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.

Virtual Private Cloud – A Feasible Substitute To On-Premises Computing

Virtual Private Cloud – A Feasible Substitute to On-Premises Computing:

Public Cloud has been gaining popularity and has become the most favorable deployment model for most organizations because of its cost efficiency and flexibility. It allows a huge number of users to share the computing resources provided by their service provider and pay only for the resources they actually use. Enterprises understand these benefits but many still prefer a private environment for their workloads because of security and privacy issues and Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) helps meet that demand.

VPC is a similar idea where the enterprises use a private cloud that is a small part of the public cloud instead of owning a cloud infrastructure themselves.

The reasons behind enterprises choosing VPCs are usually the complexities in building an on-premises private cloud from scratch. A private cloud may shoot up the costs due to increased management responsibilities and smaller economies of scale. Some enterprises may not even have the infrastructure required to completely build and manage a custom private cloud within their own IT department. According to Lauren E. Nelson, a principal analyst and private infrastructure-as-a-service cloud lead at Forrester Research, 82% of enterprises with 1,000 or more employees don’t have the employee strength to build a private cloud server.

In some cases, it is because many enterprises that think are operating a private cloud are actually just running a standard virtualized environment.

 

Before an enterprise chooses to deploy a VPC, it should first understand how it differs from the on-premises private cloud and the benefits and trade-offs it brings with it.

  1. Server Setup: A virtual private cloud has a lesser number of users who have higher control over their sections of the cloud server whereas, a private cloud distributes resources across multiple physical servers.
  2. Location: Generally, a VPC is hosted at an off-site which is usually hosted by a third party service provider. On the other hand, an on-premises private cloud is situated at your own data center.
  3. Cost: A Virtual Private Cloud is vastly inexpensive and cheaper as compared to the On-Premises Private Cloud. This is basically because of the costs incurred on hardware, installation, set-up and maintenance.

 

Essential benefits of Virtual Private Clouds:

  1. Security: The data storage, network, and hardware can be designed according to the security needs of your business and cannot be accessed by clients or companies in the same building or data center.
  2. Compliance: Since the network and storage configuration is based around your business, it is easier to monitor the security and compliance needs of your business.
  3. Customization: You can completely customize the network, storage and hardware performance according to the needs of your business. You can add CPUs, RAM, and Storage as and when required.
  4. Cost Effectiveness: The amount of money spent on Virtual Private Cloud depends on the resources required by your business. You’ll know how much each resource costs and how much you have to pay for any additional storage, hardware or network components you require.

 

With the many benefits of Virtual Private Clouds, enterprises these days have started taking a path towards Hybrid Cloud and are implementing VPCs to combine cloud and on-premises computing. This way, they can make use of shared resources by keeping their workloads private and secure.

Are you also looking at implementing Virtual Private Cloud for your enterprise? Sysfore can build you a single dedicated private environment that is fast and flexible enough to run everything from your CRM systems to your ERP solutions. Write to us at info@sysfore.com or get in touch with us at +91 (80) 4110 5555.

Top 5 Ways Financial Services Are Leveraging Cloud Technology

The cloud isn’t quite popular in the financial sector, as it is in other industries. The financial sector deals with highly sensitive and valuable data and because of certain misconceptions about the cloud being unsecure in nature, IT leaders have been very skeptical in adopting cloud technology. But, things are changing and the financial industry is beginning to realize the improvements in operations offered by the cloud. Thus, many IT decision makers in the industry have started to “make the move”. But, there’s one simple question that pops-up when it comes to adopting the cloud – What are banks and insurance companies using the cloud for?

 

In this article, we have discussed the top 5 ways financial sector can leverage cloud:

Back-office systems: Hosting back-office systems in the cloud eliminates the need to deal with hardware procurement and maintenance, power and cooling, and staff utilization for regular maintenance activities. Although back-office systems are critical for any financial organization, it is an easy way to test the working of the cloud without feeling like a customer-facing system being put to risk. HR / Payroll / Time Tracking Applications, CRM, Office 365 and Digital workloads (website, email, etc.) are some of the most common applications being moved to the cloud.

 

Customer-facing applications: With the constant rise in customer portals and mobile applications, banks and insurance companies have been migrating their customer-facing applications to the cloud. Using the cloud reduces the need to worry about scalability and agility as compared to using the in-house management which is expensive and faces challenges in accommodating traffic fluctuations.

 

Policy-management systems: The insurance companies have started accepting cloud as the practical solution to host their insurance policy management systems. These hold critical customer information like policies, new claims, background checks, etc. And, since the supporting infrastructure needs to be compliant to store such information, HIPAA and PCI-compliant clouds are an ideal choice for insurance organizations.

 

Uptime and Disaster Recovery (DR): The use of customer portals and mobile applications also demand the banks and other financial organizations to be online and in service 24×7. The legacy disaster recovery solutions are not only slow and expensive but also hardware intensive for modern day financial institutions. By adopting cloud DR solutions, financial institutions can follow compliance requirements and reduce downtime at a fraction of the cost of their legacy DR solutions.

 

Business Intelligence and Analytics: Digitalization of banking processes has led to the generation of massive amounts of customer data. Companies know that this data can be mined to get meaningful insights in real-time and has to be stored somewhere. The cloud enables data storage in HIPAA and PCI-compliant manner and ensures that the sensitive information collected by banks and insurance companies is absolutely secure and available. Cloud is also scalable and eliminates the problem of quickly changing resource requirements for business analytics.

 

Identifying the right application, specific to the finance industry, can put a whole lot of obligations on the internal teams of an organization. Thus, working with a reputed service provider is a worthwhile solution.

 

At Sysfore, we have worked with thousands of enterprises of all sizes helping them identify business breakthroughs that the Cloud can enable. We examine your business requirements holistically and help you migrate to Cloud to increase business effectiveness.

If you have questions about how you can leverage the cloud for your organization, get in touch with our experts by writing to us at info@sysfore.com or call us at +91-80-41105555.