Cloud computing services are the norm in today’s business landscape for a variety of substantial factors. As consumers continue to stay connected via social networking apps and e-commerce, product and service offerings also need to stay in lockstep in order to meet demand. This also enables businesses to stay ahead of their competition, especially as marketplaces remain saturated with an endless array of options for consumers to choose from.
With so many options vying for consumers’ attention, partnering with a cloud services provider almost always seems like a viable option for businesses. Again, multiple justifications abound, ranging from faster performance to the ability to quickly scale during times of peak demand. However, if your business has currently been operating solely over on-premise infrastructure, a cloud migration strategy needs to be in place before you start to take any action.
Alternatively, your business may also be looking to move from one cloud service provider to another. As a software development and technology services company, we at EFutures understand the intricacies of cloud migration. With numerous variables affecting the success of migrating all your data from an on-premise server to the cloud (or cloud-to-cloud migration), we list everything you need to know about cloud migration, in this article.
Here, we cover the basics, while also laying out a cloud migration plan that you can adopt, in order to make the move a successful one.
Cloud migration involves moving resources (data, applications, workloads etc.) into a cloud-based environment. This can include either moving resources from an on-premise environment to a cloud-based one, or transferring over from one cloud environment to another. Although data is the most common item that is usually moved from one site to another, other resources can include entire applications, as well as the instances that power them.
The cloud migration process is bound to be a complex one, especially if your application has been long-standing, and is heavily relied upon by employees and/or customers. As a result, it is imperative to build a cloud migration strategy that can enable your team to take all relevant factors into consideration and mitigate any risks prior to facilitating the move.
Being able to scale up (or down) is one of the biggest benefits of cloud migration. These benefits are prominent if you are shifting from a traditional on-premise server, but they may also be just as pronounced if you are migrating from one cloud environment to another. With cloud computing today going above and beyond simply offering a basic environment to store data and other resources, larger players such as Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and AWS offer a variety of capabilities under one roof. This way, businesses need not look elsewhere to operate and manage their cloud resources, thereby eliminating the hassle of third-party integrations (even though these may be a relatively smooth process in many cases).
Saving money both in the long and short term is another massive benefit of cloud support services, and subsequently one of the major drivers of cloud adoption as well. With pay-as-you-go pricing models, businesses aren’t locked into pricing plans and are only obliged to pay for services that have been used. AWS services, for example, offer a variety of pricing structures that enable businesses to take their pick depending on which one shall render the most savings. Ranging from on-demand billing that will only bill on a per-second basis, to larger scale savings plans which demand upfront yearly commitment, businesses can decide which pricing path to take depending on what shall be most cost-effective, without compromising on performance.
As independent regulatory bodies and governments alike now begin to zero in on various compliance standards, businesses need to adapt, or else risk not being able to function in a specific market, industry or entire region. Many cloud service providers offer inbuilt compliance compatibilities so that businesses need not perform compliance tasks separately in order to stay functional. For instance, Azure services include compliance offerings that are segmented based on industry and geographical area, so that businesses can incorporate relevant regulations from within, and in a seamless manner.
Leading cloud service providers are now powerhouses of all types of cloud services, ensuring businesses don’t have to depend on third-party tools. Following cloud migration, data can be processed with reporting tools, analytics visualisations and even AI to reveal valuable insights – all of which are inbuilt capabilities that are available from cloud service vendors. As a result, this enables businesses to take advantage of a variety of cloud-based services that can help optimise the performance of data and applications, while reducing costs, time and overhead in the process.
The seven strategies for cloud migration include:
Since each of these cloud migration strategies has its own advantages and restrictions, care should be taken prior to deciding which strategy to use. For this, it is important to build the key steps required for performing cloud migration, so businesses are on the right track.
Before you embark on a new cloud environment, it is important to conduct a detailed assessment of your existing resources. Engage in a discussion with relevant team members (which may include both your IT and software development teams) to identify any problems with existing resources or the environments they currently live in. Clarifying what needs to be done about legacy systems is also best done at this stage, so your cloud migration plan can take all concerns into account, and resolve them all together.
With numerous pricing plans offered by cloud service providers, it is crucial for your business to decide which pricing plan to choose. While opting for a singular pricing plan for all workloads may be top of mind, it may also be worthwhile to implement different billing structures for varying workloads, in the interest of maximising cost savings.
Once your business teams are all on a page (which may also include alerting certain users whether they may have access to these resources or vice versa), it is time to begin the actual cloud migration process. For bulkier databases, applications and instances, it is vital to ensure data is migrated completely, and in a manner that makes it functional once it lives in its new cloud home.
Incorrect data migration, on the other hand, could render corruption and malfunction within applications, thereby causing undue damage in the process. For this reason, migrating in smaller chunks with rigorous follow-up testing is best advised, so all your data is confirmed to be reliable at every step of the process.
Once your cloud migration process is complete, it is useful to understand how your cloud resources can be optimised for better performance and savings. Even if your cloud resources have been replatformed (lifted and reshaped), potential still exists to further enhance and optimise with capabilities offered by your cloud service provider.
Cloud migration can be a complex and overwhelming process, but is imperative in today’s highly cloud-centric business landscape. Whether it’s moving from a traditional on-premise environment or from an existing cloud warehouse, multiple cloud migration strategies exist to ensure every business, no matter how unique, has a means of executing cloud migration smoothly, and sans any errors. By performing a business assessment of existing resources, as well as what needs to improve, business teams can choose the best cloud environment and accompanying pricing plans to suit their specific requirements and objectives.
Once the cloud migration process is successfully done, businesses can take advantage of existing capabilities offered by cloud service providers to further optimise their cloud resources. Whether it’s through AI-powered analytics or enhanced cybersecurity, numerous options exist for further improving performance and increasing cost savings, so that businesses can make the most of their brand-new cloud environment.