“Cloud migration is not stopping,” said Gartner VP Sid Nag in response to the rapid growth in public cloud spending. More than two-thirds of IT leaders reported that they’re accelerating their cloud migrations, which indicates that rapid and efficient cloud migrations have become essential to IT operations. At the same time, these essential migrations can also become expensive, as the economics of cloud computing are quite costly for organizations that fail to contain cloud storage costs .

The importance of cloud migration paired with its potential costs make it vital to achieve the right cloud storage fit for the data you migrate. But this is no small feat. While most cloud storage providers automatically allocate destination storage volumes that match your migration storage volumes, achieving this match is more than just getting the size correct. Storage providers often require you to specify all kinds of destination volume properties during the allocation process, such as the volume type, performance tiers, throughput, and IOPS.

Cirrus Data wanted to provide a better, simpler way to get the right storage fit for your cloud migrations. That’s why we expanded our Cirrus Data Cloud integration with Microsoft Azure to automatically recommend a volume type, size, and performance parameters based on the real performance of your source volume. This not only simplifies storage decisions for your Azure migrations, but also speeds up the data migration process so you can minimize business disruption. We also plan to add this capability to the other major public clouds we work with like AWS and Oracle Cloud. Let’s explore how our Recommendation Wizard works.

How the Cirrus Data Recommendation Wizard for Azure Works

To ensure the destination storage volumes meet your performance and size needs, IO access information and performance data for your source volumes is crucial. As soon as you install Cirrus Migrate Cloud on a Windows or Linux host, it begins analyzing statistical data about the IOPS, throughput, latency, types of IO (read/write/UNMAP), IO size, and randomness. For security, all these I/O statistics and access information are stored locally inside your hosts.

These data set up the Recommendation Wizard to make effective suggestions for your data migration. Once you start the wizard, you can specify customizable parameters like the span of time the wizard should consider when aggregating source host statistics or whether you expect performance and capacity requirements to change post-migration. You can also select a recommendation profile among “Low Cost,” “Balanced,” and “High Performance” priorities.

Now you launch the wizard, which fetches and aggregates data from the source volume to find the right storage recommendation for the destination host running in Microsoft Azure. To ensure a proper fit, we designed the wizard with full awareness of the various disk types and disk tiers in Azure, including minimum capacity, the speed of IOPs/throughput scales, and the performance characteristics of each disk tier. When providing a recommendation, the wizard uses the Microsoft Azure Retail Rates Prices API to gather up-to-date and location-specific costs of all the price meters involved and consider factors like the “free” IOPS/Throughput that comes with Premium SSD v2 and Ultra Disk.

Using these source volume statistics, destination host metadata, and user configured parameters, the wizard will then generate a set of target values for the aforementioned “Low Cost,” “Balanced,” and “High Performance”recommendation profiles. Then the wizard checks these target values against every disk type and tier available to the selected destination host. If the disk type and tier fits the target values, the wizard will calculate the real performance values and the corresponding price. You can also override the wizard’s recommendation and manually select the disk parameters; in which case the wizard will still give you cost estimates based on those parameters.

Simplify Storage Decisions for Your Cloud Migrations

Now you have the insight needed to simplify the process of matching your destination storage to your source volumes. Using the recommendations from the wizard, Cirrus Data Cloud can automatically allocate your volumes, map them to the destination volumes, and create migration sessions that result in minimum impact to your production workload. In short, it’s a simpler and smarter way of performing data migration on Azure.

We are currently adding this recommendation wizard to our Cirrus Data Cloud integrations with other major public clouds like AWS and Oracle Cloud. To try out the Microsoft Azure Recommendation Wizard for yourself, sign up for a free trial.