Most organisations have a range of legacy applications many of which are written in .NET. Moving these applications to the cloud has a range of benefits, providing great accessibility, performance and resilience.

In this article we will discuss the best way to modernise .NET applications by migrating to Microsoft Azure.

There are 3 main migration approaches to modernising .NET application using Microsoft Azure. Each migration approach has a different range of costs and benefits and a different amount of work required to migrate to that service.

When picking the best approach for your application it is important to remember that you need to decide what requirements are important to you. It is also important to consider that each approach isn’t unique and you can design a hybrid approach that takes different elements of each approach for different components of your application.

3 Migration approaches for migrating .NET applications to Azure

Level 1 – Lift and Shift your apps

In this migration approach, you simply migrate your current on-premises applications to an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform. Your apps have the same composition as before, but now you deploy them to virtual machines in the cloud. This is the simplest type of migration and is known in the industry as “Lift & Shift.”

Azure VMs provide a full range of options allowing you to pick the right number and compute power of your virtual machines, to meet your requirements.

The Benefits of a Lift & Shift Migration include:

  • Quickest migration option
  • Low risk as there are no code changes involved
  • Initial cost is low

Level 2 – Containerize or refactor your apps

This is the middle option, it does involve making some changes to how the application is hosted but will provide a stronger range of benefits to the application.

At this level you are not rearchitecting the application or significantly altering the code. You take your existing application and run it in the cloud using modern technologies like containers and some other cloud managed services. You improve the agility of your applications to ship faster by refining your enterprise development operations (DevOps) processes.

You can easily achieve this in Microsoft Azure using Azure containers. Azure Container Instances offers the fastest and simplest way to run a container in Azure, without having to manage any virtual machines and without having to adopt a higher-level service. In this maturity model, you can deploy containers on IaaS or PaaS while using additional cloud-managed services related to databases, cache as a service, monitoring, and continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines.

Benefits of Cloud Refactoring include:

  • Long-term cost reduction
  • Ship applications faster

Level 3 – Rebuild as cloud native

This migration approach is the ultimate goal and targets modernizing your applications. At this level, you use PaaS services to move your apps to PaaS computing platforms. You implement cloud-native applications and microservices architecture to evolve applications with long-term agility, and to scale to new limits.

This type of modernization usually requires architecting specifically for the cloud. New code often must be written, especially when you move to cloud-native application and microservice-based models. This approach can help you gain benefits that are difficult to achieve in your monolithic and on-premises application environment.

Azure App Service is a Platform as a Service (PaaS), meaning you don’t worry about operating system administration or framework patching. Azure App Service is well suited for all .NET websites and most WCF services. Get auto scaling, patching, CI/CD, advanced performance monitoring, and production debugging snapshots with Azure App Service to make building and running your web applications easier.

Benefits of Cloud Native Apps include:

  • Apps can easily scale
  • Microservices enable small and regular updates
  • Improved debugging and monitoring

In conclusion each option represents a great step forward for your .NET applications, each coming with its own range of benefits. Depending on how important each application is and the future plans for it will feature heavily on what migration route you take. Thankfully in any case Microsoft has a range of services available for each option and the ability to mix and match is always on the cards.

At Bridgeall we use our .NET and Microsoft Azure experience to help you take your .NET applications to the next level. See our case studies on .NET here.

Contact us today to start your .NET application modernisation.