By Maria Pashchyna
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Cloud Migration: Five-Steps Approach to Your Successful Process

Modernizing technologies and abandoning outdated systems is an inevitable part of a modern company. Previously, business updating required significant rebuilding of the IT infrastructure, spending money on hardware, hiring additional in-house staff, and fixing a host of ongoing synchronization issues. Now, you can take advantage of a solid alternative. That is cloud migration solutions!

Read on and find out the up-to-date statistics and reasons for moving to the cloud; where to start and how to navigate your migration in five well-organized steps so that it doesn’t become a headache for your business.

Content

  1. The strong growth of the cloud adoption
  2. Five-steps approach to cloud migration 
  • Vision and Strategy
  • Selection of Cloud Provider
  • Assessment and Planning
  • Architect Design
  • Migration and Optimization

3. Summary. Your trusted cloud solutions.

The Strong Growth of the Cloud Adoption 

To get the topic at the core and to help navigate around the cloud market, first, let’s observe the facts and forecasts of its status as well as impact on businesses.  

  1. According to Statista, the overall cloud applications services (SaaS) market is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 16 percent in 2021, compared to the previous year. Likewise, cloud system infrastructure services (IaaS) and cloud application infrastructure services (PaaS) expected to grow at a rate of almost 27 percent and 26.6 percent respectively. 
  2. In terms of market size, these individual cloud service segments are expected to have revenues of 71 billion U.S. dollars (PaaS), 145 billion U.S. dollars (SaaS), and 107 billion U.S. dollars (IaaS) by 2022.
  3. Based on the report about Cloud Computing Trends 2021 by Flexera, businesses are moving to multi-cloud, in particular, 92% of enterprises and mid-sized companies use a multi-cloud strategy, while 82% are using a hybrid cloud one. Further, public cloud adoption continues to speed up. Because of COVID-19, 90% of businesses expect cloud usage to exceed previous plans.
  4. According to the report about Cloud Migration Market by Mordor Intelligence, the cloud segment is growing at a CAGR of 28.89% over the forecast period 2021 – 2026. Emphasis is on the migration to PaaS, IaaS, SaaS, and also leveraging DevOps automation.

The solid acceleration of the cloud solutions shows this market is rapidly growing and represents an important opportunity for industry-specific businesses and IT giants. 

Optimizing the use of the existing cloud remains at the top of the list of priorities for companies through 2021. While the migration of more workloads to the cloud is the second trending issue.

We can assume cloud solutions have already become much more than an alternative approach to computing. In the near future, cloud adoption will be the standard operating procedure for all types of businesses. And it is not a surprise! With cloud, your business gets ensured continuity, minimized risks of downtime, along independence from the impact of any external factors. Not to mention, you obtain greater control over the leveraged resources, open up flexible options for backing up and connecting other features that make your systems more reliable and secure.

Most companies sooner or later have to go through the thorns of migration. And of course, the sooner you start, the sooner you get the benefits of cloud solutions.

Five-Steps Approach to Cloud Migration 

  1. Vision and Strategy: Set the business goals you want to achieve with cloud migration.
  2. Selection of Cloud Provider: Ensure the alignment with your business needs.
  3. Assessment and Planning: Assess portfolios for cloud suitability and migrate to cloud viability.
  4. Architect Design: Adjusts the secure cloud environment to meet workload requirements.
  5. Migration and Optimization: Migrate workloads to the cloud, manage cloud-based systems, including maintenance.

Step 1. Vision and strategy.

When planning a migration, a business usually strives to improve efficiency and reduce costs. But these are abstract expectations – especially if they are not fixed in specific targets.

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Your particular and clear business goals should drive your cloud adoption strategy. The answers to the next questions can help you determine the set and volume of cloud services you need. 

What exactly do you want to achieve through the transition, what tasks to solve?

For example, if you are a startup, you can safely begin using turnkey solutions, for example, VDI (virtual desktops) from the cloud. You can also leverage services for the provision of mail, office software, videoconferencing, or corporate messenger. In addition, Cloud CRM and ERP services are currently highly in demand.

Are you focusing on full or partial cloud migration?

Perhaps your business does not need a full migration to the clouds, but a backup area in case your main infrastructure fails. 

Do you need to increase the speed of corporate services, improve the reliability of the infrastructure or provide a more flexible IT management?

For example, if the company already has the infrastructure and plan to transfer it in part to the clouds, determine which parts of the system will be transferred and what to do with the released resources. Then estimate the amount of upcoming migration work and make an informed decision – in what order it is better to transfer the systems to the cloud. 

Are you planning on growing your business and need to save on equipment, maintenance, and IT staff?

To illustrate, a big part of companies aims to reduce capital expenditure by utilization of cloud services, and their pay-per-use. That results in significant cost savings compared to run on-premises equipment.

Do you need a simple set of virtual machines or is there a demand for additional services? 

For example, if company stores and processes the personal data of citizens, the provider must have an infrastructure that complies with the requirements of the law.

At this very phase, it is also critical to take into account the difficulties that the company may face in the process of migration. The barrier to cloud migration is often not technology, but people and processes. To ensure the most painless transfer of infrastructure, services, or applications to the cloud, you need to:

  • Evaluate the readiness of the team implementing the migration process – its workload, competencies, goals, specifics of work.
  • Ensure timing of migration to the cloud and KPI key divisions of the company – finance, development, production, sales, IT, and others.
  • Consider the metrics, process control, and performance measurement for your migration.

Step 2. Selection of Cloud Provider.

To correctly determine the performance parameters and the amount of cloud infrastructure you need, it is better to choose a reliable cloud provider in the initial stages. You can even select several ones. And ask them the same questions, then compare their answers in terms of completeness, honesty, and adequacy.

To put the example on here, among large providers of public cloud services are Microsoft Azure, Amazon, Oracle. They are responsible for the maintenance and operation of their service, for its reliability, security, availability, scalability, data protection, and safety. Besides. these services can turn out to be very profitable and attractive in the terms of price since large providers use their own technologies and receive special conditions from equipment vendors.

Give the preference to a provider with the infrastructure and a set of tools and services that are suitable for the needs of your business. We recommend entering a supplemental service level agreement (SLA). In this case, the provider will take responsibility for the confidentiality of your information and failures of a technical / software type.

In case you need to overcome the barrier of competence shortages, it is better to get professional consulting services. To illustrate, in FreySoft, we offer the market comprehensive proposals, tying cloud products with expert support at all stages of cloud transformation. This greatly simplifies the migration of the business. And most importantly, it helps to quickly achieve the goals set by the company at the first stages.

Step 3. Assessment and Planning.

The next step is to analyze your IT infrastructure and conduct an audit. That is for assessing the capabilities of your existing system against industry best practices in terms of security, scalability, automation, disaster recovery, and more. 

Such an audit will help you understand which applications and functions you can transfer to the cloud provider, and which to leave in your own infrastructure or completely replace them with cloud ones.

At this stage, you need to take into account the next issues: 

  • migration scheme – decide which type of migration (full or partial) and the tools you will be using;
  • type of cloud – choose your appropriate one – public, private, or hybrid;
  • security – consider the requirements of regulators to work with different types of data. For different data, different requirements are provided.
  • additional protections for systems that you plan to migrate to the cloud. As a rule, leading cloud providers have solutions from the leaders of the information security market in their portfolio.
  • cost-effectiveness of moving to the cloud – calculate and compare to your on-premises IT systems. 

We at FreySoft have project managers and technical support who are ready to assist in sizing and selecting the configurations of virtual capacities. Having identified exactly the company’s needs, you will receive a detailed roadmap for cloud migration, including priorities, milestones, deadlines, resources, budget.

Step 4. Architect Design.

The next step towards well-executed migration is to prepare your on-premises and cloud environments for migration. At this stage, consider the next:

  1. Prepare data. Tasks include collecting infrastructure configuration information such as network addresses, CPU, memory, and storage size. 
  2. Develop a target architecture, which the company plans to reach by using the cloud. 
  3. Plan for the network connectivity of the migrated infrastructure and the provider’s cloud. 
  4. Back up your systems. Provider experts can also help here. Backup as a service allows you to ensure the stable operation of your business and protect it from data loss.
  5. Conduct test migration. This is necessary to assess whether the selected cloud resources meet the needs of the company and their performance. 

After all, you can start setting up a VPN channel between the company’s site and the provider’s cloud. Determine the requirements for the time of a permissible stop of services and correlate them with what the provider offers. They should be minimal.

The provider’s task at this stage is to prepare the cloud. That includes allocating the necessary resources, building networks, configuring VPN, and access for client administrators.

At FreySoft, we help to gather the existing resources and managing requirements to create a supporting cloud architecture. In addition, our experts know-how to explore the abilities to control the use of resources in order to quickly scale and optimize them as business needs change and grow.

Step 5. Migration and Optimization.

Regardless of the model chosen, a phased transition to the cloud is the best way. Perform a smooth migration, make sure that all systems are stable, and only then finally switch to the cloud. 

Such an approach will save you from various unpleasant surprises, give you the opportunity to take a closer look at the chosen cloud service provider, and purchase the cloud system capacities if necessary. What’s more, by transferring the infrastructure to the cloud gradually and testing the system after each mini-migration, you can quickly identify errors and immediately fix them.

Be sure to check the health of the entire infrastructure as a whole after the migration. Only then you can completely abandon your infrastructure.

More detailed technical aspects of migration are the subject for another post since this is all individual for each company. Nevertheless, following this 5-step approach plan allows you to wisely prepare and know-how to take considerable actions with a minimum set of technical issues.

Summary. Your Trusted Cloud Solutions.

Migration projects are not always a quick process. Much depends on the existing technology stack, on the specifics of the infrastructure, the scope of the project, and on many other factors. 

Each project is individual, customer requirements vary, different scenarios are possible. In addition, not all organizations possess such competencies, so a competent partner with relevant experience is needed. 

FreySoft ensures transferring your IT systems and data to the cloud according to the developed roadmap. Our mission is to help your company grow, by getting you up-to-date opportunities. 

FreySoft team of specialists will provide a competent approach to migration without errors and data loss. We will audit the used infrastructure, work out the architecture of the solution within the framework of public, private or hybrid cloud model, and minimize downtime during the transfer of IT systems. We test and implement security and cost management best practices for the cloud and workloads.

No matter how big and complex your business is, you need not be afraid to make changes. Remember, technology is firstly a tool, and in the right hands it is the key to your success. Contact us via e-mail contact@freysoft.com or fill the form at www.freysoft.com, and we will assist you in your cloud journey.