How to Build a Better Cloud Migration Strategy

The cloud meets a lot of agency needs. It’s flexible and scalable. It’s the ideal foundation for supporting remote employees. And agencies are relying on the cloud for some workloads. But change is slow.

  • 81% of government systems still run on premise, and
  • 74% of agencies hold onto outdated data centers longer than they should.

Windows workloads, and Microsoft SQL Server workloads in particular, tend to remain on premises. That means agencies are missing out on a lot of benefits that the cloud provides.

One is lower costs. Labor costs for hardware installation and maintenance drive up the costs of on-premise data centers. Those costs don’t exist with cloud workloads. And as some cloud providers make their operations more efficient, they can (and do) lower the price for customers.

The cloud also reduces complexity compared to on-premise operations, not to mention its flexibility lets you modernize on your own timeline. So where do you start your migration and realize those benefits?

The first step is picking the right platform.

One approach is to compare the costs per 1 billion transactions per month.

Data shows that 57% of Windows workloads in the public cloud run on AWS, with half of the global Windows installation base moving to the cloud.

Total cost of ownership, or TCO, is also key. When measuring TCO on a Windows-to-cloud migration, consider more than the sticker price. Some cloud services provide a scaled-back interface with limited menu items. It’s like driving a minivan in the Daytona 500. There’s not enough oomph to do what you need. With SQL Server on AWS, all features are available, making it a much more familiar administrative experience that can get you up to speed.

To begin preparing for a migration, sign up for Project OLA, which is short for optimization and licensing assessment. Why?

  • An OLA assessment is complimentary and at no cost to the customer.
  • It answers common questions associated with a move to the cloud, such as what, when and how much. Ninety-five percent of customers don’t know what is in their environment.
  • It will improve the likelihood of success the first time, even if your migration is on an accelerated schedule.
  • OLA helps to right-size and optimize Windows workloads on AWS. On average, right-sizing on AWS alone results in 36% cost savings.

There’s a lot to consider when making the business case for migrating on-prem Microsoft SQL workloads to the cloud, but it’s a worthy case to make. Migrating to the cloud can lower your costs, reduce SQL management complexity, and bring you closer to your modernization goals.

This article is an excerpt from GovLoop Academy’s recent course, “How to Build a Better Cloud Migration Strategy,” created in partnership with DLT and AWS. Access the full course here.

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