Cloud migration refers to the transfer of data, applications and other business elements into a cloud computing environment. There are many cloud migrations that an enterprise can execute. Transferring data and applications from an on-premises datacenter to the cloud is a common method.
The benefits of cloud are clear: increased agility and efficiency, longer-term hardware efficacy, and greater security are just some of the perks.
So why hasn’t everyone moved to the cloud yet? “Eliminating traditional infrastructure is a major undertaking,” says Andrew Cruise, MD of VMware Cloud provider Routed. “And with all the options available today, decision-making has become more complex.”
With all the noise out there, it’s important to put a solid cloud migration strategy in place. Here’s how to cut through the fog and get on the cloud:
1. Outline your environment
Cloud environments can be divided into two categories: ones for development and those for enterprises. “Marketing has blended the two use cases and confused users,” says Cruise. “Devops is exciting, amazing, cutting-edge. It is not as useful for business because it involves moving physical workloads into the cloud. Don’t confuse need-to-have with nice-to-have and spend money on something that seems very attractive, but that you won’t really need or use.”
2. Perform an audit of your operations
Cloud doesn’t necessarily replace all previous options but is an add-on in the hybrid world of today. Do an audit of your company’s operations and decide what needs to be moved to the cloud, says Cruise. “Some operations might not be suited to cloud for compliance reasons, for example. Your desired outcome will determine whether you decide to move some operations. You need to factor in your company’s unique variables for each operation, like cost, complexity, and compliance.”
Next, choose which apps and operations need to be moved to which type of cloud. “Different apps and operations belong in different places,” explains Cruise. “It’s unlikely that every provider is fit-for-purpose for every app, and you need to choose the right environment for the right app. If you choose a single platform to simplify things, it can lead to performance and commercial problems later on. It introduces complexity to your final solution, yes, but each set of workloads will be in an ideal place.”
3. Start small
Cruise says this is especially important for SMEs. “If you move too much to cloud too quickly, it can lead to failed migrations and operational paralysis. Break your operations down into bite-sized pieces and move them one at a time.”
Depending on your needs, you will decide which data to move first. “Some migrations, like email or backups, are relatively simple and low risk. This might be a good option for some companies. “For others, moving to virtual machines is the smarter choice. VMware Cloud operators, like Routed, are running the same VMware that you’re running on-premises – the same enterprise-grade storage and servers. You get the immediate benefits of performance, reliability, scalability, and flexibility while only paying monthly usage.”
4. Choose the right management tools
When it comes to managing all these separate clouds once you’ve migrated, you won’t be able to achieve everything you want to with one management product, says Cruise. “Rather look for specialist management tools. Look for tools that can manage costs across multiple platforms if cost management is a priority. You will need a product that allows you to visualize usage across multiple clouds. There is no single platform that can do all of this and does it well. Choose specialist interfaces that do the job properly.”