How to Migrate to the Cloud

 

Cloud migration has been a steadily growing topic of interest for businesses looking to take advantage of new ICT infrastructure models in the last few years. In 2020, 90% of companies already have at least one workload in the cloud[1], but there is a growing emphasis not just on where you compute, but instead leveraging how you take advantage of infrastructure developments to drive digital transformation.

Businesses that are considering their first cloud migration have plenty of factors to consider before making the jump to cloud. There are a plethora of options and cloud service models available, each with their own benefits and challenges discussed below.

 

Table of contents:

What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration encompasses all the planning, processes and workflows required in moving business owned ICT assets (including applications, data, and databases) into a cloud-based environment.

 

What type of Cloud migration is available?

  • Public clouds: are often the most accessible type of cloud environment for businesses as there is less setup required to get started. Compute resources offered by public cloud platforms (for example Google Cloud Platform) are accessed by multiple users, usually on a self-serve basis through an online interface. 
  • Private clouds are usually set up to be used by one business only. Modelled on a private network, all resources are assigned solely to your company even if provided by a third-party cloud provider. This gives businesses heightened visibility and control over their applications and data, as well as extra security.
  • Multi cloud is when a business uses multiple cloud deployments from different vendors (either public or private or both) to fully service their IT requirements. One example is a company opting for a more localised cloud provider to store data, geographically required to stay in an area for compliance purposes. Multi cloud environments run concurrently and independently with no interconnection.
  • Hybrid cloud is an evolution of multi cloud with interconnected public and/or private environments, facilitating workload portability with APIs or middleware. The interconnection of multiple cloud environments gives businesses the best of both worlds, especially when paired with cloud on-ramp services with colocation facilities. 

 

What are the benefits of Cloud migration?

As part of an evolving digital transformation strategy within a business, migrating to the cloud has multiple benefits:

  • Increased Agility: Businesses are able to easily upscale or downscale bandwidth used on the cloud reactive to demand, and this increased infrastructure elasticity allows IT teams to make more informed decisions.
  • Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery: In the event of business interruption, cloud platforms enable the access and running of applications automatically. Backup data processes can easily be automated on a schedule and restoring data from the cloud can be more reliable than relying solely on hardware, where data corruption is a real possibility.
  • Reduced Costs: Most public cloud offerings operate on a self-service, pay-per-use model which means it’s easier for businesses to stay in control of computing costs, as well as reducing spending on legacy hardware and equipment maintenance.
  • Flexibility: Business applications are accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, making operations global and more connected if remote working is needed.

 

On-premise to Cloud Migration Strategy

The cloud migration process for all businesses is a combination of complex technology and management considerations that require extensive planning. The first step is to properly assess on-premise IT resources, taking stock of which applications need to be moved and which should be housed offline or in a private cloud. This assessment should include the context of the businesses’ entire network topology with applications and all their dependencies mapped thoroughly. This will give an idea of the complexity level of both design and integration needed to be moved into the new cloud environment. 

Cloud migration strategies should also take note of staff capabilities, as the skills needed to manage cloud-based applications are different to managing owned on-premise legacy hardware. Prudent businesses will incorporate training into their cloud migration plans, as well as early buy-in from key stakeholders across the business to make for a smoother transition. Key considerations for data such as latency, geographic location, and regulatory compliance can help to streamline decisions about data that would rather be stored in an on-ramp solution or private cloud. Planning for a cloud migration could be an ideal time for your team to look at how applications are currently being used and whether there is an opportunity to cull unnecessary features or historical data to increase cost efficiency in the cloud.

Mainstream public cloud providers such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) all have their own features that may be better suited for one type of application over another. When comparing these providers, businesses also shouldn’t neglect considerations for available bandwidth and costs associated. Most providers offer calculator tools that can estimate pricing once you have inputted your specific compute requirements.

Most businesses new to cloud migration will operate their transition using a ‘lift-and-shift migration’ where everything is replicated in the cloud exactly how it was structured on-premise. Sometimes, this type of move isn’t possible due to operational restrictions or inefficiencies discovered, so application restructuring is implemented in tandem with the migration. Businesses that do not currently have staff with experience in handling cloud architectures can lean on service providers, to bridge the gap in restructuring and optimising infrastructure ready to take advantage of all that cloud has to offer. Cloud platform providers also enable business to carry out the actual moving of data offline, in order to save on business-critical internet bandwidth. 

 

Best of Both with Hybrid IT (Cloud and Colocation)

Taking advantage of a colocation provider means businesses are able to house their business-critical hardware in a purpose built environment, and have the freedom to opt for a hybrid cloud solution that fits their needs. This allows IT teams to integrate multiple infrastructures as well as enabling access to secure, private clouds in addition to public clouds. Colocation also promises on demand reliability, availability and security with commitment to SLAs as standard. 

 

How to connect to AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and Rstor:

  • Businesses interested in Microsoft Azure cloud migration are able to use Azure Migrate: Server Assessment which is a test environment to see how VM workloads could perform in the Azure public cloud before migration, as well as a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator to estimate costs.
  • AWS Cloud Migration is supported with their Application Discovery Service that helps to map and plan application interdependencies. The AWS Migration Hub also helps businesses monitor progress during a migration with visibility of statuses across all resources.
  • Google Cloud Platform offers a Cloud Transfer Service, which encompasses both cloud-cloud and on-premise to cloud migrations, allowing for the backup of data during migrations.
  • Rstor provides a portfolio of services that offers businesses a secure way to migrate mainframe workloads to the Cloud, increase bandwidth efficiency and streamline cloud product complexities. 

 

Cloud Connect with Interxion

For many businesses, cloud migration is the next step for growth in their IT infrastructure. Digital transformation starts with the leveraging of one or multiple cloud solutions, opening the door to AI capability, IoT and wrangling Big Data. Cloud Connect is Interxion’s bespoke cloud access service, to enable private connections to multiple cloud providers. Access includes key cloud platform providers such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform and other cloud services. Interxion colocation in London empowers businesses to leverage cloud ecosystems, within a secure and low latency hybrid IT model, to get the best of both worlds.

[1] 451 Research

 

About Interxion

Interxion has 15 London data centres and 3 interconnected data centre colocation campuses. The data centres in London offer a rich portfolio of 195+ carriers, internet service providers (ISPs), content distribution networks (CDNs) and internet exchanges, including LINX and LONAP. Reach the cloud easily and securely with private connectivity. The London data centre Cloud On-Ramps and Cloud Connect capability enable secure and high performance VLAN interconnections to multiple clouds like Microsoft AzureAmazon Web Services, andOracle.

Interxion London is also home to three quarters of the Fortune 500 and a range of enterprise communities, including the most established financial services, banking and trading community in Europe. Cross-connect with 200+ finance organisations, and benefit from close proximity to the London Stock Exchange plus unrivalled, low-latency connections to trading and exchange venues.

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