01 02 2017 Bruno Chassé

Migrating applications to the cloud in 12 steps

Migrating applications to the cloud in 12 steps

Cloud computing is a business accelerator and optimizes costs. However, the migration of application solutions to the cloud is not a task to be taken lightly. Several questions should be addressed:

  • What are your expectations of cloud computing?
  • Can your current applications integrate seamlessly in the cloud?
  • How can you keep control of your data and operational policies?
  • Which cloud service model is the most appropriate for your business?
  • What are your level of service requirements?
  • How do you ensure you use the most cost-effective solution?

To ensure optimal migration of your applications, you must perform the following steps:

  1. Evaluating Solution Architecture : Architecture requirements (software, hardware and licensing), Components Dependency Mappings, Interactions with contributors.
  2. Evaluating Data Storage Facilities : Evaluate the data storage and retrieval facilities offered by external partners.
  3. Evaluating Security : Moving applications to outside of the corporate network prompts several questions not directly related to the hosting platform mechanisms. Clarify whether the same level of security can be provided after migrating to the cloud in terms of Data security, Authentication, Authorizations.
  4. Management Capabilities : We must ensure that the chosen hosting provider and deployment mechanism allows administrators to monitor and manage the application and the data stores remotely. The cloud plateform includes a range of capabilities that closely match the remote access capabilities for on-premises server, database, and application management.
  5. Evaluating Service Level Agreements : SLAs should define not only availability of an application, but also maximum response times. In addition, where other services are required (such as caching or access control), the SLAs should also cover these services.
  6. Application Profiling : This step is used to measure and collect real usage. For each node on which the applications runs, the following data should be collected: CPU usage, Memory usage, latency and input/output per second (IOPS).
  7. Define Cloud Migration Strategy : This step is used to determine which strategy is the most appropriate in terms of cost and complexity: IaaS, PaaS or Saas.
  8. Design Architecture Overview Of The Cloud Solution : This step is to achieve an overall view of architecture in the cloud infrastructure to identify the software prerequisites.
  9. Build a Proof-Of-Concept : Build a proof-of-concept that represents a microcosm of your application, or which tests critical functionality of your application in the cloud environment.
  10. Data Migration : When choosing the appropriate storage option, one size does not fit all. There are several dimensions that we might have to consider so that application can scale to the needs appropriately with minimal effort. We have to make the right tradeoffs among various dimensions - cost, durability, query-ability, availability, latency, performance (response time), relational (SQL joins), size of object stored (large, small), accessibility, read heavy vs. write heavy, update frequency, cache-ability, consistency (strict, eventual) and transience (short-lived). Weigh your trade-offs carefully, and decide which ones are right for the application.
  11. Application Migration : In this step, we have to choose an application strategy between Forklift Migration or Hybrid Migration. Stateless applications, tightly coupled applications, or self-contained applications might be better served by using the forklift approach. Rather than moving pieces of the system over time, forklift or “pick it all up at once” and move it to the cloud. Hybrid migration consists of taking some parts of an application and moving them to the cloud while leaving other parts of the application in place. The hybrid migration strategy can be a low-risk approach to migration of applications to the cloud. Rather than moving the entire application at once, parts can be moved and optimized one at a time. This reduces the risk of unexpected behavior after migration and is ideal for large systems that involve several applications.
  12. Final step, Leverage The Cloud : After we have migrated application to the cloud, run the necessary tests, and confirmed that everything is working as expected, it is advisable to invest time and resources to determine how to leverage additional benefits of the cloud.

As you can see, migrating applications to the cloud is a rigorous job that requires support from a group of cloud experts. So if you're interested in migrating your applications to the cloud, do not hesitate to contact us!

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Cloud | Applications migration

Author

Bruno Chassé With 23 years of experience, Bruno has built a solid expertise as a software architect by realizing development frameworks, rules and technical standards, defining reference architectures and accompanying architects Software in the implementation of their solution. He is passionate about SOA architectures, Microservice, cloud computing and best practices in solution development such as DevOps. In addition to his technical expertise, he stands out by his great ability to understand business needs and propose optimal solutions.

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