Graphic with the Microsoft Azure icon and text Project: Azure Server Migration

Project Overview

The Information Technology Services department is migrating Iowa State's virtual server infrastructure service to Microsoft Azure. This multi-year project is set to be completed by June 2023.

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Project Details

Virtual servers at the university allow departments and individuals to run their server workloads without having to manage physical hardware. This could include web hosting, print servers, custom applications, and more. All existing virtual servers will be moved from on-premises to Microsoft Azure. Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. The platform provides access to a multitude of emerging technologies across a wide variety of technologies. At Iowa State, Azure will be used for an ever-growing list of items, starting with virtual servers.

Moving to the new service will:

  • Provide users with increased capabilities
  • Offer increased resiliency that boosts productivity
  • Allow better control of data through self-service options

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Project Process

To navigate the transition, ITS will catalog all existing virtual servers hosted on the current virtual server environment managed by ITS. Once identified, ITS will work with an external partner to conduct the migration process. Owners of existing virtual servers will be contacted to establish migration timelines and implement processes to minimize impact.

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Schedule & Timeline

    2020

    • Azure selected as cloud computing platform.

    June 2021

    • External partner identified.

    September 10, 2021

    • Communication to existing server owners.

    October 13, 2021

    • Migration timelines being developed with customers.

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    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    No. Servers will be migrated as-is.

    Yes. The Azure environment cannot use the same IP space campus uses and servers will need different IP address(es).

    No. ITS will collect and migrate existing firewall rules for owner.

    Yes. The on-premises infrastructure will be shut down in June 2023 and will no longer be available.

    Yes. The potential price listing is shown below.

     

    Today's Cost

    Incorrectly Calculated

    Azure Cost*

    TierHDDSSDHDDSSD
    Medium (2CPU/4GB RAM)$18$24$17$21
    Large (2CPU/8GB RAM)$27$32$29-33**$33-37**
    XLarge (4CPU/16GB RAM)$43$49$52-60**$56-63**
    2XLarge (8CPU/32GB RAM)$76$81$97-113**$101-117**
    4XLarge (16CPU/64GB RAM)$119$125$189-219**$193-223**

    * These costs are taken from the public Microsoft Azure pricing calculator as a 3-year reservation with Azure Hybrid Benefit. Prices are subject to change and are set by Microsoft, not Iowa State University.

    ** Cost varies based on type of VM chosen, burst or constant performance.

    Originally, ITS planned to replace the on-premises infrastructure with new hardware. Upon further investigation, it was determined that the cost for replacing the current infrastructure is about the same as Microsoft Azure. And by migrating to Azure, server owners will have greater functionality and flexibility.

    In the first phase of the project, identified costs represent running a full server that is on 24/7/365. In the second phase of the project, server owners will have the option to move from a full server to a cloud-native service which should reduce prices. Examples include managed web hosting without a server, managed storage without a server, managed databases without a server, and others. Once migrated, ITS will work with server owners to optimize needs and service levels.

    Please contact azure@iastate.edu for more information.

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