A comprehensive checklist to refer to when migrating to the cloud
Daddy, what are clouds made of?
Linux servers, mostly.
Cloud migration can prove to be an intricate and complicated process, most often requiring technology consulting and a slew of hard choices throughout the process. Today 90% of companies utilize the cloud one way or the other.
All cloud migration strategies, from rehosting to re-platforming to repurchasing and then on to refactoring, require investments before the enterprise moving to the cloud can begin saving on cost.
Some of the situations that an enterprise might face during its move to the cloud will be completely out of its control. For example, data protection laws that the enterprise must be aware of and must accept its inability to affect or change them in any way.
But on the flip side of the coin, there are many decisions and situations that are well within the migrating enterprise’s power and should be given the required thought and scrutiny while factoring them in as much as possible. Cisco forecasts that by 2021, 94% of workloads will be processed in cloud data centers
Documented below is a comprehensive checklist containing the six most essential cloud migration steps that enable an enterprise – to take charge of its cloud migration.
1. Pre-define the capacity needed
America is the most significant public cloud market with projected spending of $124.6 billion in 2019. But blind capacity purchases are not advised.
Internet infrastructure providers, traditionally don’t sell computational power. Instead, they sell resources, i.e., servers that run 24/7. These servers are charged for by the hour, even when the resource is not in use. An enterprise should be extra careful about having its cloud application development or system complete during the prepaid time. This would avoid enterprises losing on their budgets due to server idle time, which is still chargeable.
Capacity requirements are based on the scale of the enterprise’s operations. A local company without night-time operations of reporting and maintenance will face 12 hours of downtime leading to a loss of 50% of their infrastructural budget. In the case of a company with offices at different geo-locations will have less idle time, but there will still be a significant amount of waste. Social media sites have the heaviest traffic, and yet they too have approx. 2-3 hours of slow traffic. By balancing payloads more efficiently, enterprises can reduce capacity costs.
It is imperative for enterprises to have a clear number to attach to the capacity they need. Over acquisition and under acquisition would both lead to faltering processes.
2. Scalability should be discussed
Going in for a large server with a decision based on obtuse traffic predictions is overly optimistic, while a small server would be of no use if the enterprise application development goes viral and the system crashed due to pressure.
The correct approach towards a successful cloud application strategy would be to partner up with a cloud service provider who has the ability to auto-scale. Serverless backend systems that enable automatic scaling like Lambda or Functions mean that your enterprise can benefit from both pay-as-you-use and pay-as-you-go models.
Some enterprises spread their system components across the data center, all connected through extra switching nodes. In theory, it looks like the perfect plan but in reality, the enterprise will have to deal with an immense amount of latency. The solution would be to discuss scalability with the cloud service provider long before deployment.
3. Architecture adjustment
An enterprise should always be willing to adjust its architecture, given that migrating its system as-is will always be more expensive.
For enterprises, saving on costs is by far the most influential motivation behind cloud migration. However, it is almost always the costliest option. This is because enterprises tend to perceive cloud migration solutions as cloning their existing infrastructure and forget to include scalability costs, management costs, and overheads that they would incur from their cloud service provider.
Given these factors, the correct approach towards cloud migration would be first to decide which system components are essential to the enterprise’s brick-and-mortar premise and which really need to be put onto the cloud.
4. Balance in service utilization
The services of your cloud migration partner should be analyzed carefully. There will be some that are fully loaded and some that are underutilized. Your enterprise can minimize underutilization by aligned resource allocation.
The cloud can turn out to be cheaper than a dedicated server if service utilization is optimized. Here is a list of some forward-thinking steps an enterprise could take to maximize the efficiency of its cloud migration-
- All static resources should be moved to CDN to take the load off application servers
- Load balancers, message queues, catching services and other in-platform infrastructure components should be put to use
- Rarely used services and routines should be replaced with serverless handlers. With this change in place, the enterprise has to pay only for the computational resources consumed and not for the idle time.
5. Data protection
Sometimes, security reasons keep enterprises from fully considering a move to the cloud, examples of which are – banking, finance, healthcare, and insurance. Startups working with sensitive data usually choose to make deals with their cloud provider for a certain level of security-based services from their end.
Big-league players like highly regulated organizations and government agencies are also migrating but not before taking certain precautions. They usually opt for a hybrid model in which only segments of their data is in the cloud.
This strategy keeps them safe from the aftermath of an attack and even prevents attacks by maintaining water-tight user access limits by leveraging powerful government firewalls. 50% Of organizations have opted for encryption and similar safeguards to protect the sensitive data they have on the cloud
Even if the enterprise is facing multiple security issues, moving to the cloud is still a viable option if the cloud service provider can meet the following responsibilities.–
- A deep scan of the process architecture to locate loopholes if any.
- In depth- analysis of security risks, their causes, and remedial measures
- Creation of a case-specific thereat management plan.
- Clear incident resolution roadmaps
6. Choose standard communication interfaces and open-source components
Vendor lock-ins are another turn-off for enterprises, making them unable to change their provider after committing to one. It is suggested that you should use open-source components and regular communication to get a clear view of what your service provider is all about. Do not shy away from requesting documentation, testimonials, and doing research on your to-be provider.
To address all lock-in concerns, the enterprise should acquire a clear understanding of what is under the provider’s hood. Choosing cloud services that utilize either standard or open protocol enables the enterprise to switch providers if necessary. Open protocols mean equipment interoperability with the use of a proprietary gateway.
If the migration continues to be a matter of ambiguity and concern, the enterprise should opt for managed services that are built upon well know open-source components.
Your cloud migration checklist
Migrating to the cloud is a complicated process consisting of multiple levels. Successful enterprise cloud migration demands a significant amount of advance planning. To push inclusion and to summarize the points above, here’s your final checklist for creating a safe, efficient, and cost-effective cloud migration strategy:
- Pre-define the capacity needed
- Scalability should be discussed
- Architecture adjustment
- Balance in service utilization
- Data protection
- Choose standard communication interfaces and open-source components
With years of experience and excellence backing us up in regards to helping clients in their transformative cloud migration journey, Radixweb is an experienced cloud service provider that can assist you powerful and aligned with cloud migration services.
Interested? Contact us for a brief about how Radixweb can help you in reaching the cloud.