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Cloud Migration Strategies-Select Wisely

Since the public cloud vendors enter the market featuring most of their services on-demand with payment model pay-as-you-go, many enterprise companies are moving their workload to the cloud. But before that the first thing that needs to be taken into consideration is  “ whether migration is required ? “  and If migration is beneficial for the organisation then how to plan and implement the process. Generally the first step starts with a service discovery to find all the components and their dependencies in the workload.

In this series of article I will discuss about 

  • Decide whether Migration is a Good option or Not 
  • Benefits of Cloud Migration 
  • Different types of Migration Strategies 
  • Wrong Decisions 
  • Selecting the right one
  • Available migration tools in the market
  • How to create and implement a simple migration plan

Do we really need to move to the Cloud ?

When we talk about migrating applications to the cloud, keep in mind that this doesn’t suit everybody always. During the cost planning phase people often make a common mistake, they only see the service pricing in the cloud without calculating the complete cost of the solution to run on cloud. 

When all the cloud vendors provide PaaS, SaaS, IaaS with a cheaper price it comes with other additional pricing like network bandwidth, storage, gateways etc. In the beginning many organisations moved their workload to cloud by seeing the attractive pricing model and Infrastructure flexibility option. Soon they realized they are paying even more in Cloud than what they were paying with on-premise infra and they started moving back to their old fashion. Because on-premise it was only a one time big fat check for the setup, In the cloud it’s recurring, you pay for resources like  compute, storage, bandwidth every month.

Cloud offers plenty of benefits to attract companies.There are many situations that can be resolved within minutes if we move to the cloud. Below are the few examples

  •  A client requires infrastructure only during the promotional month as they will experience maximum number of traffic on their website. If you are on cloud you can scale resources on the fly with just a couple of clicks. 
  • Application compliance is something which plays a major role in the business, for private infrastructure you are responsible to handle and manage all upgradation and patching. But on cloud its shared responsibility model which reduced 50% of your work. 
  • Most of the services provide a good SLA like Amazon S3, Azure Blob service they provide 99.999999999%(11 9’s) of durability. So you don’t have to worry much about data loss. Making a backup plan is also easy and can be accomplished just with clicks. 
  • In traditional scenarios, disaster recovery was just meant to keep data on a different storage box in the same datacenter as establishing a secondary environment for disaster recovery was costly and more work. In the cloud you can replicate data not only to a different data center also in a different geographic location and bring up servers whenever required in minutes. 
  • Capex to Opex, Cloud completely moves the traditional IT expenditure from Capex to Opex which makes it more possible for all the startups. 

There are 6R’s when we talk about migration strategies and we will discuss what they are and when to go with whom. 

  1. Rehosting 
  2. Replatforming
  3. Repurchasing
  4. Refactoring
  5. Retire
  6. Retain

Rehosting, sometimes known as ‘ Lift and Shift ’ , In this approach we just need to move workload to cloud Infrastructure without modifying any application components. Commonly moving legacy applications are done by following this approach. This is the easiest way and takes less time than other strategies.

Replatforming, sometimes known as ‘ Lift and Shape ’. To get the most out of the cloud you might think to change a few components of your application without changing its core. An example is while moving the database to the cloud, you might consider to use a database-as-a-service instead of running a database on top of a virtual machine. Or you might want to opt for open source licensing rather than paid licenses. 

Repurchasing, This approach is very simple, here you just move your workload or part of your workload to a SaaS product in the market. 

Refactoring, moving workload to the cloud opens a lot of closed doors and many things seem possible that were not in the old architecture. To use the cloud naive features and achieve the impossibles we need to make certain changes to the application’s architecture. The achievables might be high performance, dynamic scaling, unlimited storage etc.   

Retire, When we discover all the components of migration we might find few components are not required any more and we can decommission those. During the initial discovery phase if we found any such item we first go with this approach before any other. 

Retain,  After all consideration and by looking at all details of the existing workload if you find few components are not compatible with the cloud or there is any compliance issue or dependencies are there and you decided to not to change anything right now.  

One wrong decision can cost you more

Wrong Decisions 

  • Migrating to the cloud can be excruciating to certain organizations when inappropriate choices are taken. We noticed that sometimes few organizations inspire a few decisions by a particular business reason, while a few or the vast majority of different uses can be disregarded.
  • Cloud relocations are definitely not straight-forward, it should not be looked as a task in an agenda. With all the components that spin around the various decisions and techniques for cloud relocation and proficient changes, doing everything all alone may hurt your business continuity. 
  • Continuing without profoundly looking at the offering of different cloud vendors might cause you a big problem at the end. It is very important to see my business and application needs and what the different vendors are offering for that. It might be service SLA, pricing, service availability etc.   
  • It is recommended and advisable to make partnership with a specialized third-party company and let them plan and implement the migration. It will give you the opportunity to focus more on the business values and take the migration decisions with help of expert’s opinions. 

So far we have discussed the different migrations strategies, common mistakes and how you will decide whether migration is needed or not. In the coming article I will explain how to select the right migration strategy among all and what are the tools available in the market that you can use to simplify most of the migration work. 
I would love to know your migration experience as well and If you want us to join you in your migration journey please reach out to us on www.hybridskill.com .

Article by Abhisek Dey

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