Businesses that plan their migration in advance with the help of cloud experts are more likely to minimize disruption, cost, and downtime.
Cloud migration is not as straightforward as one might think— you can’t simply transplant an application from legacy infrastructure to a cloud platform and be done with it. You may want to reduce infrastructure spending and open up space, but make sure to ask these five important questions before you start.
1. Is Full Cloud Migration Possible?
It is a great idea in theory, getting rid of all that bulky equipment you’ve had sitting for 15 years or so and hand the responsibility off to someone else. The problem is, you’ll likely never be able to get to the point where you’re storing EVERYTHING on the cloud. Every business has critical information they’re storing. Do you want to pay someone else to house the thing that gives you your leg-up against competitors?
Realistically, you’ll always have a few things you want to store locally. That being said, there is likely plenty of data you can store in the cloud to clear up some space in your building—or downsize your rental space.
Hybrid clouds are an option that allow businesses to take full advantage of the strengths and weaknesses of every available platform in a cohesive way. They are often a mix of infrastructure deployments involving public cloud, private cloud, and bare metal platforms.
Contrary to popular belief, migrating to the cloud does not have to be an all-or-nothing strategy. Different things work for different businesses. 2NSystems can help you figure out what works best for yours.
2. Where will your Data Live?
Much like there are multiple choices for infrastructure deployments, there are also options when it comes to deciding where your data will be stored. Each option has unique security, performance, and cost implications.
Making an informed decision on where to keep your data stored, and for how long is far more complicated than most think. First and foremost, answer these questions to begin:
- How sensitive is the data?
- Is the data unique to your business?
- Does the data serve as a competitive advantage?
- How long can your business operate in the event that the data is unavailable?
Once you are informed on what the data is and what its value to your company is, then you can look at what data storage options are best for your organization. For data that is relatively unsensitive and/or does not play a significant part in making your company unique, then a cloud-based storage solution may make sense. For data that is either sensitive, plays a role in defining your success, or cannot experience latency delays, then an on-premise data storage solution may make sense. In all options, do not forget about disaster recovery and retention, as this will apply to all data storage scenarios.
It Is important to understand what each of these options has to offer so that you may choose the best possible cloud storage platform for your application.
3. How can you Minimize Downtime?
How much downtime is your business prepared to handle when migrating? For business-critical services, the answer is likely none.
A businesses’ ability to tolerate downtime will largely impact its ability for cloud migration as well as testing strategies. Worst case scenario when migrating is unexpected downtime of a critical application, something you will want to avoid at any cost, so it’s worth taking the time to carefully plan it out.
4. Will your Applications Need to be Refactored?
It’s possible to simply replicate a business’s current infrastructure architecture using cloud servers and storage, but that’s often not the ideal approach to a cloud migration.
Typically, businesses decide to refactor their applications to facilitate a nimble approach to future development. This method often includes breaking down certain business processes into smaller pieces, so they fit better with the services available on a cloud platform and facilitate an agile approach to future development.
5. How will your Performance Expectations be Met?
Multiple factors can impact performance. There are many delivery models in cloud computing including SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) or Iaas (Infrastructure as a Service). Each of these delivery models have unique performance attributes. Also do not overlook network latency, ISP, number of applications, number of users and number of locations in your performance calculations. Prior to launching a cloud migration, your businesses should evaluate applications and workloads to discern which resources you will need and any potential performance issues that might occur.
Answering these five questions will help you avoid costly mistakes when considering cloud migration. We’ve seen the process go well and provide real benefit to businesses…and we’ve seen it go wrong and cause more problems than it solves.
We’d like to be your cloud expert partner so you can end up on the right side of that line.
Written by Bailey Mutschler – Marketing Associate, 2NSystems.