What Does “Migrate to Azure” Mean?

A large amount of money made in Information Technology comes from business (aka B2B) markets and consumer (aka B2C) markets. Additionally, an emerging market is individuals building Information Technology based tools for other consumers (aka C2C).

A significant portion of this market is the devices that these tools operate on/from (aka hardware). These can include physical servers, storage area networks, routers, switches, network area storage, firewalls, and much more. Keep in mind — these devices are primarily located in datacenters or ‘network closets.’

As the Azure computing generation continues to move forward and expand in the marketplace, Azure cloud computing costs continually reduce. The cost reductions increasingly spawn more opportunities for more businesses to afford to build profits from running in Azure.

This presents a problem: How can Azure be used when these Information Technology solutions are running in datacenters?

The answer is simple: MIGRATE TO AZURE!

When a datacenter or network closet is migrated to Azure, it is a similar structure to how the datacenter is currently constructed. Using virtualized devices (i.e., software that does the same functions as the relative physical devices), you are able to recreate the current datacenter in Azure using some of the many tools that Azure offers.

The next stage is to copy the applications and data currently running in the datacenter to Azure. As the data and applications that are shared are moved, application experts are on standby to properly reconfigure and later test these applications.

At this time, a group of ‘power users’ (i.e., clients who use the software and have a deep understanding of how it should work and operate) are engaged to use the software.

Finally, all the customers who use these applications are told to use the Azure cloud implementation; and shortly afterward, the old datacenter’s copy of the software is backed-up and then the old instance is deleted (called “retired”).

This process is known as migrating to Azure cloud … full of opportunity and increasingly in demand in the marketplace.

What Is a Datacenter?

When computers were first mass adopted in society, there were mainframes and large consoles were used to access the mainframe. These mainframes were as large as basements in modern homes or even larger; they required (at times) custom, dedicated power lines just to keep them powered.

Furthermore, they were extremely expensive (the Harvard Mark I mainframe….used in the 1940s and later … had a manufacturing cost of $200,000 USD — in 2020, that would be around $3 million USD). These mainframes were used to calculate (think SUPER calculators), primarily using information called data.

These machines were quite big; the Harvard Mark I was 9,500 pounds, or over 4 tons and was over 50 feet long. As more widespread adoption of these units became a reality, these units required massive amounts of customized real estate to house them.

Basically, you needed a large ‘center’ to house these machines that calculated new ‘data.’ Welcome to the idea of a datacenter!

A short, concise understanding of the term datacenter is a large area or room dedicated to housing larger computing devices and the network/electricity/etc. needed to keep them up and running as close to 100% of the time as possible.

Fast-forward to 2020. The typical modern datacenter may have some AS400 units (modern mainframe), but will also have large metal shelfs (called racks) which hold servers, network switches, network routers, network patch panels, backup tape drives, NAS and SAN storage units, and more. The main purpose of all these devices is to do the large calculation, manipulation, and distribution of information for an organization.

Think of it this way:

For most companies, most of the large data sets and information tables stored and updated/calculated against are stored in datacenters. Furthermore, the cloud concept is renting datacenter access from other companies (eg., Microsoft Azure).

To summarize, a data center is the large area or room dedicated to housing larger computing devices and the network/electricity/etc. needed to keep them up and running as close to 100% of the time as possible.