Assessing your IT Infrastructure for Cloud Migration
The benefits, utility and advantages of using the cloud platform for enterprise computing are no longer points of debate and too attractive to ignore. It is an attractive and efficient option for companies to avoid high capital outlays for new servers and the overhead costs of managing on-premises architecture. Companies moving to the cloud can transform different facets of their business, and harness the full potential of the cloud and cloud-based services like machine learning, data analytics, etc.
With the decision to move to the cloud being easy and made, companies would find the next part of the process difficult. There are questions about how organizations can systematically assess their IT infrastructure to check their readiness and capability to migrate to cloud. The capability specifically has to be assessed with regard to business & operational aspects and technical requirements in the context of the company’s culture, processes, individual roles and governance when migrating to the cloud.
The cloud has the potential to transform companies and help reinvent them. The cloud platform allows the automation of many day-to-day activities, and frees up IT to devote more time to creating and implementing applications and services that will vitalize the business.
The overall strategy for cloud migration involves:
- Experimenting, finalizing and envisioning the process
- Bringing the right team on board for the cloud migration plan
- Creating a catalog of all the applications managed by IT and categorizing them based on their various attributes such as document classification type, server count, etc.
- Grouping these into sets based on criteria such performance, architecture, financial attributes, risk, operations, security and compliance.
Cataloging applications is done either with a top-down or the bottom-up approach. The former focuses on how and which applications best serve the business, whereas the latter considers the technical feasibility of the application. These approaches assess the difficulty of moving that application to the cloud and identify which applications have the highest value and degree of success in migration, helping businesses prioritize them in the migration process.
Application Cataloging Approaches
The top-down approach includes an evaluation of the various application and categorizing them based on their priority for business including the financial benefits gained by focusing on those applications.
The cataloging broadly considers the following aspects:
- Categorizing data, compliance, sovereignty and security risk requirements
- Assessing the complexity of interface, authentication, data structure, latency requirements, coupling and application life expectancy of the application architecture
- Outlining the operational requirements like SLAs, integration, maintenance windows, monitoring and insight
- Operational efficiencies, TCO (total cost of operation), return on investment
- Total computer load, seasonal fluctuations in usage levels, types of users, levels of scalability or elasticity required
- Requirements of business continuity and resilience
- Dependencies in the event of a service disruption
The bottom-up assessment is more about the technical requirements typically addressing factors such as:
- Maximum memory, number of processors, operating system disk space, data disks
- Network interface cards
- Network load balancing
- OS/ DB version
- Domains supporting
- Third-party components/ software packages
Migrating to the Cloud
Once the assessments are done companies typically start with less-complex projects and gradually increase the complexity as the migration progresses. When migrating to the cloud businesses have to ensure that their initial footprint in the cloud is in sync with the technology stack available on the cloud platform. The platform has to be scalable in line with the growing business and user requirements. This strategic approach is an essential part of cloud migration and an inherent part of the cloud strategy for businesses.
The actual cloud migration process involves the movement of data, applications or other business elements from onsite computers to a cloud infrastructure. The essential components of a cloud migration checklist include the network architecture, application architecture, business continuity plan, cost evaluation, governance and security aspects of the whole process.
To conclude, cloud migration requires careful assessment that enables enterprises to bring about rapid cloud transformation and harness the power offered by the cloud.
October 8, 2018
September 27, 2018