Cloud Migration: The Basics

If you are considering cloud migration as a next practicable step for your business or organization, you aren’t alone. It is something that many have started to explore in the last few years, but the feasibility of it is often questioned – how does cloud migration work? When is the best time for cloud migration? Who does the work for cloud migration? Too often, cloud migration gets pushed aside because it seems cumbersome and time-consuming.

It doesn’t have to be, especially if an organization is prepared.

Cloud Migration: What Is It?

Cloud migration is the process of moving or transitioning a company’s data, services, and applications from somewhere on-site to the cloud. Essentially, it puts information in a space where it can be accessed from anywhere and immediately.

The goal of cloud migration is to make it easier for companies to function and reduce capital expenditures and operating costs. Even more, many organizations seek cloud migration for its dynamic scaling capabilities and the resource allocation advantages it offers.

The Basics of Cloud Migration

Cloud migration isn’t one specific thing. A migration to the cloud could mean any of the following:

SaaS Integration: Saas stands for “Software as a Service” and is the more comprehensive meaning of cloud migration. This type of integration includes software that is hosted and maintained by a third party – it is immediately ready to go. To perform a specific action, you go in through the software system and make the command.

The above is a complete solution, and also the most common. The two other options are:

IaaS Integration: Iaas stands for “Infrastructure as a Service” and is the most basic form of cloud integration. Companies are able to do whatever they want using the infrastructure and raw resources of the system – from creating backups to storing data.

PaaS Integration: PaaS stands for “Platform as a Service,” which is a step up from IaaS. It has the resources and tools that one finds with IaaS but includes the ability to build apps as well.

Cloud migration doesn’t have to be one thing – it can be a from a singular group, or it can be a self-defined version of cloud migration that is unique to a specific business or organization and the way it operates.

Benefits of Cloud Migration

Why should a company use cloud migration services? Each situation is different, but there tend to be a few benefits of cloud migration that stand out:

Agility is one of the most significant advantages of cloud migration. It allows an IT team to focus on other situations and performance-related problems without having to manage infrastructure. This can help in so many ways from streamlining how the company runs to helping customer experience. Similarly, a company’s operational costs will lower because the IT team does not need to be as comprehensive. Costs also fall when you no longer have to pay for spaces and machine maintenance since everything is virtual. At the same time, your company may earn more thanks to increased productivity.

Most organizations find that stability is one of the most noticeable benefits of cloud migration: hosting is stabilized, data centers are always well staffed, and downtime decreasing dramatically. As long as a company uses a reputable vendor for cloud migration and cloud hosting, things are much smoother.

Cloud Migration: What To Do Now

Before complete cloud migration, your company may need to prepare for the transition – these steps are necessary to ensure everything goes as it should. To start, you need to assess your legacy software. Does it have cloud readiness? Sometimes, older software isn’t compatible with cloud migration, and it presents challenges. The challenges aren’t insurmountable, but there does need to be a conversation about protection, security, and multiple solutions. Once the assessment is complete, the best environment can then be determined.

Migration to the cloud isn’t something that happens overnight – you have to prioritize what data needs to be moved to the cloud first. This is a lengthy discussion, as the pros and cons of each move have to be discussed. A few things to consider include:

·         Any downtime during the move;

·         When the fewest people will be impacted;

·         Workflow;

·         Health of the apps and/or data

After all of the details are discussed and a plan starts to form, then a timeline can be developed. Most often, a complete transfer will take a few months – though it can take as little as a few weeks and if there are larger amounts of data to transfer, a few years. The most important thing is to keep your system functioning so that nothing hinders the output of the company.

Completing the Migration to Cloud Services

After all of the above is complete, then the actual work can begin and you can move through the timeline.

The first step is to take any of the apps that aren’t modernized and ensuring that they are altered or updated to be cloud ready. Once again, this process varies from company to company and can take a short amount of time or an extended amount of time.

Once everything has been modernized, each and every app and all of the data is moved individually. While this may seem tedious, it is to ensure that workflow continues. At the same time, it makes the transition more stable and allows for troubleshooting should something occur. During this process, rigorous testing occurs on the apps to ensure that everything is functional.

That testing doesn’t stop – throughout the entire process, and even after everything has transitioned, there needs to be a measurement that tracks how well the system and app are performing. You can do this in many ways – by monitoring profits, customer complaints, downtime, failures, or even training times to see how the move has impacted the workforce.

Cloud migration does not have to be difficult, though it does have to take some time to be done correctly. Working with a reputable cloud migration service can help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the process, however. If you are interested in cloud migration services, schedule a call with us today to find out more information.