How to create a successful cloud migration strategy

How to create a successful cloud migration strategy

While cloud migration projects are certainly becoming more common — especially as enterprises look to condense their digital footprints — these initiatives are not something that businesses should take lightly. IT stakeholders and executive decision-makers must ensure that they complete their proper due diligence in the form of extensive considerations and planning ahead of moving workloads from any type of platform into the cloud.

However, the advantages of successfully completing a cloud migration are plentiful. With the right strategy in place, you can eliminate costly (and often unnecessary) on-premises data centers, while enhancing business continuity and cloud security.

In order to unlock these benefits, though, there are a few key steps and elements that you need to consider first.

Select a cloud migration approach 

As Ibexlabs contributor Narendar Nallamala pointed out, there are a few different ways that you can approach your cloud migration strategy, and the first step in creating a successful strategy is to select the approach that will work best for existing applications and the new cloud environment. The most common of these involve rehosting, replatforming, and refactoring, and each comes with certain challenges and benefits, depending on the needs and requirements of the existing infrastructure. We discuss each of these strategies a bit more in-depth in this article

When considering which approach to take, you may want to plan on a case-by-case basis according to each existing application's needs. For example, a simple, yet important application with minimal functionality may not require a full refactoring and can simply be rehosted or replatformed. More complex and mission critical apps, on the other hand, may benefit more from refactoring to ensure their features operate correctly in the cloud.

Cloud with cogs and gears inside. Cloud migration strategies require proper planning and consideration to ensure success.

Consider a hybrid cloud approach

As evidenced by RightScale's annual State of the Cloud report, more organizations are taking a hybrid cloud approach to their cloud computing infrastructure. This enables users to combine the advantages of private and public cloud environments and create more flexibility for their existing applications. Currently, 58% of enterprises have a hybrid strategy in place, up from 51% in 2018.

A hybrid approach can offer considerable advantages, but can also complicate elements when it comes to the cloud migration itself. In order to address these complications and prevent any hangups in your migration strategy, it's incredibly helpful to have a solution that enables virtually tagging and grouping of digital assets. This type of feature allows you to more easily categorize and group the different applications, data sets, and assets that will be migrated to each cloud environment. The process of moving items to the public or private cloud environment is much more streamlined.

Prepare for the migration

Once you have chosen a migration approach based on application infrastructure and functionality requirements, there are a few more elements to plan and consider in order to support success with the upcoming migration:

  • Compatibility and integration:  As Medium noted, these considerations might extend to making sure that all underlying operating systems, databases, and middleware are up-to-date and can effectively integrate to support the correct dependencies.
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity: Any changes to existing application structures may also have an impact on your organizations's current disaster recovery and business continuity plans. It's imperative to adjust DR and backup plans and policies to include the new cloud-based applications and environments.
  • Application performance monitoring: It's also essential to understand how much resource support each application requires to maintain its critical functionality. This makes performance monitoring, along with access to historical data for each application platform, critical. This information will help you ensure that peak demand periods are taken into account and applications will provide the same high-level of performance after being migrated.
  • Provider service level agreements: In addition to internal considerations like your organization's existing application integration and business continuity policy, you must also look into the service level agreements offered by your chosen cloud service providers. A platform that can expertly monitor infrastructure performance comes in handy during this step as well, helping you ensure that tech vendors are providing the level of service promised in their agreement.

Overall, with a few key considerations and capabilities in place, you can help support a successful cloud migration strategy that:

  • Takes top cloud migration strategies — like rehosting and replatforming — into account, and enables stakeholders to choose the best approach for each application.
  • Includes considerations around application performance monitoring and service level agreement data to ensure support, even during periods of peak user demands.
  • Provides strategic resources and support for disaster recovery and business continuity.
  • Can overcome the challenges of hybrid cloud environments through virtual tagging and grouping.

While migrating a portfolio of applications and assets to a new cloud environment may seem daunting, IT teams and stakeholders that carefully plan these elements and have the right tools in place can approach this process with much more confidence.

To find out more about creating the most successful cloud migration strategy and how an infrastructure performance monitoring tool fits in, connect with us at Galileo Performance Explorer today.

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