Most organizations have begun their cloud journey or in the process of coming up with their cloud strategy and roadmap. While realizing the value of cloud and getting the buy-in from various levels of the organization is a challenge, it only gets more difficult when it comes to implementing the cloud strategy. Compare it to the process of buying a house after deciding to do so.
The execution of the cloud migration strategy involves the following high level steps –
- Choosing the right cloud provider
- Preparing and planning
- Migrating applications and data
- Checking and validation
1. Choosing the right provider:
Identifying the cloud provider is an important first step in the execution of the cloud strategy. The chart below provides some pointers on the cloud providers by market share (source: Synergy Research Group).
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service below provides some guidance as well.
2. Preparing and planning:
This is an important phase of the overall roadmap when answers to a whole bunch of questions have to be identified. Some of the key questions are mentioned below –
- What are the candidate applications/workloads/environments?
- Which applications are cloud-eligible?
- Which applications are cloud-desirable?
- Who are your users and how are they grouped?
- What applications are used by which users and groups?
- What resources are required by each application to run optimally?
- What data assets must be accessed while using those applications?
- How will you train staff?
- How are you protecting and securing each data asset currently?
- What are the security and compliance requirements?
- What kinds of networks are being used to access information? Which are wired? Which are wireless?
- What devices are being used by each user or group? Computers, laptops, smartphones, other?
- Each application must be evaluated to determine whether it will be moved to the cloud as it is, modified before movement, or must be kept on local infrastructure?
- Which cloud resource will each application be mapped?
- Have you matched various cloud services offering different functionalities to increase cost savings and performance?
- What internal processes have to change in order to capitalize on the new service?
- Where will each data asset be moved?
- What possible performance bottlenecks are being introduced?
- What storage capacities will be provisioned to support each?
- How will each data asset be protected and secured while in storage at the selected cloud facility, and during transit between there and elsewhere?
- What devices will each user be accessing which resources? You’ll need to confirm that each device can be properly secured.
- What’s the plan for operating this service after migration?
- Do you have a strategy for cutover?
3. Migrating Applications and data:
The execution of the migration involves the following activities at a high level –
- Setup network components
- Setup shared services
- Setup migration related agents
- Setup infra components
- Setup security components
- Setup server instances
- Slipstream agents
- Migrate data
Each of these activities multiple subtasks. Depending on the results during validation phase, one or more of these steps might have to be repeated. These activities span across different departments like Information Security, Infrastructure, Network Administration, Core Engineering, Architecture, Technology Operations. Coordination among these teams is important.
3. Checking and Validation:
The migrated application and data components are verified during this phase. Any issues or gaps identified might require iterating through the migration once more for the entire or partial set of components. It is normal for 20-30% of the applications to require some corrections / updates and additional iterations. Also the number of issues identified also depend on the migration approach and increase with the addition of complexity through rehosting, replatforming and refactoring in the same order.
Organizations embark on the cloud migration with varying degree of automation ranging from fully manual to a very high level of automation. Automation of the cloud migration to a large extent will enable the following benefits –
1. Accelerated time to market.
2. Reduced migration cost.
3. Minimal rework/errors during migration.
4. Auditing capabilities.
Cloud providers do offer migration utilities like server migration service, database migration service from AWS and Azure Migrate from Azure but they require reasonable effort for integration and coordination on the overall migration.
Cloud migration tools like Kaiburr provide high degree of automation bringing the above benefits to fruition. Organizations save millions of dollars and expedite their cloud migration by 50% or more (6-9 months in most cases) using these automation tools. While some of these tools only offer migration automation, those like Kaiburr enable both migration automation and subsequent operations on the cloud thereby providing more long term value. Organizations migrate their applications to the cloud in weeks using Kaiburr. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org to know more.
At Kaiburr, cloud migrations are indeed as easy as 1-2-3!!!
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