What You Need to Know Before Migrating Your Business to the Cloud

What You Need to Know Before Migrating Your Business to the Cloud

Moving to the Cloud might be on every organization’s agenda, but the constant question to ask is, “Are these organizations ready to make a move to the Cloud?” The benefits of the Cloud might be numerous, but every organization needs to be prepped before the move can be successfully made. To get the most out of the move to the Cloud, here are a few necessary steps which need to be performed before moving to the Cloud.

Does the Cloud Have all the Resources to Sustain Your Needs?

The first step is to understand what resources you would need to post your move into the Cloud. During the investigation stage, check what hardware your business already has, and all you would need to move to the Cloud successfully. You need to take into consideration all your applications, web servers, storage possibilities, databases, along with the other necessary components. These days, most businesses are relying heavily on AWS services, along with databases like RDS and NoSQL to do their bidding.

An organization can make use of AWS services like EC2, S3, Glacier, and RDS amongst many other things. This way, one can understand the Cloud and its service options, while there are other ways to understand the different resources available within the Cloud. The idea is to know if these resources are enough for you to manage your deliverables.

Which Applications Go First?

This concept is a crucial factor since an organization can have a series of applications, which need to be migrated to the Cloud. During the migration stage, an organization has an option to push everything in one single instance or migrate slowly and steadily over some time. If you are doing the latter, you might want to identify the most critical applications to be relocated, which might be followed by the rest of the applications. On the contrary, you can try and push those applications which have minimum complexity, and dependencies, so that post-migration, there is minimum impact on production and operations.

How do You Use Scalability and Automation?

The Cloud is well known for its scalability and automation options, amongst other benefits. If you are using AWS, then you will soon understand that you have the opportunity to design a scalable infrastructure, right at the initial stage, which can help support increased traffic, while allowing you to retain your efficiency model. You have the liberty and flexibility to scale horizontally and vertically, depending on the resource availability. These are some excellent discussions which can be looked at, right during the planning stage, as these are primary factors worth considering in the long run.

How does Software Licensing Work?

Software licensing might look like a cake walk, but the reality is far from it. After moving into the Cloud, your software might need some additional licensing, which might not be available as and when you need it; this can be discussed with the Cloud vendor, at the time of negotiations. Licensing might seem like a big step, involving heavy financial budgeting; make sure you speak to your legal and business teams, before finalizing the list of software to be moved to the Cloud.

How Can We Make the Transition?

One has to understand that moving to the Cloud is no simple task. Having said this, it is essential to decide the migration plan, and what all it will entail. There is a lot of critical planning which goes into determining the type of Cloud service to undertake; an organization needs to weigh the pros and cons of each kind of Cloud model, and accordingly make a move. There are three types of Cloud services which are currently prominent: private, public, and hybrid. As per the cost, security needs, and other factors, an organization can narrow down the options and choose the one with the best fit.

What About Training Staff to Work in the Cloud?

While this might seem to be a bit overrated, it’s nonetheless essential to train your staff to work on the Cloud more seamlessly and efficiently. Rest assured, your team would face a few teething issues, considering the exposure to an altogether new environment, which might not seem as conducive in the beginning, as you might want it to be. Identify the teams which will be on-boarded to the Cloud first, and create elaborate training manuals to help the teams move forward and adopt the Cloud to the best possible extent.

See how Idexcel can help your cloud migration strategy with a free Asset discovery and Dependency mapping report

Infographic: Cloud Migration Overview and Benefits

Cloud Migration Overview and Benefits: Know more about cloud migration facts and figures, business benefits of cloud migration, how to calculate migration cost and cloud migration investments. See the below infographic for more details.

Infographic: Cloud Migration Overview and Benefits

Share this Image On Your Site

How to Avoid Cloud Migration Mistakes

Best Practices for Cloud Security

The data world is very dynamic, and it is critical to update services according to the demands of business. When you are operating cloud storage, it may occur that you are not satisfied with your service provider and want to migrate to another cloud provider. That sure is a right step, but what many miss upon is the fact that cloud migration is a very critical task and should be executed wisely. Even when you are moving your resources to the cloud for the first time, you should keep in mind the following basic ideas that will keep you away from any significant mishaps.

Not Every App is a Candidate For The Cloud
Some applications’ data need not be migrated to the cloud for several reasons. Some apps have very complex structuring and codes which might not embrace migration smoothly. Migration for these apps may directly result in local data unavailability. Maintenance and repair of such apps are relatively easier when the files are located near the execution team. As a precaution, you should keep an intact copy of the data of that app and migrate one copy to the cloud. However, the locality issue will still hold—the shared responsibility with your cloud provider will be hard to maintain. Therefore, avoid the migration of such products.

Migration Requires Absolute Care
Often, people are unaware that cloud migration is not merely a process of zipping up their files and uploading to a server (similar to uploading files on Drive). The key to a successful migration depends on the quality of work and experience of your service provider. Your provider should be well aware of cloud migration operations and their repercussions. Cloud migration changes the entire paradigm of your activities—from security to file exchange everything has to work differently. Such an operational model requires a set of expertise on the service provider’s end for the smooth functioning of the business, so make sure that you have the right partner matching shoulder with you.

Choosing Your Service Provider
Thinking that every cloud service provider is going to offer you the same services is a disturbing thought. Let’s take the example of billing. Each cloud provider will have its own set of features and functions to offer; their sizes, add-ons, and prices may vary significantly. Your task is to choose the one that’s best suited for your business’ needs. Additionally, each service has a particular set of APIs and consoles which are, in most cases, incompatible with each other. Therefore, it is advised that you do not indulge in experiments and instead should go with the expert’s suggestions on business-specific cloud services.

Rushing The Migration is Out of The Question
Migration requires time to be exclusively dedicated to the process. During migration, a business might not function entirely for a bit of time, but that’s only temporary. Faster migrations result in compromising with the quality of your data being transfer, while slower migrations might consume your valuable time unnecessarily. What you should do is to find the perfect balance between the two. Having migration at a moderate speed is what you must strive to achieve — this is where the expertise of your cloud provider will matter at large.

Security Aspects Must Bot be Neglected
Although you might be moving to the cloud for better security, you are still vulnerable to risks. Having a weak front in the migration process, especially the sensitive data, can cost your company a lot. It is advised that you take proper measures before migrating through the help of an in-house expert; they must ensure the security before, during and after the migration.

Keeping these precautions in mind before moving ahead with migration will undoubtedly save you from common mistakes that many business owners commit. The critical factor in avoiding many of these mistakes will be your service provider, therefore, choose them wisely.

Also Read

Best Practices for Cloud Security
Top 7 Benefits of Managed Cloud Services
Why You Should Consider DevOps for Your Organization

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.

Also Read

The Future of Microservices and the Internet of Things
Top 5 Best Practices to Modernize Legacy Applications
How Big Data Is Changing the Financial Industry
How Cloud-Native Architectures will Reshape Enterprise Workloads

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.

Related Stories

How Cloud Migration will help Boost Security and Compliance
Amazon ECS for Kubernetes: Bridging the Migration gaps

How Cloud Migration will help Boost Security and Compliance

How Cloud Migration will help Boost Security and Compliance
Although the adoption of cloud services is becoming increasingly popular in the past few years, many organizations are still skeptical of migrating to the cloud due to security concerns. This outlook tends to emerge from a lack of exposure to the emerging potentialities of the modern cloud. However, the case has become precisely opposite—firms, no matter how small or large, can benefit immensely from cloud migration when regarding stronger security and compliances.

Cloud providers reassure organizations of seamless and hassle-free cloud migration and ongoing maintenance; they make the security and protection of third party data their priority because their reputation highly depends on the kinds of services they provide. Once this goodwill suffers a blow, their company sustains a considerable loss, which is certainly not favored.

The cloud providers render security with the help of following measures:

Safekeeping the Data
Cloud providers are not just any organizations; they have grown considerably and have become among the wealthiest companies in the world. Security concerns come to them not as a challenge, but rather as an opportunity. These companies have a highly skilled team of professional IT engineers that are capable of tackling any security danger that may occur. Take for instance the most prominent cloud provider—Amazon. Amazon’s security parameters are well above the average reach of hackers. Amazon and other cloud providers take protecting infrastructure and customer data as their top priority. They apply a significant portion of their budget to meet and often go beyond security expectations. Companies such as Amazon go through a series of exercises that ensure the protection of physical infrastructure and systems.

Shared Responsibility Model
A model that is implemented at the organizational level is the Shared Responsibility Model in which a cloud infrastructure provider is responsible for maintaining the physical security of its data center, including building access, network and server hardware, as well as monitoring the hypervisor in charge of the virtual machines. On the other hand, the customer is responsible for securing operating systems, applications, and data running on cloud accounts. This co-operation is established when both sides are happy and comply willingly. The benefit is mutual, thus, this model is generally upheld. With its implementation, the cloud providers render best practices for controlling access and limiting network exposures which result in a secured infrastructure.

Supply of Personalized Tools
Typically, cloud providers supply tools that complement cloud-based security management tools to help the organization defend their virtual environments. Take, for instance, Amazon Web Services (AWS) CloudTrail; it provides visibility into the actions being taken by both legitimate users and bad actors operating in the cloud environment and acts as an active vigilante for the entire operation. Other security tools such as firewalls, file integrity monitoring solutions, and centralized logging also remain functional and works together in conjuncture with cloud tools. Thus, it all adds further layers of security that are purposefully built for strengthening and monitoring the environment.

Besides security measures, cloud computing is also highly compliant with the modern day needs of an organization. They focus on cost-effectiveness and the ease of use while keeping in mind the procurement of untainted security measures.

Reduced Business Expenditure
From its advent, cloud computing engineers have strived to seek the betterment of the existing platform services. The financial aspect in organizations is of great importance to the engineers too. Therefore, a traceable shift can be seen in cloud computing as far as reducing cost is concerned. Cloud computing is much more affordable than a traditional data center as it works on a pay-as-you-go model. The building, maintenance and retrieval of data in conventional terms is costly and messy as opposed to cloud computing. Cloud computing uses real-time extraction that takes seconds to locate the data, while any modifications can be done without any harm to the existing data. The labor-force employed and time consumed in cloud computing is a lot less than traditional data centers which result in a more cost-efficient solution for the business.

Greater flexibility
Cloud computing enables organizations to become more agile and flexible through a variety of benefits. The cloud allows businesses to expand their infrastructure without any evident disturbance elastically. Organizations can instantaneously start using systems and applications on newly acquired cloud space without having to worry about the organizational insecurity. Instead, the human resource can work on their business strategies. Even for the IT professionals, who manage these clouds, their efforts can be oriented to other more strategic initiatives instead of a web of data complexity.

Related Stories

Overcoming Cloud Security Threats with AI and Machine Learning

Amazon ECS for Kubernetes: Bridging the Migration gaps

Amazon ECS for Kubernetes
AWS has unveiled a new container service that will allow its users to run Kubernetes on AWS server without needing to install and operate a separate Kubernetes cluster. The service can be identified as a major advancement for AWS which will allow the users migrate smoothly, who had, though, previously found Amazon ECS slightly rigid when it yielded optimum results only when operated on AWS’ own server.

Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes is a managed service that transcends this obstacle. With this cross platform achievement, AWS will certainly attract (or at least keep) its customers for it has eradicated one major obstacle of transferring clusters on personal server of AWS—inter-cloud exchange. Kubernetes is known to be an open-source system used for automating the deployment, scaling, and managing containerized applications. While Kubernetes had previously posed significant challenges to producing applications, where one was required to manage scaling and availability of Kubernetes masters and persistence layer, Amazon EKS has eased this tedious task by rendering an automatic selection of appropriate instance types. It runs them across multiple Availability Zones along with replacing unhealthy masters through constant heath monitoring. Even the patch and upgrade routines of master and worker nodes no longer need to be monitored manually, which required a lot of expertise and, above all, a tremendous amount of manpower and time. Amazon EKS automatically upgrades the nodes and prepares them for high availability. It runs three Kubernetes masters across three Availability Zones to achieve this flawless feat.

Amazon EKS, just like ECS, can be integrated with many AWS services to provide direct scalability and security for various applications, including Elastic Load Balancing for load distribution, IAM for authentication, Amazon VPC for isolation, AWS PrivateLink for private network access, and AWS CloudTrail for logging. It runs the latest version of the open-source Kubernetes software, which allows the user to have all the latest and existing plugins and tools from the Kubernetes community. Due to the absolute compatibility offered with Amazon EKS for application running on standard Kubernetes Environment, the user can easily migrate any standard Kubernetes application to Amazon EKS without any code modification.

Having stated the common properties of Amazon EKS, let’s look at the major benefits for opting it:

Secure
Security is of paramount importance in this cloud based IT world. With more advanced features, the Amazon EKS is loaded with highly advanced security features for the Kubernetes Environments of any managed cloud service. The migrated workers are launched on the user’s Amazon EC2 instances, where no compute resources are exposed to other customers.

It allows the users to manage the Kubernetes cluster using standard Kubernetes tools such as kubectl CLI for managing Kubernetes, through AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) authenticated public endpoints or through PrivateLink.

Fully Compatible with Kubernetes Community Tools
Since Amazon EKS runs the latest version of the open-source Kubernetes software, all the existing and even newer features, plugins, and applications are supported in it. Applications that are already running in an existing Kubernetes environment will be fully compatible, and can be flawlessly moved to Amazon EKS cluster.

Fully Managed and Highly Available
Amazon EKS eradicates the need to install, manage, and scale personal Kubernetes clusters. With this development, EKS is one step ahead of the ECS. The worker and master clusters of Kubernetes are automatically made highly available which are distributed across three different Availability Zones for each cluster, due to which, worker and master servers start functioning more smoothly than ever before. Amazon EKS manages the multi Availability Zone architecture and delivers resiliency against the loss of an Availability Zone. Furthermore, it automatically detects and replaces unhealthy masters and provides automated version upgrades and patching for the masters.

Amazon EKS integrates IAM with Kubernetes which enables the user to register IAM entities with the native authentication system in Kubernetes. The user no longer has to worry about manually setting up credentials for authenticating with the Kubernetes masters which also allows IAM to directly authenticate with the master itself as well as granularly control access to the public endpoint with regards to the targeted Kubernetes masters.

Besides that, it also gives the option of using PrivateLink to access Kubernetes masters directly from personal Amazon VPC. With PrivateLink, Kubernetes masters and Amazon EKS service endpoint appear as an elastic network interface with private IP addresses in Amazon VPC, which opens the threshold for accessing the Kubernetes masters and the Amazon EKS service directly from Amazon VPC, without using public IP addresses or requiring the traffic to traverse the internet.

Related Stories

Amazon SageMaker in Machine Learning
Amazon ECS: Another Feather in AWS’ Cap