Cloud Migration 101: What Migration to the Cloud Involves

 

2019 witnessed the release of several state of IT security case studies for 2018 and in terms of IT security and downtime, these reports weren’t flattering. According to a CTI report, 94% of small businesses do not recover from major data losses. Also, IT-related downtime has been responsible for $50,000 to $5 million loses to affected businesses. 

The exponential increase in cyberattacks is another reason why both small and big businesses continue to deal with data loss. And to mitigate these losses, business owners are looking towards cloud computing at an unprecedented rate. This is due to the Managed Services cloud computing vendors currently offer to simplify business processes, manage data, and receive business insight. But to take advantage of these benefits, migrating on-premise data to the cloud is the first step. 

Every successful cloud migration is based on proper planning. Here, every aspect of a planned migration to the cloud must take into account the following; cost, compatibility, and a migration strategy. The different migration strategies available include:

  • Rehost - Also known as a ‘Lift and Shift’ this involves rehosting all data, applications, and traffic in the cloud without changes to the core architecture. 
  • Replatforming - Here, selected resources such as databases or apps are migrated to the cloud to take advantage of the ease managed services provide. 
  • Repurchase - This involves migrating to a completely new or different cloud vendor.
  • Refactoring - Also known as rearchitecting, it involves reimagining the way the current infrastructure is architected using cloud-based features and services. 

Having a plan for migration will also go a long way in helping you decide the best cloud services and migration strategy that fits your organization’s needs.

Choosing A Cloud Service Provider

Today, diverse cloud computing vendors are hawking their wares online and making a choice can be confusing. This is because the majority of Fortune 100 tech giants – Amazon, Google, Microsoft, DELL etc. – offer bespoke cloud services. Thus, when making a choice, here are the important questions you should have answers to:

  • How well integrated and dispersed is its infrastructure?
  • What breadth of features and new technology offerings are available?
  • What number of security certifications are already in place? 
  • How it handles increased compute workloads that come with the economies of scale?
  • How standardized are its services?
  • What are certified experts saying?

Using these criteria, Amazon Web Services (AWS) comes out top of the pile. AWS offers more billing flexibility, reliability, security, and the ability to scale up your infrastructure with increased workloads, gaining recognition from Gartner. 

AWS Cloud Migration Strategy and Process

Cloud migration is the process of moving data, applications, and other IT infrastructures to a cloud computing environment. The data and apps to be moved are generally moved from on-premise or a data center to the cloud. 

Step 1 – Migration Preparation and Cost Analysis

The first phase of the migration process is making a business case for moving resources to the cloud. In this phase, you will have to analyze the advantages of migrating to AWS and the outcome attached to making the move. Here, you will also have to make a few important decisions that determine how the project goes. These decisions include:

  • Taking stock of the number of servers in your current infrastructure.
  • Estimating a total cost for the migration. This determines the True Cost of Ownership (TCO) for the infrastructure configured on AWS. 
  • Determine the storage and cloud configuration to be used. 
  • Determine the best way to migrate your data to AWS.
  • Detailing a roadmap and completion timelines for the entire process. 
  • Potentially picking an AWS consulting partner with migration experience 

In most cases, AWS or Advanced Consulting Partners like Stratus10 should be chosen to provide the managed migration services required. The AWS Partner will provide a cost estimate for configuring the AWS accounts, security features, server configurations, data transfer and network configurations. 

Stratus10 will also analyze the needed regulatory compliance policies such as General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), security regulations, Service Level Agreements (SLA), and other regulations native to your business’s specific geography. Stratus10 also provides an estimated duration for the cloud migration process.

 

Step 2 – Analyzing the Data Export Process

The information collected in step 1 provides the foundation for continuing with the migration. The collected data will be used to establish complexity, software compatibility, memory, storage, and risk factors. With this knowledge, the data export process to be used can then be selected. The factors that determine the data export process to use include:

  • Your business or the client’s priorities
  • The amount of data to be migrated
  • Dependencies between modules or applications
  • Determine the architectural pattern to be used. This may be a full cloud, hybrid or multi-cloud architecture
  • Determining the tool and process for the data migration.

Stratus10 can initiate an online data migration process using AWS database migration services or other migration tools. Offline data migration using AWS Snowball or other similar options is also a pathway that can be used for the export. 

 

Step 3 – Provisioning Infrastructure and Design

The information from the previous steps determines how to go about with provisioning the new cloud infrastructure to be used. During this step, the entire infrastructure will be provisioned on AWS. This includes AWS Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs), security groups, load balancers,, EC2 instances, EBS volumes, RDS instances, Monitoring,  S3 buckets, etc. 

 

Step 4 – Server Configuration and Validation 

In this step, validation of the availability of migration tools and features is necessary. These steps include checking the readiness of third party tools and the migration tool for the data migration. The connectivity between servers, authentication providers,  and networks must also be fail-proof. Once the configuration and validation are completed, the migration process is good to go. 

Migration service providers like Stratus10 perform the server configuration and validation process for AWS solutions and applications. This leaves the configuration of third-party software to the client. 

 

Step 5 – Data Migration

At this stage- pending on the migration strategy -  the database can be moved from the current infrastructure to AWS. This process is generally carried out by the migration tool that was chosen. At the end of the migration, sanity tests or basic functionality tests must be performed. Once this is done, the application should run on the AWS cloud. Stratus10 also provides an estimated duration for the cloud migration process.

At Stratus10, certified AWS architects ensure the data migration is complete and all applications are up and running before handing over the functioning infrastructure to the client. 

 

Summary

The ROI on making the choice to migrate to the cloud is substantial and these returns are both monetary and resource-based. This includes a reduction in operational spending and the overall capital expenditure of a business. To reap these rewards, the migration process must be accurately done using the right vendor and cloud service provider. AWS offers a reliable pathway to achieving maximum returns on cloud investments. This is due to the 69 availability zones across 22 regions that always ensure downtime is eliminated and guarantees maximum security. 

 The engineers at Stratus10 are equipped with the technical know-how to assist your business with its AWS migration. Our engineers are well-versed with the different migration processes  involved with AWS. Stratus10 can design cost-effective infrastructure that meets your specific business applications which allows you take advantage of the scalability, support, and features AWS offers.

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