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Application migration to the Cloud: Benefits and the Things to consider

Application migration to the cloud is the process of moving your on-premise applications to the cloud environment. During the process, the entire application data, sub-applications and processes would be migrated to cloud servers.

There are various methods of application migration using the cloud. The lift-and-shift migration process can be used to migrate the entire application with its lock, barrel, and stock. The method doesn’t call for significant changes or code revamps.

In other cases, the code and the application design or it’s IT architecture might require minor to major tweaks to facilitate the migration.

The application data is usually transferred using one of the following three application migration methods:

● Using a public internet connection – Where the volume of data is less and can be quickly sent across the internet.
● Using a dedicated/private network connection – Where the volume of data is relatively large and requires high-end security, encryption, and bandwidth.
● Physical transferring – In instances where the volume of data is enormous, and it becomes impossible to transport over the Internet, the data is uploaded to an appliance which is shipped to the cloud server location. The data is then uploaded to the cloud server.

AWS Migration Hub, Google transfer appliance, AWS Snowball, Azure Migrate are some of the most commonly used migration services.

Benefits of application migration using cloud

83% Of Enterprise Workloads Will Be In The Cloud By 2020, says LogicMonitor’s Cloud Vision 2020: The Future of the Cloud Study (Opt-in required). Cloud is becoming the default choice for enterprises to host their sensitive and demanding applications. Here are the benefits of cloud that are luring enterprises in large numbers.

Pay-per-use model

Pay-per-use is one of the successful business and pricing models that cloud has introduced to the enterprise IT space. In the pay-per-use model, the enterprise pays only for the resources used during a given period. There is no capital lock-in or coerced buy-in of resources that the enterprise does not require. It saves a bulk portion of IT overheads. For example, enterprises have to pay only for the number of users they have subscribed the service for, or for the storage space occupied, or the number of sessions transacted in a month and so on.

Greater elasticity

Elasticity refers to the ability of an application to expand or contrast in response to its workload requirements quickly. In layman’s terms, it is the scalability that is being offered when the application requires more resources or wants to cut back on the existing capacity. One of the benefits of application migration is this scalability.

Cloud elasticity or scalability ensures that the migrated application has ready availability of resources. Enterprises can always prepare themselves with a minimal amount of resources and scale them as the volumes pick up. The flexible capacity availability also helps keep costs low as well as ensure stable performance.

Minimal downtimes

Cloud servers are more reliable than on-premise systems. They are not bogged down by the hardware issues and performance glitches which is commonplace amidst on-premise systems. Also, since virtual networks power them, controlling, maintaining, and managing them is relatively easier. Remote system admins can be entrusted with the task of handling the cloud servers.

Things to bear in mind during application migration using cloud

Application migration using cloud could be on the rise. However, it is not any mean task to be carried out without any thought. There are several things to bear in mind before taking the big leap.

Have a roadmap of application migration requirements

Cloud does give several benefits that make it an ideal fit for application migration. However, it would help if you remembered that not all applications might be cloud-ready. It would also help if you also had a roadmap of the future revamps to the application which could make it a misfit for the cloud.

Having a roadmap of the exact requirements for the application migration would help prevent pitfalls. For instance, choosing between public or private cloud will make a world of difference in storing mission-critical data, which brings us to the next point.

Choose the cloud flavor beforehand

While migrating applications from premises to the cloud, you can choose between public or private cloud services. Each choice has its advantages as well as disadvantages that have to be carefully analyzed and evaluated before making the final decision.

If you want a cloud flavor that gives more control, room for customization and also security, a private cloud would be the ideal choice. Private cloud is the default choice for many applications related to healthcare, financial services, etc. On the other hand, a public cloud would be a wise choice if you want to opt for a cloud model that is highly scalable and offers the solace of pay-as-you-use. Hybrid is yet another option that gives the best of both worlds – public and private.

Gear up for security challenges

On-premises and cloud have extremely different working models. The governance and security methods that worked for on-premises may not work for the cloud. Also, in the cloud space, there is a need for enterprises to collaborate tightly with their cloud service providers to ensure security while migrating to the cloud.

The process of cloud migration is time-consuming and requires the participation of several stakeholders. Security of application data must be ensured during the process as well to avoid lapses. Additionally, if there are plans of any of the on-premises data in the cloud model, they should also be made immune to security flaws. In other words, security should be planned and provided for throughout the planning phase of application migration to the cloud.

In a nutshell

According to BetterCloud, 73% of organizations say at least 80% of their apps will run on the cloud (SaaS) by 2020. Cloud is the way forward for businesses that are serious about operational stability, security, and flexibility.

Migrating applications to the cloud bring several benefits to the table like quick scalability, stable performance s and operational agility. It is necessary to consider the various challenges during the process of application migration to the cloud to reap all these benefits to the maximum.

Choosing the right cloud flavor, having a list of migration requirements and double-checking governance and security are necessary predecessors. The cloud migration process should be put in place only after considering all these factors.

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