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Your Guide to Successful Cloud Migrations

Posted on Feb 01, 2021 10:28 pm

Cloud migrations are more than challenging. Even more so when you’re unprepared for the possible hiccups along the way. The cloud is still how successful businesses can scale their infrastructure without a significant capital investment that traditional onsite infrastructure would need.

When you’re ready to begin planning your company’s cloud migration, it’s great to have a plan that includes all departments. Besides, this guide can help you get on your way to making the move. Continue reading to learn more about successful cloud migrations.

Successful Cloud Migrations Strategy

What does it take to have a successful cloud migration? Having a well-planned strategy is essential, according to experts, and can be the make or break factor. Assessing all applications in use by all departments to determine their requirements.

Noting any compatibility challenges is a critical first step, but there is more to consider.

Experts suggest an analysis-based strategy in steps that begins with your business objectives for a move to the cloud. What’s more, including priority for each of your goals helps you move through the process. It’s needed when selecting platforms, resources, and apps you need in your move to the cloud.

Keeping your cloud migration in sync with high priority business objectives and outcomes means your migration has a better chance of success than a project left to your IT department. A checklist is essential and can help keep everyone focused and clear on the priorities for the migration.

The Cloud Migration Checklist

The 2020 IDG Cloud Computing Executive Summary says we’ll see an uptick of 12% in businesses’ cloud adoption. What’s more, two-thirds of companies are on the cloud in every industry. Still, do you know what you should include in your migration checklist for your migration?

Here are a few suggestions:

Full Assessment of the Skills of Your Migration Team

The technical expertise of your team is the best place to start your cloud migration checklist. Include a list of specific program languages for building applications. Besides, note the various IT departments onboard such as QA, DevOps, and Ops; the infrastructure the apps need to run; and whether the teams are ready to adopt Agile methodologies.

Who Will Be the Lead Migration Architect?

This critical role should be at the top of the list. The person in this position bears the responsibility of completing and planning all parts of the migration. Defining requisite refactoring, designing approaches, devising migration priorities, and defining cloud-solution requirements are all part of their core responsibilities.

Determine the Level of Your Cloud Integration

When you plan to move an application to the cloud, you need to consider these two migration methods. One approach is the shallow cloud integration method. Still, another is deep cloud integration.

Rehosting, lift and shift, or the forklift approach are other names for shallow cloud integration. These names underscore the process of taking an entire application from onsite servers and moving it to the cloud. It’s done without needing to make any changes to the app or its code.

With deep cloud integration, there is much more to the process. Moving apps under this method to the cloud means it is necessary to modify their primary capabilities. For example, load balancing, auto-scaling, and utilizing specific cloud technologies. These abilities are included in this method. 

How Many Clouds?

When planning a move to a cloud infrastructure, one of the first decisions is to determine whether a single cloud as an optimized environment or running applications across multiple clouds is better for your company.

The more simple way is to host your applications with a single cloud provider like Net Depot. Then developments merely need to establish a single set of APIs to learn, and this lets the team settle in quickly to take advantage of all the benefits from your cloud provider.

The primary disadvantage of this system is the possibility of vendor lock-in and when this happens, moving to another cloud provider is as involved as your original move to the cloud.

Hosting applications in multiple clouds has a few advantages, although being more complicated. For example, when you use various providers provides your business with more clout with these providers and flexibility to choose where to put future applications.

The most straightforward approach to multi-cloud migration is one application in one cloud while another app is in a different one. Still, there are other approaches that your business can consider.

Set Up Cloud Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Now that you are moving to the cloud, how do you determine migration progress or shed light on your applications’ transparent and invisible problems? Perhaps you already use KPIs in your onsite infrastructure, and now it’s time to set them up in the cloud.

There are a few categories to include in your key performance indicators. For example:

  • User Experience – Session duration, page load, and response time
  • Application or Component Performance – Availability, error rates, throughput, and apdex
  • Overall Infrastructure – Disk performance, CPU usage percentage, memory use, network throughput
  • Company Engagement – Engagement rates, conversions, conversion percentage, and cart adds

Experts say it’s best to set the KPIs useful for cloud migrations by initially selecting the category and then the KPIs.

Set Up Performance Baselines

Once you move to the cloud, measuring your new data against historical data provides an understanding of whether performance after moving to the cloud has improved. Once KPIs are established, set the baselines and determine the collection period’s length before the move. A more extensive collection period provides a more precise representation of data, but shorter ones let you migrate sooner.

Prioritization of Migration Parts

A review of each application, component, and service on your infrastructure for dependencies is essential. Using a monitoring application can assist your team if your on-premise infrastructure is large and complex. These applications generate dependency diagrams that will reveal the order to migrate your components. Experts say those with the least dependencies should be at the top of the list.

Refactoring Apps

Before cloud migrations occur, it’s essential to work on services and apps to ensure they will work as effectively and efficiently in the cloud. For example, you may want to refactor to ensure:

  • Dynamic scaling is allowed, so apps work with many instances running
  • Optimize resource utilization to benefit from dynamic cloud capabilities
  • Change to a service-based architecture before your cloud migration to enable a more effortless transfer of individual services 

The Plan

Creating a data migration plan is essential. After all, Benjamin Franklin aptly said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Besides, the tricky part is accessing the data while it’s in the process of being moved.

When access to files and apps is still on-premise, moving them to the cloud can impact performance. There are a few options for transferring data to the cloud that can help:

  • Using your cloud provider’s service
  • Bi-directional syncing between cloud databases and on-premise
  • One-way synchronization between the cloud and on-premise systems

Foreseeing the possible problems is one reason businesses should never underestimate the value of planning.

The Switch

Moving applications to the cloud can be challenging. It’s why experts suggest two ways of doing it. The first method is to move it in stages, shifting customers a little bit at a time. After transferring some customers:

  1. Run tests to confirm applications are functioning correctly.
  2. Continue in this way until it’s all in the cloud.
  3. Switch access entirely to the cloud.

Another way is to transfer it all at a time. After confirming it’s all working, switch traffic access from onsite to the cloud.

Verify Application Resource Allocation

The final tasks after migration involve optimizing resources. Cloud migrations are optimized for the dynamic allocation of resources. It’s essential to ensure your team has a plan to distribute resources to the application.

Other Considerations

Cloud environments that secure and safe are an obvious priority for any migration plan. Providers like Netdepot offer many resources and tools that aid in creating a secure infrastructure.

Expenses are indeed a concern for most firms transferring to the cloud. It makes it a significant challenge to ensure you have considered all the costs involved in your on-premise data center before your migration. Make sure that when you compare values, it’s apples to apples and not oranges to apples. 

Finally, experts say getting familiar with building modern applications and related topics is critical when establishing best practices from the outset.

Cloud Migrations at Netdepot

Planning cloud migrations can be challenging without the right team at the helm. You know there is a lot that can go wrong, and that’s been holding you back from transferring the cloud. At Netdepot, we’ve been working with businesses for over twenty years to build strategic infrastructures to enhance security and boost business productivity.

If you have questions about cloud migrations, our expert staff is ready to help. Expanding your infrastructure doesn’t need to be complicated. When you’re ready, contact Netdepot.

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