Adopting a methodical approach is the key to successful cloud migration. Whether a company wants to move its complete infrastructure or perform a limited migration involving specific applications, the following steps are essential in facilitating the move.
Develop a Compelling Business Case
A valid business reason for the move needs to be identified before embarking on a cloud migration project. Adopting a cloud solution simply because it is a trendy thing to do is a big mistake. Companies should be looking for migration to achieve specific goals such as cost savings or providing greater data accessibility to a remote workforce.
Choose a Migration Strategy
Organizations can migrate systems or applications to the cloud using a variety of strategies. In a large migration, several strategies may be implemented simultaneously to address multiple workloads.
- Rehosting, also known as lift and shift, deploys current apps and data without modification using cloud resources.
- Refactoring involves minimal modification to optimize the use of cloud resources and functionality.
- Revising takes current applications and performs extensive modifications to further optimize the use of the cloud.
- Rebuilding recreates a workload and tailors it to take full advantage of cloud-native services
- Replacing a current workload with a cloud solution such as an SaaS application is also an option.
Select a Cloud Environment
The next choice a business needs to make is the type of cloud environment it will implement. The choices are:
- Private cloud - a small cloud environment created within an on-premises data center;
- Public cloud - cloud infrastructure and services delivered by a commercial cloud provider;
- Hybrid cloud - a mix of public and private cloud solutions;
- Multi-cloud - a mix of public cloud solutions from multiple vendors.
Choose the Deployment Model
Migration can involve implementing one or several of the following three deployment models.
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) - provides cloud-based infrastructure components;
- Platform as a service (PaaS) - offers dedicated platforms built on cloud resources;
- Software as a service (SaaS) - cloud-native applications.
The choice of deployment models is influenced by an organization’s chosen migration strategy.
Select the Right Cloud Provider
Cloud providers should be evaluated to determine which one offers the most effective solutions. There can be substantial differences in the offerings and pricing plans of competing cloud providers that need to be considered before initiating a migration. Taking the time to find the right provider will pay dividends in the long run.
Understand the Provider’s Shared Security Model
Security in the cloud is a responsibility shared by the customer and provider. These responsibilities change based on the deployment model. Customers are always responsible for certain aspects of security such as protecting individual accounts and user identities. Companies need to fully understand their role in protecting their data in the cloud.
Planning and evaluation go a long way toward initiating a beneficial association with cloud computing. Following these six steps gives a company an excellent chance of successfully migrating its workload to the cloud.