Cloud computing is one of the best decisions you can make for your business. The Cloud’s countless benefits are essential to staying competitive in today’s market and offers numerous benefits. If you’ve decided on migration then we’re here to help with our step-by-step process.

Steps For Successful Cloud Migration

The steps presented below are the product of years of experience, taking into account lessons learned in the past. By following these steps, you will not only ensure a successful migration into the cloud for your company but also avoid some of the common pitfalls that are made when migrating to the cloud.

how to migrate your existing infrastructure to cloud

Establish The Migration-Architect Role

The Migration Architect is a system architect-level position. The migration architect plans and executes the cloud migration process, including defining refactoring requirements, clarifying cloud solution requirements, designing the strategy for data migration, and establishing production switchover mechanisms and migration priorities. In other words, the migration architect will lead your cloud migration. This should be decided before you even start cloud migration.

Choose Your Level Of Cloud Integration, Shallow or Deep Integration

There are two levels of cloud integration when you migrate to the cloud:

Shallow Integration

This type of cloud integration is also called “lift and shift” because you lift the application as it is and shift it to the cloud. This means that when you migrate, you make almost no changes to your servers. Any changes made are usually minimal to get the application running in the cloud. While shallow integration is faster and requires minimal effort, this means that your application will not be able to take full advantage of key cloud capabilities.

Deep Integration

As its name suggests, this type of cloud integration involves major modifications to the application, including auto-scaling and dynamic load balancing or more advanced modifications like utilizing serverless capabilities. Companies who want to take advantage of key cloud capabilities when migrating to the cloud usually opt for deep integration.

The choice for the level of cloud integration ultimately depends on your company’s needs.

Choose Single Cloud or Multi-Cloud

Another critical factor is deciding on the cloud environment you will adopt—single cloud or multi-cloud.

Single Cloud

With a Single cloud, you optimize your application specifically for one cloud provider. This entails a relatively simple process since your team only needs to learn one set of cloud APIs, plus your application gets to take advantage of everything your provider offers. However, there are a few downsides to a Single cloud. First, if you ever decide to move your application to a different provider, you will need to start again. Second, you don’t have as much leverage when negotiating important terms like pricing and SLAs.

The multi-cloud approach offers several models: 

One Application Per Cloud

In this approach, you set up one application in cloud provider A, then set up another application in cloud provider B. Such an approach gives you flexibility in terms of optimizing each application based on the offerings of each cloud provider.

Split One Application Across Multiple Cloud Providers

You can choose to run different parts of your application in different cloud providers. This sounds more complicated, but it offers more flexibility. This approach allows you to optimize the advantages provided by each provider. However, this approach also runs the risk of an inconsistent app since different aspects of the app will perform based on each provider’s performance.

Agnostic Model

You can build your application to run on any cloud provider, which means you can utilize any of the models mentioned above. This approach provides the most flexibility since you don’t have to be tied to any cloud provider and can shift your approach depending on your current needs. However, developing your application to be agnostic may hinder you from optimizing the key capabilities of each provider. In addition, this involves a complicated development process.

Establish Cloud KPIs

To objectively assess the success of your cloud migration, you need to define your metrics. KPIs or Key Performance Indicators are a time-tested, effective method for establishing expectations and gauging performance. This is an important part of the cloud migration process because, most of the time, companies need to modify or update their KPIs to suit applications that run in the cloud. KPIs also can serve as the indicator that your cloud migration process is complete. 

When establishing your cloud KPIs, you need to consider which metrics are most vital for you and which ones are most likely to be affected by the cloud migration process.

Establish Performance Baselines

Establishing performance baselines involves measuring the application’s pre-migration performance to serve as the basis for measuring the success of the application’s post-migration performance. The baseline serves as the starting point through which you can measure or compare the application’s future performance. Baselines are also helpful for diagnosing problems that may arise during the steps of cloud migration.

When establishing performance baselines, it’s essential to set a baseline for each KPI and determine the appropriate data collection model (short-baseline versus long-baseline period; to include data from “peak” or “critical” periods or average or representational data only). Defining these aspects as you establish performance baselines ensures smooth cloud migration.

Prioritize Migration Components

You need to decide how you will migrate the application to the cloud. You could either migrate the entire application at once or migrate the application by component or service. When employing the latter, you will need to identify which components or services depend on which services. Logically, you will need to prioritize migrating the services or components with the fewest dependencies, usually the most internal services.  

Perform Any Necessary Refactoring

Another necessary step of cloud migration is refactoring. Refactoring your application involves making adjustments to completely re-install your application or services before you migrate them. To ensure they work effectively and efficiently, take advantage of the cloud service’s features once they are in the cloud.

Create A Data-Migration Plan

You need to be strategic with your data migration plan so that the process does not disrupt the customer experience. This should be planned thoroughly with your migration architect. What are the common approaches to the data migration process?

  • The bi-directional synching mechanism between on-premises and cloud databases. You remove the on-premises database only when you have moved all data to the cloud.
  • Use one-way synchronization from the on-premises database to the cloud-based database while allowing users to connect to the on-premises database. Once migration is complete, you move users to the cloud-based services and disable the on-premises database.
  • Rely on a cloud data migration service provider such as Thorn Technologies, an Amazon Web Services Certified Partner.

Switch Over Production

You also need to plan how you will switch over the production system from the on-premises solution to the cloud version. As with the other cloud migration steps, you may choose to do this all at once or move a few users at a time until everyone is in the cloud-based service. 

Review Application Resource Allocation

The cloud works best with dynamic resource allocation, which is why your team should plan for distributing resources to your application or service. This step will allow you to take full advantage of the cloud’s strengths.

Final Words 

The cloud migration process needs strategic and thorough planning and cannot be done overnight. A successful migration is a multi-step, time-consuming process that requires careful consideration of many variables before starting the project.

If any step seems daunting or unclear on its own, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information! We are happy to answer questions about how our team can assist you throughout each stage of the migration process as well as offer additional resources if necessary. From defining your goals through setting up the necessary infrastructure on AWS or Azure to switchover day. But if you follow these critical cloud migration steps, you can have confidence in having a successful cloud migration.

At Thorn Technologies, we understand that security is crucial in today’s digital world. That’s why our team of experts created a secure SFTP Gateway to help businesses comply with Data Privacy Laws and securely transfer files from one location to another. To learn more about how the SFTP Gateway will allow you to conveniently and securely transfer your data to the cloud without being intercepted by outside parties, click here!

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