What comes after you complete your move to the cloud? It isn't time to relax: now there's work to do to make sure you get all the benefits you expect from cloud.
While the cloud provider will monitor systems for basic health and availability, you need to do your own monitoring to keep an eye on things from your business's perspective. While you may not need to monitor physical hardware, depending on your cloud service you'll still want to monitor your virtual machines, operating system resources, and application availability.
Security is a shared responsibility between your organization and the cloud provider, so you'll need to monitor access. Similarly, you need to have monitoring that focuses on legal and regulatory compliance matters. This is especially important as data protection regulations may require data to remain in a specific geographic location, while cloud makes it easy to move data anywhere.
You need to monitor utilization, to make sure that all the cloud-based machines that you're paying for are necessary; it's very easy to spin up a server for short-term use and forget to shut it down when it's no longer needed. You also need to monitor both cloud resources and networks to make sure end users are receiving adequate performance.
Lastly, you need to do monitoring specifically to verify that your cloud migration is achieving the goals you set for the project, whether you measure this in dollar terms, headcount numbers, physical footprint, or time to bring new resources online.
Training for Cloud
Although cloud changes your IT team's responsibilities, it doesn't eliminate them. You'll want to provide training to make sure the team knows which tasks they remain responsible for and how they differ in the cloud. In addition to training your operations team, the development teams need to understand how using cloud changes how they design, build, test, and deploy their applications.
Building Applications for the Cloud
It's likely your initial migration to the cloud took the "lift and shift" approach of transitioning applications without redesigning them. That's an efficient and low-risk way of completing the migration, but it may not be optimal. In some cases, you can take better advantage of cloud by redesigning applications so they can scale horizontally, by making them API-based to support more uses, and by repackaging them as containers so they can be easily deployed multiple times.
In addition, there may be work needed to integrate cloud-based applications with applications that remain in your data center. Even if you don't plan on building a true hybrid cloud, unless you completely shut down your on-premises equipment there's likely to be a need to transfer data between sites and applications. While this work should have been scoped and planned as part of the transition, there's likely to be additional work and modifications needed once you see how the data transfer process works in the real environment at real volume.
Finally, of course, there are probably additional applications to migrate to the cloud. Once you're comfortable that your initial applications in the cloud are running smoothly and giving you the results you wanted, you can plan the migration of the remaining applications. The remaining applications are probably mission-critical ones you didn't want to risk migrating at first, but the experience you gained should help make migrating these important applications easier and less of a risk.
Get Help With Ongoing Cloud Projects
Building a cloud environment isn't a project that really ends. There are certainly clearly defined tasks that end, and phases that end, but running your data center in the cloud still requires continuing support. dcVAST offers Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), managed Amazon Web Services, and professional services to help you build the right cloud for your business and make sure it meets your ongoing business needs. Contact us to learn how our services support your cloud projects before, during, and after the transition to cloud.