When migrating applications to the cloud, you can often be faced with a dilemma—do you “lift and shift” the application to the cloud? Or go for full or partial refactoring?
As a rule, the more complex your application is, and the more ambitious your migration goals are, the more likely you are to have a long, involved migration. But no matter what you’re trying to migrate, cloud migration doesn’t have to be a painful experience. Here are our key steps to ensure your transition to the cloud is smooth and provides you with the foundation your SaaS application needs for growth and scalability.
1. Assess your application architecture readiness
A “lift and shift” migration sounds like the easiest method, but it’s likely to sabotage your efforts in the future. Once you’re free of classic data centers and servers, you can benefit from newfound freedoms by making the most of the unique opportunities that Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provides. However, this means ensuring your application is designed to take advantage of this freedom.
The quickest litmus test to know if your app’s architecture is ready for the cloud is this simple question: can you scale different components of your app independently to meet changing customer demands? If you can, you’re ready to make the migration—but if you can’t, you need to start re-architecting before making the jump.
Microservices are the key to achieving independent horizontal scaling. The more aspects of your application that are self-contained as logical units, the more you’ll be able to benefit from migrating to the cloud with functional and cost-saving advantages. Plus, moving to microservices will allow you to improve single elements of your application without tearing it all down and rebuilding.
2. Build team consensus
Moving out of your data center and into the public cloud can be a big mindset change for many companies, especially if it requires re-architecting your application before you can make the shift. Resistance from some team members isn’t unusual—but you can’t just ignore or dismiss naysayers upfront.
It’s always worth giving your team the opportunity to discuss the migration strategy so any reservations can be expressed. After all, this is still your team and they need to be motivated and engaged about building the best application. Their concerns may be rooted in technical considerations that may shape the way you adjust your application’s architecture moving forward.
Taking the time to build team consensus before you start migrating allows you to highlight potential issues before they turn into serious pitfalls.
3. Select your toolset and cloud provider
When migrating to the cloud, you need to make sure you pick a provider whose offerings meet your business and application requirements.
Our recommendation is to compare the differentiated service offering from each cloud provider in order to make the most of the cost, performance, operations, and security benefits available to you. Our customers are increasingly leveraging multiple cloud service providers to create a custom multi-cloud environment to achieve their unique performance and financial requirements.
We get it—this can be a daunting task. To help, CloudHealth by VMware created an in-depth comparison of cloud services among the leading cloud providers, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Download a copy for yourself here: Comparing Services For The Big Three Cloud Providers
Additionally, Forrester recently released The Forrester Wave™: Hybrid Cloud Management, Q4 2020, which compares the top nine vendors in the hybrid cloud management and operations space. You can use Forrester's detailed analysis to build out your vendor shortlist of hybrid cloud management providers in order to make the right decision for your business.
4. Commit to ongoing monitoring
It’s easy to think that migrating to the cloud will immediately and magically solve all your IT-infrastructure and SaaS hosting challenges. But without plans for monitoring your application’s ongoing performance and costs, you can end up disappointed with the results.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that migrating to the cloud means you can spin up whatever you need, whenever you want, without proper preparation and the right tools. The cloud provides you with the opportunity to scale faster, deploy more efficiently, deliver new features quicker than ever before, and accelerate your business’ growth. But in order to do all of that, you need to be ready too.
Are you ready to migrate to the cloud?
Do you know if you’re ready to migrate to the cloud? Are you concerned about doing it alone?
If this is your first migration, or you’re planning to migrate multiple applications to the cloud—or even your entire on-premises infrastructure—it may be beneficial to watch a recording of our webinar, “Four Questions to Answer Before Migrating to the Cloud” before you take any of the steps mentioned above.
The webinar covers topics such as planning the ideal end-state, selecting which workloads and applications to migrate first, and determining what type of migration strategy may best suit your organization´s needs. The webinar also prompts you to think about what goals you’re looking to accomplish by moving workloads and applications to the cloud.
You’re also invited to learn more about the Migration Assessment offered by CloudHealth by VMware, which enables you to efficiently assess and model workloads for migration, and then manage and optimize your infrastructure for cost, usage, performance, and security once they’re running in the cloud.