Moving to cloud computing services isn’t a challenge anymore for many organizations. Most of the companies are already using it in some forms. Many companies have already moved the majority of their applications to the cloud migration, but they still have hundreds of apps running in branch offices and corporate-owned data centers.
Moving an on-premises app and all of its constituent contents like database, middleware, and compute, is not an easy task. It needs thoughtful execution and careful planning, and here’s the four-step approach for that.
Planning is crucial for all big projects and complex challenges. Planning makes resolving issues in a cost-effective and timely fashion much easier. Put together a team for the cloud migration, and they together need to work through the following:
- Design the cloud landing zone where the app will live.
- Ensure disaster recovery and continuity plans taking the new cloud environment into account.
- Determine the compute shapes that each app will require; uptime requirements, microservices, types of virtual machines and containers, storage arrays, etc.
- Decide which databases and apps to move and how. It means whether it will be partial or full lift and shift.
- Understand the business impact.
- Consider the impact on cybersecurity, Agile and DevOps workflows and processes, and developers.
The next step is to identify what apps you want to move and also understand their dependencies. Discuss with the app owners and understand how they usually work, what other workload will be influenced if the application fails, the workaround users have developed, and so on.
It is a better idea to deploy automated discovery tools. It helps in generating a map of all of the daily interactions the application has with databases, microservices, APIs, servers, middleware, storage arrays, networks, and other apps. Along with that, the applications of your vendors, suppliers, and outside partners.
You have to understand where all the services and apps physically reside in the world, whether it is your partner’s data centers, your own data centers, the cloud migration, etc.
Once you identify what apps you will move and how to move them, keep in mind your advantage of cloud services landing zone with all the needed services such as identified dependencies, middleware and firewalls, and so on. It is time for a preproduction environment mimicking the real-world conditions that the app will run in.
In this phase, you should involve more people than just your IT operations. You can get your developers onboard so when there’s a problem; the developers can handle it on time instead of wasting time analyzing how the app runs in the cloud as compared to how it used to run on-premises.
Pre-launch enables you to validate your core processes. These processes include app transactions, functional processes, business processes, and so on. From a performance perspective, this step helps you ensure the performance goals are met, such as improving the application’s response time.
Going live is more than just flipping a switch. You must plan and understand the big shift in data flows. Up until now, you have had a production app in your data center. Now you have a live copy of it ready to go in the cloud.
The testing process is done. You know how the application works. But now it’s time to direct traffic from the old app to the new one. You’ll definitely need a strategy. For instance, if you decide to run both applications in parallel before the complete changeover, you will have to sync the updates constantly. As you’ll be creating transitions and new data in both systems simultaneously.
You’ll have to design and code data synchronization so that there is one centralized place for transactions at any given time, either it will be the old system or the new one.
All the strategies mentioned above will offer you a good starting point from which you can conveniently explore your strategy further. No two IT environments are the same; however, the approach they take for cloud migration will be similar. Do not rush into things. Because if an app fails after moving it to the cloud, no one will be able to figure out why and it will be costly.
You need to be careful throughout planning and execution so that the goals you set can be met. Thousands of companies are benefiting by moving their operations to the cloud, and so can your company. If you’re not confident about cloud migration, you can consult a vendor like Xavor Corporation.
Xavor has been in the industry for nearly three decades now and has helped hundreds of companies in moving their operations to the cloud. They offer reliable cloud migration and infrastructure services by identifying business needs and requirements to better manage your data online with efficiency.