Which Microsoft integration strategy should you adopt?

March 2, 2022

Times are changing in the Microsoft integration world – the cloud is becoming dominant. The rapid adoption of Azure Services is driving the digital transformations of Microsoft technology consumers. Enterprises will push more workloads to the cloud and embrace SaaS solutions – and this requires more from the Microsoft integration capabilities, ranging from the on-premise messaging broker BizTalk Server to Logic Apps in Azure.

With this cloud evolution, you may need to adjust your current integration setup to adapt to future requirements for the next five to ten years. Furthermore, this could mean you have to invest in migrating your BizTalk Server to the latest version, consider moving to Azure VMs, or completely refactor existing or build new integration solutions in Azure.

Three paths to choose

With enterprises transitioning or adopting the cloud, what should your integration strategy be? Several options are available, depending on what the overall strategy of your enterprise is. You can lift-and-shift the entire server infrastructure to Azure, transition to support a hybrid integration environment, or go to the cloud full stop. Read on for an intro to each of these three options.


Want a deep-dive into each option, with expert tips, caveats and use cases?
Download our new Futureproof Guide to Microsoft Integrations now.

Option 1: Lift-and-shift to Azure

A possible strategy could be to lift-and-shift your existing BizTalk environment and other servers to virtual machines (VMs) in Azure. This strategy provides some benefits:

  • Better availability of your server infrastructure
  • A secure environment by leveraging, for instance, the Azure Security Center
  • A reduction of costs (if set-up properly)

Option 2: Migrate to the latest version of BizTalk Server

An excellent strategy will be to migrate to BizTalk Server 2016 – and/or eventually to the recently announced BizTalk vNext – if you are still on an older version of BizTalk. The 2016 edition is the most cloud-enabled with adapters for messaging services in the cloud – including adapters for the Azure Service Bus, Logic Apps adapter, and Feature Packs with specific cloud capabilities. And with BizTalk vNext in the pipeline, you can rely on BizTalk for at least another decade while exploring alternatives in the cloud.

Option 3: Go to the Cloud full stop

The last option is to transition to the cloud full stop and refactor to cloud-native solutions and decommission server infrastructure at the end. This choice will be an excellent fit if the strategy is to transform the business towards being entirely digital. For startups it will be a natural choice; the start costs are as low as procurements of servers, setting up an exchange and so on is not necessary. Microsoft Cloud and Azure provide enough capabilities to get you started.

Futureproof your Microsoft integrations

So, now that you know your options, why not dig deeper? Download our new Futureproof Guide to Microsoft Integrations by clicking below.

The Futureproof Guide for Microsoft Integrations 

Topics from this blog: Blog


Ricardo is a Microsoft integration expert, including BizTalk and Azure. He is a former BizTalk Premier Field Engineer, and is AIMS Head of Customer Success and Technical Evangelist.

Ricardo Torre

Ricardo is a Microsoft integration expert, including BizTalk and Azure. He is a former BizTalk Premier Field Engineer, and is AIMS Head of Customer Success and Technical Evangelist.

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