How the BizTalk Migrator can help even if you’re not ready to migrate

You might think you’d use a migration tool only when your business was ready to move from one tech system to another. So, it’s natural to assume that BizTalk Migrator is relevant only for those about to update their installation of BizTalk Server. Right?

Well, not quite. In fact, BizTalk Migrator could be useful to anyone who manages a BizTalk Server installation. Specifically, the “Assess” function of the BizTalk Migrator offers value to those who have no immediate plans to implement a migration.

Why? Because it’s a free and easy-to-use way of informing your tech strategy, even if you’re a few years away from making significant changes to your setup.

Assuming that you have a 5-year technology roadmap in place – and if you don’t, you might want to do something about that pretty sharpish – then it’s highly likely that at least some of your tech is earmarked for a cloud implementation in the next few years.

After all, ask any CTO or lead architect who stays informed about tech trends and they’ll tell you that the direction of travel is for an increasing number of tech systems and services to move to the cloud.

But what if that cloud move isn’t likely for some while yet? Is there any point bothering with the BizTalk Migrator?

How can the BizTalk Migrator benefit me if I’m not migrating now?

The migration tool will help you even if you’re not ready to migrate your existing BizTalk setup soon. But if any part of your tech roadmap includes a future move to the cloud – as it almost certainly will – the BizTalk Migrator could still give you really valuable strategic insights right now.

The BizTalk Migrator is:

  • free to download: a risk-free addition to your toolset.
  • easy to run: the download and assessment can be done in 30 minutes.
  • non-destructive: in “Assess” mode, the tool won’t alter your existing setup.
  • trustworthy: the tool is owned, tested by Microsoft.

We’re still at the early stages of what the BizTalk Migrator is able to do. Its feature set will only improve over time, but you can still run a free migration assessment now.

In “Assess” mode, you’ll be able to understand some basics about how well your BizTalk applications could be automatically migrated to Azure Integration Services (AIS). You may even be able to learn new and useful information about your apps that the developers might not have documented. Why pass up the chance to receive such free business insight?

Even if a migration isn’t on your short-term agenda, the strategic planning opportunity offered by the tool still makes it well worth a look.

And if you chat with us about getting an enhanced view of what your future project migrations might look like and cost, that gives you even more value. We love talking about the techie challenges of making migrations happen as smoothly as possible!

Will this be a magic bullet?

Well, there’s only so much you could expect an automated tool to do, but there’s no doubt that the BizTalk Migrator can offer some strategic value for free right now.

Naturally, when you have budgets and timescales and risks to keep in mind, relying solely on an automated migration tool isn’t going to be enough for you to give your board the confidence that you can push forward.

So, while the automated assessment offered by the tool is great – and we recommend that every company that runs BizTalk Server should give it a try – our team at 345 are able to add to the value of the tool by giving you estimates of how much it might cost to move your systems to the cloud.

Keep your roadmap in mind

It’s natural to follow the path of least resistance, but it’s important to make the right decisions rather than just the easy ones.

For example, perhaps you’re on an old version of BizTalk Server and decide that the easy choice is to move up to BizTalk Server 2020. But such a move still involves a significant spend; perhaps a cloud alternative might be cheaper. And bearing in mind that BizTalk Server 2020 will be out of its support period in 2025, your tech roadmap might need to be updated to include a move to the cloud before then.

This may give you the prompt to think about the implications of making a cloud migration. Consider the following questions and make sure you feed the answers into your tech roadmap:

  • When do your hardware and software support periods end?
  • Would it be best to migrate to the cloud now or wait until you run out of road?
  • How much money (capex) could you save in licensing costs by moving to the cloud?
  • Given that some of your apps could be migrated automatically, how much effort would really be involved in moving to the cloud?

Here’s the thing: the on-premises version of BizTalk can’t be expected to remain viable forever.

Yes, Microsoft supports it for now and, officially, they’ll continue to do so for as long as their customers want it. But with more and more of those customers’ systems migrating to the cloud, the balance will eventually tip. And if you’re not ready for that, you might have some tough choices to make at relatively short notice.

Our best advice is to update your tech roadmap to cater for a future cloud migration, and to use the free BizTalk Migrator tool’s “Assess” mode to provide insight that informs your strategy.

Prepare for your best future migration

The current version of the BizTalk Migrator is a great starting point for planning future cloud migrations.

To take that one step further, chat to us and get an enhanced view of the assessment. This will give you the best insight about the practical and financial aspects of making a migration happen. And that means reducing your business risk and increasing your chances of a smooth and successful future move to the cloud.

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