A Step-by-Step Guide to Cloud Migration
I think one of the greatest problems that every generation in human history has ever had to face was a general lack of direction. We compare ourselves to people who have it all, who have experienced great success with what seems like inherited knowledge from an unknown source. We all find our own way eventually, but beating out a path toward any new, lofty goal isn’t easy when it’s conceptually intangible.
It doesn’t matter what age or position you are, having a handy guide for tackling new projects has been a godsend for all time. Among one of these challenging prospects that your business may need a little help with is regarding the concept of cloud migration. Put simply, there are thousands of remote servers located nation-wide that allocate on-demand resources to be available anywhere with an internet connection.
Certainly you’ve heard of the cloud before, but you might not have made the transition from on-premise data centers yet. It’s time to play catch up, and for good reason. The dominating businesses in the market, like Amazon, Google, and Netflix to name a few, have already seen that cloud computing is the way of the future and have implemented their own cloud migration plans. On-premise data centers may not be made obsolete completely just yet, but their application will be greatly dwarfed in the wake of the cloud migration trend.
There are many benefits to be gained from transitioning to the cloud, but it’s not a perfect system either. We want to be transparent and ensure you’re as well educated as you can be before making an impacting decision that decides the future of your organization.
Cloud Migration Benefits
There wouldn’t be much call for the revolutionary change that cloud migration was called for if the old system could not be improved on. On-premise data centers are naturally limited by hardware, much of which can be considered outdated. Here are a few key examples of what cloud migration offers.
Possibly the most compelling reason to make the internet leap, the cloud provides an infrastructure via services like AWS and Azure that’s fundamentally more affordable while consuming less resources. The rise of cost savings value in turn increases productivity, allowing your company to viably meet supply and demand at a greater rate with lower expenses paid. The cloud, after all, does not come close to the same operational costs associated with on-premise data centers.
With the access provided by the cloud, reacting to changes in the project or the market is more compatible with your team’s workflow than ever before. Cloud computing grants software engineers the means to muster up new assets to achieve a competitive edge, expand into new markets quickly, and sell lines of your business with greater speed and flexibility than previous data center iterations.
The cloud is fundamentally designed to be a safehouse filled to the brim with redundancies for excellent data recovery. While hardware is susceptible to damage and irreplaceable data loss, the cloud isn’t beholden to physical flaws of that nature. Storing electronic copies of your data means that your work is highly resilient to compromise, ensuring you’re never at risk of losing your projects off a whim.
Resistance to possible attacks from outside sources is always a possibility, but compared to on-premise data centers, the cloud is far more likely to remain impervious to breaches. A cloud platform provides the necessary measures to ensure you and your customers’ information will remain secure, bolstering your infrastructure and confidence for an effective, safe product.
You don’t have to go in and replace every wire and piece of hardware if you want to upgrade your data center’s capabilities. The cloud is easy to scale with the growth of your company, helping you keep pace with your customer’s expectations and rising accountability.
Cloud Migration Risks
The cloud may outclass local data centers in nearly every sector, but it’s not without its own Achilles’ heels. There are no perfect resources, only resources that best serve your needs. Be that as it may, you should be completely cognizant of what you’re getting into by using cloud computing.
Fixing What Isn’t Broken
You might not even need to move to the cloud. If your present infrastructure is effectively meeting all your needs, houses your data securely, and is scaling well with your company’s growth, then lighting a fire under a huge move like this may be entirely unnecessary. The move to the cloud should be made with confidence that it’ll make sweeping growth changes, and if it doesn’t then the effort is wasted.
Your on-premise data center is controlled by you and you alone. Once you hand over the reins to a cloud platform, you’re trusting a third-party with a measure of control over your ability to run your company. They may not make decisions for you, but you may find yourself locked-in to a platform, even if you find you aren’t satisfied with the one you’re using. You are also susceptible to downtime by no fault of your own.
Sensitive Data Restriction
There are some companies that handle highly sensitive data. If you happen to be one of those, there’s a chance that you won’t be able to store that information on the cloud, whether because the platform won’t allow it or you won’t be able to maintain it.
Dependence on the internet to store your apps and data means you’ll be subject to connectivity issues. This includes latency that impacts the customer’s experience, making it difficult to properly use your application.
Modifying App Design and Architecture
The way you’ve built your app may not conform well with established cloud platforms. In order to make them compatible, you may have to sink man hours into adjusting it to comply. That may mean a lot of extra effort just to make the move possible, stacked onto an already full plate of work to get done.
Helping With a 3-Part Guide
After weighing the pros and cons, if you’re still feeling up for upgrading your business to handle the oncoming storm, then we want to help you get there. If you want to know how you can migrate your apps and data to the cloud with ease, then all you need is this three-part guide to get you there.
Planning the Costs and Time to Migrate
Before you begin, you need to know that the migration process isn’t done with a click and an overnight wait. It’s going to take some time to fully realize the transition. Depending on what you may have planned, migration could actually end up being a costly and time consuming process. There is, after all, more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak.
There are three different types of migration that determine the strategy you’ll take when it comes to the migration:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Otherwise known as the “lift-and-shift” method, this is the simplest and quickest route for a full migration. You’re essentially picking up and moving everything in one go, all at once.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): This method of migration means that you’ll have to rebuild parts of the application to ensure it’ll run smoothly on the cloud. It takes a little more effort and time than IaaS, but it can adjust for problem apps and data and helps maintain your operation’s composure.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): You’ll have to recreate the entire application from scratch to take advantage of all the benefits of using the cloud. Rebuilding isn’t easy, quick, or cheap, but it affords you the best opportunity to exploit everything the cloud is useful for.
As you can tell, each method comes with their own degree of time, effort, and difficulty associated with them. One company may find that all they need is the IaaS method, and can readily move onto the cloud with nary an issue, while a competitor may find that their work isn’t easily compatible with the cloud’s infrastructure and needs to follow the SaaS route. Every migration process is unique, and it’s important to establish which method will be used upfront before any preparations are made.
Preparing for Cloud Migration
Plan first. Developing a strong course of action, supervising the transition process, and executing the move all come after you’ve established your plan. Accounting for every speck of data may be hungry work, but it needs a minute attention to detail to fully realize the plan you put in place. This includes determining whether all files should be moved together, in batches, deadlines, and other key factors that will spring up once you’re underway.
Our suggestion for helping organize and catalogue everything is to develop a checklist. This can do wonders for ensuring a smooth, efficient migration even in the midst of chaos. Some of the factors that you may want to include on this checklist include:
- Determining which files to migrate
- Have a plan in place for whether you need to migrate files in batches or altogether
- Create a plan for communication so all members attached to the process are aware of what’s being done
- Assign deadlines for the migration
- Create a strategy to review the migration to see if there were any issues in the process
- Prioritizing workloads from most to least important to move
- Create teams to take charge of important aspects of the move
- Communicate clearly with stakeholders and keep them updated on the goals of the transition
- Establish KPIs
- Make a cost assessment of expenditures for the move
- Establish security measures for before, during, and after the move
- Test, review, and adjust as the company sees fit to ensure success
At this stage, once you’ve created a checklist to organize the transition, there should be a strategy in place to address which files you will move first. Since you’re adopting a new system, you need to factor in precautions that should be made. Bigger files, as well as files with private information, should be moved last once you’re confident in the migration process.
Migrating Your Apps and Data
The apps and data generated and created by your organization are the core of the entire point of the migration. When it finally comes time to pick up and move, it’s critical that they stay the course and follow your established strategy.
Minimize the margin of error by thorough testing of the cloud computing site. If you dump your entire company’s data hold into a non-functional space, it’ll be a nightmare to fix. Scrutinize the site and to ensure the migration will hold up to scrutiny. Every file needs to be moved without losing any parts or becoming corrupted, as well as all files being readily accessible from any device that they are using.
Deviating from your strategy is the gum in the machine. The key to a successful migration is through abiding by the strategy you’ve developed, maintaining confidence that you’ve accounted for every contingency. Finally, you can never test enough to ensure it all worked out perfectly by the end.
Deciding to dip your toes into the cloud is a daunting procedure, but we know that it can be the right choice for you and your company. It takes a bit of chutzpah to initiate and follow through on a project of this magnitude. What if something goes wrong? What if it doesn’t pan out? We get it, but that’s why we can’t stress enough why developing a concrete plan of action first is so necessary.
Starting off by choosing the type of migration you’ll be using ascertains the time and cost that will be paid for making sure the migration can be followed to completion. Preparing for cloud migration develops the checklist necessary to organize and categorize everything that needs to be completed in lieu of the move’s execution. Finally, when the time comes to migrate, you can rely on carefully made plans to see your work through to the end.