Plan and Execute a Cloud Migration Strategy

How To Plan a Cloud Migration Strategy

Cloud computing is a modern service for delivering entire technology stacks, from storage to software to applications, over the internet as opposed to using on-premise hardware. Many companies have developed a cloud migration strategy in order to implement cloud enhancements, which include faster computing, more accessible storage, disaster recovery and business continuity services, etc.

With all that the cloud has to offer, we are seeing businesses of all sizes and industries engage in digital transformations.

But what exactly happens during a businesses’ migrations to the cloud? The migration journey includes moving many component parts of your IT to cloud environments, include:

  • Data
  • Computing burdens
  • Networks
  • Phone systems
  • Business continuity planning
  • And more

Cloud adoption can encourage cost savings and generally bolster your IT ROI. Read on to find out how.

How is Cloud Computing Different?

Cloud computing differs from traditional on-premise configurations in many ways.

When you have a cloud server, in most cases it isn’t a physical server. It’s a virtual machine (VM) that shares resources with other VMs. The other VMs might also be yours, but more likely belong to other subscribers. This model maximizes resource utilization, which decreases the amount of hardware needed to support each customer.

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Unlike a local data center, in the cloud computing model, resources such as CPU cores and RAM can be expanded or diminished as computing demands change. Under certain arrangements, this scaling can happen automatically.

The extent to which your cloud implementation takes advantage of these and other cloud-only features determines the integration level. There are two basic cloud integration levels:

  • Shallow: In shallow cloud integration, you emulate your existing environment or application architecture as much as possible. This approach is commonly referred to as “lift and shift” because you’re creating a nearly identical server environment and copying your existing programs and data into it. Although this represents an easy migration, it doesn’t take full advantage of the cloud provider’s service offerings. A shallow migration is best for companies that don’t need to expand their current services, but want them accessible over a cloud platform, while saving money on hardware.
  • Deep: A deep cloud integration incorporates cloud features that are not available in your local environment, such as the aforementioned resource scaling, load balancing, high availability servers, and more. This approach often makes significant modifications to applications, technology stack components, and other elements in order to optimize the cloud-based version of your application. This is the best option for a company looking to expand their IT capabilities and is willing to shoulder the costs that go along with that.

Why Are So Many Enterprises Moving to the Cloud?

Cloud data migration and cloud computing offer several advantages over traditional on-premise data centers:

  • Reduced infrastructure costs: The costs to purchase, deploy, and maintain server hardware are eliminated. Instead, cloud platforms offer monthly fees that scale up or down depending on your needs.
  • Easier disaster recovery: A migration plan that moves your data to private, hybrid, or public cloud environments means that your data is no longer susceptible to physical damage. By contrast, an on-premise array can be destroyed by physical threats like fire or a natural disaster, resulting in a permanent loss of data. Even a disaster that affects one of the service provider’s data centers is not as much of an issue for you, because you can have a “hot standby” or high-availability environment ready to take over at one of their other data centers.
  • Better security: Despite early fears regarding the security of data in the cloud, there are multiple options to make sure your systems are secure.  Managed service providers have security solutions that cover cloud-based resources.  Often cloud providers also may offer security solutions to protect their respective cloud offerings.

Your Journey to the Cloud: Planning a Cloud Migration Strategy

Cloud migration is a process that requires careful planning to be successful. The cloud computing environment is a different beast from the familiar on-premise data center IT infrastructure model.

Moving data and applications to the cloud takes time, expertise, and planning.

After all, a migration project is a large undertaking that involves:

  • Application migration
  • Data migration
  • Comprehensive migration services
  • The right cloud migration tools to facilitate the move
  • Support for any friction during the transformation process
  • And more

It takes expertise to design a cloud architecture that will meet your requirements, and many companies don’t have this, so be prepared to bring in an outside consultant (or “cloud architect”) to help.

The basic components of a solid cloud migration strategy are these:

  • Understand what you want to achieve: Do you want a simple, shallow integration to reduce your local IT footprint? Or do you need to expand the capabilities or enhance the performance of an application? Document these requirements, and provide them to your cloud architect. You should also define the metrics (such as page load time, latency, and CPU usage) to measure the success of the project.
  • Design your cloud architecture and select the cloud provider (or providers): The cloud architect should come up with a design and find a provider who can implement it. In some cases one provider can meet all the requirements, but in more complex cases, you will need to engage different providers to handle different parts of the architecture.
  • Modify your applications, if necessary: Assess your applications for cloud readiness and remediate as needed. Perform extensive testing in a test environment to make sure the application meets compliance requirements while still getting the job done.
  • Provide for data security: Most cloud providers have multiple security and backup options, with different levels of security and different price points. Evaluate your needs and the provider’s options and choose one that fits your needs and budget.

Implement a Tested Cloud Migration Strategy With VTC TECH

Cloud Migration Strategy

With proper, thorough planning and pre-implementation testing, the actual migration should be straightforward and stress-free. But when undertaken alone or with insufficient support, your business may suffer from prolonged downtime, corrupted applications and processes, or worse, lost data.

Avoid all of these potential pitfalls when you partner with VTC TECH.

Work with a cloud expert so you can rest easy knowing that your digital transformation will be frictionless. Start taking advantage of all the cloud has to offer today – contact us for a free quote.

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