centers to Microsoft Azure Cloud is a smart investment for both the immediate cost savings and ROI and for the future scalability and security. Nonetheless, before migrating to the cloud, it’s essential to determine and understand the approach your business should take during the cloud migration process. These are the most common Microsoft Azure migration strategies you can use:


Rehosting or “lift and shift” is a migration strategy that allows you to migrate your existing applications as-is to the Azure Cloud by switching hosts. The strategy enables you to substitute your on-premises with the cloud infrastructure without modifying your IT architecture.

In doing so, you lift your entire business operation and, consequently, drop it into the new hosting environment. Although rehosting is cheap and fast, its downside is that it doesn’t update your systems. Therefore, it would be ideal to add scalable functions to improve the user experience.

Typical Scenario:

If you have mission-critical applications that run on on-premises servers and are due for hardware upgrades, or simply finding performance or security to be less than ideal. A rehosting lift and shift is a quick way to realize the immediate benefits of Azure Cloud servers. You would simply spin up a cloud server with the specs you need and copy your application over and you are good to go. An additional benefit is that if the application is not used during off-hours, you can pause the Azure Cloud server when not in use and save even more. Similarly, if you anticipate a higher load of users on the application, you can add more computing power with the click of a button, and then drop it back down when its not needed.


If your application is outdated, you must rebuild it from the ground to enjoy the cloud computing benefits. Refactoring cloud migration strategy lets you make small but essential code modifications to your application to enjoy the auto-scaling benefits. Nevertheless, rebuilding your application on the existing cloud infrastructure makes your IT infrastructure dependent on the cloud.

Although the refactoring cloud migration strategy is time-consuming, it allows you to save money over time by enabling you only to use the resources you need at a given time.


Replatforming or “lift-tinker-and-shift” is similar to rehosting, only that you must make some changes to your application to improve future operations before moving data to the cloud. This cloud migration strategy allows you to make a few cloud optimizations to achieve tangible benefits without changing the code or the core architecture of your application.

Re-platforming enables you to save the time you spend managing database instances by allowing you to migrate your application to a database-as-a-service platform or a fully managed platform.

Need more help? Check out an e-book for IT professionals migrating from on-premise to Azure Cloud.


Stats from Cloud Migration

Microsoft Azure Migration Checklist

While completing the migration process from on-premises to Microsoft Azure Cloud may be intriguing, particular planning challenges could jeopardize the whole process. That’s why you should lay a well-thought-out plan and prepare adequately before embarking on the migration process. This Microsoft Azure migration checklist will help you prepare and effectively plan to make your first step in migrating to the cloud.

  • Develop a Business Strategy and Plan

When planning to migrate from on-premises to Microsoft Azure, it’s imperative to develop a business strategy and plan. First, identify and reach out to key stakeholders in your organization, such as executive sponsors, business stakeholders, and IT staff. Getting these key stakeholders in line ensures the cloud migration process runs smoother and faster.

Secondly, find the right cloud partner to team up with to fill the gap in your IT team’s responsibilities and skills. In turn, evaluate your organization’s readiness for cloud migration and determine the key areas that need attention. Then create a business strategy and plan with timelines and cost estimates.

  • Prepare for the Cloud Migration

For cloud migration to be effective in your organization, its IT team must prepare for the cloud migration. Thus, equip your IT team with the necessary Microsoft Azure skills so that they can get accustomed to the systems early on.

In addition, discover and assess your on-premises applications to understand their dependency on on-premises and other integrations, the estimated costs, recommended sizing, and readiness to Azure. Consequently, determine the best cloud migration strategy to use that is best suited for your organization’s needs.

  • Learn, Optimize and Improve

After developing a business strategy and getting your organization ready for cloud migration, you need to test the success of the cloud migration by piloting with a few low complexity workloads. Use the Azure Migrate to pilot your migration while ensuring you don’t impact your on-premises machines. Make sure you shut down the machines during cutover to eliminate data loss and downtime.

Additionally, use Azure Arc, Azure Advisor, and Azure Cost Management to learn how to secure, manage and optimize your cloud, edge, and on-premises environments. Then monitor and enhance the security of your cloud and on-premises environments by reading about Azure’s security and management best practices.

Stats from Cloud Migration


Final Thoughts

Migrating from on-premises to Microsoft Azure is one of the wisest decisions you can make. It enables you to scale up your business without spending all your profits on new on-premises data centers.

Nevertheless, the migration process can be overwhelming due to its complex operations. That’s why we recommend working with an experienced Microsoft cloud partner to ensure the migration process is a success.

Craig Wester
Craig Wester
Being early in his career has made Craig hungry for knowledge in the growing technology that is Microsoft Azure. With a Systems Administrator background and continuous learning of Microsoft Azure he happily takes on new challenges and find joys in assisting customers in their move to the cloud.
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