The cloud is quickly becoming the preferred infrastructure for companies in many industries. Moving to the cloud is usually done in stages, and there are specific steps that every business should take into account. Here are 10 steps that every company must consider when the decision for cloud migration is made.
If your business is considering moving to the cloud, why not let Lanrex guide you over the hurdles?
1 - Discover Your Deployment Model
The different forms of “aaS” (as a Service) will serve as your deployment options, and there are a growing number of options you can choose from. For instance, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) lets you take control of all hardware and software through the cloud. Platform as a Service (PaaS) adds development options to IaaS features. The popular Software as a Service (SaaS) option is less complicated than IaaS or PaaS, and it is often the most effective option for smaller companies.
2 - Decide the Type of Cloud Structure You Need
There are three basic cloud types that correspond somewhat to web hosting options — public, private, and hybrid clouds. A public cloud is the approximate equivalent of a shared server that is offsite. A private cloud gives a company a single tenant solution just for them. And a hybrid solution is a mix between the two.
3 - Start With Non-Mission-Critical Applications
There will be hiccups when you are first moving into the cloud. To keep your business functional while you learn how to make the move, start with smaller applications, saving customer-facing, mission-critical apps until the end of the process.
4 - Choose the Apps for the Cloud
As functional as the cloud currently is, it is not the best solution for everything just yet. For instance, if you decide on a public cloud option, then you may want to move only those apps with less of a need for security. You may also find that legacy apps are not compliant with the newer infrastructure of the cloud. You will have to update those functions before moving or decide to move into a new standard.
5 - Search Out Prospective Hosts
Once you have chosen the applications you want in the cloud and matched your general structure to those needs, it is time to see who exactly can provide those resources to you. Not all cloud hosts are the same. You may want to hold a round of RFPs or conference calls to have cloud-hosting companies explain to you firsthand what they can do for you.
6 - Perform Your Own Research
As with any other business partnership, do not rely on the word of the hosting company after presentations are made. Ideally, you want to see their solutions in action. This is easy enough to accomplish — you can find current clients and conduct interviews, peruse review sites, and even set up a test site to see firsthand how the vendor handles security and compliance issues.
7 - Consider Scaling
Although one of the biggest advantages of cloud hosting is scalability, this does not happen magically or automatically upon deployment. Any application that you are looking to eventually scale must be placed on a load balancer to respond in a timely fashion to an increased need for resources. You need to look into whether your vendor charges extra for this feature, especially if you are choosing IaaS as your infrastructure. PaaS solutions have a bit of scalability built in; however, the company behind the infrastructure is what drives the final cost.
8 - Consider Customer Service
Is your hosting company willing to guarantee a certain level of uptime? What is the restitution to you if it fails to live up to this standard? Downtime, once you move proprietary data and customer facing applications into the cloud, can be an enormous setback; and your hosting company should be more than able to provide guarantees that this will not happen. Check the automated maintenance schedule to ensure timely and proper security and software build updates.
9 - The Architecture of the Software
As alluded to before, traditional and cloud apps do not always port well into each other. Even if a traditional app can be ported, its features are not always maximized. You must check to see if your hosting will require third-party cluster equivalents, load balancers, or database replication.
10 - The Legal Hurdles
Once you virtualise your business in a global way, laws in different jurisdictions become an issue. You must work with your cloud provider to stay in compliance with municipalities and software company licenses.
Migrating to the cloud can be one of the best decisions a business ever makes. From increased efficiency and less downtime, to improved security and load balancing — the benefits of implementing a cloud IT infrastructure seem limitless. However, it’s easy to get lost along the way, and businesses really can’t afford to get it wrong.
If you’re considering moving your business to the cloud, why not get in touch with Lanrex? We understand that every business is unique, and we don’t speak geek! See what we did for our client, The Retail Council.