The Pain Free Guide to Cloud Migration

  1. Pain free cloud migration

Tired of paying IT costs incurred by traditional hardware and dedicated hosting solutions? Join the club.

If you find yourself in this situation, you might start thinking about migrating your IT needs to the cloud. While we here at HOSTING are all in favor of you making that choice, we want you to know the cloud migration process isn’t as simple as most blogs/hosting providers make it out to be.

For that reason, here is a quick guide on how to migrate your data into the cloud.

1. Self-Assessment

Before you do any research, before you call any companies and before you jump onto WebHostingTalk.com to start a thread asking about the best cloud hosting companies, your impending cloud migration means turning inwards. Turning inwards means:

  • Understanding your entire IT data footprint in terms of the hardware and software
  • Understanding the amount of bandwidth, RAM, CPU etc. you need to keep your website/online operations running
  • Understanding the security protocols you need in place to protect critical business data

The key to a successful cloud migration is evaluating your network operations, from nuts to bolts, and deciding how you can retool to cut down on costs, increase operational standards and correct outdated practices you’ve held onto because you’re married to your IT solutions.

2. Timing Matters

Timing is hardly ever talked about. Migration takes time and should be looked at through the lens of operational uptime matched with limiting impact on customer business.

Schedule your migration during the hours of the day when your traffic drops off. If this means 3 AM, make sure your cloud provider can accommodate. Likewise, if it means 3 PM, make sure your cloud provider can accommodate. The last thing you want during a migration is to impede peak traffic hours damaging your reputation and ability to make money.

If you don’t believe that timing matters, a 2011 study conducted by Information Week revealed IT downtime – which migration is – netted $26.5 billion in losses domestically. That’s $150,000 per business.

Timing matters. Make sure you plan accordingly.

3. Get a 360 Degree Look at Migration Costs

Most businesses and IT professionals think of cloud migration in terms of the movement of hardware and software in the pursuit of lowering costs. Yet hardware and software alone do not account for the full costs of cloud migration. What happens if/when your programmers need to rewrite the code of an existing application due to the change in computing environments? This process takes time and money.

Commonly known as migration fees, these fees include rewriting applications, reformatting data and formulating access controls to make sure they all work properly in their newly acquired virtualized environments.

Before you begin migration, you need to have a full look at overall migration costs, both in terms of software/hardware and the operational cost of virtualization.

4. Understand the Landscape of Your Cloud

Public, private of hybrid? Once you have a full view of your complete IT topology, it’s time to determine what type of cloud fits your business the best. Some considerations:

  • Is your company data less critical in nature capable of living within easily accessible virtualized environments without the fear of data leaking to the public web? If less security concerns with highly scalable environments matched with low CAPEX/OPEX sound like your cup of tea, a public cloud might be your jam.
  • Is a key component of your company highly sensitive consumer data? As a result of the sensitive data you handle on a daily basis, is your industry highly regulated by strict government legislation? Do you need ensure client data security through transfer, storage and send? In this case, the private cloud, with more stringent firewalls and security protocols might be your best bet.
  • Is your company data both sensitive and public facing? Do you hold corporate data which needs to stay protected yet also utilize applications and data meant for public facing products? If you need the best of both worlds – security and easy access – a hybrid solution might fit your company needs.

5. Test, Test, Test

Finally, test everything before migration. In most cases, your onsite devs will find issues with new applications and your network admins will find network issues during daily operations. The last thing you want to do is fully migrate your solutions to the cloud only to find out those services aren’t working in real time and require additional downtime for repairs.

As noted by InfoWorld:

“To find performance problems before you go live, make sure to test as you go. You’ll find that chatty applications (those that require a great deal of data exchange with public clouds) can introduce issues. You’ll have to refactor the application to fix the issues. Refactoring per se is not a problem, but you have to set aside the time to do it before the migration, not after.”

Again, test, test, test and plan ahead.

Need assistance in planning your cloud migration? HOSTING has helped hundreds of companies implement successful cloud migrations. Our team of cloud solution experts averages a successful cloud migration every six days. Contact us for cloud migration assessment. And watch our on—demand webinar, Navigating the Cloud Migration Minefield, for more tips on ensuring a successful cloud migration.

 

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