Migrating to Azure, Stage 4: First day of support

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Microsoft ended extended support for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 on July 9, 2019.

If you’re still using either, you’re no longer receiving security updates and it’s time to update. You can choose the latest on-premises version or migrate to Azure.

If you’ve been following our four-part series, you’re nearly finished the path toward Azure migration. You’ve assessed your environment, developed a migration strategy, and migrated and tested your workloads.

Now it’s time to move onto the fourth and final stage of Azure migration: the first day of support.

Applications are officially live

You’ve finished the feedback loop, migrated everything, and your applications are live. Congratulations –  your company is now running SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 licenses on Microsoft Azure.

But the work is not done.

Be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary

It’s important to remain vigilant on the first day of support. That means being mindful of any unusual occurrences.

It’s not uncommon for your users to experience initial performance problems, so you need to be on the lookout for them.

Certain screens in an application may take longer to pull back data than before. A previously untested feature may not work or even break. You may even experience an increase in application timeouts or an increase in response time.

Be sure to keep a checklist of any and all issues that users may experience.

Set expectations for your users

Realistically, by the time you get to Stage 4, you’re looking out for anomalies. Your users can be your eyes and ears.

Prompt users that application performance might be slower initially but will improve over time. Inform them of what’s normal and what’s not, and encourage them to report any issues that may arise.

You can ensure a smoother transition by setting expectations accordingly.

Prioritize the issues

Treat every reported issue seriously, but be sure to prioritize the issues based on the criticality and severity of them.

If you have an issue that’s experienced by many users, you should deal with that before you tackle something reported by just one or two. Any issues experienced by just a few users should be noted, but not necessarily prioritized, depending on the criticality.

The goal of Stage 4

You should’ve worked out any of the major problems or bugs during Stage 3, so by Stage 4, any issues that arise are likely minor. However, the further away you get from migration, the harder it is to rollback. So, the first week is incredibly critical.

Communication is key. Have users report every issue. Take every issue seriously. Then triage these issues based on their importance to your organization.

If you any more questions about migrating to the Azure cloud, contact your SHI account executive.