Cloud deployment is a popular option for businesses looking to reduce costs, increase productivity, and enable employees to access systems and data anywhere, anytime.
With our imagination, if we go back in time, we can see that the adoption of the cloud was very popular just two years ago, but not as popular as it is today. For what? The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of keeping apps up to date and using the cloud to keep up with the new way we work, communicate and almost everything else in our lives. Everything is now online, including getting groceries delivered, buying medicines, replying to work messages, updating documents and more. And offices are no longer the only place to work as many people now have their entire office on their phone.
From a technical perspective, moving apps to the cloud makes sense, but that’s beyond the scope of this article. We won’t go into detail, but we will explain to all our non-technical friends why migrating applications to the cloud is important and useful.
Let’s get started!
Cloud migration: the basics of information technology infrastructure
Before we discuss how IT infrastructure works in the real world today, we will provide a brief overview of what IT infrastructure is and how it has evolved over the years to give you an overview. So what is an IT infrastructure, why is it worth taking care of and what are its main components?
IT infrastructure is the technology, network, software, hardware and buildings required to create, test, implement, monitor, manage and operate IT services. IT infrastructure is shifting from a specific location or set of technologies to the ability to quickly adapt to change. To determine what changes to make to your IT strategies, you need to understand how they work.
The main components of a traditional IT infrastructure are:
- Hardware: Includes computers, routers, switches, networking hardware, servers, data centers, cables, and other devices.
- Software: The programs that a business uses, such as web servers, operating systems, content management systems, and more.
- Networking: To make a network work and allow communication between internal and external systems, it needs to be connected to the Internet, have network access, firewalls, security, and other things.
- Facilities: The physical place where all of your IT infrastructure’s hardware, software, and networking will be kept.
Of course, these components change a lot when you think about cloud infrastructure. For example, you can use public cloud by renting cloud infrastructure from a cloud provider like Amazon or Google. In this case you do not need your own infrastructure. Now let’s take a look behind the scenes at how IT infrastructure has changed over time.
The IT infrastructure has changed significantly and in different ways in many organizations. Because of this, the structure of hardware, software, services and suppliers is harder to manage and just plain harder to understand. IT teams didn’t expect it, but it happened
Over the years, the goal of most IT teams has been to help the business as much as possible by balancing the contributions of multiple business units, prioritizing projects and completing them as quickly as possible with limited resources. The icing on the cake was that the IT teams had to take care of everything and keep the systems running all day, every day. It’s easy to see why IT teams found it necessary to control service delivery to streamline operations, lower costs, and reduce risk. At the same time, this meant it took longer for new IT services to emerge.
Modernization caught on quickly, and IT teams quickly realized that the old methods would quickly become obsolete and unaccountable.
Today’s IT infrastructure is no longer able to support on-premises applications and workloads. Instead, they can support or purchase services inside and outside the company. Infrastructure and operations managers need a flexible infrastructure that can rapidly deploy any workload, anywhere, anytime.
IT teams don’t know what the business will need in the future, so new infrastructure strategies must enable applications and workloads to be quickly delivered where they are needed. We’re looking at you, cloud infrastructure 🙂
First, to avoid gibberish, let’s quickly define the cloud infrastructure.
What is cloud infrastructure?
As the name suggests, cloud infrastructure includes all hardware, software, storage and network resources. A good way to think about cloud infrastructure is the hardware and software that make up the cloud. To host cloud services and applications, you need cloud infrastructure.
Cloud infrastructure consists of various parts that work together to form a single architecture that helps businesses function. A typical solution might include:
- Hardware: Although clouds are largely virtual, they require some hardware as part of their infrastructure. Hardware can be firewalls, load balancers, switches, routers, network devices, backup devices, servers, etc.
- Virtualization: Hypervisors reside on physical hardware and abstract resources such as memory, processing power, and storage are allocated to centralized pools for what we call the cloud.
- Storage: Hard drives, storage arrays, backup devices, and other devices to index, backup, restore, and retrieve data as needed.
- Network: physical cables, routers, switches, and other hardware used on the Internet or intranet that allow organizations to access cloud services or remote applications as needed.
In general, cloud infrastructure can be used both to talk about a complete cloud computing system “after all the pieces are put together” and for the technologies that make it up.
What is cloud infrastructure migration and what value does it bring to companies?
Now that we’ve seen what cloud infrastructure is, you might be wondering what cloud infrastructure migration is all about. Moving computer systems from traditional on-premises data centers to the cloud, or from one cloud environment to another, is known as “cloud infrastructure migration”. It can also mean building a hybrid cloud that allows data and applications to grow across multiple infrastructures. In short, cloud infrastructure migration is the process of moving IT services, including the architecture, system components, and user experience, from an old structure to a new one with better infrastructure.
Should be easy, right? But what does it bring to your company? Businesses typically choose to move their infrastructure to the cloud because of the many benefits it offers, including lower costs and the opportunity for continued growth. Now let’s look at the main benefits of migrating your infrastructure to the cloud to see how much it can benefit your business:
- Security: Because the cloud stores all your business information and data in one place, it is much more secure than traditional ones data centers. . Many security features such as security scanning, regular updates, and enterprise-wide visibility are also built into the most popular cloud service providers. Most cloud service providers address some of the toughest security issues, such as: B. Preventing unwanted traffic from accessing computers hosting corporate data and applications.
- Scalability: Moving your business to the cloud makes it easier for you to expand or close contracts based on your IT needs and business plan. Thanks to the cloud, you can manage your resources according to your needs and those of your company.
- Accessibility: Since all your data is stored in the cloud, you can still access it even if your hardware fails. After migrating your business to the cloud, your team members can access the business data and information they need from anywhere in the world and on any device.
- Costs: Moving to the cloud can help streamline IT processes while reducing operational costs. Pay only for what you use when you move to the cloud. Also, you don’t have to pay expensive data centers to store important information.
- Easy Integration and Updates: As your business moves to the cloud, it becomes easier to connect all your systems and simplify all your services. The cloud provider updates the hardware and software in the cloud. This saves time and money and ensures that applications always run on a state-of-the-art infrastructure.
How to migrate your IT infrastructure to the cloud
Now that we’ve covered all the essential definitions, let’s talk about migrating your IT infrastructure to the cloud in simple, general steps.
Planning an Application Migration
Planning is the first step of any successful project, and migrating IT infrastructure is no different. The best way to do this is to plan how best to move applications to the cloud and set the stage for any subsequent steps.
An effective cloud migration strategy includes:
- Listing the most critical workloads to move.
- Figuring out the best way to move each workload.
- Creating a pilot.
- Testing it.
- Changing the strategy based on the achieved results.
Your IT migration team should document their cloud migration strategy to simplify the process and ease the transition if needed.
The difficulty and cost of migration depend largely on whether the source and target platforms are of similar architecture and whether the appropriate migration tools are used. The ultimate goal is to move applications from on-premises infrastructure to desired cloud infrastructure without impacting application availability or day-to-day operations.
Data Migration to Cloud
Data transfer is one of the most important aspects when moving to the cloud. Businesses have multiple options for moving data from an on-premises data center to the public cloud. The type of data migration a company uses depends on the amount and type of data that needs to be migrated and how quickly it needs to be done.
One way to move data and applications to the cloud is to use the public internet or a private or dedicated network connection. If you use this method, make sure you know how much bandwidth you need and allocate it. If you have a lot of data, you may not be able to turn off your Internet connection. Plan ahead to avoid extended downtime when migrating to the cloud.
Another option is offline transmission. This happens when a company puts its on-premises data on a device and sends it to a public cloud provider, who then puts the data on the cloud
App migration to the cloud: Software as a Service
Typically, IT infrastructure migrations to the cloud involve moving software to the cloud. The right solution is to use Software as a Service (SaaS) as it is considered the most popular cloud service delivery model. The successful transition to SaaS is a gradual process. There are two things to consider in the planning phase. The first is to break down the current solution into parts, which you then transfer to the new model one at a time. The second step is to give people the tools and structure they need to move.
You need to break down your existing application architecture to understand how application resources are provisioned, traffic is distributed, and how the application accesses the database, as all of these elements are critical when using a SaaS solution.
Without getting into the technicalities of migrating software to a cloud-based SaaS application model, it’s important to look at this part of the migration as a better and more efficient way to deliver the product to the customer.
App Migration Services
Before listing some of the most popular application migration services, here is a summary of best practices to consider before migrating applications to the cloud:
- Always align your migration with your business goals. Ask yourself why you want to migrate. What problems will it solve? Is your business underperforming due to outdated or legacy systems? What is your budget? Moving to the cloud is no small feat; Without clear goals, you are doomed. See the big picture, focus on cloud ROI benefits, and look at performance metrics to back your case.
- Test before and after migration. Application migration isn’t just about exporting data. Your local software handles the differences between your data and the cloud version. In addition to using advanced users to find significant differences, your technical team should conduct extensive testing of the data before and after the migration. Before the migration, the technical team should back up the on-premises data, upload it to the cloud, and make sure it works as expected. After migration, your technical team should allow real users to use the app and check for bugs not discovered during pre-migration testing.
- Don’t do it alone. In-house IT professionals aren’t necessarily cloud migration experts, and that’s okay. Proper support throughout the process is a crucial factor. So hire IT migration professionals who know what they’re doing and have a portfolio of completed projects to support that expertise. Typically, IT migration professionals will help you securely migrate data, ensure new applications meet all industry compliance standards, manage licenses, and more.
- Train your employees. What’s the point of cloud applications if your employees aren’t trained to get the most out of them? The worst that can happen is forcing employees to use an up-to-date application without training or knowledge on how to use it.
And since life isn’t perfect, here are the biggest challenges of migrating to the cloud:
- No plans. Too often companies migrate to the cloud without a good plan. To move critical business applications and processes to the cloud, you need to plan and anticipate. But companies don’t always look around enough to make sure they find the best plan.
- Security and compliance. We understand why companies are still afraid of sharing their private data with third-party cloud services. Even though cloud environments are perfectly safe and much more secure than on-premises environments, cloud security is still an issue. Sensitive data is the most dangerous, especially when applications are not well designed and there is not enough control over who can see what information and what systems can use it.
- It should cost less, but does that really mean it is? Moving to the cloud can save you money over time by simplifying processes, increasing productivity, and reducing your company’s operational costs. But getting there can still feel difficult and expensive. Moving to the cloud can be costly, especially if your business doesn’t plan ahead enough to figure out how much it will cost. If you don’t plan well, you can end up in a bad financial situation.
Ideally, you want to reap the benefits of migrating your applications and infrastructure to the cloud with minimal downtime and as quickly as possible. Good news? You don’t have to do it alone. Application migration services help reduce time-consuming and error-prone manual processes, automate server conversion, and streamline the migration process by providing access to automated processes for many applications.
Here is a list of the best cloud migration tools available:
- AWS Migration Services: The AWS Application Migration Service helps you move your applications to the cloud quickly and with minimal downtime.The primary service for migrating your applications to AWS is the AWS Application Migration Service. With AWS Application Migration Service, you don’t have to pay for multiple migration solutions, specialized cloud development, or application-specific skills.
- Azure Migration Tools: A set of tools to support the main migration scenarios between servers, data, databases, web applications and virtual desktops. Azure-provided toolkit provides end-to-end detection, assessment, and migration via a centralized migration repository for end-to-end monitoring.
- Google Migration Services: A set of services that facilitate the migration of data and applications to the cloud by modernizing the environment. The suite includes key products such as BigQuery Data Transfer Service, Database Migration to the Cloud Service, Oracle Workloads, Transfer Appliance, Storage Transfer Service, Migrate to Containers, Migrate to Compute Engine, and so much more.
- Red Hat Application Migration Toolkit: The Migration Toolkit for Applications (MTA) is a collection of tools that assist in large-scale modernization of Java applications and migration projects across a wide range of transformations and use cases. Accelerate application code analysis, help understand how much work needs to be done, accelerate code migration, and help move applications to the cloud and containers.
- Turbonomic: This IBM-developed cloud migration asset management tool uses artificial intelligence to optimize performance and costs in real time, reducing the need for real-time manual troubleshooting. Compatible with AWS and Azure public clouds, it works during and after cloud migration, ensuring low cost and high performance.
Migrate to the cloud: legacy application migration services
Most cloud migration strategies are top-down strategies with unclear goals and benefits. When business goals are unclear and not tied to specific business outcomes, they often require more funding and less than expected returns.
Moving to the cloud doesn’t just make sense from a technical point of view; It’s also an accelerator for application modernization and digital transformation, two of the most coveted tasks on a modern company’s to-do list. By determining in advance which applications to move to the cloud, you can save time and money.
Luneba Solutions has extensive experience in many different cloud migration projects. We have world-class certified DevOps specialists, sysadmins, and cloud specialists in our arsenal to help take your cloud migration to where it’s needed.