You want to go to the cloud. This is not a question; it’s a statement. Every company wants to go to the cloud, because cloud platforms offer a huge array of advantages over on-premise hosting modelscost savings, enterprise security, massive scalability, built-in redundancy and disaster recovery, and more.  

But migrating to the cloud requires a plan that fits your organization, otherwise it can fail or go way over budget. We’ve been through cloud migrations dozens of times, and each one presents a unique set of requirements and challenges. Microsoft recognized this and developed the Azure Migration Program (AMP) to help organizations make a successful transition to the cloud. Read on for my take on why AMP is much more than a souped-up advertisement for Microsoft Azure, plus get tips on how to make the most of the program

Your Call to the Cloud

Before digging into AMP, it’s important to recognize that you don’t just want to go to the cloudyou need to. Your competitors are moving to, or are already in, the cloud. Your board has mandated a shift, your CEO has it targeted for this year, and the pressure is on. But how do you start? Let’s look at a pretty common scenario for organizations that still run everything on-premise: 

  • Legacy applications spread all over the organization 
  • No common application hosting model 
  • No single source of truth for enterprise-wide application health and availability 
  • Constant deadlocks and timeouts from monolithic, massive databases 
  • Loosely defined, inconsistently applied security standards 
  • A disaster recovery plan that has never been fully put into practice 
  • A wait time of weeks or months when requesting hardware/VMs for new applications  
  • Opaque costs and hardware/software resource utilization  
  • IT/Ops team members who are resistant to change because theyre overwhelmed with current requests 

If you’re reading this, then you likely already know that cloud platforms can help make all of the above points go away. The challenge is that, contrary to what cloud providers might want you to believe, the cloud isn’t a magic wand that you can wave at all these problems to make them disappear. That’s where the Azure Migration Program, and a partner fully trained in AMP, come in. 

Microsoft’s Cloud Migration Approach 

Microsoft’s approach to cloud migration is straightforward:

With AMP, you will: 

  1. Get step-by-step expert guidance from FastTrack for Azure engineers and specialized migration partners 
  2. Gain new skills and learn how to use Azure with technical training from Microsoft and partners 
  3. Use free Azure migration tools to plan, move your workloads, and optimize cost and performance 
  4. Explore offers to reduce costs and help accelerate your migration 

Underneath all the smart marketing materials, AMP consists of tools and guidance that allow you to discover your existing assets, assess their ability to be migrated, and manage their migration. Along the way, the program provides recommended migration targets and pathways for virtual machines, infrastructure, databases, data, and web applications. 

To be clear, Microsoft’s goal is to make it as easy as possible for organizations to use their cloud resources because the more you consume, the more money they make. With this in mind, it’s easy to think that AMP is nothing more than strategic advertising for Azure.  It’s much more than that, though.   

There is a lot of good guidance to be had, and the tooling is great for figuring out what you’ll need, how to get your on-prem stuff to the cloud, and how much it’s all going to cost per month. In Flexera’s 2021 State of the Cloud Report, IT leaders said their public cloud spend was over budget by an average of 24 percent. An ability to estimate and optimize costs should be a priority during your migration, and AMP can help you get there.

Get Started Today 

In my experience, this process can still be overwhelming if you’ve never worked in the Azure space before. The most successful migrations are done when an organization partners with someone who is already fully trained in AMP. Microsoft will work with you to get started, but they generally connect you a partner after initial steps. 

Moving to the cloud is a big deal, but you can take the first step today. Simply fill out Microsoft’s AMP customer info form to get started, and they’ll reach out to you with next steps. If you want a helping hand from folks who have done Azure migrations dozens of times, 3Cloud is here to help!