Cloud Migration

Cloud migration definition

Cloud migration signifies the approach of enterprises to move their applications from an on premise architecture to the cloud environment. Once you are in the cloud, you can further transition from one cloud to another (like Azure to AWS, from a private cloud to a public cloud etc).

Why migrate to the cloud? 

Fierce competition and increasing demand for digital services is making it urgent for enterprises to undergo digital transformation. They need modern solutions to align resources effectively and build new strategies for this dynamic business environment. The cloud offers flexible IT resources that enable transformation of their business model, rapid time to market and the ability to test resources efficiently. In addition, cloud computing accelerates the digital transformation for enterprises.

For IT departments, the technical advantage of the cloud, such as automation (by reducing human error) is the focus of attention. Executives, on the other hand, want to use the cloud environment for business growth and flexibility. Both these advantages are key to a successful digital transformation.

Once a distant goal, digital transformation is now virtually a prerequisite for organizations to remain relevant and competitive. Cloud migration has become a key enabler in this process. It is not an end goal, but rather a resource for continuous growth and innovation.

Digital transformation, which stands for the implementation of digital business processes, requires the use of more IT than ever before. For companies and public authorities alike, costs play a very significant role. This is where cloud migration comes into the picture. Cloud can make new services available on demand and at very affordable rates.

Keeping good margin, while simultaneously developing and releasing fast are the main objectives of an organization’s digital transformation. The business has to be scalable. If you have 10 customers during the first month, then you need to be able to serve 1000 customers by the end of the second month, and so on. Only cloud, with its huge scope for automation, can fulfil this need for high flexibility and scalability. When sales continue to increase, the goal of a scalable business is to have more results with minimal effort. And cloud automation is the perfect tool to achieve this.

Companies undergoing the transformation are developing new applications leveraging cloud deployment. They also build a roadmap with their cloud provider to migrate a large part of their legacy applications into the cloud.

Organizations migrating to the cloud environment, not only have their impact on the information system, but also on work processes, employees, infrastructure — nothing less than the entire organizational culture itself.

For many, “the cloud” is synonymous with agility and flexibility. Cloud migration changes the operating model and addresses technical debt although control is less in a cloud-based organization. A successful migration leads to the redesign of the previous organizational structure – with the aim of enabling agile, innovative, and responsive IT in the cloud.

How to migrate to the cloud? 

  • Cloud migration entails a great deal of planning, harmonization, expertise, and above all – a comprehensive approach. Still trying to make up your mind?  Here are some key factors that you need to bear in mind.
  • Remember that you cannot achieve everything at once. Things could get problematic if you rush moving your applications. Instead, start small, with an initial pilot project, which has low risks. Recognize the fundamental cloud capabilities required for it. 
  • Then choose the appropriate cloud model (public cloud, hybrid cloud, private cloud, multi-cloud) and a good cloud provider depending on your ultimate business goal. Figure out the overall ROI, time, effort and financial resources that you might have to invest in this entire process.
  • You need to comprehend the inner workings of the applications you use. Assess their requirements, complexity, interdependencies, and probable costs of transition to evaluate which applications need to move first. 
  • Once you have decided which applications need to move first, use an agile digital factory approach to define a clear roadmap. Use a collaborative platform that provides automated insights on the scheduled tasks to increase visibility within the teams.
  • You can then move your legacy applications to the cloud. Finally, test if the move was a success by determining certain cloud KPIs beforehand. You should compare and measure the performance of your application, both before and after the move.

Types of Cloud Migration 

You could employ a number of strategies to migrate to the cloud.

Lift and shift or re-hosting

This approach suggests lifting your entire workload and shifting it from the current on premises environment to the cloud, without many changes. This method is fast, easy, involves fewer costs and requires no new learning curve. However, it is not a sustainable solution.

Lift and enhance or re-platforming

This means slightly optimizing the applications before re-hosting them in the cloud. This way you can make them more compatible with the cloud upon migration. This way you can get more benefits out of your cloud migration. But, this process could be laborious and costly, compared to lift and shift migration.

Drop and shop or re-purchasing

This means moving certain applications to a new SAAS platform that is able to fulfil your needs better. A SAAS cloud model allows you to focus on your core business and stay competitive in the market. 

Re-factoring or re-architecting

This is the other extreme of the lift and shift model. It implies building your applications from scratch. This calls for new application logic along with additional resources, time, and skills. However, in the end, it can help your business access the benefits of being cloud native by being more scalable.

Retiring

This means turning off or replacing the applications that you do not find useful any longer, without loss of value for customers. It can be expensive and time consuming but you can end up saving money by reducing your infrastructure.

Retaining

This means retaining some of your applications in the legacy infrastructure due to certain cloud security constraints. You can reconsider moving them when it makes more sense to do so.

The implementation of a cloud migration project could take several years, depending on the number of applications you have. In worse cases, it could lead to a botched infrastructure. Especially if you are trying to achieve this complicated activity on your own. You will need the help of a specialist at every step of the process to cut down the time, costs and achieve the desired benefits. The right cloud provider will tailor the cloud strategy based on your long-term needs, keeping in mind the impact it might have on your business continuity. 

R&S®Cloud Protector is an agnostic solution that can tackle any modes of deployment. If you start by configuring this product in your classical data center, you can always migrate to the cloud at your convenience, with just a few clicks. In fact, this could be the first step of your cloud migration strategy – putting the security solution in a cloud ready mode, for all applications. Then, migrating applications would seem more straightforward. Consult the experts at Rohde & Schwarz Cybersecurity and get started with an implementation plan for your cloud migration quest.