How we helped a leading Financial Institution to seamlessly migrate its on-premise application to cloud using Azure Cloud Services
- Customer’s application was experiencing increased traffic and was finding it difficult to scale resources on the fly to meet the increasing demand.
- They were finding that keeping up with growing storage needs is becoming a problem.
- Setting up a disaster recovery system for an entire data centre was nearly double the cost, and also required complex disaster recovery plans.
We helped the customer design, build and run software for enterprise deployment. To accelerate time-to- value, we provided architects for strategy; pre-built methodologies for development and an open environment for exploring Azure operations.
Major points that needed to be addressed were:
- Is the application is architecturally fit for Windows Azure
- Are there any external application dependencies and if they were accessible through Azure
- Evaluated the possibility of the application is integrated with other on-premise applications and shared services.
- The existing database is best fit to migrate to Azure.
- Whether the application design supports scalability as Azure supports it.
- Whether the same level of security can be provided after migrating to Windows Azure in terms of:
- Data security
Migration strategy / approach
- UI Migration
UI interface was migrated to Azure directly, web applications and web services in non-cloud solutions were mapped to Windows Azure web roles, while the non-web applications are kept on-premise.
- Session State Management
Inproc session state is the default state management, unless overridden. In-role cache uses a portion of its memory for the web or worker role instances that host an application.
- Business Layer Migration
- Windows Azure Active Directory Access Control (also known as Access Control Service or ACS) was used to authenticate users from identity providers, when they try to gain access to a web application.
- We deployed Azure virtual private network to communicate with enterprise active directory and used Windows Azure Active Directory with integrated on-premise organization active directory.
- Web services were converted to Azure WCF services and hosted either as a web role /worker roles
- With Windows Azure diagnostics, we implemented custom logging and saved the log information to Windows Azure storage tables. We pushed the event, failed request logs and performance counter data to diagnostics store.
- Azure storage queue and service bus queue features were used to implement queues in Azure. Azure service bus topics / subscriptions were used for message publish and subscribe model.
- Any information accessed by the application from physical storage was migrated to Azure storage. Any hard coded physical disk paths in the applications were changed to reference the Azure storage path. All third-party library or content references were included as part of the Azure package. The session and identify provider (ADFS / ACS information) were provided in the web configuration file.
- All static values and application states were replaced to handle scalability applications in Azure.
- Database Migration
While migrating the application to Windows Azure, the application data was maintained by creating SQL server in Azure VM Since the application database used linked server concept to interact with another database, Windows Azure Virtual Network feature is used. This is where the on-premise application database is exposed to Azure cloud applications. As for data migration while migrating application from on-premise to Cloud, we need to ensure that the users do not see any discrepancy in their data.
Azure hosted applications data can be saved in the following ways:
- Data from Database to Windows Azure SQL Database
- Static content to Windows Azure Storage (Blob)
- Message queues to Windows Azure queue storage
Our comprehensive solution comprised of
- Cost effective scaling of the legacy data storage capacity and synchronize on-premise and cloud storage.
- Reducing the backup and archiving costs, creating elastic storage capacity.
- Opened up the applications and information to mobile and remote workers.
The data and applications of that client’s services were seamlessly moved from the customer’s hosted data centre into cloud using the Azure cloud service. The migration solution that we proposed was based on proven technology that could be easily deployed quickly and without incurring high costs. The migration was smoother and quicker than anticipated.
The handling of raw data on the servers and setting up the logins, print servers, caching, etc. were done. Testing of the migration completed successfully.
- Application with huge data was migrated successfully to cloud. The cut-over was seamless. The migrat on was conducted within time and budget.
- There was a reduction in operational costs, while increasing IT effectiveness.
- Cloud Disaster Recovery Systems was implemented much more quickly and simply while allowing far better control over resources.
- Tracking and upgrading of the underlying server software to handle the administration tasks like database backup, software upgrades, and periodic maintenance etc were taken care of by Azure cloud services.
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