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Migrating to Cloud Means Planning How to Handle Your Applications, Data, and Network

Moving to the cloud isn't about replicating your existing environment and dropping in your applications. A true cloud migration requires designing a completely new architecture and adapting your applications, data, and operational and management procedures to the new infrastructure. Don't rush through the planning process; success requires understanding your applications and your data and making sure the cloud meets their needs—or altering the applications to meet the cloud's capabilities.

Application Migration Issues

Not all your applications will be well suited to the cloud. Legacy applications, particularly mainframe apps, may be monolithic and unable to easily scale horizontally. Some applications may be tightly coupled with dependencies that make moving them tough.

Migrating high performance computing applications requires careful attention to the performance characteristics of your cloud instances, but cloud performance is a concern for every application. This is impacted not just by the resources available from the cloud provider by also by the Internet's bandwidth and latency.

For some applications, transitioning to the cloud requires obtaining new software licenses. This can make the cloud project more costly than you expected, especially if you'll be running both environments in parallel for some time.

Every application needs a review of its compliance and security policies before going live in the cloud, and the application monitoring and management process needs to be evaluated.

Once you've assessed the application, you can plan the best approach for migrating it to the cloud. Some applications can be simply "lifted and shifted" from their current platforms. Other applications may require restructuring or other code changes to allow them to run in the new environment. Even if a full public cloud deployment is the ultimate goal, some applications may have to be moved in pieces, resulting in a hybrid environment until all the pieces have successfully migrated.

Data Migration Issues

As with migrating applications to the cloud, each database needs to be reviewed to understand how it's used in order to plan the cloud migration. When migrating data, challenges potentially arise for several reasons:

  • volume: very large databases may require shipping a physical device in order to achieve a timely load process
  • consistency: databases that remain in use during the transition period may need to be synchronized or updated with new records
  • security: data protection procedures and policies need to be implemented in the new environment
  • backup and recovery: the cloud provider's backup process may not mesh with your corporate or legal requirements.

Network Connectivity Issues

Your network doesn't migrate to the cloud the same way your applications and data do, but you still need to spend time thinking about how you'll connect to the cloud. Achieving the necessary security may mean you need to use a virtual private network; achieving the necessary performance may require using a direct connection to the cloud provider. Direct connections substitute a dedicated connection for the public Internet and offer higher throughput, lower latency, and more control over how data is routed between your site and the cloud.

Deliberate and Decide Before Migrating

It's important to think through these issues before beginning any cloud migration project. dcVAST offers professional services to guide you through the assessment, design, and implementation of your cloud strategy. We have our own Infrastructure as a Service offering and also provide managed Amazon Web Services, giving us the expertise to ensure the migration solution meets your business needs. Contact us to learn more about the issues, and solutions, for migrating successfully to the cloud.