Six Steps To Migrate To Cloud

By Maryna Cherednychenko

More and more companies use cloud services every year. The reasons are apparent: they allow you to store and process large amounts of data without huge infrastructure costs. Besides, you can access the data from any place and not worry about its safety. This article will explain what cloud migration is, how to perform it, and what tools to use.

What Is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration is the transfer of a company’s own physical or virtual IT infrastructure to the capacities of a third-party provider. It frees you from buying hardware, so you save extra money for other business opportunities. Moving to the cloud is a global trend. Businesses gradually refuse to store data on their own servers and transfer it to cloud providers. The largest virtual platforms belong to several IT giants: Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Huawei. These companies rent out a secure and stable environment with the ability to scale resources.

Why Move To Cloud?

According to Statista, there are five main reasons for migrating to the cloud. Owners choose third-party services because they

  • raise the speed of IT service delivery
  • reduce total cost of ownership
  • help react faster to market changes
  • undertake IT functions that don’t create competitive differentiation
  • increase competitive power

Learn more at the picture below:

Reasons for cloud migration

Cloud Migration Types

There are two main ways to migrate to a cloud: through full or partial migration. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Full migration. Here, the entire IT infrastructure is transferred to the cloud provider: data, apps, settings. The company employees access all the services through thin clients. This type is more suitable for small companies because they do not have many resources and a complete move can be carried out in a few days.

Partial migration. It is a hybrid model when part of the resources are moved to the cloud, and the rest remain on-premises. Owners opt for such a migration to check cloud abilities and try new ways to work with data. Other reasons may lie in security and legacy matters related to the company’s activity.

Partial migration is also known as the gradual transfer of IT elements to a virtual platform. This model is suitable for companies with many resources and remote offices. For seamless migration, they need a detailed roadmap to move data without stopping the system.

Full and partial migration

Cloud Models

There are three cloud models to choose from: public, private, and hybrid clouds. Below, you can find a detailed explanation of each of them.

Public cloud means a hosting provider rents cloud services to multiple customers while computing, networking, and storage resources are located in one large data center. The public cloud serves well for automating routine tasks and is the number one choice for website and online services owners.

Pros

  • Zero capital costs
  • Low IT overheads
  • Great scalability

Cons

  • Lower security
  • Some limits of customization
  • Possible latency

Private cloud allows building a private infrastructure in a separate space. It means a given business acts as a single cloud owner, and no one else can store the data there. Typical users of private clouds are large companies with a vast IT infrastructure and those who work with confidential data.

Pros

  • Advanced customization
  • Strong security
  • Internet and private network connections

Cons

  • High costs
  • Poor outside support
  • Limited scalability

Hybrid cloud is a mix of the previous two. It distributes the data between public and private environments and is suitable for those who face sudden bursts of activity, i.e., during sales or ad campaigns. This model also works for firms that run complex technological solutions or develop new software products.

Pros

  • Super flexibility
  • High scalability
  • Better data security

Cons

  • Complex implementation
  • Compatibility issues
Three cloud types

Six Steps To Implement Cloud Migration

Migration to the cloud is a rather complex process from a technical point of view. To organize it, you will need the devs’ help with solid expertise in cloud services. Let’s see the six steps to follow for successful cloud migration:

Step 1. Define Migration Scope

Start with an assessment of your app as a whole and its parts one by one. An in-depth analysis will help you understand what and how to migrate. The helping tools in this matter are the Time quadrant and the “Six R” strategy for cloud migration. The latter one says there are six ways to move your app to the cloud:

  • rehost
  • replatform
  • refactor
  • retire
  • repurchase
  • retain

The Time quadrant, in its turn, helps define one or more strategies for certain software components. Let’s see how it works.

  1. The Tolerate section is suitable for apps that are impractical to migrate to the cloud. The reasons can be different: economic, technical, security, etc. The best strategy for such apps is to leave them in local facilities.
  2. The Invest section covers innovative solutions that give a promising outlook for the business. Rearchitecting and replatforming are the best strategic moves for such apps.
  3. The Migrate section usually covers essential and stable apps generating a steady income. You could use the rehosting approach as a part of your cloud migration strategy.
  4. The Eliminate section implies repurchasing or retiring apps that bring low to zero value to the business.
Define migration scope

Step 2. Set Criteria For Successful Migration

To know the migration went successfully, you need to compare some of the “before” and “after” ratios. Besides, you should set up the “after” criterion in advance and see if the current indicators reach the set level. Here is a list of vital indicators to pay attention to:

  • Average response time — how quickly the server returns the result under normal operating conditions.
  • Maximum response time — the most extended time of server response under nonstandard conditions.
  • Total uptimethe percentage ratio of the stable app work in relation to the entire work time of the system.
  • Error ratio — the percentage of requests returned with errors to the total number of requests.
  • Error types — the detected errors, warnings, and exceptions sorted by categories.
  • Network delay — time between the client request and server response.
  • Indicator of compromise — the part of potentially malicious data found in system log entries or files.
  • Network input and output — network capacity usage across involved devices.

Step 3. Pick Up Cloud Provider

Today there are three leading players in the cloud technology market — Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. Each offers up-to-date services and a variety of tools for large and small apps. When studying cloud providers, make sure to check the next points:

Physical security of data centers:

  • reliable means to protect the territory and data center perimeter
  • audio and video control of internal premises and outside area
  • strict documentation of all actions and events
  • fail-safe power supply
  • reliable backup lines

Legal security of cloud infrastructure. Make sure the seizure of equipment or data is only possible by court order.

Infrastructure security:

  • data protection in the cloud
  • client isolation in public cloud
  • traffic and storage encryption
  • cloud cluster fault-tolerance

Tech support:

  • competence
  • friendliness
  • availability
  • speed

Free trial

Step 4. Use Automation Tools

During the migration process, it is crucial not to lose data. All the software parts must be moved in a safe way with the preservation of inter-component links. To speed up the migration and raise its quality, you can and should use automation tools. Cloud providers gladly share them to help companies move quickly to their virtual platform. See the list below:

You can also use third-party services to automate cloud migration. Here are the most popular ones:

The tech stack for the migration depends on many factors. An expert team with solid expertise in cloud services will help you make the right choice. After examining your product, they will advise you on the best tools to carry out the transfer within the shortest time.

Steps of cloud migration

Step 5. Run Trial Migration

Before migrating the entire app:

  1. Try to move the individual parts with the least load.
  2. While in the cloud, measure all the performance metrics (you can see them above in step 2). If you find delays and gaps, work to eliminate them.
  3. When you’re happy with your current state in the cloud, get ready for a full-scale migration.

Step 6. Migrate To Cloud

When the environment is selected, the tools are prepared, and the pilot version is tested, it’s time for the full-fledged cloud migration. We advise you to do this during the lowest user traffic. Depending on the app specifics, it can be nighttime, weekend, or, conversely, standard nine to five hours.

For a seamless migration, consider hiring a dedicated team. Choose experts who often deal with cloud apps and know how to migrate a project to a virtual platform. If you don’t know where to start, drop us a line. Our managers will provide you with a detailed migration plan so that you decide how to proceed.

This article was originally published at Softensy.

Softensy specializes in fintech development and enterprise-level apps. Our team helps companies automate business processes by developing software solutions.