How Enterprises Can Successfully Migrate to the Cloud From On-Premise Solutions

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Are you ready to join the list of enterprises that have migrated to the cloud? If yes, remember that a successful on-premise to cloud migration doesn't just happen overnight. You need a solid plan and strategy to transition smoothly without disruption and gain the maximum advantages of your new cloud environment.

The good news is many businesses have made the cloud migration journey before you. By following their best practices and lessons learned, you can avoid common pitfalls and accelerate your time to value. Keep reading for a comprehensive on-premise to-cloud migration checklist.

Why Cloud Migration Is Essential for Enterprises?

Cloud migration solutions are a must for enterprises in today's digital world. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Cost savings: The cloud eliminates the need for expensive on-premise hardware and software. You only pay for what you use, scaling up or down as needed.
  • Improved security: Cloud providers invest heavily in security and compliance to protect your data. They also push automatic updates to help patch vulnerabilities quickly.
  • Enhanced collaboration: With cloud-based tools, teams can work together in real-time from anywhere. This boosts productivity and innovation.
  • Future-proofed technology: Cloud platforms are continuously upgraded, so you can always access the latest features and capabilities without the hassle of manual updates.
  • Disaster recovery: The cloud backs up your data and systems across multiple locations. So if anything happens to your on-site infrastructure, you can be back up and running quickly.

Migrating To Cloud: Everything You Need to Know & Do

Migrating to the cloud does come with challenges. But they can be overcome with thorough planning and the right cloud partner. You can make the transition smoothly and start reaping the benefits. Here’s everything you need to do.

Assessing the Current On-Premise Infrastructure

Conduct an in-depth assessment of your current infrastructure for hassle-free on-premise to cloud migration. First, You need to determine how much to migrate and how complex the move will be.

  • Catalog all hardware, software, and services currently in use. Note versions, licensing, and how components interact.

  • Evaluate how much can move to the cloud as-is, what needs updating first, and what may need replacement.
  • Determine connectivity requirements. Moving large amounts of data and accessing resources in the cloud demands solid internet connectivity and bandwidth.
  • Calculate costs for migrating, operating, and maintaining a cloud environment. While the cloud reduces infrastructure costs, you must still budget for migration, licensing, and ongoing management.

A detailed assessment of your existing on-premise infrastructure is essential to migrating successfully to the cloud. Know what you have, how it's used, and what needs to change to determine how best to make a move and realize the benefits of the cloud.

Planning On-premise to Cloud Migration Strategy

Define Your Migration Goals

First, determine why you want to migrate to the cloud and what you hope to achieve. Do you want to reduce costs by eliminating your on-premise infrastructure? Improve scalability or security? Enhance collaboration? Defining clear goals will help guide your strategy and choose the right cloud migration services.

Evaluate Your Current Environment

Conduct an in-depth analysis of your existing on-premise architecture, applications, and workflows. Document how components are interconnected and identify any potential on-premise to cloud migration challenges. This discovery process will highlight what you need to rebuild, reconfigure, or replace to shift to the cloud successfully.

Choose a Cloud Platform

You can choose among Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Evaluate each based on your goals and needs to select the best option. You may want to test different platforms on a small scale before fully committing. Some factors to consider include available services, security, compliance, and pricing.

Develop a Migration Plan

Outline the necessary steps to migrate your on-premises environment to your chosen cloud platform. Include timelines, resource requirements, and budgets for each phase of the transition. Start with a pilot migration of a few applications or services to work out any issues before moving everything to the cloud.

Data Migration and Security Considerations

Identify and Map Your Data

The first step is figuring out what data you have and where it lives. Map out your on-premise architecture and data flow to determine what needs to be migrated. Focus on business-critical data first.

Choose a Migration Strategy

There are a few options for moving data to the cloud:

  • Lift and shift: Move data as-is. Simple but may require rework.
  • Replatform: Make a few tweaks for the new platform.
  • Rearchitect: Rebuild apps and data for the cloud.

Evaluate costs, resources, and timelines to pick the right approach. A hybrid model, combining strategies, is also possible.

Address Security and Compliance

Cloud security must remain a top priority. Review regulations like HIPAA or GDPR that your data must comply with. Enable security features like encryption, VPCs, and IAM roles.

Test and Validate

Once data is in the cloud, double-check that it's intact and applications are functioning properly. Run tests to validate data accuracy and app performance. Make any needed fixes before go-live.

Decommission On-Premise Systems

When confident in the cloud setup, you can turn off on-premise systems. But keep data archives just in case. Plan how to handle the remaining hardware, software, and infrastructure.

Migrating to the cloud is a journey. Start with a solid plan, learn as you go, and celebrate wins along the way.  

Application Migration and Modernization

When migrating applications to the cloud, prioritize based on business criticality and complexity. Start with low-risk, self-contained applications before moving to more complex, mission-critical systems.

Re-Architect As Needed

Some applications may require re-architecture to fully leverage cloud benefits like scalability, elasticity, and managed services. Evaluate whether applications can be “lifted and shifted” as-is or if they need refactoring into microservices or serverless architectures.

Choose a Migration Strategy

There are a few common migration strategies to consider:

  • Rehost (lift and shift): Move applications as-is to the cloud. It is quick but has limited benefits.
  • Replatform (lift, tinker, and shift): Make a few cloud optimizations but keep the same architecture.
  • Refactor (lift, drop, and rebuild): Rearchitect the application for the cloud.
  • Repurchase (drop and shop): Replace the on-premise application with a cloud-based one.

Leverage Managed Services

Take advantage of cloud-native managed services to reduce operational overhead. Use services for databases, queues, caching, storage, and more. This frees up resources to focus on innovation and optimizing your cloud migration.

Test and Validate

Conduct quality assurance testing to validate that applications are functioning as expected post-migration. Check for any degradation in performance or new bugs introduced. Make any final tweaks before putting the application into production.

Provide Training

Train IT teams on the architectural and operational changes required to support applications in the cloud. Cover how to leverage cloud services, manage costs, scale, secure, and monitor cloud resources. Ongoing learning will be required as technologies and best practices evolve.

Training and Change Management

Change management is one of the primary on-premise to cloud migration challenges. As you move to the cloud, make sure to train your IT teams and any business users on the new systems and processes.

  • Provide hands-on cloud training for your IT staff. Work with your cloud provider or a third party to develop a training curriculum.
  • Develop training for business users on any new cloud applications or processes that will impact them. Walk through how to log in, access data and files, and complete routine tasks.
  • Consider cloud migration consulting to support the transition. Extra help from those experienced in cloud migrations can help lighten the load on your internal teams during the move.

Managing Change

A move to the cloud represents a big change, so effective change management is important. Some best practices include:

  • Communicate early and often about the reasons for and benefits of the migration. Help users understand how the change will impact them and what they can expect.
  • Provide a roadmap with key milestones and timelines. This helps everyone understand the scope and progression of the project.
  • Identify cloud champions from within your organization. Having peer advocates and supporters of the change can help motivate others.
  • Offer an open forum for training, feedback, and questions. Make it easy for people to raise concerns so you can address them promptly.
  • Celebrate wins and milestones along the way! Recognizing progress will keep teams motivated for continued success.

With the proper training, resources, and change management in place, migrating from on-premise to the cloud can be a smooth and successful process for any organization. The key is preparing your people for the journey.

Testing, Deployment, and Optimization

Once deployed to the cloud, rigorous testing is critical to ensure optimal performance and stability.

  • Conduct load and stress testing to determine how the system handles increased usage and traffic. Look for any bottlenecks or latency issues.
  • Monitor performance and make tweaks as needed. Things like CPU, memory, network, and disk usage should be within expected ranges.
  • Check for any security vulnerabilities or weak points that could be exploited. Penetration testing is important for identifying and fixing these issues.
  • Analyze user experience and satisfaction. Based on feedback, improve navigation, page load times, forms, etc..
  • Continue optimizing and improving over time based on real-world usage data and metrics. The cloud environment allows for quick and easy scaling and configuration changes.

Always remember- On-premise to cloud migration is a journey, not a destination. Careful planning and preparation make for a smooth transition, but the work doesn’t stop there. Ongoing management, monitoring, and optimization are required to truly reap the benefits of cloud computing and keep your system running at peak efficiency. With the right strategy and tools in place, enterprises can make the move to the cloud with confidence.

Monitoring and Governance

Once you’ve migrated to the cloud, closely monitor how your applications and infrastructure are performing and being used. Track metrics like CPU and memory usage, network bandwidth, storage amounts, and more.

Look for any spikes or drops in usage that could indicate problems. Check that resources are being used efficiently and make adjustments as needed. For example, you may be able to scale down certain resources during off-peak hours to save money.

  • Monitor costs and spending to avoid surprise bills. Make sure you understand how much each resource and service is costing you.
  • Check security and compliance to ensure there are no vulnerabilities or policy violations. Monitor for unauthorized access attempts or other suspicious activity.
  • Review governance policies regularly and update them as needed based on how your cloud environment and workloads evolve. Things like access controls, resource quotas, and configuration standards may need to be adjusted over time.

Audit and Optimize

Conduct regular audits of your cloud environment to look for ways to improve performance, security, cost efficiency, and more. You may find resources that can be scaled down or shut off, security groups that need updating, or storage that can be reclaimed.

Work with your cloud provider to fully optimize your environment. They may be able to spot inefficiencies you can’t see and provide recommendations to save you money and improve operations. With close monitoring and ongoing optimization, you can stay on top of how your applications and infrastructure are functioning to keep things running smoothly and cost-effectively.

A Brief Recap

On-premise to cloud migration is no small feat. But following these best practices will set you up for success.

  • Start with a solid business case and cloud strategy to align key stakeholders.
  • Carefully evaluate how each of your workloads will translate to the cloud.
  • Build a strong migration team and consider working with a managed service provider.
  • Most importantly, take it slow and start with a pilot to learn the ropes.

The cloud offers tremendous benefits, but it also brings change that can be disruptive if not properly managed. With a systematic migration plan, commitment to training, and openness to evolving your processes, you'll navigate the challenges and operate fully in the cloud before you know it.

The future is bright - now build it!

If you're planning a cloud migration project, contact our team of cloud computing experts who can provide guidance to ensure a seamless transition.

Author

Assim Gupta

Saurabh Sharma linkedin-icon-squre

VP of Engineering

VP of Engineering at Closeloop, a seasoned technology guru and a rational individual, who we call the captain of the Closeloop team. He writes about technology, software tools, trends, and everything in between. He is brilliant at the coding game and a go-to person for software strategy and development. He is proactive, analytical, and responsible. Besides accomplishing his duties, you can find him conversing with people, sharing ideas, and solving puzzles.

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