“Azure” is Microsoft’s cloud-based computing platform that allows businesses to manage applications and a wide range of software services. It is ideal for businesses who want to scale more easily as they grow and for those who want to take advantage of cloud apps and systems.


If you’re currently using any Windows Server OS version, there are a few things that you should know that might help you to make the decision to upgrade, and make the whole process easier on your business.



Many Windows Server Versions Are Now Outdated


Running any of your organisation’s applications and tasks on an unsupported OS is extremely risky, as it leaves you open to security threats and data breaches. Many older Windows Server versions are now unsupported by Microsoft, meaning they receive no updates or security patches.


With Server 2012 and 2012 R2 soon being added to the list of unsupported versions (in October 2023), now is a good time to consider what you’ll be switching to.



You’ll Be Moving To The Cloud


By getting rid of any Windows Server OS and moving to an Azure-only infrastructure, your business will be moving to the cloud. Whilst this isn’t something that should be scary, it’s still something you should know as it will change how your business operates and works with IT support.


It’s likely that by changing to a cloud-only system, you’ll only see positive changes within the business over time.



You Can Still Move Gradually To The Cloud With A Hybrid Solution


Whilst moving to an entirely cloud-based infrastructure can bring great benefits to your business, it’s understandable that it might be difficult to make the complete switch at once.


A hybrid solution can help to bridge the gap and make the transition easier, as well as more gradual. In this case, you can continue to use onsite infrastructure, only now with Azure, giving you access to cloud capabilities without a full change to your current infrastructure.



You Need To Carry Out An Assessment


Whilst it can be very easy to move over to the cloud, it shouldn’t be rushed. In order to upgrade effectively and truly realise the full potential of cloud computing, it requires careful planning and assessment first.


It’s crucial that you carry out a detailed assessment to understand your workloads, what dependencies they have, which can be migrated to Azure, and what kind of infrastructure you’ll need moving forwards. This will enable you to migrate efficiently with minimal disruption and maximum functionality once the migration is complete.



The Migration Process Itself Can Take Several Days or More


A full migration from a legacy system to Microsoft Azure can often take several days or even weeks to complete, meaning it will require some thought on when is best to carry out the process.


Whilst this sounds like a long time, by planning it carefully in advance, you can minimise the disruption that it might cause and carry on with business as usual.



Don’t Forget About Security


Security is one of the most important aspects of your business’s communications and data storage. Microsoft do a very good job of making sure that Azure is always up to date and secure, however it is essential that you take the time to ensure that security of your new system is set up properly.


This could require you to educate staff on security best practices and to work closely with your IT provider who can help you set up additional security measures across your infrastructure.



Upgrading legacy systems such as old Windows Server OS versions is essential in maintaining a high level of both security and business efficiency. We always recommend switching to a cloud-based system due to the immense benefits it can bring your organisation across almost every area of the business. If you have any questions about Microsoft Azure or how your business can upgrade to cloud infrastructure, use the button below to talk to one of our advisors.


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