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Ensure Successful Cloud Migration: Strategy, Process & Best Practices

29 Oct 2021

Business and IT leaders worldwide are replacing legacy, on-premise technology with scalable, flexible, and cost-effective cloud computing power. From reducing IT costs to operational agility & accelerating innovation, the move to the cloud is becoming a pressing requirement.

A cloud migration strategy helps an organization to move its data and applications from an on-premise architecture to the cloud. However, making the transition is not easy without a rock-solid plan, strategy & expertise. And for that a systematic & documented strategy is crucial.

Through this article, we’ll walk you through the right path on how to migrate your existing applications and operations to the cloud. You’ll learn the basics about migration as well as how to still get value out of your existing investments. Read on to get one step closer to transforming your business.

Did you know?

Gartner predicts that by 2024, 45% of IT spending will shift from the traditional solution approach to cloud infrastructure.

What is Cloud Migration?

It is the process of moving an organization’s digital assets including IT resources, data, workloads, or applications either partially, or wholly to the cloud. Though beyond the movement, it is also an iterative optimization process to reduce costs and utilize the full potential of the technology. This has an impact on all the aspects of the organization including people, processes & technology.

Why Cloud Migration Strategy?

The strategy for cloud migration helps identify and execute the fastest, lowest cost, least disruption transition from on-premises to the cloud.

  • It helps determine;
    • Which existing application workloads can be discontinued or replaced, or recreated
    • What applications would need movement – “as-is” to a cloud platform and even run “as-is”, or would require native services augmentation.
  • Based on the knowledge of business goals, the application portfolio can provide visibility into the TCO and ROI to undertake migration.
  • With flexible consumption and pricing models, the cloud can support high scalability, performance, agility, remote work, and cost-efficiency.

Key Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud

Each implementation provides different advantages. Here are some most common benefits:

Key Benefits Cloud Migration

How To Migrate to The Cloud?

Every migration is different depending on various factors such as application maturity, level of infrastructure complexity, and skill level of the IT resources.

Here are some essential cloud migration steps to include in your checklist.

Step 1: Planning and Assessment

Before getting started, you should be clear on the business KPIs and which strategy would prove to be the best fit.

  • Start by assessing existing infrastructure including applications, dependencies, data, services, and physical/ virtual server configurations.
  • This would help define measurement metrics for each asset to gauge their performance during and after migration.

Step 2: Design Migration Strategy

  • Detect the cloud-ready apps, databases, storage, and physical and virtual servers.
  • Analyze & prioritize which IT assets can be lifted & shifted directly, which ones will need some (or immense) rework with tool specification that can help simplify the transfer for trickier workloads.
  • This makes you ready to make informed decisions on what kind of model and strategy you need to adopt.

Step 3: Migrate Apps and Data

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get your hands messy.

  • Once your environment has been assessed and a plan has been mapped out, it’s necessary to start the execution.
  • Schedule the migration and plan the downtime during a comparatively slow period, such as on non-working days, during holiday breaks, or other times.
  • It would have the least impact on service outages or performance issues.

Step 4: Test & Validate for Optimization

  • To accurately analyze and authenticate the migration success and identify failures, it is recommended to use the same business goals and KPIs set during the planning phase. It highlights the scope for optimization.
  • Migrating enterprise workflows from on-premise to the cloud environment needs careful preparation for technical and business teams.
  • Compliance with a detailed checklist and partnering with an experienced cloud development company such as Rishabh Software to ensure a smooth transition.

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6R’s of Cloud Migration Strategy

Popularly known as the 6 R’s of migration, the listed below strategies would essentially answer all your questions around how to move your IT assets to the cloud.

Rehost

Most commonly referred to as lift and shift pattern, the rehosting involves using the infrastructure. It transfers data assets from on-premises to cloud infrastructure. Further, it can be automated using tools like CloudEndure Migration and AWS VM Import/Export, but also works with manual implementation to gain maturity.

When to consider;

  • For large-scale migrations
  • Are new to the cloud
  • Migrating off-the-shelf applications within a specified deadline

Replatform

Also called as Lift, Tinker, and Shift strategy, it helps to make configurational changes to the apps that better suit the cloud environment without changing its core architecture. The development teams apply this approach to change the way apps interact with the database to run effectively on managed platforms like Amazon RDS.

When to consider;

  • Time-crunch migration scenario
  • Leverage cloud benefits without app refactoring
  • Migrating on-premises app with complex structure doing minor tweaks

Repurchase

Popular as a drop and shop strategy, it replaces the existing on-premise application with a cloud-native vendor-packaged software. This can be referred to as moving to SaaS (Software as a Service) application with the same capabilities. It entails making licensing changes – you can start a new license agreement with the cloud provider for their solution and discard the existing on-premise license. For instance, moving from the in-house CRM system to Salesforce or Hubspot. The newer, upgraded version would offer a better value coupled with higher efficiency, savings (on app storage) & even maintenance costs.

When to consider;

  • Replacing software for regular business functions, like finance, accounting, CRM, ERP & more
  • The existing legacy app is not compatible with cloud

Refactoring

Rearchitect or refactor strategy involves rewriting the applications from scratch to make them compatible with the cloud environment. It is usually for the apps that demand thorough modernization including – features, scalability, performance, and cannot be achieved through minor changes to the existing architecture. It allows you to leverage the full potential of cloud-native technologies such as serverless, microservices architecture, function-as-a-service, containers, and load balancers. This approach is the most expensive, resource-intensive, and time-consuming compared to the others in the list yet would prove the most worthy in the long run.

When to consider;

  • Strong business drive to add scalability, speed, performance
  • Non-compatibility of an on-premise app

Retire

Can be considered as a rather passive strategy as there’s no real movement. With this approach, you get rid of applications that are; 1) no longer needed, 2) are not productive for the organization’s IT portfolio. For instance, if an application is considered not worthy of migration, it can either be eliminated or downsized. This further, allows assessing all the applications in terms of their uses, dependencies & their cost to the company.

When to consider;

  • Archive applications that contain useful data.
  • Withdraw applications with duplicate capabilities to save costs.
  • Discontinue apps where functionality can be added to another through microservices.

Retain

With this strategy, the focus is on revisiting critical applications or sections of your digital assets that need a significant amount of refactoring before the migration. This is because some apps aren’t ready for cloud shifting due to technical, compliance, security, or cost-effective reasons. So, enterprises might decide to implement a hybrid or part migration strategy to retain the assets.

When to consider;

  • Adopting a hybrid cloud model
  • On-premise applications are of great importance
  • Legacy app is not compatible with the cloud while works well on-premise

Best Practices for a Successful Cloud Migration

Each project has a unique set of drivers and requirements. Though, based on our experience, there exist common steps that work as a pre-requisite for any project. As part of it, there are several factors & parameters to consider including workload prioritization, determining the accurate plan for each workload, developing a pilot, testing, and strategy alignment (based on pilot outcomes).

Here are some of the best practices;

Pre Migration

  • Know your IT portfolio inside-out that would comprise of data, applications & infrastructure
  • Design your strategy
  • Select the right partner for your cloud journey
  • Prepare your team and existing IT environment for the transition

During Migration

  • Leverage automated tools & managed services from the service provider
  • Track and monitor the process continuously

Post Migration

  • Test and validate for optimization

At Rishabh Software, we’ve extensive experience in moving data & applications using Amazon Web Services (AWS) & Microsoft Azure. One should understand thoroughly the essentials of app migration readiness with defining items & priorities on the checklist, before making the move towards any cloud platform.

Ensure a Seamless Cloud Migration With Rishabh

Selecting the right partner plays a vital role in your organization’s success. And, we can work with you every step of the way.

  • It can start right from determining the right approach – public, private, or hybrid
  • Identifying your business needs for round-the-clock assistance across all stages of the transfer process
  • With our customer-centric approach, we evaluate, re-engineer, upgrade & transfer the existing assets empowering you to adapt to the ever-changing market needs.
  • Rishabh offers cloud migration services ranging from data & services to infrastructure that meet the customer’s unique requirements. If you wish to learn the essentials of how to successfully migrate legacy applications and why it is important then give this blog a read.

As a trusted global partner, we support you throughout the migration lifecycle, beginning with an as-is system/server analysis to complete the movement of apps, data & services. With proven methodologies and approaches, our team has a strong & full range of maintenance services portfolios. Do visit to learn about our cloud development capability.

Final Words

Cloud migration is a difficult journey, but it doesn’t have to be with the right knowledge and direction. These strategies aren’t definitive but surefire ways to get started with migration planning. The selection of approaches also depends on which model you choose or have in place for your organization. Your plan can be a combination of some of these strategies or include all of them.

By working with a cloud migration services provider, decide what suits your needs, create a structured framework, and execute your plan of action. They can help you account for the challenges before developing your plan to migrate with confidence.

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