If you’re like most businesses, you already have at least one workload running in the cloud. However, that doesn’t mean that cloud migration is right for everyone. While cloud environments are generally scalable, reliable, and highly available, those won’t be the only considerations driving your decision.
For companies considering their first cloud migration, there are a lot of factors that you’ll want to take into account, from the benefits and the risks, to the cloud service model and type that is right for your business. In this post, we’ll look at the high-level elements that you should consider as you contemplate a move to the cloud.
There are many problems that moving to the cloud can solve. Here are some typical scenarios that will benefit from cloud migration.
While your specific environment will determine the risks that apply to you, there are some general drawbacks associated with cloud migrations that you will want to consider.
Now that you’ve decided to try the cloud, you’ll have to choose the cloud computing service model that you would like to deploy it in. These are the most common service models:
Here’s where you’ll have to make an important choice.
IaaS is best for companies that don’t mind hosting their applications in third-party data centers, but would prefer to outsource the care of their physical infrastructure to concentrate more completely on developing, deployment, and monitoring.
However, if you prefer your applications to be portable, you might want to simply drop your code onto a robust PaaS platform that provides a full (and invisible) infrastructure environment. SaaS is a delivery model through which centrally hosted productivity software is licensed on a subscription basis.
|IaaS takes care of||PaaS takes care of||SaaS takes care of|
Assuming you’ve chosen a cloud model, it’s time to choose the cloud type. There are three basic options:
Public: Your resources are entirely hosted by a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Private: You create your own private cloud using a platform like OpenStack or VMware’s vCloud.
Hybrid: Your resources are spread over both private and public platforms.
With its healthy mix of on-demand reliability, high availability, security, and reduced operations costs, hybrid cloud implementations can be attractive. Going hybrid can sometimes give you the best of both worlds.I’ll illustrate how hybrid can work through a hypothetical scenario.
Let’s imagine that your web app is quickly gaining popularity and users. In order to keep up with the growing demand, you need the underlying resource to scale up dynamically. During peak usage, you should be able to deploy maximum resources to serve requests, and when demand drops, you should ideally be able to simply drop unneeded resources to save costs. This is possible within a public cloud. But suppose the data your app gathers is highly confidential and can’t just be stored off-premise. This is where a hybrid solution can help. In this case, you can choose which components you want to live in the public cloud, and which will remain in your data center.
RightScale reported that enterprises are increasingly adopting a multi-cloud strategy (85%), and 58% plan to use hybrid clouds.
Having chosen a cloud model and cloud type, the real struggle is about to begin. Now, it’s time to see if your applications are cloud-ready. Here are some factors that you will need to consider:
Many of these issues can be addressed through a combination of the familiarity your team has with the apps and an asset discovery tool (either open source or commercial). An asset discovery tool can help you identify entire server configurations within a network, along with connectivity details.
For example, say that you have a data center within a network that is hosting around 100 applications. A discovery tool can give you the bird’s eye view of the entire system. It can also provide granular details that can be helpful for a general capacity management assessment.
Some of the better-known asset discovery tools include BMC Atrium and HP DDMA. Cloudamize provides a tool that can perform automated discovery of applications and machines, and additionally perform automated application dependency mapping to discover dependencies between applications.
There are also many third party vendors providing data migration services, like Attunity CloudBeam, ATADATA ATAmotion, CloudEndure Live Migration, and Racemi DynaCenter
Many cloud providers have pricing calculators that can help you to estimate the real costs you’ll face after a cloud migration vs. your current costs. AWS TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) calculator and Azure Pricing Calculator are two options. Cloudamize allows you to compare TCO across AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), so you can decide which option is the best fit based on your current application workload profiles.
It’s always a great idea to build a small proof of concept (POC) before you actually migrate your workload to the cloud. I know such models won’t anticipate all possible issues, but it will give you greater clarity and understanding about the challenges you may face. Some of the things you should look for during your POC include:
• Performance comparisons with your existing application
• Complexity levels involved in migrating the application
• Network challenges that need to be worked out
• Cloud provider support evaluation
Addressing all the real-time challenges of a cloud migration cannot be captured in one post, but I have tried to address some common issues you should consider before you start the process. Share your cloud migration experiences with us in the comments below or take a tour of how we can help with your migration strategy on our Migration solution page.
The announcements at re:Invent just keep on coming! Let’s look at what benefits these two new EC2 instance types offer and how these two new instances could be of benefit to you. If you're not too familiar with Amazon EC2, you might want to familiarize yourself by creating your first Am...
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has evolved from being a niche player to a serious competitor to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. In 2018, research firm Gartner placed Google in the Leaders quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for the first time. In t...
In order to understand AWS VPC egress filtering methods, you first need to understand that security on AWS is governed by a shared responsibility model where both vendor and subscriber have various operational responsibilities. AWS assumes responsibility for the underlying infrastructur...
Is it possible to create an S3 FTP file backup/transfer solution, minimizing associated file storage and capacity planning administration headache?FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a fast and convenient way to transfer large files over the Internet. You might, at some point, have conf...
Microservices are a way of breaking large software projects into loosely coupled modules, which communicate with each other through simple Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).Microservices have become increasingly popular over the past few years. The modular architectural style,...
There are many use cases for tags, but what are the best practices for tagging AWS resources? In order for your organization to effectively manage resources (and your monthly AWS bill), you need to implement and adopt a thoughtful tagging strategy that makes sense for your business. The...
Amazon S3 is the most common storage options for many organizations, being object storage it is used for a wide variety of data types, from the smallest objects to huge datasets. All in all, Amazon S3 is a great service to store a wide scope of data types in a highly available and resil...
One of the main promises of cloud computing is access to nearly endless capacity. However, it doesn’t come cheap. With the introduction of Spot Instances for Amazon Web Services’ Elastic Compute Cloud (AWS EC2) in 2009, spot instances have been a way for major cloud providers to sell sp...
A Comparison of Machine Learning Services on AWS, Azure, and Google CloudArtificial intelligence and machine learning are steadily making their way into enterprise applications in areas such as customer support, fraud detection, and business intelligence. There is every reason to beli...
The AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) is for managing your AWS services from a terminal session on your own client, allowing you to control and configure multiple AWS services.So you’ve been using AWS for awhile and finally feel comfortable clicking your way through all the services....
Thousands of cloud practitioners descended on Chicago’s McCormick Place West last week to hear the latest updates around Amazon Web Services (AWS). While a typical hot and humid summer made its presence known outside, attendees inside basked in the comfort of air conditioning to hone th...
Containers can help fragment monoliths into logical, easier to use workloads. The AWS Summit New York was held on July 17 and Cloud Academy sponsored my trip to the event. As someone who covers enterprise cloud technologies and services, the recent Amazon Web Services event was an insig...