The Top 10 Things to Consider Before Migrating Your Business to Azure

  1. Compatibility with existing infrastructure: Before migrating to Azure, it is important to ensure that your existing infrastructure and applications are compatible with the Azure platform. This includes checking the operating systems, databases, and other software that your applications rely on to ensure that they are supported by Azure.

  2. Cost: Migrating to Azure can help to reduce costs in some cases, but it is important to carefully consider the costs associated with using Azure, including the cost of storage, compute resources, and networking. It is also important to consider any costs associated with migrating your existing applications and data to Azure.

  3. Data migration: Migrating to Azure involves moving your data from your current infrastructure to Azure storage. It is important to carefully plan this migration to ensure that your data is moved efficiently and securely, and to minimize any downtime or disruption to your business.

  4. Network connectivity: Azure requires a reliable and high-speed network connection to function effectively. It is important to ensure that your current network infrastructure is capable of supporting Azure, and to consider the costs and potential challenges of upgrading your network if necessary.

  5. Security: Azure includes a range of security features and services, but it is important to carefully consider the security implications of migrating to the cloud. This includes ensuring that your data is secure both in transit and at rest, and that you have the necessary controls in place to prevent unauthorized access to your data. A not so fun fact, lack of governance planning is the #1 reason cloud project fail.

  6. Compliance: If your organization is subject to industry regulations or other compliance requirements, it is important to ensure that Azure meets these requirements and that you have the necessary controls in place to maintain compliance.

  7. Integration with existing systems: Azure can be integrated with a wide range of existing systems and applications, but it is important to carefully consider how your current systems will integrate with Azure, and to plan for any necessary changes or upgrades.

  8. Scalability: Azure is designed to be highly scalable, but it is important to carefully consider your current and future scalability needs to ensure that you are using the appropriate resources and configurations.

  9. Support: Azure includes a range of support options, including online documentation, community forums, and paid support plans. It is important to consider what level of support you will need, and to choose the appropriate plan to meet your needs.

  10. Training and resources: Migrating to Azure may require training for your team, as well as the development of new processes and procedures. It is important to consider the resources that will be required to support this transition, and to plan for any necessary training or other support.

Number 10 should not be overlooked and I cannot stress it enough. Cloud is a paradigm shift in thinking; it is not just virtual infrastructure hosted by Microsoft. The way IT thinks must change when it comes to cloud if you are to be successful in the cloud. 

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Azure Application Gateway Overview

Azure Application Gateway (AppGW) is a web traffic load balancing service that enables users to build, deploy, and scale web applications in the cloud. It provides features such as layer 7 load balancing, SSL termination, session draining and cookie-based session affinity, to help organizations improve the performance, reliability, and security of their web applications.

Often AppGW is combined with Web Application Firewall (WAF) to secure http/https traffic.

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One of the key benefits of using Azure Application Gateway is its ability to distribute incoming traffic across multiple servers or instances of a web application. This can help to improve the performance of the application by reducing the load on any single server or instance, and also increase its availability by allowing it to continue running even if one or more servers or instances become unavailable.

To learn about Application Gateway features, see Azure Application Gateway features.

To use Azure Application Gateway, users first need to create a gateway instance and configure it with the desired settings, such as the number of servers or instances to load balance across, the load balancing algorithm to use, and the type of traffic to load balance (e.g., HTTP, HTTPS). They can then create one or more rules that specify the incoming traffic to load balance, as well as the servers or instances to distribute it to.

To learn about Application Gateway infrastructure, see Azure Application Gateway infrastructure configuration.

Azure Application Gateway also includes features for improving the security of web applications. For example, it supports SSL termination, which allows users to terminate SSL connections at the gateway and communicate with the backend servers or instances over unencrypted connections. This can reduce the load on the backend servers or instances, as well as simplify the SSL certificate management process.

Overview of SSL termination and end to end SSL with Application Gateway

In addition, Azure Application Gateway supports cookie-based session affinity, which enables users to direct incoming traffic from a specific client to the same backend server or instance for the duration of the client’s session. This can help to improve the performance of the application by allowing it to take advantage of server-side caching and other optimizations that rely on maintaining a persistent connection with a client.

Another benefit of Azure Application Gateway is its integration with other Azure services. For example, users can use it in conjunction with Azure Traffic Manager to load balance traffic across multiple regions or clouds, or with Azure Load Balancer to load balance traffic at the network layer. This can help users to build highly available and scalable web applications that can withstand failures or outages in any single region or cloud.

Overall, Azure Application Gateway is a powerful and flexible service that enables users to build, deploy, and scale web applications in the cloud. Its load balancing, SSL termination, and session affinity features can help to improve the performance, reliability, and security of these applications, and its integration with other Azure services allows users to build highly available and scalable solutions.

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