7 Steps to the Cloud Migration Process

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As cloud adoption moves ahead, many organizations are looking to throw their hat into the ring. But is the cloud the right fit for your business?

Save for a few edge cases, the answer is yes. The truth is, the cloud is far more scalable than on-premise data centers. Its extensive array of services and resources can save your business a lot of time, money, and effort.

The one downside to the cloud is that migrating to it requires a lot of planning and preparation. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a complete guide to the cloud migration process.

1. Determine the Right Approach

Choosing a migration approach is the biggest decision you’ll make during this process. Everything depends on it, from costs to architecture options.

The most direct approach is to rehost your applications to the cloud. Also known as a “lift and shift,” this approach simply redeploys your data without any modifications. That said, this doesn’t work with all types of apps.

You can also refactor your apps to take advantage of the cloud’s improved performance. This approach only modifies a small part of the codebase. The rest of the process is a lot like rehosting.

If you want to use more of the cloud’s native services, consider the revision approach. The main features of your workload will remain unchanged, but the code will likely see extensive modifications.

Finally, there’s the rebuilding approach. This involves rebuilding the workload from scratch for the most effectiveness. If you have an aging legacy workload, this may be the best bet for your business.

2. Evaluate Costs and Needs

Once you’ve settled on a preferred datacenter co-location strategy, it’s time to look into the details. That starts with evaluating your costs and needs.

First, assess the costs of procuring a local server and maintaining it. Then, consider your workload’s local performance. Use an APM tool to check metrics such as bandwidth usage and transactions per second.

With this data in hand, have your managed IT Los Angeles team compare these costs and metrics to those of cloud migration. Keep in mind that a cloud migration service will become a recurring item in your budget.

3. Choose a Cloud Environment

Your cloud environment should reflect your company’s needs. Your main three options are a private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud.

A private cloud is a small-scale cloud that uses existing infrastructure. It requires a lot of commitment and isn’t as scalable as other environments. It’s great for businesses that want to keep complete control over their data.

A public cloud is your standard cloud service offered by third-party providers. These clouds are extensive, scalable, and offer a variety of individual services. They typically involve a pay-per-use model.

A hybrid cloud is the best of both worlds. It offers high levels of control, scalability, and flexibility. That said, it also costs the most to implement and may need more maintenance.

4. Choose Your Provider

There are three main public cloud providers: AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. They all offer various Logging as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) deployments.

Beyond the basic features, though, their operations have major differences. For instance, Google Cloud is most notable for its machine learning services. Before choosing a provider, consider the scope of services they offer.

Common private cloud providers include Dell, VMware, HPE, and OpenStack. If you’re interested in migrating to a private cloud, consider how easy it will be to integrate it with your existing services.

5. Opt for a Deployment Model

There are several ways you can access cloud services. The main differences in these approaches lie in the level of convenience they offer.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is the typical model for cloud migration services. It mimics traditional data center infrastructure, including storage, networking, servers, and monitoring.

PaaS offers a more integrated environment. It does that by including both hardware and software-based resources. The latter include databases, runtimes, development tools, and so on.

Your final cloud data migration option is Software as a Service (SaaS). This is a ready-made application where the SaaS provider handles the business’s workload. SaaS offerings include email apps, HR workloads, and more.

6. Consider the Architecture

Most IaaS users have a cloud architect design an architecture for their workload. If you belong to this group, it’s worth doing research on it.

First, the architecture can be simple or complex. The former will use a single compute and storage instance to manage a rehosting. A complex architecture can support many related components, including microservices.

Before choosing the right fit for your business, the architect will consider your budget and costs. They’ll also extensively test and refine the entire project before the actual migration takes place.

7. Execute Your Migration

With all the infrastructure in place, your next step is to develop the migration plan. The plan should detail the steps needed to execute the migration.

One thing any migration plan should include is informing your users and customers. You should also transfer the data your workload will need. Establishing contingency plans, such as rollbacks, can be crucial as well.

Once everything’s ready, all that’s left is to implement the migration plan. Other than migrating the workload, this process also involves making network changes. These include setting up security and configuring IP environments.

After the migration, test the workload for both performance and functionality. Collect your workload metrics and identify vulnerabilities. Have your migration staff do the basic testing, then open up the workload to all users.

Finally, keep in mind your cloud will need maintenance. Create a plan for monitoring your workload’s performance to identify bottlenecks. You’ll also want to check the bills to ensure your cloud stays within its budget.

Cloud Computing in Los Angeles Made Easy

The bottom line: cloud migration involves a lot of major steps. Even a single wrong decision can throw the entire project into disarray.

Interested in professional cloud computing consulting services? Our award-winning IT support team can help you identify the right cloud solution for you. Contact us here to learn more about our services!

About Chad Lauterbach

CEO at Be Structured Technology Group, Inc. a Los Angeles based provider of Managed IT Services for small business. I desire to help small businesses better utilize technology by assisting in high level planning to make sure that new systems will benefit them both operationally and financially. I am careful to implement and support systems using industry best practices.