Providing a secure, high-performance infrastructure, together with high availability, flexible scaling, easy server set-up and the almost instant deployment of the latest technologies and applications, it’s no surprise that cloud migration is an integral part of the race for digital transformation. However, enterprises pursuing this path need to ensure that they plan their migration wisely to avoid running into unforeseen obstacles further along the journey. Here, are five things to consider.
1. Plan the right time to migrate
While market forces might be pushing enterprises for an immediate move to the cloud, this needs to be balanced by looking at other considerations. Businesses that have recently invested in new hardware, leased new datacentres or have ongoing financial obligations for existing systems might find it more financially appropriate to wait before migrating – or at least keep some things in-house.
Careful management of existing set-ups can help if the need to migrate is urgent. Migration does not need to be al all or nothing process and companies can do it in stages, as their in-house technology becomes obsolete.
2. Plan what to migrate and in what order
Cloud migrations can be an expansive and highly challenging task. Enterprises need to know what they are moving to the cloud in terms of data and applications and if some things are not being moved, how to integrate and manage the two infrastructures. Indeed, today, there’s the more complex option of how to migrate different services to different cloud providers to create a multi-cloud or hybrid system. Making the right decision about all of these choices requires enterprises to undertake a thorough audit before planning the actual migration.
Once those decisions have been made, enterprises will then need to make strategic plans about the order in which things are migrated. The complex, interconnected nature of business systems necessitates some things being in place before others and it’s a critical element of the project to get these in the right order.
A final part of the plan would be how to deal with what is left behind. Businesses that migrate to the cloud can be left with several issues, such as redeploying IT staff, closing down in-house data centres and safely wiping data left on redundant in-house hardware.
3. Ensure applications are cloud compatible
Applications that run faultlessly on non-cloud systems don’t necessarily work when moved to cloud environments. This is a compatibility issue that especially applies to legacy apps or apps run on legacy in-house systems. As part of the planning process, any app scheduled for migration must be lab tested in a cloud environment. Where apps don’t work effectively, enterprises need to figure out the right solution, such as upgrading the software or containerising the app.
While migrated apps might work effectively when transferred to the cloud, enterprises should also monitor whether there are any significant changes in performance. If the cloud infrastructure stores and processes data in a different way to how workloads were carried out on-site, companies may see the app performing less well and may need to fine-tune it for its new environment.
4. Work out cloud spending budgets
The on-demand nature of the cloud and its pay-as-you-go fee structure is a huge attraction to enterprises but left unmanaged, the costs can spiral out of control. Before migration, businesses need to analyse the potential cost of their computing requirements, especially if using process-intensive apps with high CPU usage and disk I/O consumption. Companies should consider different deployment scenarios and develop a business-wide policy on cloud usage to prevent departments from over-using cloud services.
5. Plan data migration carefully
Not only is data highly valuable; enterprises have increasingly large amounts of it – much of which will need to be secured for compliance with regulations. This can make data migration a challenge, especially if it’s being moved from a wide range of different silos and devices and in different formats.
Enterprises will need to consider whether data needs auditing before migration to check for integrity, scan for malware and to eradicate unnecessary duplication, too much of which can increase pay-per-use costs. Other issues that need to be planned for are how to transfer data (some enterprises simply send storage disks to their vendor), how to sync in-house and cloud data and how to manage and protect data once in the cloud.
While the cloud provides tremendous benefits to enterprises, migration can throw up many challenges. While all of these can be overcome, the best way to achieve as seamless a migration as possible is to plan carefully. Hopefully, the areas discussed here will give companies an insight into some of the issues that can arise.
If you are looking for enterprise-class cloud solutions, including help with migration, visit Hyperslice.com.