It is important for organisations to understand the best ways to maximize advantages and minimize risks of a move to the cloud. There are many great benefits of moving to a cloud environment but it can be a major commitment. Key considerations for your public cloud migration plan are:
What To Migrate
The greatest decision is which applications should an ICT department house in the cloud. The easiest place to start is with new applications. The real challenge is what to do with existing in-house legacy applications.
- Application Requirements – What resources will you need to run your application in the cloud? You need to consider the number of resources, the platform, how the application is built, how it is architected, and how the application is used. How will they integrate with on-premise applications in the interim?
- Optimisation and Performance – To determine the baseline requirements, you need detailed statistics and visibility into how your application is performing to date. Including, the ability to track performance and inter-operability once it resides in the cloud.
- Understanding of Data / Data Warehousing Requirements – Does your data need to reside in one secure place? What about government regulations? IRAP Certification?
2 How To Migrate
As soon as you have considered what type of cloud to use, and the applications that should be transferred, the hard-hitting decisions have been made and your path onward is clear. With the tough decisions already made, the process of moving to the cloud can be reasonably easy, especially with the cloud migration tools available, and consulting organisations that specialise in this field.
- Migration Process – A step-by-step process to build, test, and move into production needs to be followed thoroughly for a successful rollout. You should be moving applications based on priority to the business. For example, start first by migrating a front-end server to the cloud, test it, look at the interoperability, and move the server to a production hybrid configuration whilst the backend remains on premise. Then move the back-end server. It is important to perform the move in stages.
- DevOps – If you are working with business operations and building your applications from the ground up that are functioning in a DevOps environment, you should consider building those in a public cloud setting first. One great reason is that your application should be smart enough to scale resources up and down based on demand.
- Automate, automate, and automate. Where possible use automation tools or write scripts to perform tasks in the cloud. This will allow repeatability, reliability, consistency, and leveragability.
3 When To Migrate
You have chosen an application or suite; you have created a plan and now the journey to migrate. Or is it? When is the right time to move your application into the cloud?
- Return on Investment – Over the past decade several companies have made significant capital investments in datacentres, servers, networking, storage, and virtualisation technologies. Such investments offer a higher ROI over the length of certain projects. Rather than moving everything to the cloud. In some cases, it benefits to leave certain applications in-house.
- Learning Cloud – Before making the jump to the public cloud, it is vital to ensure your team understands the constraints, limitations, strengths, and weaknesses of various providers. Building knowledge of public cloud providers is easier than for other areas of IT. This is due to the well-established communities and free resources available online. Additionally, the largest providers are all offering free online training material including certifications to ensure your team is ready for the cloud.
- Third Party Services – Most of the large service providers, as well as several third-party consulting companies, such as Blue Crystal Solutions, can help you migrate to the cloud. Blue Crystal Solutions can provide architecture, licencing advice, cost estimates, migration, performance tracking, monitoring, proof of concepts and management services for most cloud products. Ahead of your move to the public cloud, it is important to start considering the role that service providers, like Blue Crystal Solutions, can perform as you embark on your cloud journey.