Cloud Migrations

Upgrade to Best-In-Class Cloud Technology 

CLOUD MIGRATION

Upgrade outdated infrastructure to Best-In-Class Cloud Technology

You made the decision to start migrating applications and workloads into the cloud.  Great decision, but that’s only the beginning.  While the conversation starts with putting applications into the cloud, the reality is a full end-to-end replatforming exercise from virtual machines to supporting the users and business going forward. At WatServ, we want to help our customers with a successful end-to-end migration using the following 7 steps:

THE CLOUD MIGRATION PATH

When you begin migrating applications and workloads into the cloud, some starting points make more sense than others­.  Depending on your current situation, you could start with aging infrastructure, a new project being kicked off, or a new corporate mandate being handed down around compliance and risk management.  Since not all clouds are created equal, your application, project duration, availability needs, and regulatory concerns could all potentially dictate a different type of cloud solution.  The reality is most companies will end up with a hybrid cloud deployment using a mixture of Office 365, Microsoft Azure, on premise, or in a partner provided private cloud.

It is critical when assessing a cloud migration strategy, to first understand your organizations threshold for risk in the unlikely event of a disaster.  Weighing data replication and storage costs with redundancy and highly available infrastructure configurations are key to coming up with your risk tolerance.  This can also be done on an application by application basis.  For example, your ERP solution houses your most critical data and therefore investing in a plan and robust disaster recovery solution is priority.  However, your test environment for your website likely doesn’t need the same level of planning and attention.

Once the planning processes are complete, its time to start the move into the cloud.  There are multiple ways to accomplish the migrations, and depending on the application, the strategy should be different:

a. DECOMMISSION

i. Shut down inefficient/obsolete business applications

ii. Many steps to follow for security & compliance purpose

b. LIFT-and-SHIFT

i. Migrate applications and data from on-premise to Azure

ii. Immediate benefits in cost, scalability, availability, elasticity or management features

c. RE-ARCHITECT

i. Right-Sizing Resources

ii. MSPs consolidate various application tiers or re-architect for PaaS

d. NEW DEPLOYMENTS

i. MSPs provide deployments, POC and provision assistance for new applications that are written for Azure

e. RE-PLATFORM

i. Minor architect or code changes on an application to work on different platform

ii. Remove performance bottlenecks and increase application’s operability on Azure

f. APPLICATION LIFECYCLE MGMT

i. End-to-end management of application development lifecycle including governance, development, and maintenance

Once everything is up and running in the cloud, internal IT needs to get to work.  The reality is that most internal IT teams don’t have the skills, expertise and bandwidth to monitor the vast amounts of data available form cloud deployments.  The next steps help to outline the additional migration items that would fall to internal IT to complete.

There is a popular misconception that just because your applications are hosted, they are monitored and maintained.  If they are hosted with a managed service provider you may be monitored, however but more traditional IaaS vendors just make sure the servers are running (power on, connected to internet).  Understanding what needs to be monitored at the platform level to keep systems running can be overwhelming.  From database and operating systems, to networks and instruction detection, keeping an eye on your systems in vital.  Ask yourself some questions – How involved does your IT team want to be?  What alerts needs to be actioned?  How frequently do alerts need to be kicked off, and how do you distinguish a false positive?  In the event of an issue, are you capable of doing an end to end root cause analysis? 

Understanding which cloud is best for which workload is critical to getting the best value for your money.  Public cloud bills are like utility bills, the more you use, the more you get charged.  Conversely, the less you use, the less you are billed.  Looking at these usage patterns and rightsizing the infrastructure is a key benefit to public cloud deployments.  Public clouds can add resources during peak times, and then reduce them in off hours making these dynamic workloads a great fit where the resource demands on the infrastructure can vary.  Private clouds tend to have a better fit where the workload is static and has little variance.

Most internal IT teams are not equipped to support a modern online workplace.  Internal IT can find themselves dealing with a multitude of issues on a daily basis – managing backup processes, PC’s, servers, user profiles, access permissions, patching, testing, change management, audit requirements, trouble shooting, root cause analysis etc.  Not only do they have to be knowledgeable and prepared for these things, they need to be able to deliver it 24×7, 365 days a year.