Almost 70% of enterprise companies have transferred their infrastructure and software to the cloud. As such, it is little wonder those who have not yet moved to cloud wish to do the same. The last thing you would want for your company is to fall behind handling your own online infrastructure when it no longer makes sense.
If you are being pressured or are simply curious about following others into the cloud, this article should be able to give you an outline of how this process works. By the end of it, you should have a good idea of what a cloud migration strategy is as well as what steps you should be taking to ensure it goes well.
What is a Cloud Migration Strategy?
It is a plan you set in place before you begin moving your infrastructure and software into the cloud for future operations. As different groups will get different benefits from the cloud, it is important to communicate with everyone involved in software and infrastructure at your organization.
A first step would be to put a document together to describe the costs and savings that will come from making such a move. It will assist in preventing problems during the move due to a lack of knowledge.
Some parts of the organization will require more education than others. Beyond assuring them that migrating to cloud is a sound strategy for the future, they may need help with execution. They should be able to look at the cloud migration strategy and understand what they need to do to get the process finished.
There are several benefits to cloud migration. These include faster deployment times and less overhead in running the infrastructure of your company. You can research some of these elsewhere online. We would recommend you investigate them to find out how a cloud migration would work well for you.
Steps in the Strategy
Migrating to the cloud involves several steps that are all relevant to ensuring you complete the process robustly and securely. It’s important to involve relevant stakeholders in the planning process – it’s better to risk overcommunication than gaps in knowledge of the process.
Plan for the Move
First of all, you need to do your research. Ensure that you can support the reasons for your move with facts and data, and share these reasons with the rest of the organization. Getting buy-in from others is a solid strategy to ensure you can execute through the entire process with minimal issues.
Make sure that you have all the details you can get on your existing infrastructure. This includes the resource requirements for a new system to function and grow over time according to projections.
Public cloud service offerings are always changing, so it is critical that you accurately forecast the compute, storage, and network requirements for your workload profiles.
Once you have put together a projection of your needs, get the buy-in from whichever management team it is that needs to approve the move. After that, it is time to make the big decisions.
Choose your Cloud Environment
You will need to decide on what sort of cloud model will be best for you. Several options exist, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages. So, make sure that you have a solid understanding of the options before pulling the switch.
The primary options available are:
Private: A private cloud deployment remains in your own organization and you must maintain it, but you have much more flexibility and control over it. You may be migrating away from this type of infrastructure to a public or hybrid model.
Public: This is the most common type of cloud deployment. The servers, storage, and other infrastructure are all owned by a third party in their own datacenters. You may see various public cloud offerings described as “Infrastructure-as-a-service” (IaaS) or “Platform-as-a-service” (PaaS) as the company maintains and upgrades the cloud systems as part of what you pay for.
These systems are usually low-cost and have significant scalability, but you have less control over them. However, as many learn through the transition to public cloud – what you think of as “control” may actually be unnecessary gruntwork when the platforms are readily available.
Hybrid: A hybrid system is a combination of parts of the above depending on the exact area of your infrastructure in question. It allows you to divide your infrastructure as required between systems you own in private cloud while taking advantage of the elasticity and scalability of public cloud.
Also, get familiar with the most prominent public cloud providers. This is a popular webinar that covers AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud.
While the hardest decisions may come in the planning phase, the actual migration is a technical and logistical problem to solve. Make sure that you meet security regulations when transferring data, and that you have backed your data up.
The specific moment that you switch from one system to another may be fraught. Ensure that you have all-hands-on-deck at that moment in case anything goes wrong.
Both your staff as well as your customers should be well-informed of planned downtime and any changes to their user experience ahead of time. This is so that they are ready for any unexpected events, and can communicate issues with you.
Validate All is Well
Once you have migrated your entire system to the cloud, you should have a QA process in place to ensure that all the data is accurate after the transfer. Make sure to compare performance before and after the transfer using the data you secured in the preparation stages. This will allow you to prove to others in your workplace that the processes you have undergone have led to success.
Having proof in data form that your decisions have led to the company's cost savings is always a positive step.
By now you should have a strong understanding of what a cloud migration strategy is as well as how to undergo the process yourself. If you still have questions about what to do next you could do a lot worse than getting in contact. Our teams are on standby to give you the assistance you need to plan your cloud migration strategy.