For many organizations, global expansion necessitates the reach that only the cloud can provide. And if your business is heavily invested in Microsoft applications, you’re likely to closely evaluate Microsoft Azure as a cloud option. Our new white paper, “Effective Azure Migration, Moving Applications to the Cloud” shows how one large property and casualty insurance provider moved from an on-premises data center to the Azure cloud.
GlobalCo selected Microsoft Azure for two primary reasons. First, as a Microsoft shop, GlobalCo believes that Azure can provide a more compatible environment for their .NET-based application while still offering flexibility in the open source technologies for the future. Second, GlobalCo has identified that Microsoft’s Azure data centers are in many of the same places where GlobalCo is planning to expand.
GlobalCo was pretty typical in its apprehension around a wholesale move to the cloud. To alleviate some of that stress, they divided the migration process into smaller pieces that allow for testing at each stage. GlobalCo moved their application development and testing platforms first, then focused on moving their production environment.
Along the way, GlobalCo implemented a number of changes that led to greater efficiency across their IT organization. These changes centered around four key areas:
- Directory services: the company is still using forms-based applications for outside users, but to simplify processes internally, GlobalCo has enabled single sign on (SSO) access through Active Directory.
- Application data: next, the company elected to use Azure SQL databases instead of a SQL Server VM image. This eliminated the need to manage a SQL server while simultaneously providing data redundancy.
- Document storage: if you’ve ever dealt with an insurance company, you know that claims management is a document-laden process. To save time and simplify archival and replication, GlobalCo decided to utilize Azure blob storage for all the forms and photos they have to keep.
- Web applications: while GlobalCo could have easily replicated their web farm in Azure and migrated their virtual environments unchanged, they decided instead to redeploy existing web applications as Azure web apps. This allowed them to take advantage of Azure’s advanced development tools while also making it easier to scale later.
For a closer look at all that went into making the GlobalCo migration a success, be sure to check out “Effective Azure Migrations”.
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