There are infinite opportunities for improving performance and productivity on the cloud. Cloud migration is a process that makes your infrastructure conformable to your modern business environment. It is a chance to cut costs, tap into scalability, agility, and faster time to market. Even so, if not done right, cloud migration can produce the opposite results.
Challenges in cloud migration
This is entirely strategy-dependent. For instance, refactoring all your applications at once could lead to severe downtimes and high costs. For a speedy and cost-effective cloud migration process, it is crucial to invest in strategy and assessments. The right plan factors in costs, downtimes, employee training, and the duration of the whole process.
There is also a matter of aligning your finance team with your IT needs, which will require restructuring your CapEx / OpEx model. CapEx is the standard model of traditional on-premise IT - such as fixed investments in IT equipment, servers, and such, while OpEx is how public cloud computing services are purchased (i.e as operational cost incurred on a monthly/yearly basis).
When migrating to the public cloud, you are shifting from traditional hardware and software ownership to a pay-as-you-go model, which means shifting from CapEx to OpEx, allowing your IT team to maximize agility and flexibility to support your business’ scaling needs while maximizing cost efficiency. This will, however, require full alignment with all company stakeholders, as each of the models has different implications on cost, control, and operational flexibility.
If the cloud is trumpeted to have all the benefits, why isn't every business migrating? Security, that's the biggest concern encumbering cloud migration. With most cloud solutions, you are entrusting a third party with your data. A careful evaluation of the provider and their processes and security control is essential.
Within the field of cloud environments, there are generally two parties responsible for infrastructure security.
- Your cloud vendor.
- Your own company’s IT / Security team.
Some companies believe that as cloud customers, when they migrate to the cloud, cloud security responsibilities fall solely on the cloud vendors. Well, that’s not the case.
Both the cloud customers and cloud vendors share responsibilities in cloud security and are both liable to the security of the environment and infrastructure.
To better manage the shared responsibility, consider the following tips:
Define your cloud security needs and requirements before choosing a cloud vendor. If you know your requirements, you’ll select a cloud provider suited to answer your needs.
Clarify the roles and responsibilities of each party when it comes to cloud security. Comprehensively define who is responsible for what and to what extent. Know how far your cloud provider is willing to go to protect your environment.
Basically, CSPs are responsible for the security of the physical or virtual infrastructure and the security configuration of their managed services while the cloud customers are in control of their data and the security measures they set in place to protect their data, system, networks and applications.
The learning curve for your new systems will be faster if there is substantial employee buy-in from the start. There needs to be a communication strategy in place for your workers to understand the migration process, its benefits, and their role in it. Employee training should be part of your strategy.
Just like any other big IT project, shifting to the cloud significantly changes your business operations. Managing workloads and applications on the cloud significantly differ from how it is done on rem. Some functions will be rendered redundant, while other roles may get additional responsibilities. With most cloud platforms running a pay-as-you-go model, there is an increasing need for businesses to be able to manage their cloud operations in an efficient manner. You’d be surprised at how easy it is for your cloud costs to get out of control.
In fact, according to Gartner, the estimated global enterprise cloud waste is appx. 35% of their cloud spend, forecasted to hit $21 Billion wasted (!!!) by 2021.
The good news is, that cloud management and monitoring platforms help you gain better control over your cloud infrastructure applications and obtain better cost control. A good example for one is our partner Spot.io, which ensures our customers obtain the infrastructure scalability they need for their cloud applications, while monitoring and minimizing cost at all time.
Migrating legacy applications
These applications were designed a decade ago, and even though they don't mirror the modern environment of your business, they host your mission-critical process. How do you convert these systems or connect them with cloud-based applications?
Steps to a successful cloud migration
You may be familiar with the 6 R’s, which are 6 common strategies for cloud migration. Check out our recent post on the 6 R’s to cloud migration.
Additionally, follow these steps to smoothly migrate your infrastructure to the public cloud:
- Define a cloud migration roadmap
This is a detailed plan that involves all the steps you intend to take in the cloud migration process. The plan should include timeframes, budget, user flows, and KPIs. Starting the cloud migration process without a detailed plan could lead to wastage of time and resources. Effectively communicating this plan improves support from senior leadership and employees.
- Application assessment
Identify your current infrastructure and evaluate the performance and weaknesses of your applications. The evaluation helps to compare the cost versus value of the planned cloud migration based on the current state of your infrastructure. This initial evaluation also helps to decide the best approach to modernization, whether your apps will need re-platforming or if they can be lifted and shifted to the cloud.
- Choose the right platform
Your landing zone could be a public cloud, a private cloud, hybrid, or multi-cloud. The choice here depends on your applications, security needs, and costs. Public clouds excel in scalability and have a cost-effective pay-per-usage model. Private clouds are suitable for a business with stringent security requirements. A hybrid cloud is where workloads can be moved between the private and public clouds through orchestration. A multi-cloud environment combines IaaS services from two or more public clouds.
- Find the right provider
If you are going with the public, hybrid, or multi-cloud deployment model, you will have to choose between different cloud providers in the market (namely Amazon, Google, and Microsoft) and various control & optimization tools. Critical factors for your consideration in this decision include security, costs, availability.
Cloud migration can be a lengthy and complex process. However, with proper planning and strategy execution, you can avoid challenges and achieve a smooth transition. A fool-proof approach is to pick a partner that possess the expertise, knowledge and experience to see the big picture of your current and future needs, thus tailoring a solution that fits you like a glove, on all aspects.
At Cloudride, we have helped many businesses attain faster and cost-effective cloud migrations.
We are MS-AZURE and AWS, partners, and are here to help you choose a cloud environment that fits your business demands, needs, and plans.
We provide custom-fit cloud migration services with special attention to security, vendor best practices, and cost-efficiency.
Contact us to get started.