Thinking of moving your business to the cloud?
Migrating to cloud is a complex project that presents significant business risks, you must carefully analyse your business’ readiness before you begin. Here are five important areas to start your analysis with:
Evaluate workloads or the group of applications that you want to move to cloud. Common examples of workloads are business applications, email servers, SaaS services, external/internal websites, FTP servers and many more.
Business application workloads (as opposed to infrastructure services) form the bulk of a company’s servers. Some of these workloads are independent while others are interlocked with add-on applications. It is essential to migrate all the add-on applications together, which are heavily dependent on the primary application.
You may want to migrate all interconnected workloads together, which sometimes constitutes 60 percent of the total servers. This requires more pragmatic and detailed analysis.
Test a non-critical application’s migration to cloud before committing to a total cloud transformation. If your company has multiple critical applications, prioritisation should be done in batches or waves. The first non-critical application moved to cloud should be important enough for you to make the strategic decision for the rest of the applications.
You must decide the specific time slots for your migration. For example, during a certain part of the year, a business application’s performance may be key in driving the company’s revenue. Clearly, this would not be the ideal time for a migration. It is important to determine the best timeframe when migration can happen with minimal disruption to business activities.
4. Grouping or interface
Sometimes subcomponents of the same application are named differently. Over a period of a business application’s lifetime they are treated and funded separately, however when it comes to moving to cloud, these subcomponents are part of the same combined application. Correctly determining the existing business application and infrastructure footprint is essential.
You would also need to document all the interfaces, synchronous/asynchronous data, and file transfers. This enables best permutation/combination approach for the set of applications/server images to migrate to cloud. The number of servers going live in a particular timeframe may also limit the migration.
5. Migration strategy
Migration is considered a pure “lift and shift” of the software stack: operating system, applications, databases, interfaces and other components. In this approach, the customer expects similar functionality and features after the application is enabled in the cloud environment.
The second approach, “big bang”, is an accelerated approach where migration and an upgrade are combined together. For some customers, the big bang approach works better. It saves cost and manpower requirements by combining testing for the two changes. A single go-live also enables the company to achieve the same goal in shorter duration. The benefits will almost always outweigh the risk when using this approach.