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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Best Practices to Help your Team Migrate to the Cloud

Best Practices to Help your Team Migrate to the Cloud

If any IT organization feels that shifting their workloads to the cloud is as simple as a lift and shift operation, then it must be noted that there is way more than what meets the eye. The cloud has become the preferred choice of services; from small businesses to large enterprises, organizations slowly realize the importance of shifting to the cloud. However, moving to the cloud is not as easy as it sounds; getting there needs extensive planning, forecasting, and lots of reconfiguring to ensure a successful transformation.

To get the most out of the cloud organizations need to be on their toes. To fully harness all that the cloud has to offer organizations need to direct their mindset towards resourcing, operational efficiency, and offline storage. Organizations which don’t consider these factors often end up losing heavily on productivity and in turn suffer from increased costs.

Pre-Migration Stage

Have a Vision Ready: Communicating a central vision to the team is of the utmost importance. It is essential to understand how the overall idea will pan out in the long run. Being able to share the vision with the employees can help the team assimilate the concept and work towards the successful migration eventually.

Share a Well-Defined Plan: By having a governance model ready, the migration can become easy. During the drafting of the project, any loopholes can be addressed through brainstorming sessions. All the questions which arise during the brainstorming sessions can then be answered preemptively.

Train Staff to Handle the Migration: Your team members should be well trained with the nuances of the cloud procedure; this way, everything can be handled without incurring any problems. The better-trained people you have on your side, the smoother the migration to the cloud. Well educated people can be an asset in such movements since they are already familiar with the problems that can occur during the migration procedures.

Migration Stage

Start Small: Don’t try to transfer everything in one go. Instead, concentrate on migrating in bits and pieces, so that everything can be moved without too many hiccups. Break more significant fragments into small segments and then try to migrate to the cloud. Rest assured, efficiency will be enhanced, and the team would be well equipped to transfer everything seamlessly.

Automation is the Key: Automation within the cloud is helpful when it comes to driving efficiency. Spend considerable time in automating the processes and functions within the cloud, so that teams can be empowered to perform and adjust to the migration effectively.

Leverage Fully Managed Services: Organizations can use services like Amazon RDS, Amazon DynamoDB, and the AWS Directory Service. Through AWS, day to day maintenance can be handled with ease, allowing the team to be freed up.

Post-Migration Stage

Monitor the Results: Post-migration, it’s important to stay abreast of all the changes that were initiated during the migration. Source the results, and the deviances, post-implementation strategies need to be developed to enhance the results and make them more effective. Any loopholes can be plugged, and the findings can pave the path for future migrations.

Use Cloud-Intensive Monitoring: There are a series of tools, which make the task of monitoring results more accessible and more straightforward. Tools like New Relic, App Dynamics, and AWS CloudWatch Logs are some examples of devices which can be used in this regard. Not only will the ops people benefit immensely in the long run, but stakeholders will also have a more precise base to make future strategies.

Cloud migration does not have to be a daunting job, as it is made out to be. With the right approach and techniques, the tasks can be eased out and can make the migration more natural and more effective. With the right partnership between ops and management, the movement to the cloud will be an asset worth maintaining.

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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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