The Aim of Cloud Migration
Cloud migration presents a truly compelling case to a lot of companies, ranging from small businesses to big enterprises. In fact, 94% of enterprises have been reported to use clouds in their operations. What makes the cloud so appealing? Let’s dive into it.
In essence, the action itself aims to transfer the business variables such as data and processes from a local server (owned by the company) to the cloud. What is typically referred to as “cloud” are large quantities of servers situated not on premises, but in a location chosen by a third party, which is a cloud service provider (however, local “private” type of clouds also exist, but more on that later.) Some of the most popular cloud service providers include:
- Amazon Web Service (AWS),
- Microsoft Azure,
- IBM Cloud Services,
- Google Cloud Platform,
The Strengths of Cloud Deployment
Using the cloud is widely considered to have many advantages over having legacy on-site servers – and not without reason. First off, it’s easily scalable both ways in order to precisely reflect your needs. Many providers employ the business model of paying for what you use and the flexibility of it allows you to effortlessly expand or reduce your operation on a whim.
This is especially useful in the case of a sudden incoming traffic increase or just when you need more data storage. In comparison, the same process comes with a heavy workload when it comes to legacy servers – depending on the type of infrastructure you might need to rework it, hire additional staff, etc. making it very time consuming and inefficient. You’ve also got to think about potential constraints of physical space – but when it comes to the cloud, the sky’s the limit.
Another convenience is the fact that technical tasks such as server maintenance, management, and sorting out issues all get taken care of by the provider – you don’t even need to lift a finger. That also results in reduced operational costs thanks to more efficient infrastructure employed by cloud service providers. If you’d want to set up a safety net in the form of a recovery system on premise for added security, costs of that will also be much higher than in the case of having a cloud-based deployment.
Data Service Providers – Which One Should You Choose?
What’s important to consider when migrating to the cloud is that different providers offer different services. Cloud can be used for a wide spectrum of operations and arrangements, ranging from simpler ones such as storing data and organizing it into databases, setting up migration, and networking to more nuanced tasks using Big Data & Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence. Therefore, you must be sure about your needs in order to make an informed choice about what provider you would want to go with.
If you want to take some matters into your own hands such as data security or have a secluded environment to test an application, a private cloud is the way to go. It essentially is a cloud that’s hosted on premises, but make no mistake – it’s different from legacy servers and infrastructures.
For especially needy companies whose requirements are unable to be covered by the public cloud, there is also the hybrid cloud solution combining the benefits of both the public and the private clouds. 69% of enterprises have been reported to use that solution.
All in all, public or private clouds can offer different services. Those services can be categorized into three sections:
- SaaS (Software as a Service)
- PaaS (Platform as a Service)
- IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
Private clouds offer IaaS and PaaS service types. Infrastructure as a Service can allow for use of Cloud Computing, networking, and storing data as well as monitoring all of those. Platform as a Service can be used as a base for developing or customizing applications. In addition to those two, public clouds also have built-in various Software as a Service tools. That software differs from provider to provider so it’s important to compare each one to pick the best option for precise demands.
The hybrid cloud solution allows for mixing and matching clouds to achieve the best effect, for example when you need a private cloud because you already have tools you need on board but need the flexibility to scale up and down very fast, so you also need a public cloud. So to achieve the best out of both worlds, planning ahead is crucial.
The First Steps of Cloud Migration
So, let’s say you made the decision to take part in Cloud Migration. There are multiple strategies available that can be employed to achieve the best results. Moreover, some cloud service providers can also meet you half-way and help you in the process, offering tools to help you make choices and smooth out the whole ordeal. This also can be a very important point to choose one provider over the other.
The first step in a robust Cloud Migration plan would be to assess your environment and decide which apps and processes you’d want to transfer first. Ideally, you want to start with something simple to get things on the road and move on to more complicated applications later.
You also want to calculate the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of your current on premise servers and soon to be cloud. Providers often offer tools to compute your costs and then compare them to work out if the Cloud Migration undertaking is worth it. More often than not, it is.
Depending on the size of your on site deployment, you might want to get a tool that will automatically compile the content of your servers and divide it to create stages by which applications will be transferred to the cloud environment. It’s important to create such steps in order not to bottleneck the system capabilities and ensure that the process will be carried out in a consistent and continuous manner.
A Final Word
With all of that in mind, it’s also instrumental to take into consideration some of the risks of Cloud Migration. It could happen that some of your applications will need modifications in order to work in the cloud, or will function with latency because of the nature of the cloud. To wrap up, the process of Cloud Migration needs a lot of preliminary research and planning – there’s no hiding that. The rewards to be reaped however could far outweigh the troubles of the migration – and as statistics show, this is most typically the case.
For any and all questions regarding Cloud Migration and similar topics – be sure to contact us!