Cloud migration: 5 considerations for a smooth transition to the cloud

cloud migration considerations

February 3, 2017
Paul Orrock


If you’re thinking of transitioning to the cloud and taking advantage of the attractive range of benefits that come with cloud migration, there are several considerations you need to make before giving the go ahead.

From choosing off premises colocation through dedicated IaaS to public cloud or even a full SaaS service, here are some considerations for your IT and data centre teams to understand before transitioning to the cloud, as well as points for when you have successfully migrated to the cloud.

Looking for support in transitioning to the cloud? Contact Digital Craftsmen now to see how we can help with your cloud migration.

 

1. Considering colocation through to public cloud

When you are looking at cloud migration, you actually have a range of options between colocation and public cloud. And within each of those options, there are more considerations to make.

For example, with colocation, you can choose between managed and non-managed colocation services. A managed colocation service provides the IT equipment and facility space, as well as monitoring, management and Disaster Recovery services. With a non-managed colocation service, you will rent or lease the facility space, with the IT team controlling your Disaster Recovery policies.

Compared to the public cloud, colocation is quite restricted. The public cloud is much more flexible. For example, with Amazon Web Services your IT team can set a large number of Disaster Recovery policies and integrate them into a larger plan. This makes cloud migration more cost effective, as you’ll only be paying for the resources you consume and can make changes quickly to your infrastructure without being locked into a long-term plan.

 

2. Look closely at Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

Between colocation and Public cloud sits Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) as a form of cloud computing that gives you virtualized computing resources, including servers, storage, network services and databases.

With IaaS, cloud migration replaces parts of your internal data centre infrastructure with a hosted component. The infrastructure is hosted by a cloud provider, such as Digital Craftsmen, Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.

If you’re considering migrating to the cloud, IaaS can help you scale externally facing applications, improve consumer-facing content, aid disaster recovery and support application development and testing.

While IaaS can be cost-effective, it isn’t always. For example, applications that are heavily dependent on legacy systems can be difficult to overhaul and transition to IaaS.

 

3. Recognise the risks of Software as a Service (SaaS)

Migrating to the cloud with Software as a Service (SaaS)> might seem like a no-brainer to offload all of the risk and management to a specialist third party, but there are risks as well as benefits to the move.

SaaS gives you the opportunity to use, customise and control external applications on infrastructure owned and operated by the SaaS provider. Good examples of this are project management and time management software like Basecamp, or accounting systems like QuickBooks Online.

But the remoteness of the service means that bottlenecks and other issues, such as performance variabilities, also affect the usefulness of SaaS. This particularly affects newer applications with high customisation levels, where cost benefits may be lost with implementation.

 

4. Avoid cloud bursting issues

Cloud bursting is where an application runs in a private cloud and “bursts” into a public cloud when the demand for capacity increases. But after migrating to the cloud, a lack of network bandwidth to handle these cloud bursts can become an issue.

To avoid cloud bursting issues, you can choose to run IT fully in the public cloud, use a colocation provider with a faster wide area network, build an on-premises cloud bursting architecture or set up a wall where some data always remains in the public cloud and the rest lies in another form of cloud storage.

Whichever route you choose, you’ll need to keep an eye on costs and performance, as data stored off premises can take longer to access.

 

5. Develop IT capacity planning

The emergence of hybrid cloud – a mixture of private and public cloud – has altered how IT teams think about capacity planning.

An on-premises private cloud keeps everything with internal IT, but the learning curve and subsequent costs to maintain that cloud can escalate, especially for small and mid-level organisations.

Instead, the public cloud offers you lower costs and ease of use, which means fewer in-house servers to manage. Other cloud technologies, such as containers and in-memory processing, also reduce the number of servers you need. However that brings it’s own problems in securing and maintaining those systems.

Whichever options you choose to migrate to the cloud, you need to have a managed cloud service provider on board to help you with configuration management and ongoing monitoring, problem resolution and performance management to ensure that you’re getting the most of your cloud migration from the beginning.

 

Digital Craftsmen are cloud migration specialists, so if you’re looking to migrate a legacy IT system or application to the cloud, we can support you. Contact Digital Craftsmen now to see how we can help with your cloud migration.

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