Cloud environments provide on-demand resources, making your application scalable and available anywhere. Therefore, cloud infrastructures have revolutionised the use of technology in everyday business causing people to do cloud migration with their applications.
It allows a quick gateway to remote working time. Now employees can access any information by using any device. Interestingly, it has made it easier for organisations to adopt advanced technologies without adding much cost or investment infrastructure.
Another advantage that cloud-enabled businesses and enterprises enjoy is the opportunity to migrate applications to the cloud. However, it could turn out to be a daunting task if you are not well-versed with the cloud migration process.
In many cases, the cloud migration process can also hinder your everyday function flow. It could also be challenging for your internal IT department to keep up with the trend.
However, with a bit of technical know-how, research, critical considerations to various steps, it can become a manageable process. This post reflects the key phases of the cloud application migration process. Read on to know how you can adapt them for a smooth transition.
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Key phases of the cloud migration process
Phase 1 – Cloud migration planning
The old-school method of migrating an application to a cloud environment involves taking your data offline, copying it to a new platform, and later bringing it back online. However simplistic it may seem, this approach can cause downtime, security issues, and data loss in some cases.
The cloud migration planning phase allows a more consolidated approach to efficiently migrating your applications to the cloud. Here, you can decide on appropriate measures to handle such disruptions and find ways to minimise any downtime or data loss.
You can also get a cloud migration service partner on board to plan the migration strategically. Through their expertise, you can learn how to move your workloads to the cloud proactively.
In this phase, you get the opportunity to segregate the applications that are currently running on-premise and map out which ones need to be migrated to the cloud. However, it is necessary to know that migrating an application would not directly mean that it would be running on a public cloud platform.
You can migrate it to a private, public, or hybrid cloud environment, like AWS or Microsoft Azure. Precisely, the planning phase is all about estimating the risks involved in migrating to the cloud. It also allows you to prioritise to mitigate risk as much as possible.
Phase 2 – Preparing business case
A business case is one of the most crucial documents in a migration project. It characterises the transparent approach and understanding of the risk and benefits involved in an undertaking.
A well-documented business case can help access project scope and catalyse the decision-making process for stakeholders. It increases the chances of project success as it enables analysing the potential advantages on three fronts:
- Operational benefits
- Architectural improvements
- Cost savings
A sound business case for cloud migration of an application must answer these essential questions:
1) What are primary and secondary goals?
2) What are the top reasons for migrating?
3) Can we objectify goals?
4) Will it hamper enterprise operation?
5) How much does it cost?
6) What are the short-term and long-term benefits?
A migration business case can help outline the costs and benefits of a project or course of action. It can also be used to justify a decision already made. Overall migrating to a cloud is beneficial for a business. Yet, it’s essential to have a firm understanding of how it would impact your business. A business case explicitly answers such questions.
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Phase 3 – Data migration and execution
After framing a strong business plan, execution comes next. However, the primary hurdle in the execution stage is to complete the application migration without disrupting the workflow. It is equally essential to maintain the expenses over this period.
Cloud migration execution can be a continuous, automated process that migrates application data to the cloud. There are several ways to carry out this process, including:
- Through an API
- Using a virtual application
- By leveraging partner services like AWS Data Migration Service or Azure Data Migration Service
Cloud-based migration tools usually come in handy if enterprise migrates their entire infrastructure to the cloud environment or want to enjoy the cost savings benefits of storing their data in a cloud. Whether you choose Azure data migration or use AWS cloud migration service, you will have to use built-in tools to integrate ongoing source data changes during migration.
Phase 4 – Ongoing maintenance and upkeep
Migration is the first step to the digital transformation journey. But it is not just about migrating applications and data sources; it is also about keeping your cloud environment intact. You will have to continually stay up-to-date to extract the full benefits of your migration.
To continuously keep up with future updates is crucial to mitigate any potential threats. You may have to time and again update your cloud-based applications with the latest bug fixes and security patches.
Second, it is also necessary that you remain vigilant to any future goals and possibilities such as scaling and optimisation.
Lastly, regular upkeep is required to synchronise new technologies with your existing ones as and when they become available. To keep applications running smoothly and avoid downtime, it is essential to stay active on the cloud as well.
What is cloud computing?
A beginner’s guide
Cloud computing has enabled several businesses to become more agile in business transformation. The cloud environment is a cost-effective solution for enterprises to take advantage of the benefits of this technology and minimise the risk of failure.
The entire process has many categories of KPI. Therefore, this post isn’t meant to be a comprehensive piece but a piece of the puzzle that incites you to learn more in the journey of taking full advantage of this emerging technology.
Do you have any questions in mind? Let us know the comments below.
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