Cloud Migration: Strategies For A Successful Migration

The global cloud computing market is now worth $180 billion in vendor revenues with the market still growing at 24% annually (source: Synergy Research). It’s extremely critical for organizations to carefully think through their cloud strategy as cloud gives even the small player the ammunition to overthrow the biggies in a short period of time.

While planning for cloud migration you should take a holistic view of all the aspects involved in meeting the business and technical goals of your organization.

The 4 major activities involved in cloud adoption for any business are:

  1. Cloud Readiness assessment
  2. Choosing a Cloud Partner
  3. Cloud Migration strategies
  4. Cloud Management

The right cloud migration strategy is crucial for a successful cloud journey

cloud migration strategies

In this article we are going to delve deep into strategies for cloud migration:

After cloud readiness assessment and choosing a cloud partner, business needs should be evaluated, potential benefits should be validated, and a cloud migration strategy must be defined. The migration strategy should encompass the business priorities, application usage scenarios, challenges, technology benefits, risks and challenges. Based on the cloud migration strategy, a roadmap should be designed which can provide detailed activities involved.

Planning and Assessment

 

Technical & Functional

As part of cloud readiness assessment, application architecture review would help in deciding the best suitable cloud platform or services to deploy the application. Based on the chosen cloud and technology matrix, cloud architecture should be drawn up in detail.

The cloud architecture should cover the following critical things

  • Compute resource configurations
  • Network architecture
  • Storage models
  • Load balancing
  • Setup Backup/Disaster recovery plan
  • Security – Both at Application & Infra level
  • Setup for alerts/monitoring

 

Financial

Once the cloud deployment architecture is decided upon, a monthly estimate of the cost is calculated. With the estimated monthly spending a cost benefit analysis should be carried out in an objective way. This would be considered as the baseline and the variable parameters like storage, bandwidth should be defined with clear growth numbers.

According to Forrester’s cloud predictions, “global public cloud market will jump from $146 billion in 2017 to $178 billion in 2018. Beyond this year, Forrester predicts it will continue to grow at a 22 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).”

By the end of 2018, more than half of global enterprises will rely on at least one public cloud platform for digital transformation. -Forrester

 

Transformation & Migration

A detailed migration plan with the phases involved, application batches for migration, staging setup, data migration plan and testing plan should be abstracted.

Managed and Unmanaged Tools

Once the basic cloud architecture is set up and required resources are provisioned, resources should be moved based on the identified priority and also applying the dependency constraint using varied tools. For e.g. Backing up VM and moving it to cloud or creating an instance on VM and then installation/ configuration of all the existing applications.

Microsoft Azure and AWS have cloud migration tools which could help in easily deploying some applications to cloud.

Microsoft Azure has a standard process outlined, read now.

If you need an easy, one-and-done method to move data at small scales, go for the following tools:

 

Refactoring

Review the technology stack to validate the compatibility of the application with the cloud. The changes that are identified as a result of this exercise and the best option should be agreed in conjunction with the customer.

Post Migration

This phase focuses on setting up the manageability aspects of the cloud environment

Documentation

As a good base for reference, all the changes implemented, architectures, tools used should be documented to ensure everything is in place. The document should include information around security setup, database management, storage space, completeness of resource migration, data validation, application stability, BOM(monthly used services with cost), backup and DR policies, etc.

As a best practice, keep the dynamic data close to compute and static data close to the user.

Cloud Managed Services

This activity focuses on setting up the manageability aspects of the cloud environment. As a first, maximum process/activities should be automated for minimal manual intervention. Automation can be done in the areas of autoconfiguration, scaling, monitoring, backup, release & updates.e.g: Automation of scaling up your cloud instance when the average of CPU value 10 minutes is greater than 70%.

Cloud monitoring is another key area that is important for cloud management. Implementation of monitoring at both infrastructure and application level should be done by leveraging the inbuilt tools offered by the cloud provider.

There are a few cloud monitoring tools and management solutions which are designed to help create a more proactive cloud.

  • Microsoft Cloud Monitoring – Using Azure cloud? Look no further,  Microsoft gives you a full picture of your web app’s performance by providing log analysis, application monitoring, and security alerts. The best part is that these tools are built into Azure, so you don’t have to install any new software. Microsoft Cloud Monitoring is perfect for companies who want a simple solution for monitoring their Microsoft stack.
  • Amazon CloudWatchAmazon CloudWatch is a monitoring service for AWS cloud resources and the applications you run on AWS. You can use Amazon CloudWatch to collect and track metrics, collect and monitor log files, set alarms, and automatically react to changes in your AWS resources.
  • Third party tools include: ExoPrise, Datadog, Logic Monitor and many more

Sysfore technologies manage cloud environment with a model around inputs from the client on appropriate up-time, DR strategy, resource usage, SLA based commitments, incident based response and resolution times.

Know More about sysfore cloud managed services

Cost optimization

64% of the time the cost changes and it is likely that the initial estimate might decrease or increase. A few reasons for cost change are increased storage space, data transfer issues, prolonged migration duration.

Draft a revised bill of material to make sure the actual cost is in par with the initial cost estimate. Return on Investment (ROI) should be calculated to perform a cost-benefit analysis in an objective way.

According to recent stats, it is estimated that by 2020, more than 1/3rd of the data will pass through the cloud. Well, it would be better to learn swimming than to sink.

Here are the following benefits you would get as a result of cloud migration:

  • Modernize Current IT asset base
  • Prepare for future needs
  • Lower infrastructure costs
  • Increase Business Agility
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Security

Sysfore, a Microsoft Gold partner, uses leading network, technology, and service expertise to deliver our service anytime, virtually anywhere, quickly and efficiently. We have helped over 80 small enterprises and 30 mid-sized enterprises across the globe for a successful cloud migration in the past 8 years. Contact one of our experts today and we will help you find the perfect solution for your business. Write to us at info@sysfore.com or give us a call at +91 (80) 4110 5555.

Cloud Migration: Choosing a Cloud Service Partner

Cloud computing is changing how IT service is developed, deployed, scaled, maintained and paid for. Synergy research declared 2015 as “the year when cloud became mainstream” According to a research report by Synergy, from Q4 2014 to Q3 2015 cloud revenue has increased exponentially. Despite the proliferation of cloud usage, its full potential still remains relatively unexplored.

Part 1: Are You Cloud Ready?

A cloud service partner can guide you through the limitless possibilities with cloud and can help you achieve the guaranteed efficiency effectively. Your cloud partner must be able to support you meticulously, following the SLAs from sales through service, which is not something every vendor can achieve. The right choice will mean a mutually beneficial partnership, while the wrong choice could mean a disaster.

Choosing a cloud service partner involves deeper considerations than selecting a standard vendor, as you will be putting entire aspects of your cloud business model in their hands. The inundation of new entrants in the market means that service partner has little to no experience in hosting or application delivery, thus raising concerns not only about their current service performance but also the ability to evolve their services to meet future needs.

 

What to look for in a Cloud Service Partner?

The primary challenge for the enterprise is to identify a cloud service partner with a portfolio that includes expertise in a full range of environments for its workloads. Also, the portfolio should extend beyond today’s vision and offer a foundation for your future cloud strategy. Specifically, look for the following characteristics:

    • Interoperability: To make the most out of cloud services, enterprises should select a partner that enables workloads to span across multiple environments.
    • Security: When a cloud service partner enters the cloud, you are entrusting the information with them. Businesses should make sure that the cloud service partner keeps security as a priority.  Ensure that they build the cloud architecture for optimal protection, including measures to isolate enterprise workloads on physical servers, protections against Internet-borne attacks, and clear administrative access controls.
    • Cohesive and Dynamics Migration strategy: Is the cloud service partner’s cloud offering a hastily launched effort to survive the current momentum, or is it a diligently built foundation for future services? Cloud service partner that is committed to the transformational potential of the cloud will be able to articulate a clear vision of the future and will invest development resources to ensure they are leading—not following—the trends.
    • Experience: The cloud service partner should have a track record in managing enterprise data centers, providing secure hosting, and delivering mission-critical applications.
    • Flexibility: Just as different workloads are suitable for different environments, they also require different configuration and delivery parameters. As such, the cloud service partner should offer a menu or range of options related to performance, security, and resiliency, enabling the enterprise to select—and pay for—just the settings it requires for each workload.
    • Technical Expertise: Make sure your cloud solution partner offers a range of managed and professional services to help you develop a cloud strategy, migrate to the cloud, and maintain optimal cloud performance

The key to making this decision work is to forge effective partnerships.

Sysfore, a Microsoft Gold partner, uses leading network, technology, and service expertise to deliver our service anytime, virtually anywhere, quickly and efficiently. Contact one of our experts today and we will help you find the perfect solution for your business. Write to us at info@sysfore.com or give us a call at +91 (80) 4110 5555.

Cloud Migration: Are You Cloud Ready?

A cloud adoption assessment will help your enterprise determine whether the organization is ready for cloud, type of cloud, cost estimate and the areas that need the most attention to successfully adopt cloud.

The result of the assessment will provide your organization with pros and cons to support a business case – cloud migration.

are you cloud ready?
 

Cultural readiness

An important measure while considering a migration to the cloud is the acceptance of cloud among your organization’s staff. Due to the proliferation of cloud use in our everyday lives, personally and in business, acceptance generally has increased.

‘Cloud’ and ‘digital’ have become widely used words, but mean different things to different people. Do your stakeholder priorities align with the benefits your project should bring?
 

Needs assessment

Mapping the needs and wants of directors, heads of service and other stakeholders into an assessment (in relation to cloud) enables you to plan exemplars and use cases that are the best fit for cloud. Showing value early is a great way for organizations to buy into the benefits and so identifying services which are ‘quick wins’ will certainly help your cause.

This process also identifies the areas of the organization that don’t see the relevance of cloud.

Disseminate the digital vision clearly to heads of service and other stakeholders. In parallel, seek to understand their goals and priorities and relate those to characteristics of cloud
 

Technical readiness

A detailed assessment of the business’ ICT landscape should be carried out because your ICT landscape would be a mix of applications, operating systems and hardware versions. A methodical approach and a mix of the right tools and expertise is required to assess the ICT estate

The assessment should look into the networks, servers and applications against a range of cloud options to identify incompatibilities and other gaps which will need to be remedied if the systems are migration candidates

Before thinking about adopting cloud, legacy systems should also be checked to ensure they will work effectively with your chosen cloud provider. If it is discovered too late that they are not compatible, the implications on cost and time could be dramatic.
 

Budgetary readiness

Cloud is a rental model. This could be a change in the way your organization funds projects, these rental commitments must be understood by finance directors. For cloud adoption to succeed long term, it must be able to demonstrate an improvement in cost control and financial forecasting.

A comparison of the enterprise’s current ICT spending alongside the projected cloud deployment and service expense can give the business insights on the most cost-beneficial plan.

Transformational projects are investments, there must be acceptance of the necessity for investing to save and investing to focus on the organizational mission.
 

Resource readiness

Can you realistically achieve your goals on time, using your existing resources?

Understanding your current commitments is key to knowing if you can also balance the demands of cloud migration project. If there is a time pressure it is unlikely that internal teams will succeed in balancing business-as-usual commitments against the burden of cloud-related training, planning and execution.  

Choosing a credible and reliable service provider can help you in this situation and add value to the organization.

The cloud readiness assessment is as much about philosophical readiness as much as system readiness. Open minds to cloud technology, and you open up possibilities.

Sysfore, a Microsoft Gold partner, uses leading network, technology, and service expertise to deliver our service anytime, virtually anywhere, quickly and efficiently. Contact one of our experts today and we will help you find the perfect solution for your business. Write to us at info@sysfore.com or give us a call at +91 (80) 4110 5555.