Cloud Migration Strategies For Kingston Businesses
Embracing the power of the cloud has become inevitable to be successful in today’s digital era, more so when more and more organizations are migrating to the cloud to drive growth. According to Gartner, by 2024, more than 45% of IT spending will shift from traditional to cloud solutions.
Despite such heavy spending on cloud solutions, one in every three organizations fails to realize its benefits. According to the Unisys Cloud Success Barometer Report, 33% of businesses have experienced no or slight improvement in the efficiency of their operations after cloud adoption. That said, cloud migration can be a costly and complex affair. So, how do you make it work in your favour?
The solution relies on sound planning and selecting the right cloud migration approach for your IT assets. This post strives to give you a better understanding of the best cloud migration strategies to help you streamline your cloud migration path so that you can smoothly transition your Kingston business to the cloud.
Let’s dive in.
What Is a Cloud Migration Strategy?
A cloud migration strategy is a high-level plan a business adopts to move existing on-premises and/or co-located application workloads and their associated data to the cloud. Most cloud migration plans entail a public cloud migration approach that mostly targets Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS), or other cloud providers.
A successful cloud migration strategy entails prioritizing workloads for the migration, determining the proper migration plan for each workload, creating a pilot, testing, and adjusting the strategy based on the results of the pilot. You should create a cloud migration strategy document to guide the migration team through the process and facilitate roll-back if need be.
Stages of Cloud Migration
Here is an outline of the stages involved in cloud migration:
- Analysis: This involves identifying your current business needs and determining how they can be met through cloud computing.
- Planning: This involves determining what systems will be down and when, and the methods that will be used to transfer data from one place to another. This is the stage when providers are used the most.
- Migration: This is the stage where you actually move your applications, data, and assets to the cloud
- Monitoring: This involves assessing how your new cloud infrastructure is performing and how it will change over time. Ensure that all the existing applications and systems run seamlessly in the cloud environment. Implement cost and budget monitoring, security solutions, and the necessary adjustments to optimize cost.
What Are the Types of Cloud Migration Strategies?
There are different types of cloud migration strategies that a business can consider using. Gartner refers to them as the 5 Rs of migration strategy. Amazon, however, extended them to the 6 Rs of migration strategy. Let’s have a look at them:
This strategy is commonly referred to as the ‘lift and shift’ strategy. It entails transferring a direct copy of the existing infrastructure onto the cloud. Rehosting makes sense for smaller organizations that have simple workloads and are still trying to figure out their long-term plans in terms of scalability and services. This strategy is also suitable for organizations whose infrastructure heavily relies on virtual machines.
The problem with this cloud migration strategy is that it fails to take into account the numerous benefits of going cloud-native, such as flexibility. Rehosting takes the least amount to execute. Even so, it may prove to be costly in the long run, more so if your business is primarily bare metal to begin with.
Use rehosting if you are:
- New to the cloud
- Migrating a large-scale enterprise
- Migrating with a deadline
- Migrating off-the-shelf applications
Replatforming is also referred to as the ‘move and improve’ cloud migration strategy. It entails making bare minimum adjustments to get ready for the transition to the cloud, including provisions that make scalability simpler. The core application architecture remains intact. It is basically a small variation to the rehosting strategy.
Replatforming is ideal for organizations that have already planned to scale up their solutions and want to explore performance on the cloud. Even so, just like with rehosting, replatforming fails to utilize all of the cloud’s benefits.
Use replatforming if you want to:
- Migrate with a time-crunch
- Migrate a complex on-premise app with small tweaks for cloud benefits
- Leverage the benefits of the cloud without refactoring the app
There are scenarios when parts of legacy architecture may become challenging and costly to maintain and prove impossible to scale up; for instance, an internal CRM (customer relationship management) system. In such situations, it makes sense to entirely shift this capability to an existing cloud solution, like a Salesforce cloud-based CRM solution.
This strategy may prove to be cost-friendly if the legacy system has turned into a truly unmanageable dinosaur. The challenge with repurchasing is that both employees and end-users may need to be trained to work with new, third-party systems. This takes a lot of resources and time. You might also feel a pinch, losing highly-tailored on-premise custom solutions.
Use repurchase if:
- A legacy application isn’t compatible with cloud.
- You’re replacing software for standard operations such as accounting, finance, HRM, CRM, ERP, CMS, email, etc.
This strategy basically involves rebuilding the entire existing infrastructure from scratch. Refactoring is the strategy used by organizations looking to leverage all the benefits that the cloud offers, including auto-scaling and serverless computing. Achieving both of these features can prove challenging with an on-premise setup.
Refactoring is ideal when programmers and management decide to re-architect existing frameworks and codes. It enables the organization to use all the benefits of the cloud. Needless to say, rebuilding an entire system from scratch takes time and resources. This cloud migration strategy is the most expensive, but is bound to ultimately pay rich dividends.
Use refactoring if:
- There’s a strong business drive to enhance speed, scalability, and performance.
- The application will gain most from the cloud.
- An on-premise app isn’t compatible with the cloud.
Large organizations usually identify components of their infrastructure that have become obsolete or will become insignificant once transferred to the cloud. Such modules aren’t just unnecessary expenditures, but they may also be a security vulnerability. In such instances, it makes sense to simply retire these components rather than move them to the cloud. Retiring inconsequential modules saves costs and enhances security at the same time.
Here is an outline of some things to consider when retiring components during cloud migration:
- Retire applications that have duplicate capabilities to cut costs
- Archive applications that contain useful data
- Retire applications whose functions can be included in another app using microservices
There are times where modules of your existing infrastructure aren’t compatible with the cloud platforms in the market. This usually occurs in the form of data that can’t be transferred for compliance reasons or architecture that recently took extra resources to build. In such scenarios, it makes operational and financial sense to keep these modules on-premise. Most organizations aren’t able to retain their entire infrastructure on-premise. They usually move to a hybrid cloud environment.
Use retaining if:
- You embraced a hybrid cloud model when migrating to the cloud.
- You decide to revisit an app later.
- You invested in on-premise apps heavily.
- A legacy app isn’t compatible with the cloud but works well on-premise.
Benefits of Cloud Migration
Here are some of the benefits of migrating to the cloud:
- Cost savings: According to Rackspace, 88% of companies cut costs when running their operations on the cloud. As opposed to local servers that have ongoing maintenance and support costs, with cloud computing, you won’t need to pay for on-site staff to manage your systems.
- Better scalability: By migrating to the cloud, you’ll be able to upscale as per requirement. This gives you the opportunity to increase or decrease resources in accordance with your business needs.
- Increased flexibility: Fluctuating bandwidth demands and storage is possible with cloud storage. As such, it’s easy to scale up the cloud capacity if necessary. Additionally, testing and deploying applications is easy.
- Disaster recovery and automatic backups: Clouds are almost data-loss resistant, given that copies of data are stored in multiple locations. This helps ensure that nothing gets lost in case of a breakdown.
- Security: Cloud providers often have access to robust breach-resistant solutions as well as technicians. As such, your data will be more secure if you store it with them.
- Collaboration: Migration to the cloud will make it easier and more convenient for your employees to collaborate, especially for remote teams with workers in different locations.
Talk to the Cloud Migration Experts
Moving to the cloud is a long-term process that requires a lot of planning and a sound strategy. The cloud experts at OnServe can help you find the right cloud migration strategy for your Kingston business. We have the knowledge, experience, and tools to assist you in creating a strategy and executing a migration plan. Alternatively, we can take care of the entire cloud migration process for you. Connect with OnServe to start a conversation about migrating IT assets to the cloud.
Special thanks to our colleagues at CEU Technologies in Chicago for their help.