A guest post by Lilly Miller
Today, business owners want to increase the scalability, speed, and flexibility of their data centers. That is where cloud computing can help. However, harnessing the full potential of the cloud infrastructure requires more than a lift-and-shift approach. Migrating from a legacy IT infrastructure to the cloud requires a detailed strategy. This article teaches you how to move your mission-critical applications to the cloud effectively.
Choose your Level of Integration
You can move an application from your on-premises IT infrastructure to the cloud in two ways.
The first is a shallow cloud integration, also called lift-and-shift. We call it that way because the app is moved from one environment to the other with little or no modifications. You make only the changes necessary to run the app in the cloud environment.
The second is a deep cloud integration, where you modify your application during the cloud migration process. The goal is to get the most out of your cloud capabilities.
Select the Right Cloud Model
Choose the right cloud solution based on your business goals, process, and application you intend to migrate to the cloud.
The types of cloud computing are the following:
Public clouds use a standard cloud computing model to make resources, such as apps or virtual machines, available to users.
Traditionally, public clouds always run off-premises. Today, public cloud vendors often on-premise data centers, too.
Some of the most prominent public cloud providers are Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.
Private clouds are solely dedicated to a single end-user. You can now build private clouds on vendor-owned data centers located off-premises.
One such type is managed cloud services such as AWS, where users create a private cloud that is deployed, configured, and managed by a third party.
Hybrid clouds are complex IT infrastructures that consist of at least one private and one public cloud.
Pick the Right Cloud Computing Services
There are several cloud computing services to consider:
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
A cloud service vendor manages the infrastructure, including your servers, network, virtualization, data storage. You manage operating systems, apps, and middleware.
Platform as a service (PaaS)
Cloud service providers manage virtualization, servers, software, networking, middleware, and runtime. However, you take care of the apps running on the top of the platform and the data they rely on.
PaaS is specifically designed for developers and programmers, providing them with a shared cloud platform for application development and management.
Software as a service (SaaS)
Typically, SaaS incorporates apps users can access via their smartphones or web browsers. A service provider manages every aspect of the cloud platform, from networking and storage to data and applications.
Set Cloud Migration KPIs
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential to the cloud migration process. They help you measure the success of your cloud migration strategy and understand whether it meets your goals.
Sure, the choice of cloud migration KPIs depends on your company’s objectives. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to choosing them, here are several common KPIs that may serve as your starting point:
- Duration: How long each phase of the cloud migration process is taking.
- Disruption: Does the migration affects the use of your business-critical applications, and to what extent? Consider factors, such as the availability of critical services, the degradation of service due to downtime, the length of downtime of data centers, etc.
- The cost of migration: Measure the time and costs of the migration of the cloud.
- Post-migration KPIs: Track metrics, such as user experience, business impact, cost/time savings, or infrastructure.
Build a Cloud Migration Plan
When and how will you transfer your data from legacy systems to the cloud? That depends on the cloud infrastructure complexity, as well as your data and business operations.
For example, you can do it all at once. Namely, you move the entire application to the cloud. Once you test it, you switch traffic from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud.
Alternatively, you can migrate to the cloud gradually. In that case, your goal is to move a few customers over and assess their satisfaction with your services. Once you test your cloud environment, you move a few more customers. You continue the process until you have moved all customers to the cloud. That is a good solution for businesses wanting to protect their data.
Over to You
From data loss to downtime, you may face various challenges while migrating to the cloud. That is why you need to plan and execute it strategically. For starters, choose the right cloud model and service for your business and determine your level of integration. Most importantly, select the cloud migration KPIs and metrics to track.
We hope these insights will help you migrate to the cloud successfully!