The Why and the How of migrating to the Cloud
The Public cloud has come to stay, and is rapidly replacing on-premise IT investments for many use-cases. In the early stages of the public cloud, customers used to be apprehensive about security and control. The regulatory framework of several countries required data to be located within the jurisdiction of the country’s borders. This was a reason for several enterprises to continue expansion within their own datacenters. However Cloud providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google have now expanded by setting up datacenters in several countries All three of them have datacenters located in India, removing the constraint of geography from the variables that go into decision-making of Cloud migration.
The Cloud has also matured providing robust hardware and software for hosting and managing IT services. AWS and Microsoft Azure have developed a wide assortment of tools and services to ease the process of migrating to the cloud. This in turn has accelerated the pace of cloud migration.
Migrating enterprise applications to the cloud can be an easy or difficult decision for enterprises depending on the nature of the application. Simple and new applications are easily deployed on the cloud as they have no prior history to manage, no retraining of users required and no considerations of abandoning previously used capacity. However migrating existing applications to the cloud is a big decision and requires considerable analysis. Organizations typically follow a six phase process for evaluation and migration to the cloud:
Making a business case for Cloud migration
Evaluation of Cloud migration can be triggered by widely varying factors and business objectives such as : Lower availability of capital, a desire to change the financial model of IT consumption – moving from capex to opex, building agile IT or a requirement of technology refresh in the datacenter. The eventual business case for cloud migration is dependant on the triggers and business objectives for the migration.
Determining dependencies and planning around them
Once a decision to migrate to the cloud is made, the next step is to map the IT services portfolio and develop a detailed understanding of the interdependencies between the various applications and elements of the IT infrastructure. You also need to evaluate the business impact of cloud migration and strategies to mitigate any negative impacts.
Design and migration
The cloud architecture is different from on-premises IT. Any IT service that is being migrated requires a solution design built around the Cloud providers architecture. You need to factor in redundancy, availability and scalability into the solution design.
The actual migration process can be varied depending on the public cloud provider, the criticality of the application being migrated, the size and business impact of the application, and the availability of tools for the actual migration. For example, migrating an enterprise application such as SAP ERP requires extensive planning and solution design. The migration itself can take several weeks as the application is spread across hundreds of servers in the datacenter, and sometimes even spans datacenters across multiple geographies.
The actual migration design and process is also determined by the strategy adopted. Common migration strategies include: Rehost, Replatform, Repurchase, Refactor, retain and retire. The strategy to be adopted depends on multiple factors, and it is advisable to work with a partner such as Crimson Cloud to evaluate and determine the actual strategy to be adopted.
As you migrate your application and get it operational, you turn off your old systems. You also fine-tune your new system to optimize performance and cost while keeping your application and data secure. The process includes setting up new management procedures and processes tailored for the Cloud. You need to ensure that you have trained staff to manage the cloud applications, and that your users also are re-trained for operating the application.
Monitoring and management
The cloud offers a few challenges and many opportunities to optimize cost and performance by tweaking various parameters. To keep your applications secure and up and running, you need to monitor your cloud and proactively remediate any infrastructure problems before they can bring your services down. Continuous monitoring also helps identify security breaches in time, and prevents large scale compromise of security . Cloud specialists have the requisite skills and expertise to monitor, manage and secure your cloud.
Crimson Cloud and Enterprise application migration
Crimson Cloud has the experience of migrating over fifty enterprise application over the last three years. This includes over ten SAP ERP and SAP HANA migrations. Over the last three years, Crimson has developed a host of best practices and migration procedures and processes to ensure successful migrations to the cloud. It has an intimate understanding of AWS and Azure cloud architectures and can help you get the most out of each cloud to optimize performance and costs, even while keeping your applications secure.
Complete migration lifecycle
Crimson will work with you from the stage of developing business objectives, mapping your IT portfolio and evaluation of interdependencies, a migration plan, architecting (designing) the solution on the cloud, actual migration and monitoring and managing your applications.