A majority of us are well acquainted with the phrase, ‘Planning is easy. Execution is hard’. This scenario is quite applicable to the case of Cloud Migration. The large scale migrations can be challenging as humungous data is involved. Thus it is important to stick to best cloud migration practices, which not only streamline your workflow but also provide an edge in the competition.
The cloud technology is touching new heights in industry 4.0. At a global level, the cloud migration market is expected to reach a staggering USD 8678.73 million by 2023. Cloud migration is a challenging task, and these challenges keep intensifying, even more, in large-scale cloud migration scenarios. For such massive cloud migrations, a well-crafted migration roadmap is required, which we have bifurcated here in this blog as best practices.
As a large number of applications and servers are migrated together, the stages of preparation, planning, and execution require thorough monitoring. This is also the phase where security and compliance should be considered as matters of high priority. Without any further delay, let’s take a look at the list of best practices for large-scale cloud migration compiled by our experts.
Understanding the Cloud-First Approach.
You need to know the purpose of moving your business to the cloud – pros, cons, shortfalls, etc. It is essential for all the relevant parties involved in the process of migration to outline the necessary metrics for a more manageable workflow.
Specific measures need to be outlined in the first place to cross-check whether migration is on track. These measures are used as yardsticks to make comparisons. It also incorporates hiring the right staff, forming necessary partnerships, and preparing a communication plan for migration.
The companies should prepare an internal Cloud Center of Excellence (CoE) to brainstorm best practices. These best practices rely upon the selection of the right kind of tools that can assure a smooth operation flow.
Strategizing is a Paramount Criterion in Migration.
The very foundation of cloud computing lies in a well-framed ‘cloud migration strategy.’ The strategy provides a vivid blueprint of how to get the migration done, i.e., a step by step guide. Migrations require a joint collaborative effort of the team on technical expertise.
Migration KPIs need to be framed, covering a wide array of objectives related to savings, productivity, and agility. Moreover, it is crucial to have them well-synchronized with organizational goals. Business motives should be well-aligned with uses cases for moving to the cloud. Similarly, the management of processes, people, and technology altogether may seem difficult if it is done without a roadmap.
Gartner has also laid down five Rs that can help you decide the best-fit cloud migration strategy for your business. The five Rs stand for, rehost, refactor, revise, rebuild, and replace. Research mastermind at Gartner, Richard Watson has provided the strategies viz. Rehost (lift and shift) on HIaaS, refactor using SIaaS and PaaS, revise for HIaaS or PaaS, rebuild on PaaS, and replace with SaaS.
AWS has listed six Rs viz. ReHost, Replatform, Repurchase, Refactor/Re-architect, Retire and Retain as application migration strategies. Re-platforming is quite common in migration cases. It includes modernizing database system or integrating with APIs to enhance the app’s connectivity and functionality over the cloud by keeping the app’s original purpose intact. Alternatively, apps can also be pushed to get either re-hosted, re-purchased, or re-architected.
Ascertaining the Relevant Costs in Migration.
Costs associated with cloud include hardware and networking costs, downtime costs, disaster recovery/business continuity costs, SLA penalties costs, deployment costs, operational support costs; selection of vendor software, developer, administration and end-user training costs; quality, user acceptance, and testing costs; application enhancement and ‘bug fixes’ costs, physical security costs; legal, MSA, and contracting costs; replacement and take-out costs, etc.
License management and costs are the pivotal factors in the migration process. The migration tools cost and any third-party costs, if incurred, will be recorded. Cloud architecture is designed, and all the resources are mapped under the same domain name, which ultimately makes migration seamless.
Concept of Minimum Viable Cloud (MVC).
The concept of MVC is derived from MVP. MVC offers a fully functional and secure environment, and it refers to the features that cloud providers offer to users. MVC hub and MVC spokes are the two components of MVC. MVC hub is a part of the production cloud that provides regular services to the cloud users. It is essential to create MVC hub before moving any application to the cloud. MVC spokes entail a set of applications belonging to a particular business unit.
Role of Security, Licences, and Compliance in Migration.
The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) is a well-known organization in the domain of cloud computing. It provides awareness about the best practices followed over the cloud. By ensuring security, it aims to maintain a secure cloud computing environment.
Based on the standard CSA’s matrix, companies perform a Security and Governance gap assessment, considering and comparing their control objectives against the matrix. They find out the gaps (if any) in their control mechanisms against the standard. Instead of building the entire security reference architecture from scratch, companies can make minor changes to fulfill the purpose.
The major dilemma is whether the license for on-premise software will extend to the cloud or not. Companies make a selection between bringing your own license (BYOL) or pay-per-use model. A migration scorecard is prepared to track the costs and to scrutinize the CoE application audit.
Talking about compliance, Continuous Compliance is a software that looks at the cloud environment, control the consumption and usage of services over the cloud. Controls are executed using “software signatures,” which check for governance and compliance requirements.
Importance of Continuous Testing and Monitoring in Migration.
Testing is the key to successful cloud migration. Rather than resorting to traditional testing practices, cloud migration testing strategy should be designed and deployed. After migration, to mitigate the access-related issues, cloud assists in linking centralized access management with the cloud services.
Access governance policies need to be drafted properly. Once the migration is done, the role of continuous monitoring and continuous testing is pivotal on the cloud to make sure everything is streamlined. Monitoring and governance are required as ‘architecture components can change’ and it ensures that the safety requirements are properly fulfilled.
Impact of Automation and Agile Methodology on Migration.
When multiple apps are migrated together, there are higher chances that you can encounter repeated patterns. You can save much time and reduce risks during migration by injecting the element of automation in the process. Downtime and other service disruptions can act as a hindrance in the migration process, and this is the reason why the agile methodology should be used in the case of large-scale migration as it brings efficiency in the overall process. Make sure to design a cloud governance framework which doesn’t overlook security during the cloud adoption.
Apart from the points listed above, migration depends on a multitude of other factors too. However, if your approach is aligned to these points, there are high chances that your cloud migration planning, preparation, and execution will not go in vain.
We, at Zymr, intensively focus on delivering end-to-end migration process, which starts with laying down a thorough discovery, assessment & planning, followed by cloud building, migration, testing and deployment and ends with the management of the cloud.
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