Having a cloud-based infrastructure is becoming increasingly common with the development of platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. Many startups and small businesses don’t want to be bothered with owning their own data centres and servers and the overhead of maintaining those systems.
It’s relatively easy to build a cloud infrastructure, but it can be much more difficult for companies with an IT infrastructure to migrate everything to the cloud. For businesses in that situation, you must approach it the correct way to help minimize mistakes and complications and avoid unnecessary business downtime.
There are many ways to perform a cloud migration, but there are some common steps that should be followed to ensure the smoothest migration:
- Define your migration goals – Understand what software is in your company and what needs to be moved to the cloud. It’s essential to understand if you need to do an application migration to cloud, cloud data migration or both.
- Outline KPIs – This includes availability, scalability, maintenance costs and access speed.
- Choose a cloud model and Cloud Provider – Decide between public, private or hybrid cloud architecture and pick a provider that best suits your needs.
- Identify Automation Tools – Different platforms have cloud migration services to help with cloud migrations, and these tools can make the migration much more straightforward.
- Choose a migration strategy – There are five common migration strategies you can use for assets during the migration; you need to pick one for each asset in your environment that you plan to migrate
- Prepare a backup system in case of issues
7) Perform the migration
Companies are willing to migrate to the cloud despite the challenges because of the many cloud computing benefits over traditional on-premises hosting. We have summarized the business benefits of cloud migration below:
Reduced IT costs: Reduced cost is probably the most valuable cloud migration benefit. Firstly, the cost of system upgrades, new hardware and software may be included in your service level agreement. Secondly, energy consumption costs are often lower because you pay only for what you use. Lastly, cloud infrastructure can require less staff than hosting your dedicated IT environment, reducing wage costs.
Scalability: Most cloud-provided environments scale automatically in response to demand, allowing companies to quickly scale up or down as needed. This allows for high availability of resources and efficiency for business operations.
Business Continuity: Most cloud providers have service level agreements that guarantee at least 99% uptime of resources, which is an excellent guarantee for business owners that their services will be up and available consistently.
Automatic Updates: In most cases, cloud providers handle updates and patching of resources, saving your organization time and energy and ensuring better security.
Cloud migrations aren’t easy, and there are typically a few challenges that need to be overcome. Here we summarize some of the difficulties with cloud migration:
Lack of Experience: Not every IT professional has done a cloud migration before, and that lack of experience can lead to a lack of strategy, unclear direction and mistakes that can make the migration process difficult.
Cost Management: If the organization has not done the proper cost-benefit analysis and doesn’t have clear KPIs to quantify what they plan to spend or save after the migration, it will be hard to quantify success. A cloud migration may become more expensive and inefficient without proper cost management than simply staying with the current infrastructure setup.
Data Security and Compliance: When migrating to the cloud, it’s essential to consider your security and compliance requirements. You need to factor in the security controls of your new cloud infrastructure and ensure it meets your requirements. You may not have complete control over your resources in a cloud environment. This needs to be evaluated to ensure that your provider will take the right actions to ensure compliance.
Cost Savings: Cloud providers offer managed services that can lower operations costs and outsource maintenance tasks like upgrades.
Better performance: Applications and websites hosted in the cloud scale quickly to serve more users and, due to multiple data centres in different locations, offer faster and more reliable service to end users.
More Accessibility: Cloud-hosted services allow internal and external users to access services and data from anywhere in the world.
According to Gartner, there are five cloud migration techniques that organizations looking to migrate to the cloud should consider. Below is a brief description of each method:
Rehost: Also known as “lift and shift”, it is simply redeploying your existing data and applications on a cloud server. This involves using infrastructure-as-a-service(IaaS).
Refactor: Also known as “lift, tinker and shift”, is when you modify and optimize your applications specifically for the cloud environment. The application’s core function remains, but you adjust it to take advantage of the new cloud-based tools in the environment. This uses platform-as-a-service (PaaS).
Revise: Revise is similar to refactoring but requires more significant changes to the architecture and code of the systems before moving them to the cloud. This is done if there are a lot of cloud features you want to take advantage of, and thus you need to make significant changes to your application.
Rebuild: In this approach, you discard the existing code base and replace it with a new one. This is typically only done when a company decides the existing solution isn’t meeting the current business needs.
Replace: In this case, you aren’t building a new application from scratch. You simply migrate to a third-party application provided by the vendor and use that as your new solution. In this case, the only thing being migrated will be your data.
Yes, you can securely store sensitive information in the cloud. Most cloud providers provide you with many built-in security tools and the ability to integrate third-party security solutions into your environment.
Yes, deploying technology in the cloud simply means that the application will run on servers you don’t own and control. Therefore, any application that can be run locally should also be able to run in the cloud.
No, you will generally see an increase in application performance, especially for your end users. This is because allocating servers in different geographical areas allows users to connect to the servers closest to them for the best performance.
No, while it’s theoretically possible to run out of storage space, there’s no practical situation where you won’t be able to pay for more storage space if needed. But remember that the plan you purchase will have a set amount of storage space; if you want to exceed that, you will need to pay extra.
Common cloud migration challenges include having a clear strategy, KPIs, rewriting applications and ensuring the security/compliance of your infrastructure.
CG Technologies can help you on your cloud migration journey
One of the most important aspects of planning a cloud migration is engaging a trusted partner to help with an assessment for cloud migration early in the process. CG Technologies has the tools, templates, and expertise to help with cloud migration readiness and migration planning. CG Technologies has the experience and expertise to help you with your cloud migration journey. Contact us to learn more.