Companiess from various industries all over the world have started to move forward by adopting cloud computing. This is because they see an advantage in cloud since it includes cost reduction, flexibility, business continuity, data security, high availability and many other benefits have caught their attention and aroused their interest in migrating to cloud.
To compare, traditional on-premise is expensive with the costs of frequent maintenance and upgrades, IT personnel, physical servers, power source, storage, and network. This infrastructure requires an upfront cost which may not be convenient for start-ups or small companies. Another primary key point is on-premises do not provide flexibility and scalability as much as cloud does. Hence why on-premise takers need to always prepare for the worst case by investing more beforehand just so they are ready to meet unexpected high traffic.
What exactly is Cloud Migration?
Cloud Migration is a process of moving the on-premise activities, applications, associated data, and other business elements to a cloud-based infrastructure. The whole process may involve applications and environment assessment, optimization of applications to go to the cloud, modification of base code, mapping dependencies, testing and some other steps to be taken. Fret not, Cloudify.Asia’s cloud experts have the skill set and capabilities to help customers to migrate to cloud from A to Z very seamlessly by implementing Cloud Adoption Frameworks (CAF) by Microsoft and using the right tools based on customer’s particular environment and needs.
The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) is a proven guidance that is designed to help customers create and implement the business and technology strategies necessary for their organization to succeed in the cloud specifically for Azure. It provides best practices, documentation, and tools that cloud architects, IT professionals, and business decision makers need to successfully achieve short-term and long-term objectives. Microsoft also claims that by implementing their CAF best practices, organizations can better align their business and technical strategies to ensure success.
Below are the methodologies and cycle in CAF:
1. Define Strategy
A strategy needs to be documented in a way that is comprehensible to cloud technicians and agreed upon by the stakeholders. A strong judgement or reason for moving to cloud needs to be justified here to get buy-in from executive leadership. Customers need to also establish the root business case for migration, the urgency and timeliness that are associated along with it.
Hence, the set of the strategy must consist of the following:
- Guidance on why organization is migrating
- People and teams involved
- Budget allocation
Once cloud migration has gotten the ‘green light’ to proceed, customers need to better understand their current environment, applications nature, number of VMs, identify the other components needed to be in the cloud, dependencies of each related resources, and others. Then, cost need to be estimated according the budget allocated.
This whole process can be done using the right tool. For cost planning, Azure TCO calculator would be a very helpful tool for customers to better understand Azure’s costing and compare the total cost of ownership to the on-premises deployment.
Next, planning for migration can get started by first align the people and team that are accountable to a specific capability. Once mapping is done, define the migration goals and strategy by gathering all the requirements and limitations from the assessment.
Migration strategies can be boiled down to four primary categories: Rehosting, Refactoring, Rearchitecting and Rebuilding.
To realize the plans, customers need to prepare their environment by first organizing resources, controlling costs, and securing while managing the organisation – keeping teams on track with a strong platform foundation and landing zones.
A landing zone refers to a segment of a cloud environment that has been provisioned in advance through code and is made dedicated to the support of one or more workloads. It provides a compliant ‘zone’ to innovate and build new workloads in the cloud as well as existing workloads migration to the cloud.
The process required to migrate workloads generally falls into three (3) phases:
- Assess workloads
Assessment is done on each workload to study and evaluate the cost, modernization, and suitable deployment tooling. User patterns and dependencies will be studied thoroughly here.
- Deploy workloads
After assessment, functionalities of the workload will be replicated and improved (if required) into the cloud. This may involve the lift and shift, or rehost to the cloud.
- Release workloads
Once replication is done, workloads will be tested, optimized, documented, and finally released for the ongoing operations.
After these 3 phases has completed, the migrated workloads will be reviewed and handed over to governance, operations management, and security teams to provide support.
Governance and compliance are needed throughout a migration effort. However, it is not the end effort in migration. Governance ensure control over the workloads in the cloud as it involve planning your initiatives and setting strategic priorities.
Two governance models are as below:
- Define corporate policy
Governance focuses on specific aspects of corporate policy, including identifying business risks, converting risks into policy statements, and ensuring adherence to the stated policies.
- 5 disciplines of cloud governance
– Cost management
– Security baseline
– Resource consistency
– Identity baseline
– Deployment acceleration
Manage is an ongoing process like governance. In manage, baselines and business commitments in achieving tangible business outcomes are defined as some workloads may need a deeper architecture review to ensure the delivery of resiliency and reliability commitments.
Some of the tools that are recommended to be used by Microsoft are as below:
- Azure Backup – a solution to backup and recover the data from Azure cloud platform
- Azure Monitor – to gain insight of the applications, infrastructure, and networking.
Written by Ain Salleh (Cloud Fairy)