Cloud migration

Movin’ on up.

A lot of businesses are migrating to cloud computing. The question, however, pertains to why we move to the cloud, so here’s our take on cloud migrating benefits and some cloud migration strategies. We’ve covered it all, whether you’re opting for a cloud-to-cloud or shared-to cloud-migration.

When web-based applications started, the app architecture was so simple that multiple apps could be easily hosted on a shared server, without any significant compromises on performance. However, as the number of users and the internal complexity of the apps increased, shared hosting started to fail, and thus, the businesses migrated their apps to dedicated VPS hosting solutions where they were able to provide the resources and ensure baseline performance.

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Things were not suitable for long, and VPS/dedicated hosting solutions also started to fail the users. Business owners had no option but to purchase an entire dedicated server. The first challenge they faced was the migration of the application to the new VPS server. Despite the performance, businesses soon realized that the massive cost of the server was not worth it. Most of the time, a significant portion of server resources were left idle. Since the businesses were paying for the entire server regardless of resource utilization, the dedicated server proved to be a wrong business decision.

What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration is the process through which companies shift their applications and servers to a cloud-based hosting provider. There are many advantages to companies on the topic of why they move to the cloud. For one, they don’t have to worry about wasting time when scaling server resources. Secondly, the cost of a cloud-based solution is more budget-friendly. Unlike shared hosting, other users on the same physical server (if this is the case) don’t directly impact your server and application performance.

AI and cloud

AI and cloud

When a user migrates to cloud computing, the web application tends to make good use of cloud hosting capabilities and resources. So, in a nutshell, there are reasons to move to the cloud. Cloud migration simplifies the process of setting up applications that users can interact directly with their browsers instead of downloading them to their devices.

Types of Cloud Migration

Migrating to cloud computing can intimidate a lot of first-timers due to cloud migration problems. There are several similar-sounding options with differences that are not readily apparent generally. To make things easier for the users, here are the significant types of cloud migration options:

IaaS Cloud Migration

In IaaS cloud migration, the server is moved from a local or shared hosting server to a dedicated cloud server. Post-migration, data, and application must function as intended on the new IaaS server. The migration can often take longer than expected and is usually undertaken by developers because of the complexity of data dependencies and application functionality.

PaaS Cloud Migration

Migration to a PaaS Cloud solution is not as complicated since the solution’s primary purpose is to make the process easier for all users. The assumption here is that business owners don’t have the technical expertise to handle the process of migration to the cloud. This is accomplished through a browser-based UI/portal that facilitates the migration process. While a user with moderate technical knowledge can initiate the PaaS cloud migration process, the chances of issues during the process are still there.

SaaS Cloud Migration

Migrating to a SaaS cloud solution can take time, as the process of moving from local or shared hosting to the SaaS cloud happens in phases. The first part of the process usually comprises setting up the basic structure of the application. Once the developers make sure that everything is working correctly, the addons and supporting components are moved on to the SaaS server.

Cloud and IoT

Cloud and IoT

Cloud Migration Benefits

Cloud migrating benefits your application by opening a horizon of new possibilities for high-level architecture applications that gather and process data in realtime. Properly deployed cloud migration strategies ensure a smooth cloud migration experience and hassle-free post-migration performance.

Scalable Resources

The most visible benefit of cloud migration is the inherent feature of flexible server resources. This is the main reason why applications that require varying levels of server resources opt for the scalable server solutions offered by cloud hosting solutions.

Cost Reduction

In an era when the competition has become fierce, every business is looking for cost-effective solutions to remain profitable. Cloud migration helps companies to reduce both operational and capital expenses simply because of the pay-as-you-go billing model that is ideal for businesses that now have to pay only for the resources their server consumes.

Mobility

Since a cloud server is accessible from anywhere, users experience the versatility of access and ease of use like none other. IP whitelisting feature ensures the authorization of the user to access the server from any part of the world regardless of device. This function is commonly available in all PaaS cloud services, such as Cloudways.

Automation

A known cloud migration problem is keeping the backend server APIs updated. When it comes to (managed) cloud migration, application management team do not have to worry about API and application update.

Flexible Operations

A cloud solution allows organizations to deploy and test applications quickly over the cloud. Instead of manually using the app, the development teams can deploy the applications through automated deployment options without worrying about compatibility and performance issues.

Secure Storage Options

Organizations prefer to go with cloud migration because of the very secure storage that is available at a very reasonable operational cost. Besides, when the need arises, the room can be easily scaled up or down without disrupting the application usage. This is an excellent feature for businesses with seasonal or periodic data storage requirements.

Why Businesses Opt for Cloud Migration

Businesses opt for migration to cloud simply because of the following operational challenges and requirements:

  1. Traffic spikes and the inability to scale server resources to deal with sudden operational demands.
  2. High operational costs and ineffective processes
  3. Data storage requirements
  4. The challenges that come with a geographically distributed team that need access to application-related methods
  5. The prices of an in-house disaster recovery process

Process of Cloud Migration

While the cloud migration process differs from vendor to vendor, the core process of moving to the cloud remains the same. 

1. Assess

The first step is a detailed assessment of the resources required to move to the cloud. It is essential to understand what’s vital for the move. Additionally, it is important to realize that some applications can be transferred to the cloud without any issues, while some apps cannot be mapped to a cloud-based environment.

2. Pilot Testing

During this stage, one form or a component of the main application is moved to the cloud. The performance of the user application is monitored post-migration to see whether it is possible to move the entire app to the cloud. Note that this is the stage where you should evaluate the global compatibility and security of the test app.

3. Initiate Migration

The main question here is whether to move the data or the application first. Popular opinion suggests moving the app first and then the data. However, experts claim that migrating data to the cloud is a better way of setting the stage for the successful migration of applications later on.

4. Move Applications

With data migration done, the next step is to move the app. In most cases, a lift-and-shift strategy works best, where the application is uploaded to the cloud. Once that’s complete, the next part is to see if the request is functioning as intended and whether there is a need to re-architecture the application to ensure compatible performance in the cloud environment.

5. Optimize

Here’s where users make a difference to their business bottom line. Various optimization strategies are available, and the choice depends upon the type of application and architecture. A common theme is a reduction in the size of static assets to save storage and bandwidth.

Cloud Migration Strategies

When it comes to cloud migration, users have the choice of several strategies to move their app to the cloud. The following list describes some common cloud migration strategies that you can use for cloud migration

Rehosting

Formerly known as “Lift and Shift,” this is an excellent fit for businesses that are looking to rehost legacy applications on the cloud. In this case, the company usually has a massive volume of data that needs to be migrated to the cloud to scale and meet business requirements.

Once cloud migration is complete, users can re-architect and optimize the applications. In some cases, users that migrate the application manually can deploy optimization processes right after the migration process finishes.

Replatforming

Informally known as “Lift-tinker-and-shift,” the process involves tweaking the process, but the core architecture of the application remains unchanged. Although re-platforming is a costly strategy, it is a far better option for businesses that cannot restructure their legacy systems to fit the requirements of cloud migration.

Repurchasing

When possible, repurchasing is a fast way to access a SaaS-based solution tailored to business needs. SaaS takes the application (and data) and packages it into a cloud-based product. This is an ideal solution for HR-, CRM-, and CMS-based applications.

Refactoring/Re-architecting

In this strategy, the application’s architecture is reimagined to accommodate cloud-native features. The purpose here is to cater to the current business needs and add essential features, scalability, and performance requirements that are otherwise difficult or impossible to implement in the existing application environment. However, this strategy is costly and should only be considered when the dev team has tried and rejected other approaches, such as rehosting.

Retire

Once a user is aware of all aspects of the business environment, the functional owner of the application may raise the all-important question: Are the resources required by the application justified? Determining which resources can be retired is a critical decision that can potentially save the business a lot of money.

Retain

Also known as “revisiting,” this strategy demands dev and business to evaluate each component. Migrating to the cloud isn’t like setting up a virtual backup. Each component should have its own cost and benefit, and uploading all components without determining the benefit and price of the upload can cause severe damage to the business finances.

Further Reading

Why Is There So Much Cloud Waste?

The Best Cloud Migration Approach: Lift-And-Shift, Replatform, Or Refactor?

from DZone Cloud Zone