Cloud migration is the process of transitioning all or part of the company’s data, application and services from on-site premises to the cloud. This is where the information can be provided over the internet on an on-demand basis.
Cloud computing is attractive to many organizations due to its scalability, ease of management and low costs. Cloud migration facilitates the adoption of flexible cloud computing.
An organization’s cloud migration process often involves merging an on-site IT infrastructure with a hybrid cloud solution, which may be accessed over the Internet for a fee. Hybrid cloud solutions transition between one or more cloud providers and usually provide on-demand and provisioned server space, applications and services.
Cloud migration is critical for achieving real-time and updated performance and efficiency. Thus, cloud migration requires careful analysis, planning and execution to ensure the cloud solution’s compatibility with organizational requirements.
While a cloud migration can present numerous challenges and raise security concerns, cloud computing can also enable a company to potentially reduce capital expenditures and operating costs while also benefiting from the dynamic scaling, high availability, multi-tenancy and effective resource allocation advantages cloud-based computing offers.
So when did this trend start? Around 2010 the cloud migration had started to become reality. In 2013 Amazon and IBM battled in court for a $600 Million contract from the CIA. Amazon won but IBM protested. Why? AWS (Amazon Web Services) is the leader in offering cloud computing services to businesses and IBM is trying to establish a foothold in the space by leveraging its long history of providing IT services to the government. In many ways Amazon is disrupting the traditional enterprise IT market. Like other technology disruptions, specifically smartphones, vendors that do not adapt quickly may go out of business.
So, what does all this mean? The writing is on the wall: Cloud computing is inevitable. The traditional IT infrastructure cannot handle the demands of burst users (as witnessed in the recent health insurance exchange crashes ), nor does it offer elasticity (cost savings for tight budgets), big data capability (exponential growth in data volume) or agility (rapid provisioning in minutes). Just like IBM and Amazon, most organizations see the benefits of this new computing-as-a-utility landscape and are ready to forge a road map to get there.
The key strategies are assessment, architecture and then action. While the temptation is to jump right to the action stage, you will find that path leads to wasted money and numerous blind alleys. Assess your current state via metadata collection (hardware, applications, data, organizational readiness, and architectural readiness) and evaluation methods (capacity analysis, risk analysis, complexity analysis, etc.). A proper assessment will allow you to prioritize your migration, find the quick-wins and know the risks.
After assessing your current state, analyze and design your objective architecture. A cloud-native architecture is different than traditional architectures and stresses ‘Loose-Coupling’, ‘Web Standards’, ‘Asynchronous Messaging’ and much more. After these two stages you are ready to take action and begin the migration process. Migrating your applications to this new cloud-native architecture is an opportunity to develop an agile IT infrastructure that delivers computing power as simply as utilities deliver electric power!
I hope this was informative.