Moving a software application to the cloud merely means running it in the web rather than on the traditional data center infrastructure.
The main advantages to migrate data and software operations to the cloud include reducing operating costs, increasing flexibility and facilitating data management by using on-demand cloud IT infrastructures (servers, storage, networks), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), application deployment platforms,Platform as a Service (PaaS) and subscription-based web software solutions,Software as a Service (SaaS).
What considerations are required when moving data and applications from traditional infrastructure to the cloud?
Theoretically, every software application can be migrated from a traditional infrastructure to a cloud environment, which can be public cloud, private cloud, community cloud or hybrid cloud. It can even involve physical-to-virtual (P2V) migrations if present applications are not running on virtualized platforms.
Here are a number of characteristic steps that companies should consider when moving data and applications to the cloud:
- Understanding the different alternatives of cloud services and deciding which cloud environment to use (public cloud, private cloud, community cloud, hybrid cloud)
- Evaluating whether data, applications and other software are candidates for cloud migration based on both business and technical factors
- Building management teams concentrated on service level agreements, effectiveness, cost optimization and operations monitoring and evaluation within the cloud to ensure compliance with specified objectives
- Ensuring data protection by defining recovery time and point objectives, security evaluation procedures and threat response protocols
- Evaluating application architecture, scale-up and scale-out architecture, geographic access, application dependency mapping and application profiling, security policies, privacy policies and federal recommendations
- Arranging data to lower risk of migration, including understanding current environments, identifying application and data dependencies through discovery and analysis, followed by identifying application services, defining sub-components and counting each service instance
- Planning and sequencing the migration to the target cloud environment
- Testing success of the migration
Main factors that possibly limit cloud compatibility include:
- Application complexity: customized, special-purpose or legacy applications
- Hardware dependencies: applications that are not readily deployable on standard platforms or require special purpose hardware configurations
- Governance and regulatory restrictions: applications that require control over data location and comprehensive chain-of-custody monitoring
With complete understanding of data, applications, requirements and risks objectives, current and future business impact can be considered in creating a cloud migration strategy. What is holding you back from migrating?