Whether your company is looking to move some or all of your on-premises capabilities to the cloud, understanding the impact of those moves on your companies bottom line is critical.

Ultimately, you need to evaluate all of your options before making a decision of this magnitude because reality is that it could be a unique combination of on-premises and cloud that could be your best option. For others a full shift to the cloud may be their perfect solution from a support and cost aspect and then in some situations not moving anything to the cloud might just be the best solution.

However, with all of these options cost is usually the number one factor that will prompt a company to make any moves in this area and even then concerns about control of company data, etc. are also at the top of the list.

In order to get a good handle on the cost of a shift to a hybrid or full cloud solution, Microsoft provides web based tools that will let you take your current setup and costs to give you an idea of the total cost of ownership for those options.

You can get started with their Microsoft Azure Total Cost of Ownership (TCO Calculator located at http://tco.microsoft.com/. This tool is no good unless you are able to provide it key information about your current setup and associated costs so make sure you have that information available before you get started.

One thing Microsoft has made available to assist you in preparing to use this tool is a 33 page PDF document called Cloud Migration Assessment and it is available by completing a simple registering form.

This document's introduction explains its use and purpose:

"This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to use the Azure TCO tool to understand initial cost comparison in migrating your on-premises workloads to Azure.  Through one of three input mechanisms, you can model the cost of your on-premises physical and virtual servers.  Further inputs for storage and networking usage offers deeper costing analysis, providing an initial comparison report to identify savings when moving your on-premises environment to Azure."

For more information about Microsoft's cloud solutions be sure to check out the Cloud Platform portal and the Hybrid Cloud Blog.

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