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Key Considerations Before a Cloud Migration

Key Considerations Before a Cloud Migration

If you’ve been running your existing business applications on your own or leased servers, the thought of transferring your workloads to the cloud to save time and money has probably already crossed your mind.

And if it hasn’t crossed your mind yet…where ya been?!

In most cases, considering a migration to the cloud is a very savvy move. Problem is, cloud migrations are rarely a simple process and there are a myriad of little details you must account for in order to do it right.

Lucky for you, the experts at Shamrock have helped hundreds of clients successfully migrate to the cloud and cut costs significantly, and we’ve got the perfect playbook to help you make it happen, too.

Is Your Business Ready to Get to the Cloud?

Here are some key considerations to make before committing yourself to a full-scale cloud migration:

Your Current Situation

Before looking at any cloud destination, take an in-depth look at your existing set-up first.

You can divide this into two separate tasks:

Map your data flows

How does data enter, move through and exit your network? What hardware is involved? Which networks? Where is it all stored?

When you migrate your applications and services to the cloud, some of them will inevitably have to change and it’s much easier to decide what to migrate, how to do it and when to pull the trigger if you already have a clear picture of what’s happening right now within your data flows.

Map your application dependencies

As they perform their various functions, your applications and services will talk to servers, other applications, and each other. Server requests and other commands can be mapped using automated software, helping you to architect all dependencies. Automated software can also highlight the presence of shadow IT, which will be useful when looking into security.


Cloud Migration Strategies

Once you have a clear understanding of your data flows and dependencies, you will be in a much better position to determine which applications will be easiest to move to the cloud and how best to go about the process of doing so.

There are various ways to migrate workflows and each option has different costs and benefits, as follows:

Rehosting. Often known as ‘lift and shift,’ this is a fast migration method which essentially involves running the same applications using cloud architecture instead of premise-based. Keep in mind, applications will be unable to access some of the benefits of the cloud such as autoscaling, and there is also the risk of copying over corrupted files and malware. Be careful, be diligent, and be smart!
Refactoring. This involves altering the codebase of applications to enable them to run natively on a cloud platform and take advantage of all cloud features. Programmers can also take the opportunity to remove any bugs or malware they come across. This takes a lot longer than rehosting, but it is a more professional and secure method.
Replatforming. A trade-off between rehosting and refactoring. Small modifications to the codebase are made to ensure applications run well in the cloud and can utilize some cloud features. While faster than refactoring, there is more chance of copying over faulty code and not all cloud features will be available.

Using your dependencies map, you can decide which applications could be most easily migrated with the least chance of disruption. It’s common practice to move these applications first and monitor the impact, then move on to more deeply integrated applications later.

Performance Impact

In business, performance is everything.

Can your cloud provider guarantee high levels of uptime (the more nines in their SLA the better!).

Can you benefit from multi-service segregation to prioritize business-critical applications for low latency synchronization?

Do you need to consider a direct connection to a public cloud provider to preserve existing performance levels?

Security Issues

In a perfect world, your migration team will have a full and complete understanding of your security needs, including how to configure firewalls and build subnets.

Nothing is perfect, though, so if this is not the case, ask yourself this: “Is it worth thinking about a managed security solution to protect your customers’ data and ensure compliance with data security regulations?”

The answer is almost always yes.


Is a Cloud Migration Worth the Effort (Do You Need Help)?

As you complete the considerations listed above, you will now be in a position to decide whether a full cloud migration is right for your business, if you’d be better off with a hybrid network, or if you should stay status quo and keep your applications in-house.

Whatever you decide, there will come a time where a cloud migration makes the most sense for your business. It’s inevitable. And when that time comes, having a trusted, vendor-neutral cloud and security team of specialists in your corner will make a world of difference for your migration.

Shamrock Consulting Group has the largest partner portfolio in the industry which includes every major public cloud provider (e.g. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, etc.) on the market. Amazon also happens to be a Shamrock customer!

Whatever stage of the cloud migration process you’re in, Shamrock can help. Our team is battle-tested and highly knowledgeable on all things cloud, from optimization and cost management, to direct connects, lifecycle planning and much more.

We offer free consultations to all potential customers, so contact us today and see how Shamrock can elevate your business all the way to the cloud and beyond.

Ben Ferguson

Ben Ferguson

Ben Ferguson is the Vice President and Senior Network Architect for Shamrock Consulting Group, an industry leader in digital transformation solutions. Since his departure from Biochemical research in 2004, Ben has built core competencies around cloud direct connects and cloud cost reduction, enterprise wide area network architecture, high density data center deployments, cybersecurity and Voice over IP telephony. Ben has designed hundreds of complex networks for some of the largest companies in the world and he’s helped Shamrock become a top partner of the 3 largest public cloud platforms for AWS, Azure and GCP consulting. When he takes the occasional break from designing networks, he enjoys surfing, golf, working out, trying new restaurants and spending time with his wife, Linsey, his son, Weston and his dog, Hamilton.

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