Cloud technologies attract more and more attention with every passing year, and moving to the cloud has become a common trend for modern enterprises and startups. Some people come to the decision naturally, in the process of continuous growth and development. Others are forced into it: the least-evil choice to improve on legacy systems.
The older and the bigger a system is, the more unsolved and undiscovered problems it has. Such systems are difficult to maintain and impossible to scale or modify. These kinds of legacy software often goes against current standards, forces critical failures, and contains security and performance issues.
To combat these problems and bring business to a new level, companies need to find better software solutions. More and more often, they decide in favor of moving to a cloud environment and delegating environment support and management to third-party organizations—the cloud service providers or vendors.
Businesses may choose to make this move for a variety of reasons, and the benefits include increased productivity, scalability, and flexibility. However, like most things, cloud software has its risks. Certain roadblocks can emerge on the way to the cloud, and difficulties can arise, including issues relating to:
- security and data privacy;
- hidden and deferred expenses;
- dependency on a provider.
Transitioning to the cloud is a serious upgrade that requires clarifying details, refining controversial points, and highlighting possible pitfalls.
If your business has weighed all the pros and cons and decided to join the cloud community, you may still have the following questions:
- How do we prepare for the transition?
- What do we need to pay attention to?
- How can we soften the blow in case of possible issues?
As with any other technology, cloud computing is just a tool; it can’t be good or bad by itself. The benefits you get from moving to the cloud depend on how carefully and thoughtfully you implement the migration process.
In order to avoid drowning in the wide variety of cloud service providers and solutions available, businesses need a kind of a road map for the cloud transition process. So here at ModLogix, we have prepared a list of 20 cloud migration tips to make your transition to the cloud as smooth as possible. We hope this list will guide you through all the stages of cloud migration, from preparation to maintenance and support.
First, to avoid getting lost in all these cloud migration hints and tips, let’s separate out the three phases of cloud migration:
- pre-migration or preparation;
- the migration itself;
- post-migration or maintenance.
10 Pre-migration Tips for Cloud Migration
The better you prepare for the cloud migration process, the better the chance that you’ll perform it smoothly and predictably.
Keep in mind that there are two parties involved in the cloud transition process: your company and a cloud service provider. So we’ve provided tips that apply to your company as well as tips that you should keep in mind when dealing with a service provider.
Before diving into the cloud migration adventure, examine the current health and composition of your system, especially if it’s a legacy application.
1. Evaluate the existing system
Before considering migrating to the cloud, think of your business processes and specifics. Do you need cloud services for your organization? One way or another, migration poses some risks that could outweigh the advantages; not every business is ready to move to the cloud.
Thoroughly revise all the components and interactions in your system, including architecture, databases, code, servers, storage, applications, infrastructure, integrations, third-party tools, sensitive data, legacy code, and unresolved bugs.
Identify modernization and security improvements for your productLearn more
2. Clean up and reconfigure
Next, clean up and reconfigure your applications to make sure you don’t migrate legacy errors. Not all data is important for your current processes; decide which data to move and which to leave.
3. Prepare team and resources
Analyze the expertise of your team members to ensure you have enough personnel resources to perform the migration process. Check to see whether those specialists who managed your on-premises system can work within the cloud infrastructure. Perhaps
, you’ll need to invest in education and training to introduce a cloud-oriented culture to your company.
Otherwise, if you have no internal team, or you don’t want to do the migration on your own, refer to third-party professionals who know legacy system migration inside and out.
4. Know the most up-to-date regulatory policies
Depending on where you’re located and where you do business, you may follow GDPR, HIPAA, or other policies. Constantly track the changes in cloud security standards.
5. Have a migration plan
Investigate existing migration strategies to choose the most appropriate one. Consider the basic Rs by Gartner:
Forbes gives an alternative list:
- Refactor (what is legacy code refactoring? Read the article!)
Or check out our cloud migration guide for CTOs.
Make certain you have a rollback plan; it will be your plan B in case you abandon the cloud transition and decide to go back to the initial system configuration.
What else you should know before cloud migration. Ask these 10 Critical Questions About Migration to the Cloud
Think ahead, keeping in mind scalability, and future extension.
The ideal cloud migration provider takes care of most of the migration-related issues, starting from a full assessment of the current system and going all the way up to monitoring the after-migration KPIs (key performance indicators).
It’s crucial for your business to have a proper provider with a suitable set of technologies and services corresponding to your needs. So, when choosing a provider, use the following tips.
1. Consider the security level provided
When you agree on the cloud deployment model, check the data protection policy the provider relies on. You want the provider to have two-factor authentication and to avoid account sharing.
2. Consider risk assessment
Check how the vendor assesses risk: legal protection, ownership issues, untrustworthy machine instances, and human errors.
3. Separate responsibility areas
Clarify the scope of responsibilities of each side to avoid future conflicts. The level of your interaction with the provider and your responsibility areas depend on the cloud service you selected. There are three general models for applying cloud computing: IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. Choose the one that fits you most.
4. Agree on performance metrics
Formulate a set of criteria to evaluate the migration process and to compare the before/after results.
5. Consider the cloud service provider
Choosing a qualified software provider is a quandary for plenty of organizations. The provider must be experienced and reliable
, and provide a high level of support. In order to meet these requirements, we came up with a list of questions to help you select a legacy modernization vendor.
Even if you’re entirely relying on the cloud migration provider, don’t hesitate to ask what services and technologies are being used. Ensure that the cloud service is properly selected and fits your business needs. Consider the geolocation and physical security of the proposed data centers, as long distances can cause downtimes. Keep in mind that a diversity of laws can cause data security issues.
5 Practical Tips for Moving to a Cloud Environment
Though in most cases a cloud provider takes care of all the migration steps, it’s good practice to have an idea of what exactly is going to happen. Pay attention to the following tips for moving to the cloud to ensure a smooth and successful cloud transition.
1. Set up the environment
Set up the working development environment. Ensure that all components and services are compatible with the new environment, including the third-party services used.
If possible, run services in parallel for some time. Properly clean up your old data storage.
When one of our clients decided to migrate his Webforms system to Microsoft Azure, we carefully prepare a cloud environment before migration, as well as rewrite some app parts. Read the full case study on how we dealt with a complex migration project.
In addition, we created the Azure migrate step by step guide to walk you through the steps of a successful migration.
2. Go step by step
Migrate your services one by one. Choose one of the following methods based on your priorities:
- Move less critical items first to see if it works properly, OR
- Move the most important items first to speed up the process.
Request proof of concept from the migration vendor and use trial migration if available.
If you’re migrating to the cloud for the first time, use one provider to get experience. In future migrations, feel free to use multiple cloud providers if needed.
In case of error or failure, use a rollback option to move to a previous step. If any errors occur, correct them as fast as possible.
3. Use cloud-native processes
Try to use cloud-native solutions where possible. Implement collaborative DevOps practices and close team communication to speed up software releases. Be ready for frequent code changes and dynamic usage of the infrastructure.
In contrast to the traditional outdated monolithic application approach, get used to microservices. Try to break the applications into small, independent components and manage them separately. This allows you to scale individual parts, rather than the whole system at once.
4. Perform continuous monitoring and testing
Consider user feedback and user experience. Track system performance. Monitor KPIs and system security.
How to test a legacy codebase without breaking anything? Learn here. Testing Legacy Codebase: What is, Common Problems and Best Practices
5. Keep in touch with the team
Provide ongoing messaging and training to keep your support team up to date.
5 After-migration Tips for Migrating to the Cloud
The cloud environment is a long-lasting relationship. Once you’ve joined, you’ll have to constantly monitor and maintain the system. You have two options here:
- Teach your own team to monitor and maintain the system, if it fits your company business strategy and if the budget allows.
- Cooperate with the cloud vendor for support and further modifications.
In any case, for smooth system operation, the following activities need to be performed regularly.
1. Test and monitor the system
Test basic features as well as critical points, including security, performance, and system health. Monitor system performance and KPIs. Correct performance metrics according to business objectives.
2. Control system security
Track sensitive data management. Keep an appropriate authorization and authentication security level. Track data management and storage security.
3. Optimize the cloud environment
Constantly upgrade the environment according to changes in regulatory policies and global technologies.
4. Adapt resources
Adapt your resources to avoid downtimes and underutilization; increase or decrease resources if needed.
Use scaling, scheduling, reserved channels, and cold storages to optimize resource distribution across platforms.
Learn from others, then implement best practices on your projects. 3 Legacy Software Modernization Case Studies and 12 Lessons We’ve Learned
5. Train and inform the team
Constantly educate the team on all ongoing changes.
Migrating ASP.NET Webforms to Microsoft Azure Case Study
How we migrate the platform from Webforms to AzureVIEW CASE STUDY
Not all businesses need to move to the cloud; the costs associated with doing so could outweigh the benefits. Each company will prioritize different metrics:
- Cost reduction
- Speed and bandwidth
- Innovation and keeping up with competitors
- Full control over their own data and security
- Fixed total costs
- Autonomous offline operating.
You could also consider a combined approach: taking the best features from both cloud-based and on-premises technologies. You also might use cloud environments for some of your corporate services, while leaving other services in on-premises technologies.
Still, the general trend is moving to cloud infrastructure, and for those who make that move, we hope our tips for moving your business to the cloud will come in handy.
If moving to the cloud fits your business strategy, why not discuss the matter with an expert? ModLogix, a software modernization provider, offers a free consultation as well as full support of your migration process.
How to jumpstart an app modernization process? Follow these steps. How to Create an Effective Application Modernization Roadmap for Your Project