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Cloud Migration: Get in Front of Your Options

Author: Cindy Putnam | | June 16, 2020

Most companies are moving toward the cloud for application and/or database operations.  There are many cloud offerings available and these companies need to be methodical in how, where and what they move to the cloud. It is important to analyze and think about what is best for the company, what is affordable and if a cloud-hybrid solution is an option.

In this blog, I’ll discuss some of the considerations companies must make and the affect of these decisions later down the road.

Steps Necessary in Planning a Cloud Migration

  1. Engage a Cloud Architect

    A cloud architect will assist a company with establishing the cloud foundation. They will help the company decide which cloud platform will best suit needs, such as moving all applications and databases to the cloud; or moving some to the cloud while others stay on premise. They can answer questions about security and how to implement the best solution in order to establish the strategy for migration.  Proof-of-concepts should also be demonstrated and confirmed.

  2. Choose your level of cloud integration

    One misconception about the cloud is that companies may think that once a cloud commitment is made, that they must go all-in; all applications and databases must be migrated. This is not the case. There can be a mix of cloud integration. Some applications or databases can stay on premise while others are moved to the cloud.

  3. Choose a single cloud or go multi-cloud

    Another misconception is that only one cloud vendor can be used for your company’s cloud footprint. Multiple cloud vendors can be used to play to the applications and databases strengths. Also, pre-existing licenses may play a part in the decision.

  4. Establish performance baselines

    Baselines for application and database performance must be established before any cloud migrations are established. This will help business and application owners ensure that a cloud migration will not have a negative impact on the customer experience. Then during the cloud implementation KPIs (key performance indicators) metrics can be gathered to ensure the applications and databases are performing as expected.

  5. Prioritize order of migration components

    Ensure that the applications and databases are ready for the cloud migration. Identify connections between services and their dependencies and migrate those first. Also consider migrating applications that are internal first and then follow with more complex migrations.

  6. Designing a Dynamic Cloud Platform

    Detailed project plan with major tasks and timeline

    The more detailed the project plan is, the higher probability of success will be.  Be sure to include the cloud architect, applications and database owners and business owners.

    Application retooling

    Most likely there will need to be some retooling of applications for more efficient performance, network connections, utilization and interfaces.  After the retooling, ensure that these steps are validated and are improvements for a customer experience.

    Migration to the Cloud

    The migration will be the most important and delicate part of moving a company to the cloud.  Fortunately, most cloud services have migration tools for applications and databases that will walk you through the migration process.  In some cases of databases, there are methods to move large and very large amounts of data with the least impact to business.

    Most cloud providers have multiple storage options which may be utilized depending on the purpose, cost, data and retrieval requirements. Data should be placed in the proper storage solution.

    Also available are tools at the OS level to sync data byte by byte. This can be accomplished by using the RSYNC command, for example.

    Some databases can be configured to have one working copy on-premise and another copy in the cloud. Then when migration day comes, the synchronization of the two can be broken and the cloud copy is the primary copy of the database.

    Finally, ensure that the performance and customer experience is what is expected.  If this is as expected, then the on-premise applications and databases can be decommissioned.

    Post-Migration Phase

    Just because applications and databases are running in the cloud does not mean it’s completed.  Consider on-going operations such as backups, utilization, monitoring, performance, auto-scaling, elasticity, high availability and future growth.

    Final Thoughts

    Cloud service providers are constantly improving services and adding more features. This means that cloud platforms are never really complete, the cloud is a continuous journey. It is important to continue education and implementation of these new features, and most likely it can save costs and enhance the customer experience.

    A well-planned migration to the cloud is essential to ensure success and reliability.  There are many resources available and migration tools with the cloud service provider you choose.  As a reminder, Datavail is a Oracle Platinum Partner, AWS Advanced Consulting Partner and a Microsoft Gold Partner who stands ready to help your organization with its cloud migration. We can help with a comprehensive migration and integration of your applications, databases and data to the cloud. Contact us to speak with an expert.

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