The phases of cloud migration
We have talked about this time and time again—cloud computing is no longer just a buzzword, it is the future of businesses worldwide. And cloud migration becomes the only way for businesses to keep up with the relentless pace of innovation.
This move to the cloud is a fundamental shift for businesses and cloud adoption affects every organization as a whole—its internal structure, its strategy, the goals and impact of each department, etc. Without a doubt, the IT department of any organization becomes the core of this new business reality, and the demand for IT support in any endeavors for business growth increases exponentially.
The emergence of the public cloud came to offer solutions to these problems with flexibility, resiliency, and speed. I know that all this sounds very fascinating and tempting. But before you commit to fundamentally change your business, there are several stages of research to go through. First things first, what is your motivation behind cloud adoption? Are you here because you want to keep up with the industry trends, or are you pushing for a competitive advantage? Are you responding to certain regulations mandating a move to the cloud, for example, regulations that require you to reduce your business’ carbon footprint?
With the answers to these questions, you are ready to make your final decision to move to the cloud. And now that you are here, let’s get to the point of this article—the phases of cloud migration.
As I mentioned before, migrating to the cloud is a fundamental shift for your business and it involves careful planning and execution throughout this journey to full cloud adoption.
The phases of cloud migration
We can identify 4 main phases of the cloud adoption journey:
Let’s get started!
1. Assessment and analysis
One of the very first steps of cloud migration is to evaluate the current data center environment and its suitability for a move to a cloud architecture. Deploying automated tools to gather information can significantly speed up this process.
In order to properly plan your migration, you need to identify the workloads that are to be migrated and which cloud computing model best fits your needs. Always make sure you weigh your options properly. Is public cloud the best option for you, private, or maybe hybrid cloud is more suitable for your business needs? Each model has its advantages and disadvantages. Get your team together and carefully consider your options.
2. Designing and planning
Once you determine what constitutes your existing IT infrastructure, the workloads you are looking to migrate, and the cloud model you’re going to use, it is time to start auditing vendors. This is definitely one of the most challenging parts of this stage. With the plethora of cloud vendors out there, finding the right fit for your business is no easy task. Here are a few points to keep in mind when choosing a cloud provider:
- Compliance and security
- Service dependencies
- Reliability and performance
- Migration support
- Risk of vendor lock-in and exit plan
Another important part of the planning phase is defining your migration and deployment options. The best way to maximize efficiency is to base your migration timeline and methods on the DevOps life cycle of your organization.
The time has come to set all your plans in motion and get started. Each type of application requires a different type of migration process. While some applications can be transferred to a cloud service model rather seamlessly, others—legacy applications, in particular—require significant software transformation. In the case of legacy applications, I highly recommend you evaluate if their move to the cloud is feasible at all. Depending on the type of application, we can identify 4 main migration approaches:
- Replicate in-house apps in the cloud without the need to redesign.
- Create and deploy images of the apps, followed by a new app installation.
- Optimize apps for cost and performance before migrating to the cloud.
- Utilize cloud native architectures (e.g. microservices) to redevelop the source code of applications.
Automation is another key aspect of successful cloud migration. What is the purpose of moving to the cloud in the first place if you’re not aiming to achieve high levels of agility and cost efficiency? Here are a few levels of automation I highly recommend you implement:
- Use automated scripts to your application during usage peaks, or invest in a tool like Artifakt that takes care of scaling your application up and down according to usage needs.
- Automate maintenance and updates of your apps.
- Automate governance by automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks, and consumption control.
Now that you’re in the cloud you’re all done, right? Wrong! Your work doesn’t end here. Your next steps would be to smooth out any post-migration rough edges and optimize your deployment processes. Doing more with less is the core incentive behind cloud migration. Stay on top of usage and traffic to efficiently minimize your costs. Don’t forget that cloud technologies are evolving and improving almost at the speed of light. Try staying up to date with all new improvements and iterations to maximize your cost and workload efficiency,
Putting the pieces together
I don’t want to scare you away but, truth be told, your work will never be quite complete. A move to the cloud facilitates automation and gives you back all the time you used to spend on administrative tasks. But keeping track of all changes in the cloud computing industry, effectively applying improvements to your processes, and continuously monitoring the deployment and performance of your applications in the cloud is undeniably a full-time job.
So, what happens when you don’t have an in-house DevOps team or a team of dedicated cloud specialists? Find yourself a tool that does all that (and more) for you. Artifakt was built for this reason.
If you are planning your move to the cloud and you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed by the process, reach out to us!