Data Modernization

Azure data migration strategies—choose the right approach for your business

16 August 2023

The business world—in constant flux—continues to embrace digital transformation. Innovate, assimilate, and adapt, or be left behind. As companies grow, they often need to move their data from one platform to another. However, data migration is more complex than it initially seems. With its robust data migration capabilities, Microsoft Azure has become a popular choice for many enterprises. However, selecting the right data migration strategy is critical for a smooth and successful transition. Let us delve into the different Azure data migration strategies and help you choose the right approach for your business.

Azure data migration strategy and best practices

Prepare your digital assets inventory

To effectively migrate to Azure, it is crucial to understand your digital estate—the digital resources and assets your organization uses to run its operations, such as applications, data, and infrastructure. Knowing the specifics of what you already have and where and how it runs is key to creating a migration plan that is personalized to your needs. Also, compose a list of your software, information, and technology. This inventory should include information such as:

  • Name of each application and its purpose
  • The technology stack of each application
  • Application location and its data
  • Interdependencies between applications and data
  • Number of users and usage patterns for each application
  • Storage and compute requirements for each application

After compiling a list of your digital assets, you can develop a detailed migration plan to cater to each application.

Best practices for inventorying your digital assets:

  1. Identify the most critical applications and data that need to be migrated first.
  2. Assess existing infrastructure and applications’ readiness for Azure data migration.
  3. Detect any limitation or dependency that may affect the process.

To ensure a successful migration, creating a detailed plan that accommodates your application and data requirements is crucial. This will allow for business operations continuity even during and after the migration.

Estimate monthly workload costs

To create an effective Azure data migration strategy, estimating your monthly workload costs is crucial. Comprehending the workload expenses while running in Azure enables you to make well-informed migration decisions and optimize your cloud costs post-migration.

Consider the following factors when estimating the costs of your workloads in Azure:

  1. Size and number of VMs required to run your workloads
  2. Storage and network requirements of your workloads
  3. The number of users and usage patterns of your workloads
  4. Services and features needed to run your workloads
Migrate workloads and optimize the system

Depending on the type of workload and the migration requirements, the following are the ways to migrate workloads to Azure:

Lift and shift

The lift and shift approach is a popular Azure data migration strategy in which businesses move their infrastructure to the cloud without significant changes. This approach works well when companies want to migrate their existing on-premises infrastructure to Azure without redesigning or re-architecting anything. The lift and shift approach can be the right choice if your existing database applications work well and you only want to migrate them without making changes. However, there are more cost-effective strategies than this because it does not maximize the cloud’s full potential.


Rehosting, also known as “lift and shift with optimization,” is an Azure data migration strategy that allows businesses to modify their infrastructure while keeping most of the existing infrastructure intact. This approach is ideal for companies to minimize costs and speed up their migration process. The cloud provider handles most of the optimization, making it a seamless transition.


Re-platforming, also known as “lift, tinker, and shift,” is an Azure data migration strategy that incorporates significant changes to the existing infrastructure to take advantage of Azure’s features. This approach is ideal when businesses want to modernize their applications and maximize cloud potential. It requires more time and resources than rehosting, but it provides significant cost savings in the long run.


Refactoring is an Azure data migration strategy that involves rewriting your existing applications to harness the power of Azure. Businesses often choose this approach to modernize their applications and use the latest technologies. Refactoring your applications can improve performance, scalability, and cost savings. However, ensuring compatibility with the new architecture requires considerable effort and resources.


The hybrid approach combines lift and shift, re-platforming, and refactoring strategies. This approach involves migrating some applications using the lift and shift strategy while others are re-platformed or refactored. The hybrid approach offers a more flexible migration method, allowing businesses to decide which applications require the most significant changes.


Repurchasing involves moving to a different software vendor or platform altogether. This approach is ideal when businesses want to replace their existing infrastructure with something entirely new. Although it entails more cost, it allows businesses to leverage new features and capabilities, leading to better performance and cost savings.

Once your workloads are migrated to Azure, you can optimize them for the cloud environment by using the following techniques:

  • Scale your workloads to match demand.
  • Improve workloads performance and security using Azure services.
  • Monitor workloads to ensure they are running efficiently.
  • Optimize costs by using Azure cost management and Azure reservations.

By monitoring your workloads, you can identify and address issues that may arise during or after migration and ensure that your workloads meet your business’s needs.

Azure provides a variety of tools for monitoring your workloads, such as:

  • Azure Monitor: A unified monitoring solution for Azure resources—virtual machines, storage, and networking.
  • Azure Log Analytics: A service to collect and analyze log data from your workloads.
  • Azure Application Insights: A service to monitor the performance and availability of your applications.
  • Azure Security Center: A service to provide security monitoring and management for your workloads.

Best practices for monitoring your workloads in Azure:

  1. Use Azure Monitor, Log Analytics, Application Insights, and Security Center to monitor your workloads.
  2. Use Azure alerts to notify you of issues that may arise.
  3. Use Azure dashboards to create custom views of your monitoring data.
  4. Constantly assess and monitor your digital estate to ensure it is up-to-date and your migration plan is still valid.

PreludeSys and Azure data migration service

The right Azure data migration strategy for your business is critical to ensure a seamless transition to the cloud. Whatever approach you choose, assess your business needs, your budget, and internal capabilities before deciding. This will help you take advantage of Azure features, save costs in the long run, and improve application performance.

PreludeSys’ expertise makes the Azure data migration experience seamless and stress-free. We offer end-to-end solutions that match your business needs with a team of Azure experts who will guide you throughout the migration process. The result is a fast and cost-effective transition to the cloud, with zero to minimum disruption to business operations. Whether you want to migrate to Azure from another cloud platform or an on-premises data center, we can simplify the process and ensure a smooth transition.

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