Companies of all sizes and industries are switching to cloud solutions. SMEs are able to make the move fairly quickly. But the process is more complex for businesses with rapidly growing volumes of work. What should be considered when migrating to the cloud?
Cloud technologies are changing the way organisations tie up resources by enabling them to respond instantly to market opportunities and provide funds at exactly the right time. But with all the advantages the cloud offers, there are also a number of risks and pitfalls that need to be considered.
Preparation is everything
Like all major projects, preparation for a successful migration to the cloud is a vitally important component. First, a project team should be put together, which will deal mainly with the reorganisation of the infrastructure – and with it the migration. Converting the IT system by switching to a cloud solution can cause uncertainty and confusion. Transparent communication and professional change management are essential to ensure the process is not derailed.
What are your expectations of the cloud?
A simple question, which in practice is rarely answered at the beginning. The cloud offers many advantages such as scalability, flexibility and geo-redundancy. For a successful migration, determining the economic benefits and setting the corporate goals play a crucial role. For example, one company may seek greater IT agility due to fluctuating traffic, while another would like to improve the collaboration between remote teams. Each company must therefore define the reasons for a cloud migration based on the business model.
How much does it cost to migrate to the cloud?
The calculation of the so-called total cost of ownership (TCO) contains more than just a comparison of the initial investment in your own hardware with the recurring costs of a cloud environment.
You also have to consider the running costs in order to use, maintain and keep up to date with the respective IT solution over its entire life cycle – usually between five and ten years, depending on the project.
A comprehensive TCO analysis contains three main categories:
Capital expenditure (CapEx) – the initial purchase of hardware and software, and investment in a new datacentre facility
Operating costs (OpEx) – support costs for the hardware and software, salaries of IT employees and maintenance costs
Indirect costs – downtime effects on productivity, business agility, loss of sales and opportunities, plus other factors
For each of the three areas, costs must be fully recorded so that an economic comparison with a cloud solution makes sense.
Cloud providers often have very complex billing models, offer many services and additional features that are charged extra to the monthly rate. In order to stay on track, a clear definition of the requirements for the new cloud landscape really helps to compare tariffs from different providers effectively.
Important tip: an exit strategy should always be taken into account. If data is to be transferred from the cloud back to your server again at a later point, this is usually associated with high costs – referred to as the so-called vendor lock-in effect. It’s easy to get into, but not so easy to get out of.
Which type of migration should I choose?
Firstly, no matter what you choose, data must be cleansed beforehand so that avoidable costs are saved when storing in the cloud. There should also be an audit of the application landscape – ask yourself which apps are cloud-ready.
Afterwards, the decision can be made between three approaches, or a combination of several:
With this approach, also called “lift-and-shift,” applications are transferred unchanged without having to edit any code. Rehosting is possible in several ways: as hot migration, cold migration or as mass migration.
Replatforming adapts workloads to the new platform and optimises them for increased performance and scalability. However, the basic architecture of the application remains
The most time-consuming and resource-intensive migration model is refactoring, where migrated workloads are completely revised and rewritten. This enables applications to use cloud-native frameworks and functions.
Migrating to the cloud is complex due to the variety of infrastructure landscapes, applications and uses. It’s always a highly customised process. But with the right preparation and technical advice from IT experts, it can be an exciting challenge that brings many advantages. IT costs can be optimised by turning large one-off expenses into monthly running operating costs. Collaboration improves by allowing team members to work on workflows in real time, wherever they are, and always see the latest developments. Redundant processes are largely avoided and productivity increases.
OVHcloud’s preconfigured solutions are designed to accelerate your journey to the cloud, maximising cost control and increasing agility. In addition to offering scalable and flexible solutions, our enterprise customers also receive enhanced support, on-boarding and customisation. For more information on our hosted private cloud and public cloud services, please visit https://www.ovhcloud.com/en-gb/
Hiren Parekh, VP Northern Europe, OVHcloud