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Make the switch from AWS to Azure with Azure Migrate

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Make the switch from AWS to Azure with Azure Migrate 

Cloud is now an integral part of most enterprises, and most businesses use cloud solutions in one form or another for availability, cost efficiency, and level of reliability. Public cloud services offer many advantages, from reducing total the cost of ownership (TCO) to providing cutting-edge technology to drive innovation. AWS and Microsoft Azure are the two most popular public cloud service providers in the world, offering a wide range of features, services, and tools for organizations to grow on the cloud.  Choosing the right cloud provider is difficult, and you need to evaluate your specific needs and capabilities to select the right cloud platform for your organization.  

Azure Migrate helps you seamlessly migrate your data and workloads to Azure from on-prem and other cloud providers. Let’s understand how to migrate from AWS to Azure with Azure Migrate and when should you choose to make such a move. 

Did you know? 

“More than 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies use Azure” 

What differentiates Azure from AWS? 

AWS is the forerunner in cloud computing getting an early start in 2006 and offers the broadest services and capabilities. Azure was launched in 2010 but is gaining acceptance and growth among enterprises by leveraging the capabilities of Microsoft technologies which are used by many enterprises for software development. The key differentiators of Azure are: 

1. PaaS strength and capabilities 

Microsoft Azure is a cloud platform that allows businesses to migrate or extend their existing Microsoft products, services, and frameworks to the cloud. Azure PaaS (Platform as a Service) is specifically designed for developers, providing them with familiar tools and frameworks to build and deploy applications to the cloud. Azure PaaS also offers security and identity capabilities, as well as a variety of applications in the Azure Marketplace that can help speed up development. Azure PaaS supports a wide range of programming languages and frameworks, including .NET, Java, Ruby, Node.JS, PHP, and Python, as well as DevOps tools like VSTS, Bitbucket, and GitHub (which is now owned by Microsoft). Azure PaaS is particularly strong in the area of Enterprise Integration PaaS, offering versatility in data, application, API, and process integration for hybrid cloud environments. In comparison, AWS does not offer as many products and services with enterprise integration features. 

2. The Flexibility  

Azure offers a wide range of services that allow developers to build a variety of applications. Azure’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings, such as App Service Environments (ASE), WebApps, Logic Apps, and Mobile Apps, allow developers to easily build scalable, cloud-native web and mobile applications. Azure’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings, such as virtual machines and virtual machine scale sets, enable organizations to lift and shift their existing applications to the cloud, or to deploy new, greenfield environments. 

One of the key strengths of Azure is its hybrid cloud capabilities, which allow organizations to take advantage of the scale and flexibility of the cloud while still being able to store sensitive data on-premises. This hybrid approach gives organizations the ability to choose the most appropriate deployment model for their specific needs, and to mix and match services as needed. 

The Azure IaaS, PaaS, and Data Services have built-in integration capabilities along with Microsoft tools and technologies making it flexible.  

3. Compatibility with .NET 

.NET-based applications can be easily migrated to Azure without any major re-architecture efforts. Modernizing .NET applications are also easy in Azure with Azure Container Services, Azure Service Fabric, and Azure App Services. Deploying .NET apps to Azure PaaS is easier for developers that use Windows-native tools when compared with the overhead requirements for deploying to AWS PaaS. 

4. Security and Compliance 

Azure provides a comprehensive set of security, privacy, compliance, and transparency services to ensure the protection of your data and applications. It includes advanced threat detection, behaviour analysis, crash analysis, and anomaly detection to provide enterprise-level security without the need for third-party products. Additionally, Azure offers a range of tools and features to enhance security and privacy, including Azure Inspector Service, disk encryption, Key Vault for key management, and Azure Active Directory. Azure has a strong focus on compliance, with more than 70 compliance offerings to help organizations meet their regulatory requirements. 

 5. Hybrid cloud consistency 

Microsoft has extensive experience in managing data centers, and this expertise is reflected in the robust cloud services it offers to enterprises. One such service is Azure Stack, which brings the Azure experience to customers’ own data centers in the form of an integrated on-premises cloud solution. It provides infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and database services, and also has the ability to connect to the Azure public cloud if needed. Azure Stack also has an edge and disconnected architecture, allowing it to support environments with physical and virtual (VMware/Hyper-V) servers. In contrast, AWS’ VMware-based cloud offering does not support environments with physical and Hyper-V VMs and does not have a cloud-native solution like Azure Site Recovery to assist with the migration of heterogeneous environments. 

Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery enable organizations to have a comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) strategy by providing backup and data replication capabilities for systems and applications hosted in customer data centers, as well as in public clouds. These services support physical/bare-metal and virtual machines, with minimal configuration overhead. 

The Azure Operations Management Suite offers monitoring, management, and automation services for systems deployed on-premises and in the cloud. Azure’s hybrid strategy, which focuses on integrating on-premises and cloud resources to provide a seamless experience, is a unique advantage over AWS. 

6. Cost Benefits from Enterprise Agreements 

Enterprise customers can use the Azure Hybrid Benefit package to reuse on-premises Windows licenses for large deployments, saving up to 40% on virtual machine costs. Azure Hybrid Benefit also offers up to 82% savings through Azure Reserved Instances for customers with a one or three-year upfront commitment. This option is particularly beneficial for large organizations with existing Microsoft investments and licenses. Azure Hybrid Benefit is also available during workload migration using Azure Site Recovery, making the process more cost-effective than with AWS. Azure DevTest Labs also provides a cost-controlled framework for quickly deploying dev and test environments, with features such as quotas, restricted VM SKUs, and scheduled startup/shutdown. In contrast, AWS Service Catalog does not offer similar cost management capabilities 

Is Azure easier to use than AWS?  

In some cases, Azure may be easier to use than AWS. One reason for this is that Azure is a platform-as-a-service, meaning that you do not need to manage virtual machines (VMs) yourself (e.g. for security or service packs). Instead, you only need to focus on your application code. Azure’s managed services also allow for the automation and customization of workflows and provide remote management of controllable infrastructure to enhance deployment options for Azure. Overall, Azure offers a clear and streamlined approach for engineers to work with. 

Migrating to Azure with Azure Migrate 

There are several benefits to using Azure Migrate as part of azure migration services: 

  • It provides a centralized hub for discovery, assessment, and migration to Azure. 
  • It offers interoperability and future extensibility with Azure Migrate tools, other Azure services, and third-party tools. 
  • It is specifically designed for server migration to Azure, with a focus on optimization for migration. 
  • There are no tool usage charges for migration for 180 days, with only storage, network, and compute charges applied during test migrations. 
  • Azure Migrate supports all migration scenarios supported by Site Recovery, and also offers an agentless migration option for VMware VMs. 
  • New migration features will be prioritized for the Migration and modernization tool, rather than Site Recovery. 

Azure migrate is specifically designed for migrating servers and offers a convenient central location for identifying, evaluating, and transferring on-premises machines to Azure. With Azure Migrate, you can easily and efficiently migrate your EC2 instances to Azure. 

In Conclusion 

AWS and Azure are two of the most popular cloud service providers with their own edges and advantages. Migrating from AWS to Azure is an important decision and you need to consider and weigh the pros and cons carefully. You need an experienced cloud partner like Nuvento to analyze, assess the benefits, and facilitate the Azure cloud migration. Nuvento has years of experience in AWS and Azure and with our established cloud consulting services, we can help you with the right strategy on the cloud.