How Insight Supports Database Modernization

By Bill Lescher, Data Architect II, Consulting

Why it may be time to modernize your IT infrastructure

It’s no secret that outdated infrastructure costs businesses dollars, resources, and time. There are financial costs like patching legacy systems, increased security risks, and roadblocks that curb innovation. It’s imperative that businesses keep their databases and critical IT infrastructure up to date to remain competitive and reduce overall business risk.

Data migration is key to transforming your infrastructure into a modern-day IT solution. Whether migrating to cloud or a new on-premises data center, a comprehensive strategy and plan are critical to success. Much planning and time must go into the execution of a data migration.

As one of Microsoft’s largest global partners, Insight is uniquely positioned to provide expert guidance on database modernization, including how to migrate and optimize your IT infrastructure. Our end-to-end approach ensures a successful transition for your ongoing business benefit.

Every migration is different, but the process is the same.

Insight’s experts use a tested and proven methodology to support clients throughout a database migration project. Providing program management and consultation, we guide you through the phases of discovery, planning, and execution.

We use various tools to support the migration process and ensure we capture all of the business requirements, dependencies, and details before the transition. This ensures that we account for everything included in the process and move forward efficiently.

These are some of the tools we may use if migrating an on-premise SQL Server database to Azure:

  • Azure Migrate: Assists users in the discovery, evaluation, and scaling of on-premises resources to prepare for moving to the cloud.
  • Azure Data Migration Assistant: Part of the Azure Migrate hub, this stand-alone tool conducts a migration assessment to ensure compatibility with the new Azure SQL Database service.
  • Movere: Automates the discovery and collection of data to understand your complete data infrastructure and environment.
  • MAP Toolkit: Inventories devices, software, users, and infrastructure to assess readiness before data migration.

Application dependency mapping

A detailed application dependency mapping process is performed during the discovery and planning stages to uncover critical information necessary for a smooth transition. We will also discuss the best way to transition your database to cloud.

Lift and shift is a common approach and includes transitioning resources as they are from on-premises to the cloud. This is a quick migration path and minimizes changes to your existing database.

You may determine a need to modernize and re-architect your database before taking advantage of Azure or Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings. Modernizing will provide more opportunities for scale, improved performance, and simplified database management.

Time to migrate

In the final phase of migration, a project manager will present a detailed migration plan that includes a timeline, identified key stakeholders and participants, a testing plan for moving non-production elements first, a thorough testing and validation plan for post-migration, and a well-defined rollback strategy in the event there are unexpected issues that arise during migration.

Consider the benefits of Azure PaaS.

Over the past several years, Insight has supported data estate modernization projects for clients in response to the end of support for SQL Server 2012. In each instance, we had to understand the organization’s unique business needs and goals before we could recommend options for modernization. The most common outcome for these projects was migrating SQL Server over to Microsoft Azure and PaaS offerings like Azure SQL Database or Azure SQL Managed Instance.

There are several reasons why organizations choose to migrate their SQL Server to Microsoft Azure PaaS offerings. Here are some of the primary benefits:

  • Simplified database management
  • Reduces the need for on-premises hardware
  • Enhances scalability and performance
  • Creates greater cost-efficiency
  • Improves security and business continuity/disaster recovery

In addition to these benefits, PaaS options can also support hybrid cloud that leverages your existing SQL Server licensing on-premises with Azure management benefits.

No matter which direction you choose, know that modernizing and moving up the stack will help your business scale and increase efficiency. There are many benefits to be gained from moving to a better-suited program like PaaS to streamline database management and improve data security.

Modernize your IT infrastructure by migrating to cloud. Streamline database management with Azure PaaS solutions from Insight.