The cloud is a flexible and highly available computing solution that can help scale up, manage your resources, and propel your business into the future. However, cloud migration can also be a challenging endeavor that should be performed with caution and responsibility.
In this article, I will cover the benefits of migrating your business to the cloud and provide you with a list of the 5 best practices you can use to overcome or possibly avoid the challenges you might face during this process. After reading this article, you will be able to build your own successful cloud migration strategy.
Why You Should Migrate to the Cloud
Cloud technology has continued to improve over the past few years, offering an ever-expanding and flexible list of capabilities to drive more private users and organizations to migrate their services to the cloud. The most obvious advantage of a cloud over a traditional on-premise environment is the flexibility to scale up and down according to dynamic needs.
With a successful cloud migration plan, migrating to the cloud offers many benefits for private users and business alike:
- Stability and Hazard Recovery—cloud services frequently upload your files and settings to highly available cloud environments. This makes them both highly accessible and safe from hazards, as you can simply use the cloud to restore your information in case disaster strikes.
- Scalability—the flexibility of the cloud allows to scale up and down to fit your needs. For example, if your business is Christmas decorations, you most likely need to handle very high traffic during the peak before and during the holiday. However, all the rest of the year your demands will be very different and you probably will not need to handle a lot of traffic. The flexibility of the cloud allows you exactly that, scaling your business plan to meet your specific demands.
- Reduced Operational Costs—by using the cloud in the right way, you can significantly cut unnecessary costs. For example, if you manage to forecast your traffic peaks and lows, you can scale your cloud service plan up and down according to demand. This means you can both get more clients when you scale up and also spend less money on clouding services when you scale down.
Building a Cloud Migration Strategy
Simply migrating to the cloud is not enough. Without a proper plan, you can face many difficulties such as vendor lock-in, inflated costs, and security issues.
To benefit from all the advantages the cloud has to offer and overcome the challenges that you might face during this process, you need a well-thought-out cloud migration strategy.
To help you get started, I have compiled a list of the five best practices for successful cloud migration:
#1. Learn Your Application’s Architecture
Prior to cloud migration, you have to ensure that you understand the architecture of your application and the environment they are meant to run on. This step includes familiarizing yourself with the components, dependency, and integration of the application.
Popular cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) allow you to choose from a variety of cloud storage plans and data tiers, which dictate how fast the data will be accessible and usable. To avoid a plan that does not fit your needs, which may lead to unnecessary cloud storage costs. You need to choose the best data tier for your current needs and adjust it according to your needs.
#3. Test Performance, Fix Issues and Run a Pilot Phase
The next step is to check for performance issues. This step is critical for your migration efforts as migrating is always a challenge, especially if the application is not running properly. To know that you got this stage covered, check and fine-tune your build until all performance issues are gone and the application is running smoothly.
One thing to look for is an on-premise memory leak. This is especially crucial since this type of leak, in a resource usage payment plan, will quickly lead to inflated costs.
After you finish fixing all performance issues and before you can advance to the production stage, you need to run a successful pilot phase. During the pilot phase, you need to provide the end-user with a smooth and stable experience. In fact, the best way to know that the migration is done correctly is when the end-users did not notice it ever happened.
#4. Consider a Multi-Cloud Approach
By using multiple vendors in a multi-cloud approach, you can leverage the advantages of each vendor and also avoid their shortcomings. What makes a multi-cloud approach even more recommended in my opinion, is the ability to avoid vendor lock-in. You can also use this step to test the offerings of the different cloud services providers to understand which of them will best suit your needs.
#5. Monitor Your Application
Closely monitor your application to understand how it handled all the changes it went through and if it still functions correctly in its new environment- the cloud. It is important to ensure that your monitoring software is capable of dealing with the new environment of your application. In case it does not, consider finding a new monitoring solution that is designed to monitor dynamic cloud environments.
If you are looking to bring more flexibility and scalability to your application, migrating to the cloud is the right way to go. Now that you are equipped with the best practices, you are prepared to launch your own winning cloud migration strategy.