With the recent hullabaloo surrounding last week’s AWS S3 outage, some of you may be wondering if cloud migration is an appropriate next step for your business.
We are major cloud evangelists at Select Technology, but we absolutely acknowledge that things can go wrong when moving your business to the cloud in the absence of understanding and correct planning.
Despite its perceived imperfections, some level of cloud migration will benefit your business in almost all cases.
We’re going to look at steps you can take to avoid the pitfalls of cloud migration and ensure your business gets the most out of this amazing technology.
1. Know What You Need
Take a moment to think about what kind of demands will be placed on your connection.
Is your business seasonal or marketing-driven, with surges of traffic based on public holidays or marketing campaigns?
One of the amazing features of public cloud services – especially with a platform like Microsoft Azure – is automation or auto-scaling.
If you can anticipate when your periods of highest demand will be, your cloud service will automatically activate appropriate computing resources during those times.
On the other hand, do you need consistently high bandwidth for live streaming video or hosting VoIP calls with clients and partners?
If so, you might be better off using a private cloud setup that requires less automation.
Cloud computing is a very, very general term, covering literally hundreds of different services.
Taking the time to think about exactly what your business needs will help you reap the fullest benefits of cloud migration, while ensuring you’re not paying for anything you don’t need.
2. Test Before Going Live
Test, test, test before deployment!
Storing data and setting up automation in Azure and other cloud services is a relatively simple affair.
One of the biggest pitfalls of cloud migration lies not in moving your data, but in making sure your applications perform as expected once shifted up into the cloud.
The way your apps operate on-site gives little indication as to how they will act off-premise.
This point overlaps with our next one because it is so important to remember that cloud migration for businesses is often a step-by-step process.
Moving your business into the cloud one workload at a time will give you the feedback you need to anticipate all eventualities before they have the chance to affect your business.
Pre-deployment testing of this sort is best performed by someone with the relevant experience and foresight, so we highly recommend seeking advice externally if your business lacks the skillset in-house.
If you have the IT resource onsite for pre-deployment testing then you’ll be pleased to know that Microsoft offers online instructions on topics like how to Create an Office 365 Dev/Test Environment in Azure.
3. Take Your Cloud Migration Step by Step
The point about testing is a crucial one that illustrates the importance of taking one step at a time.
Running before you can walk, so to speak, will give you far less agility. If you rush to shift your apps up to the cloud, then you will have no idea how they will operate when push comes to shove.
Cloud services are quickly becoming a business necessity but don’t worry if your competitors beat you there.
Performing your cloud migration in a step-by-step fashion will also provide a betting understanding of which services you require.
You may find that some workloads are better off remaining on-site or even automated to reduce costs.
You won’t know unless you take the time to find out!
4. Pay Attention to Security and Regulation
Every workload you move to the cloud should be thoroughly scrutinized to ensure your business’ security requirements are met.
Are you storing sensitive client data or other confidential information such as health or financial records?
GDPR is changing the way data is handled, so keeping your business compliant should be a vitally important part of your cloud migration strategy.
The security of your data, applications, and identities is well protected with Microsoft Azure Security.
“Security and privacy are built right into the Azure platform, beginning with the Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) that addresses security at every development phase from initial planning to launch, and Azure is continually updated to make it even more secure. Operational Security Assurance (OSA) builds on SDL knowledge and processes to provide a framework that helps ensure secure operations throughout the lifecycle of cloud-based services. Azure Security Center makes Azure the only public cloud platform to offer continuous security-health monitoring.” – Azure Security
5. Choose the Right Cloud Partner
It is highly recommended that you seek to a managed IT services provider to identify what kind of cloud infrastructure is the best fit for your business.
Those of you who have already figured out what you need will likely also know which environment you want to run; Azure, HPE Helion, AWS, etc.
Be sure to plan ahead with your prospective provider so you can be sure they will be capable of supporting the full functionality your cloud infrastructure as it scales up.
At Select Technology we can look at and simplify your cloud requirements from a business perspective.
Call us today to talk to better understand cloud migration and your place on the modern technological landscape.