More businesses are moving applications to the cloud than ever before, but deciding on what to start with and how to migrate safely, securely and with minimal business impact isn’t always easy. Most organisations have more than 1,000 applications they must understand or relearn before moving any of them to the cloud. You simply can’t move your apps all at once.
We recommend that before you make the move, ask yourself: Why does the business want to migrate? How can we minimise the risk and the cost? How will our development teams be affected? What resources do we have? What are management’s expectations on time-frame?
To help you on your Cloud journey, we’ve developed some tips on the type of applications to consider moving first.
- Start Small
In our experience, starting with the applications that consume the least amount of resources – compute, storage and network – will have the lowest impact and take less time to migrate. Consider these applications for early migration.
- Consider non-mission-critical applications
Applications that are mission-critical are usually not good candidates for migrating first, since any problems they experience have the potential to cause larger problems throughout the business. Out team suggests applications that are less mission critical, such as non-production environments like development, staging, and disaster recovery, are good candidates to be at the front of the line.
- Consider usage patterns
Applications that have variable usage patterns are great candidates for migration. Variable load apps include seasonal or burst applications such as public-facing sites that get lots of visits during peak periods (e.g. Christmas). If you move apps like these to the cloud, you can take advantage of auto-scaling which can automatically increase the number of virtual machines available during demand spikes so that you maintain performance, and decrease capacity during lulls to reduce costs.
- Apps that require DevOps
We know that companies looking to enhance their speed to market and delivery processes benefit hugely from moving into the Cloud. Increasing capacity, disk space and obtaining access to better performance and through-put is simply a few clicks away. This means that when your business requires additional capacity, or has special projects like batch operations, large-scale testing, and/or build activities, it’s all readily available. Added bonuses include automation, faster time to market, less bugs in new releases and reduced lag between bug fixes.
- Can the app leverage scaling and elasticity to improve revenue?
Those applications that are expected to benefit from quick growth or innovation are best served in a cloud environment. Cloud updates are relatively quick and easy compared to on-site updates, and scalability allows for the number of users to be increased easily.
- Are there licensing implications when moving to the cloud?
Some applications, such as Oracle’s database servers, are priced differently in a cloud environment than when in-house. There are also different licensing models that can cost more, or less, depending on whether the software is installed on dedicated or shared cloud infrastructure. Knowing your licensing obligations and limitations is critical when moving your applications to the cloud.
- Network pricing and performance
There are many ways of connecting your business to cloud providers, ranging from connecting securely via the Internet up to dedicated links. Each has their own benefits and costs but did you know that some cloud providers charge for the amount of data you send to, and receive from, the cloud environment? Just as you can experience bill shock from mobile phone carriers, the same thing can occur with cloud providers. You need to take into account potential data charges when determining the total cost of any cloud service. Wanting to consolidate your providers? We also offer competitive network services.
- Where exactly is my data?
Did you know that Australia has some of the most stringent data privacy laws on the planet? Knowing where your data is stored is critical as it can have legislative and compliance implications. Data that is stored outside of Australia falls under the jurisdiction of the locality in which it’s located and risks being shared with other government agencies or third parties without your approval or awareness. Data Protection in the Cloud, The Challenges Ahead.
Once you know which applications you can safely migrate, you now need to know how to make the move.
- Choose the right cloud provider
There are a large number of Cloud providers, both public and private in the market. Start by evaluating what matters the most to you. Is it brand association, capacity demands, cost or customer support? Cloud providers have different strengths – it pays to do your research and complete a detailed brief of exactly what you are after prior to committing. Make sure you understand the importance of local support. The strongest feedback we hear from our customers is that when they’re having difficulties, there is nothing like having a team of IT experts close by to answer their call quickly.
- Lift and shift
If you have the expertise in-house to lift and shift your applications, go for it. Use this option when your goal is to use infrastructure other than your own to host applications. If you don’t fully understand the inner workings of your current IT environment, it can often lead to long hours and additional resources at the last minute so make sure you are confident in your ability to move or get someone to help you!
- Find a great team to help
Migrating to the Cloud successfully can be difficult. Your best bet is to work with a team that has done this before, many times. Experience is necessary to foresee and avoid problems and additional cost. Considering server migration? Get in touch.