Microsoft details plans to migrate in-house IT services to the cloud

Microsoft details its plans to migrate IT to the cloud

Microsoft’s IT team has started up a blog detailing its efforts to migrate the firm’s own infrastructure to the cloud, a move that promises to offer insights for IT professionals facing a similar situation in other organisations.

In a posting on the IT Pro Blog on Microsoft’s TechNet site, the Service Deployment and Operations (SDO) team at Microsoft detailed how it plans to modernise the firm’s computing environment over the next few years by adopting a hybrid cloud strategy using a combination of optimised on-premise infrastructure and its own Azure public cloud platform.

The timing is unfortunate, as Azure suffered a major outage this week that impacted customers for around 24 hours.

According to the blog, the SDO team is facing many of the same challenges as many other large infrastructure teams, with the impending loss of two leased data centres and thousands of servers that are due to reach end of life within the next few years.

At the same time the blog author said: “Our clients are demanding agility, our budgets are flat, and we want to drive efficiency in the infrastructure.”

To tackle these issues, Microsoft said it is following the kind of cloud-first approach to applications and workloads that it preaches to customers.

It is using Microsoft Azure as the default infrastructure for new build applications and workloads, and plans to move “commodity workloads” to software as a service (SaaS) tools such as Office 365, while new applications will be on Azure’s platform as a service (PaaS) offering.

Existing applications will move to infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or remain in a private cloud, Microsoft said. This is a key point for other IT professionals following a similar strategy and considering which services can be safely moved to the cloud and which others need to remain on-premise.

“Microsoft IT understood that, while Microsoft Azure would be an excellent infrastructure platform for many workloads, other business-critical or dependent roles would not be well suited to the cloud immediately,” the firm said in a separate Business Case Study document relating to the deployment.

In Microsoft’s case, core network services were selected to remain on premise, including Active Directory Domain Services, the Domain Name System (DNS), Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager.

However, Microsoft also said that any applications or workloads that the firm considered “high business impact” such as financial information, protected corporate information, or personal information, should be among the last to be migrated, in order to allow time for Azure to be fully assessed for these sensitive workloads.

With two of its data centres closing over the next two years, Microsoft said it expects to see “significant migration velocity to Azure” while balancing the rest of the load across its remaining locations.

The firm published a chart showing how it expects to transition from its current state to using a combination of Azure and on-premise cloud infrastructure by the end of the financial year 2018.

The firm also promised to “go deeper into how we are making this a reality” in future posts on the blog.

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19 August 2014 | 11:58 am – Source:

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