Six Cloud Migration Strategies for Applications

Six Cloud Migration Strategies for Applications

The Cloud has become the go-to computing point for enterprises these days. Many companies prefer to transition their existing apps to the Cloud, simply because of the security and efficiency benefits the platform can provide. No matter the type of IT environment within your enterprise, chances are the Cloud will prove to be beneficial.

Moving to the Cloud needs to be practical and resourceful; it does not have to be simultaneous and all at once. In other words, some applications should be run in the traditional manner, while some can slowly and steadily be transitioned to the Cloud. With this mode, one can make use of the hybrid Cloud model, wherein a few apps can work on the Cloud, while others are slowly and steadily moved over.

If you are also looking at making use of the Cloud for running your business-related apps, then it is time to check out the following options available for the process.

Re-Hosting

Re-hosting is all lift and shift since it entails redeploying apps to a cloud-based environment, where changes are made to the app’s host configuration. This type of migration is not only easy but also considered to be a quick and seamless transition methodology.

What makes this solution appealing is the use of the re-hosting capabilities with the likes of AWS VM Import/Export; however, this does not stop customers from learning as they go. In other words, once apps are in the Cloud, redesigning them to meet your current demands is an easier task. Generally speaking, re-hosting as a migration option is best suited for large-scale enterprise transitions. With such extensive scale migrations, enterprises can realize cost savings up to 30%, without having to involve any cloud optimizations.

Re-Platforming

Re-platforming is all about migrating applications, and their components, to a cloud-managed platform without having to change the core application architecture. The essential idea is to run applications on the Cloud provider’s platforms, which entails replacing the configuration of the app’s architecture, without worrying about the implementation of developer cycles.

Backward compatibility is an added advantage of re-platforming, as it allows developers to reuse known resources, without going into the nuances of new app development. However, at the same time, re-platforming is a relatively new concept and is yet to gain the necessary traction in the PaaS market.

Re-Architecting

As the name suggests, this method is all about re-architecting existing applications to run smoothly in the Cloud platforms by leveraging the features or services provided by the cloud provider. This feature usually comes into play, when an enterprise is interested in customizing and developing the software within the Cloud, to cater to new ventures or software needs. However, this comes with its own set of disadvantages, which translates into the loss of legacy codes and known development frameworks.

Despite the disadvantages, it is difficult to overlook the advantages it brings with it. When you look at re-architecting as a migration option, it opens up the enterprise’s access to a series of world-class developing tools, which are available on the cloud provider’s platform. Such advantages include the likes of pre-designed customizable templates, along with a set of data models, which can enhance productivity greatly.

Re-Purchasing

Repurchasing often means that old application platforms are discarded with the aim to purchase new ones or to upgrade to the newer versions. Through the repurchasing option, enterprises can deploy the use of SaaS platforms, such as Drupal and Salesforce.com in a more secure, efficient manner. While it comes with its own set of disadvantages, this option offers companies a better view of their app deployment strategies.

Retiring

During the migration process, an enterprise has to do a deeper dive into the list of its owned apps’ this would mean going through every app which needs to be migrated and further trying to understand its uses and cost to the company. If the company feels the app is obsolete or not worth the money and effort of migrating to the Cloud, it can be downsized, and removed from the existing kit — this not only simplifies the cost and translates into saving for the company, but also makes it better for an enterprise to promote scalability and efficiency.

Retaining

This process involves holding back applications from migration which could either attract a significant amount of time in rearchitecting to be able to run in the cloud or are not migration ready as they were upgraded recently and may turn out to be a costly affair if migrated. One may also decide to retain an application if the cloud doesn’t support the app or if there is an existing sunk cost associated with the application.

Depending on the need of the hour and the immediate uses, an enterprise can pick and choose the best available option, when it comes to migrating to the Cloud. An enterprise needs to weigh the pros and cons of the selected method and act on it accordingly. This way, there is a lot of effort which is saved in running old apps in a traditional and unconventional manner.

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Four Key Steps That Can Enhance and Endure Cloud Migration

Four Key Steps That Can Enhance and Endure Cloud Migration
There are always specific steps that ensure a targeted result in any process; they make use of three essential prerequisites—background information, resource availability and a predetermined goal. This principle does not go unnoticed when considering cloud migration solution. Though, to achieve the optimum results out of this process, while in line with this principle, the migrators must employ systematic steps that stand to endure the whole process. Some of those critical steps have been explored below.

1. Testing and Re-testing
It is always necessary to run planned tests to achieve a better hold of the current situation. The first stepping stone to a successful migration is successful testing. A migration test performs steps to ensure the data migration is ready or identifies the areas in which improvements are needed so that the process runs seamlessly. No firm can afford the loss of data – primarily when it belongs to a third party. Therefore, it becomes essential to work on the safe side. A migration test helps determine that a business workload will run in the cloud successfully after migration. The process involves multiple sub-steps such as:

• Replicating business data to the cloud
• Ensuring the testing solution creates a real-time copy of the replicated data
• Attaching replicated data to the testing workload on the compute instance before bringing it into production
• Repeating the tests seamlessly without manual effort or downtime to the business

These sub-steps are essential for successful testing because the dynamic IT environment can be severely impacted by configurational divergence. These crucial, automated and non-intrusive tests repeatedly run parallel to the business operations without affecting foreground data in any way.

2. Ensuring Continued Visibility into Business IT Health
Monitoring business IT health is vital in guaranteeing compliance with internal and external regulations, in addition to ensuring business critical service level objectives. The spectrum of business workloads falls so sporadically in public clouds that the real-time visibility and analysis of business IT health becomes very complicated.

Organizational cloud adoption is becoming common nowadays but very minimally in public domains. Many companies rely on the legacy and critical workloads hosted on premises. Since business applications have spread across multiple geographic locations and one or more clouds, this geographical and functional fragmentation can potentially affect IT operations. The various teams managing these workloads also contribute to the lack of visibility into IT health, which in turn increases expenditure costs. Thus, it is very wise to keep a proper eye on business IT health.

3. Adding a Resiliency Safeguard
When a third party’s data is taken into custody, it naturally becomes the responsibility of the service provider to ensure its protection. The data cannot be said to be “safe” until, and unless, it is protected by a resiliency safeguard. Loss of potential data may likely impact the business’ financial and reputational aspects. It is mandatory to remain vigilant and prepared for an outage that is beyond any control; this can be achieved by implementing a resiliency solution for public cloud workloads other than the basic resiliency add-ons made available by the cloud provider. A robust solution, on the other hand, helps instantaneously alert a business when an outage occurs, and shifting of workloads to another zone or region in the cloud is quickly performed.

4. Being Prepared to Migrate out of the Cloud Whenever Needed
The custody of business workloads can often be tricky, especially when one opts to move out of the cloud. According to IDC’s 2016 Cloud Computing survey, Vendor lock-in is one of the prime concerns of organizations surveying the public cloud. Other pressing matters include the sourcing and storing of data, and the security of cloud computing solutions; this indicates how the custody of company data plays a vital role in strengthening the business’ backbone. Cloud platform vendors prefer to have a firm grip on the business’ data which, at times, has made foreign clients skeptical. For this reason, most public cloud vendors offer their own free native tools to migrate solutions to their cloud. However, with the organizational objective shifting, the goals often tend to diverge from their first states after a decade; this often results in the need to move out of the cloud platform. Therefore, the business must be ready to act upon the need of the hour. Companies need to be prepared to migrate out, if the need arises, which should not cause any disturbance to the organizational pace.

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