Companies switching to cloud platforms for various IT solutions have become the new normal. More companies are now shifting from legacy IT infrastructure to cloud computing. According to a survey conducted by Forrester, by 2022, more than 50% of the global business will rely on a cloud platform for digital transformations. The worldwide cloud market is expected to grow by 18 % in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The main reason for this is the attribute to work from anywhere, anytime. Other reasons for corporates to migrate to cloud platforms are – an inability to scale resources, traffic fluctuations, and spikes, geographic distributional challenges, etc
Advantages of Cloud Migration:
- Fast service/application deployment
- Scalable Improved cost management
- Easy monitoring of services and applications
- Reliable and Improved cost management
- Improved disaster recovery
- Enhanced security
- Less maintenance
- And more important – better work-life balance
Cloud migration is not as easy as it looks. Migration is easy but digital transformation is hard. Migration basically involves getting things out of the on-premise systems or bare-metal virtual machines into the cloud instances. The real challenge is to adapt to the new services, adopting different cloud services to speed development, autonomous management, and ultimately improve customer experience. Hence the selection of a delivery model is very important.
Mainly there are three types of models available today-
- Software as a Service (SAAS)
- Platform as a Service (PAAS)
- Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS)
Corporations have the liberty of choosing between public, private, community and hybrid cloud models for their deployments. The challenges they face while choosing cloud models are – dealing with complex security protocols, redoubtable technology, financial and operational complicities etc.
Public clouds are a good fit if the client is looking for a cost-effective solution with easy deployment, uninterrupted uptime, reliability, and scalability with zero maintenance. Private Cloud is the best solution if a client needs impregnable safety & security measures, efficiency, compliance, high agility, and low risk. Finally, hybrid solutions are ideal for those looking for flexible and scalable solutions that are cost-effective yet highly secure
The costs of setting up and maintaining your own cloud platform are proven to be costly and leasing services from public cloud providers limits controlling ability. Hence blending the essence of both public and private cloud solutions to create hybrid configurations is one way of leveraging the best of both. Even then the selection of cloud purely depends on the business model and budget of individual companies.
Here are some factors to consider while choosing suitable cloud solutions:
- Cost of migration & operations with regard to companies’ financial resources
- A comparative analysis of progressive configuration costs
- Cloud capabilities to support data requirements and application architecture
- Cost and versatility of deployment options
- Scope to create automation-driven, agile cloud unit
- Selection of cloud should be based on the nature and need of business. Hence proper analysis of business & technology requirement is a must.
- Selection of cloud service provider – The selection of cloud service provider should be based on factors like pricing, support, security, Integration and interoperability etc.
Break down of cloud migration services offered by different cloud providers: –
- Assemble a migration team – A team of internal professionals with adequate skills must be built. They should have knowledge on planning, migration, testing, and support the cloud platform. Consider requesting external help if needed.
- Migration costs should be calculated properly. If the calculations and planning are not pinpoint, most of these processes could lead to unnecessary wastage.
- Plan out proper Governance & Security Models for the Cloud; –
- Business prioritization –Business decisions have to be taken regarding the workloads to be migrated and general timing constraints.
- Change management readiness – Proper planning should be established for tracking technical change during the migration.
- Business user alignment – Proper planning should be established for readying the business user community for migration execution.
- Cloud readiness – The target deployment environment should be properly evaluated to ensure that it complies with requirements.
- Prioritize migration components – Proper procedure must be created for migration and should decide whether to move the entire application at once or component by component or even service by service.
- Application/Services should be ready to move to the cloud for data. An unprepared application can trigger problems.
- Perform any necessary refactoring – Applications should be refracted (if needed) so that they can efficiently and effectively work in the cloud platform.
- Assess – The first step is to assess the application or service that has to be setup/ transferred to the cloud. Most of the time it is hard to transfer services and applications without any issues.
- Pilot testing – This step involves testing the performance of applications before migrating to the cloud. It is to confirm the compatibility and security of an application.
- Initiate migration – Migration is done by a professional team; consisting of developers and other professionals with moderate technical knowledge about cloud migration. Moving the data first or the application first is the client’s call based on business needs.
- Testing – Testing is done to check the functionality. If the application or service fails, debugging will be done and if needed, the application will undergo a re-architectural process.
- Optimize – Finally, various optimization processes will be performed to save storage and bandwidth.
Below screenshot shows the cloud migration steps recommended by AWS: –
The shift in the budget towards cloud migration is something that has to be taken seriously and wisely. If the process is not planned properly, it can take an unnecessary amount of time in the process of migration. A right cloud migration strategy in place can save companies from an investment failure