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Approaches to a better cloud migration

 

Every business from small to large has inevitably faced the question of transitioning to the cloud in recent years. Large cloud providers talk about the benefits of cloud platforms and do everything to attract potential users as quickly as possible and integrate customers’ infrastructures into their ecosystems. However, a business can’t just instantly appear in the cloud, there are countless obstacles and some of them pause the migration or even stop it completely. In addition to financial issues, there also are numerous technical issues:

  • Is our infrastructure suitable for migration to the cloud?
  • How do you evaluate the readiness to migrate?
  • How long does a cloud migration take?
  • Can the cloud provide the necessary level of security?
  • Do our engineers need to be requalified?
  • Total or partial migration?
  • What are the benefits of clouds?

 

To show Innowise Group’s experience in seamless cloud migration, we are highlighting some approaches and practices that helped us facilitate and improve cloud migration processes. We also analyze the most common technical issues that our customers have.

 

Is our infrastructure suitable for migration to the cloud? – Yes, it is.

 In 99% of cases, the current hardware infrastructure is suitable for migration. Cloud service providers have been working for decades to cover the maximum amount of tasks and they do a great job at it. Rarely, some services are impossible to move to the cloud. Such cloud migration challenges can be solved through building a hybrid cloud, leaving these services on-premise, while migrating the rest. 

How do you evaluate the readiness to migrate? – Audit.

 

The goal of any business is to make a profit, not to keep track of trends in the cloud market. So the most rational option is to leave the audit to third-party professionals. The audit will help highlight and identify flaws in your infrastructure and, using that data, you can draw up a detailed migration plan. The typical audit checklist points look like this:

  • Was your app created using DevOps practices
  • Do storage systems need to be very quick and have high accessibility? 
  • Are there strict requirements for the server’s hardware? 
  • Do you use orchestration systems such as K8s?
  • Are your infrastructure maintenance specialists located in offices all over the world?

 

The checklist is quite extensive and depends on the infrastructure. Most of the time, the infrastructure is almost completely ready for cloud migration and requires several adjustments.

 

How long does a cloud migration take? – There is no golden rule of calculation.

Unfortunately, there is no established algorithm to accurately calculate the time of migration to the cloud and, accordingly, the cost of the project. With detailed information on your infrastructure system, we can estimate cloud migration costs and time. Also, we can isolate parts of the infrastructure from each other and analyze them separately. Then, we migrate them to the cloud one by one in a convenient timeline. This approach ensures seamlessness and security.

Can the cloud provide the necessary level of security? – Yes, it can.

Cloud providers employ the best security engineers in the world to maintain the top-notch cybersecurity level of the provided services. They are fully responsible for the resiliency of your services and they may be financially responsible for security breaches. By default, cloud providers ensure the compliance of their products with GDPR, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and other security standards and regulations.

Do our engineers need to be requalified? – Yes.

To operate multiple services effectively, one needs specific knowledge not only of the product but also of its features from the particular cloud service provider. The providers themselves are interested in training specialists, hence offer special opportunities for efficient training. In addition, the cloud services have their own technical support that can always help to resolve incoming challenges. As our experience shows, an average engineer can get a certificate in 3-4 months and then engage in full support of the cloud platform.

Cloud-Migration

Total or partial migration? – It depends.

Cloud hosting is a must-have for your software if it has to be available from anywhere in the world instantly and withstand high loads. The company’s internal services required for local access from the office can be left on-premise or placed at the cloud provider’s data center as close as possible to the office, and even use a dedicated network.

Oftentimes, a company already has its own equipment purchased for tasks that are now migrating to the cloud. To utilize such resources, one can place internal workloads on them and move the industrial load to the cloud.

Cloud-Migration

What are the benefits of clouds? – There are quite a lot of them.

  • High availability. Cloud services achieve 99.999% uptime SLA (service-level agreement) and relieve businesses of the obligation to ensure availability. It is difficult to approach such a high level with on-premise infrastructure.
  • Robust security. Cloud providers employ the most effective data security measures and they take full responsibility (including financial responsibility) for hosting your service.
  • Skalierbarkeit. In cloud computing, you can instantly scale vertically and horizontally on demand. You can scale up/down and in/out to add or subtract cloud resources for your systems.
  • Kosteneffizienz. With a pay-as-you-go model, you can avoid overpayments, as you are to pay only for cloud resources your software actually uses. And there are no costs for hardware purchases and maintenance. 

Cloud migration approaches

IaaS – infrastructure as a service

This type of cloud computing service provides substantial resources, including virtual data centers, processor cores, RAM, storage systems, virtual networks, IP addresses, and more. The customer can independently control and maintain all resources, while the provider is only responsible for their availability to the customer. IaaS is ideal for the initial migration to the cloud.

Examples: AWS EC2, GCP Compute, Azure virtual machine.

PaaS – Platform as a service

In fact, PaaS is an extended IaaS model, yet covers operating systems and some applications required by the customer and provided as part of the service.

Examples: AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Windows Azure, Google App Engine. machine.

SaaS – software as a service

According to the SaaS model, the provider grants access to the existing cloud software. The cloud services provider is independently responsible for its maintenance, upgrade, and availability. This method of providing a service is suitable for business applications.

Examples: Microsoft Office 365, Google Docs, Salesforce.

BaaS – BackUp as a service

BaaS, a variation of SaaS, involves providing businesses with a reliable cloud service for creating infrastructure backups. BaaS allows you to protect information from loss in case of equipment failure. The provider is responsible for the safety and availability of your data.

Examples: Veeam BackUp and Replication.

Cloud migration approaches

Bottom line

Many of our clients opt for an IaaS approach and actually just move all their services to a virtual data center. This is a rational approach to reduce infrastructure costs and achieve a higher degree of serviceability, which is essentially equivalent to building your private cloud.

Innowise Group offers several cloud migration strategies, including rehosting (lift-and-shift), replatforming (lift-tinker-and-shift), refactoring (rearchitecting), and repurchasing (drop-and-shop).

Migration to the cloud is a complex activity that requires a deep understanding of all processes, awareness and detailed planning, documentation, and expertise. Having completed the cloud migration, you will be able to fully use all the most modern technologies, implement automation processes, and control the life cycle of products and services.

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