Enterprises migrate to the cloud for many reasons, but generally when faced with the challenge of growing their IT infrastructure in the most cost-effective and secure way possible. Migrating to the cloud offers advantages like:
Flexibility: No business offering experiences the same level of demand by the same number of users all the time. When your apps see fluctuations in traffic, cloud infrastructure allows you to scale up or down to meet demand so you use only the resources you need.
Scalability: As your business grows, so will your databases, analytics, and other snowballing workloads. The cloud offers the ability to expand within existing (or with additional provisioned) infrastructure so applications have room to grow without impacting performance.
Agility: Part of growth is remaining flexible enough to respond to rapid changes in technology resources. Cloud adoption provides this by drastically reducing the time it takes to procure new inventory and storage.
Productivity: Your cloud provider can manage the complexities of your infrastructure so you can focus on productivity. What’s more, the simplicity and remote accessibility of most cloud solutions means your team is finally able tofocus on what matters — like growing your business.
Security: By storing data centrally, the cloud offers more security than data centers. Most cloud providers also offer built-in features including security analytics, periodic updates, and cross-enterprise visibility.
Profitability: The cloud follows a pay-per-use model. No need to pay for more than you need or to continually invest in updating, maintaining, training on, and making space for physical servers.
Cloud migration process
There is no one-size-fits-all move to the cloud. The way you approach the above cloud migration strategies depends on a few things: your business model, the size and complexity of your current environment, and migration goals included. At this stage, you’ll want to rely on the expertise of your IT team — with the help of tools we cover below — to understand the ins and outs of your environment. Only then can you design a roadmap for which apps to migrate, how, and when.
But whether you move all your apps and services at once or (more commonly) take the hybrid approach of keeping some apps on-premise, most migrations follow the same basic steps.
1. Plan your migration
We can’t stress it enough: Cloud migration requires solid planning to be successful. Before getting started, get clear on your reasons for the move and which migration approach best supports them. Here’s where you might employ cloud migration tools to help inform your migration plan by:
Providing full visibility into your on-premise environment, including all system dependencies
Evaluating performance, server, and security requirements. Also consider what training your teams will need. In DevOps? With a certain cloud provider? It helps to assess where your organization falls on the cloud maturity curve
2. Choose your cloud environment
After evaluating your current application resource requirements, you’re ready to choose a cloud provider that meets your needs (and only those needs).
Popular platforms include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Each offers a number of different cloud models to adopt, whether public cloud, hybrid cloud, private cloud, or multi-cloud. Unsure which you need? Build out, price out, and test a virtual workspace to see how things look in deployment.
3. Migrate your apps and data
Planned accurately, your actual app and data migration should go pretty smoothly.
Note you have three additional options for transferring local data center to the public cloud: an online transfer, using either public internet or over a private network, or a physical offline transfer whereby you upload local data onto an appliance to ship to the cloud provider. (The best approach depends on the amount and type of data you’re moving and speed at which to do it. Your provider can help you decide.)
4. Validate post-move success