Cloud Migration - Is it really a reason to be on cloud nine?
What pushes cloud migration?
Organizations climbing the ranks of success will try to identify proactively both internal and external factors that stifle their economic progression. Finding common ground among various organizations is the hosting of IT assets on premises. On-premises refers to all applications that are hosted on site.
The benefits offered by on-premises hosting are doubly outweighed by the challenges posed by it in a digital space where higher computing capacities are required. Since all the valuable data is stored locally, sufficient measures should be adopted to ensure round-the-clock maintenance and backup of the data should something go wrong. Even if all precautionary measures are taken, the overhead costs can skyrocket due to server upgrade costs. Servers, unlike other interfaces, don't have a long life span due to workload demands. They typically operate well between three to six years.
Comparisons between on-premises versus cloud deployments focus on these two metrics:
- Rapid deployment: Deploying services on the cloud typically takes only a few days, unlike deploying on-premises which can take months to strategize the allocation of IT infrastructure and the software required to run it. Often, additional costs are required for a dedicated IT department that is integral for the maintenance of an on-premises IT infrastructure.
- Improvement in tIme to market (TTM): The time taken to push a product through the development stage showed a dip, in organizations which had shifted its resources to cloud. Scalability is the main reason for this paradigm shift.
Cloud migration is the process of moving digital business operations, either wholly or partially, into the cloud. The phrase "wholly or partially" is important because the term cloud migration can also be used for on-premises to cloud shifting as well as for relocating between two cloud vendors.
Although cloud migration is a task that is thronged with hurdles along the path, analyst firm Gartner has released a sequence of steps to help ensure a successful hop from one computing platform to other.
Decoding the 5R's of cloud migration by Gartner
- Rehost: This is the elementary form of cloud migration today and involves moving all the applications and services of your organization into the cloud with minimum interference. Rehosting, also known as lift and shift, doesn't require any change in the code or the architecture because this digital transformation process is just the movement of business applications from physical data centers to cloud while preserving the actual functionality of the applications.
- Refactor:Legacy applications, those that are outdated but still in use, can be shifted to the cloud cost-effectively and without much difficulty by using the refactoring method. In this method of cloud migration, the code is transformed but retains its functionality.
- Revise:More complicated than others, this method is used by organizations to fully utilize features of the cloud. Revising is accomplished in two steps and is mainly used to modify IaaS and PaaS apps. The initial step changes the code to make it compatible with the new hosting space and later refactor, or rehost, it to complete the migration process.
- Rebuild: This strategy is adopted to integrate PaaS into the exiting operations of the organization by completely restructuring the entire code. This involves removing the existing code and making the application compatible for the cloud, also known as cloud native.
- Replace: Here the monolithic applications are replaced by SaaS alternatives that have the same capabilities as the legacy application.
These meticulously crafted methods don't necessarily assure a smooth relocation as the road to cloud migration is filled with potholes, a few of which are mentioned below:
Most common challenges in cloud migration
- Costs:Even though costs associated with a cloud computing infrastructure are meager in the long run, the initial overhead costs are high during the stage of vendor contract acquisition.
- Security and compliance:Most organizations are apprehensive about handing over the sensitive business operations data to cloud vendors.
- Business downtime:During migration, the services are dependent on the data that needs to be migrated at the same time. Not following this procedure can cause latency issues as data needs to cover the entire distance between the cloud center and the on-premises data center. If not carefully planned, latency issues can affect the availability of the business applications.
- Selecting the migration partner and cloud vendor:There are plenty of checkboxes to be covered in selecting a cloud vendor that can offer you services that are compatible with your organization's business policies.
There are three main cloud service models relevant now:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):This model offers the bare minimum control on all the cloud resources. The vendor provides the basic networking and storage resources on demand to the customers. An IaaS model eliminates the need to invest in capital expenditure in the form of a computing infrastructure.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): PaaS is similar to IaaS, but is more encompassing as the vendor also provides the operating system and the middleware.
- Software as a Service (SaaS):The cloud provider develops and maintains the application software, and follows a metered payment method, a pay-as-per-use model.
Cloud service providers can utilize any of these models. Clients should carefully evaluate their choice for cloud service provider because it is ultimately their responsibility to verify how the cloud service provider complies with the security and privacy rules imposed by regulatory agencies and the government.
The cloud vendor's interface should also be carefully scrutinized before arriving at the suitable provider. The provider should have all the key functionalities relating to the APIs needed to interact with the cloud services.
Benefits of migrating to the cloud
Cloud migration is the best choice for organizations looking to optimize spending on computing resources without compromising on security. Other significant benefits of shifting to the cloud are:
- Cloud management tool:The cloud service provider usually provides a centralized management tool that can monitor the cloud center using a single interface.
- Recover and backup tools: Most cloud service providers offer easy backup and recovery tools so that no data is lost. Data encryption is assured, between the source and the destination, when using a cloud service provider that complies with security rules.
- Flexibility: Organizations pay only for the cloud resources they use.
All these benefits from migrating to the cloud are not sufficient if there is no visibility into the cloud. Proper monitoring tools are vital for accomplishing this. They help analyze the cloud workloads, and the applications or services that utilize cloud-based resources such as VMs, microservices, and applications for data backup. It is important to ensure that the KPIs are observed so that these benefits can be utilized to generate more revenue.
Why should you observe your cloud ?
- Cloud performance:The features of elasticity and scalability can only be applied to the cloud by a thorough analysis of the metrics and logs acquired from the sub components of a cloud. Failing to monitor the cloud environment can negatively affect the agility of business applications hosted through the cloud, as only cloud monitoring can supply data (from metrics and logs) about the speed of cloud.
- Security: The concept of security can be viewed from two different points of view: during and after migrating to the cloud. After migrating to the cloud, monitoring the cloud attains even more importance because threat detection and response can only be performed if the firewall logs and API gateways are constantly monitored.
- Setting standards: Benchmarks are required to reproduce an application, or upgrade a particular feature in an application. In distributed systems, applications can be dependent on other services and applications. The individual performance of application components can only be made available with proper monitoring.
How does ManageEngine OpManager Plus help?
For large organizations, a successful cloud migration can be realized by evaluating different technological paths. But what happens to these organizations after they go through the tedious process of cloud migration?
Cloud management and monitoring should be viewed as a crucial part of assuring quality in the services offered through the cloud. OpManager Plus integrates key features required in a cloud management scene that can enhance the IT operations experience.
- Monitor your cloud to track all the essential components and quickly detect anomalies with the help of the cloud performance monitoring feature included with OpManager Plus.
- Monitor all the critical KPIs of AWS services which will help to create configurational baselines with the help of AWS monitoring.
- Monitor all the layers of your cloud infrastructure to receive instant reports on the source of problems identified with AI-enabled root cause analysis. The root cause analysis feature is enabled by observability and has taken the monitoring capabilities of OpManager Plus to greater heights.
- Automate the process of setting thresholds to key metrics, and help the process of autoscaling in your cloud native environment. Adaptive thresholds in OpManager Plus makes the process of manual threshold setting unnecessary.
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