If your business is preparing to move to the cloud, there are a lot of considerations that you’re going to have to keep in mind. For example, how will you grant users access to all the resources they need to do their jobs?
The following are critical considerations to keep in mind as you’re preparing to move to the cloud.
What Is Cloud Migration?
Cloud migration is when a company begins the process of moving either some or all of its data center capabilities to the cloud. Typically, they’re doing so to run on the cloud-based infrastructure of something like Google Cloud or AWS, known as a cloud service provider.
Many companies have already transitioned to the cloud at least in some capacity, so the focus currently could be migration between cloud providers rather than to the cloud. When you’re migrating between cloud providers, it’s called cloud-to-cloud migration.
The benefits of migrating to the cloud include:
- Lower costs
- Improved performance
- Better digital experience
Understand the Challenges
One of the most important things you can do as you prepare for cloud migration is understand the challenges you will face.
Frequent challenges seen during the migration process include:
- No strategy: You might start migrating to the cloud or between cloud providers without a fundamental understanding of what your specific strategy is. You need to plan carefully because every dataset and application will have its own requirements, requiring a particular approach.
- Cost management: If you don’t have set objectives for how much you’re going to spend, the costs can quickly get out of control. If you don’t have these financial objectives, you’re also going to have no way to measure the return on investment you get from the migration.
- Vendor lock-in: You have to be mindful of the challenge that arises when one cloud provider has services that can’t be extended to another. You’re limiting yourself, and then eventually, if you find you need to switch providers, it’s time-consuming and potentially expensive to do so.
- Lack of security: Cloud providers are third-party and they do have their own built-in security features and protocols, but organizations will often think this is enough. You need to have your own security controls in place and make sure you’re ready to configure all of the cloud providers properly. Just the migration process has inherent security risks, as you’re transferring large amounts of data, opening you up to potential exposure.
Developing a Strategy
Developing a strategy for cloud migration is the most important thing you’re going to do because this will guide every other step you take. For example, you want to establish what your larger and then also more specific goals are with your migration.
You should gather baseline metrics of your infrastructure, so you’re able to build out a map of your applications and assets.
Then, you can establish key performance indicators.
Common KPIs useful in cloud migration include response times, CPU usage, memory usage, and availability.
Not every app is going to be well-suited to the cloud. Some might work better on a hybrid or public cloud, for example, and some might need comprehensive code changes to make it work. You should analyze your architecture to determine if it’s suited for migration.
Some questions to consider include which applications you can move as they are versus which will require a redesign. If a redesign is needed, how complex will that be? What is the return on investment when you’re moving each application?
If you are going to move an application, which cloud environment is optimal?
Choosing a Cloud Provider
A significant component of migrating is going to be choosing the correct cloud provider for your needs.
For example, can it support multiple environments at scale? What’s the support like through the migration process? What tools are available to simplify the process?
Take Your Time
Never rush your migration. It’s a complex process, and it’s better to take your time and do it properly. Then, if problems do arise along the way, they’re also easier to deal with. If you move one system at a time, downtime is going to be less impactful.
Make sure that your data is encrypted and secure in the cloud, and throughout your migration, be focused on the security of your data.
From there, begin the process of training your team. You want your team to learn the skills they need to maximize the new technological resources available to them.
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