Cloud migration was a process born out of necessity. Initially, most applications placed their data in personal processing centers to provide full security. The development of cloud technologies and rapid market changes brought forth new requirements. One of them is great scalability, which we can find only after a cloud application migration. The focus on creating things from scratch and guaranteeing low operational risks is no longer relevant, so this change is a logical transition.
As easy as it sounds, the process of implementing cloud technologies is quite complicated. If the migration plan is not thought out properly, things can go awry. To prevent this from happening and to gain access to all the benefits of the cloud, you need to constantly update your infrastructure and understand the principles of cloud design.
Migration begins with a clear definition of its benefits for the business. It is important to immediately define a strategy for building a plan based on it. Gartner has identified 5 “R’s” to help you find the right strategy.
- Rehost is a “lift and shift” strategy for the app’s rapid migration. One of the reasons it is popular is that teams have time to hone their skills and adapt the activities.
- Replatform is a “lift, tinker, and shift” strategy, with the preservation of basic architecture and cost-cutting – for instance, moving applications from one server to another to reduce licensing payments.
- Repurchase is a “drop and shop” strategy to fully change a product, for example, replacing homegrown tools with SaaS. The goal is to access newer technologies and opportunities.
- Refactoring, or Re-Architecting is a complicated but very profitable strategy. If the current application environment can no longer meet business needs (due to a lack of features, scale, or performance), the organization chooses to refactor all applications to increase flexibility and open new perspectives.
- Retire is a strategy for organizations that are faced with the fact that some resources are not needed or used, so they can be disposed of as soon as the migration to the cloud is complete.
Application Migration Best Practices
Below, you will be able to read about multiple practices that will complement your chosen strategy and allow the migration to be successful and painless.
Keep an Eye on Your Licenses
As you plan your application migration, you should look at the licensing rules and check whether your licenses are appropriate for the cloud transition or require subsequent revision. The difficulty is that it concerns different areas of the environment (system licenses, servers, third-party additions and tools). In the processing center, many applications can have the same license (because they are connected to a single hardware). It is not possible in the cloud, because the application is located on several servers at once. You should also consider that in the future you will have to choose another licensing model to optimize the costs, which will increase with an active resource work. The cloud provider offers its own set of services and prices, but third-party payments will also be added.
Pay Attention to Possible Downtime
It is obvious that working with the cloud is accompanied by an increase in the load on the network associated with the constant transmission of large amounts of information. It can cause slower work or general failures. To avoid such problems, you should take a closer look at cloud providers that use lightweight cloud connectivity (the network is not overloaded). For example, Azure offers a direct connection service to the company’s network, and AWS provides a special connection to its infrastructure.
Read also about building serverless web applications by Gravum
Automate the Process and Ensure Safety
It is possible to significantly facilitate migration by maximizing process automatization. It will allow you to build the infrastructure as code, so the application will unfold without downtime. As a result, migration times will be reduced, and the goal of automation will be shared among all teams (everyone will be aware of the benefits of moving to the cloud).
Security and privacy never lose their relevance, so you need to focus on building a state-of-the-world security step system and backing up your data.
The point of application migration is not just about exporting data. This is a complex process that can cause many bugs in your applications. It is very important to test the application, to make sure errors from the older versions of the application make a reappearance after the migration. The test plan should include early-stage testing that must be done through documented and pre-selected tests.
Training for Employees
The success of migration is largely determined by the experience of the group working on it. The principles of working with the cloud are very different from local, so you need to take time to train your employees and, if necessary, adjust their adaptation, especially when it comes to cooperation between different departments. Training will help you make sure that everyone is able to use the resources of the updated application correctly and rationally. Of course, learning and developing the right skills is a slow process. If you are short on time, you have two additional options – you can hire a new team with experience in cloud migration or choose an experienced cloud services provider to help develop the plan and automate the processes.
In general, although the migration process involves many aspects, it is most dependent on the team that oversees it. No list of practices can guarantee you a successful integration of the application into the cloud if your employees are not qualified enough. However, the items from the list of cloud migration best practices will be a great help in developing a further plan. Keep in mind that you should focus on the following goals: reducing costs, avoiding risks, and ensuring flexibility. If you have any doubts about the capabilities of your developers and want to be sure that the application migration process will be performed perfectly, contact Gravum and we will lead you to the desired result.