With the launch of MyDIGITAL, Malaysia is on a solid journey to Cloud First strategy. Many public and private sectors are planning move some, if not all its data center capabilities into cloud. What are the benefits of cloud migration? The short answer are: Scalability & Flexibility, Ownership Cost, Performance, Digital Experience and Consumption Model. You can check out the different use cases and cloud comparisons from the use cases menu above.

The Challenges Of Cloud Migration

Lack of Strategy
Before starting any data migration to the cloud, you need intensive assessment and due diligence for each application and data. Understand each of its different requirements and dependencies is vital, as each application and data may require different approaches to cloud migration.  
Most migration processes involve downtime because the production servers may be temporarily offline. More downtime means greater lost of business revenue.  
Each resource utilized in cloud occurs a cost to business. Each failed migration brings additional cost on cloud resource consumption, manpower, and loss of business due to multiple downtime.  Moreover, wrong sizing brings extra cost to the business in the long term, after moving to cloud. Most Cloud providers have difference charges on the data transfer, disk transaction, gateway and licensing, which business owners may overlook. 
Cloud Management
Commonly Cloud Strategies come from the management team, instead of the IT Team in the organization. IT Team who are used to managing on-premise servers may not be ready for the new infrastructure in the cloud. Cloud adoption requires training on the new infrastructure to the IT team as well as end users. 
Technology Lock-in
Technology Lock-in is a common problem for cloud technology. Cloud providers offer a variety of cloud services which usually cannot easily be extended to other cloud platforms, or to move back into on-premises. Switching cloud provider is difficult when organizations find the current provider does not suit their requirements. Re-platforming is very costly.   
Data sovereignty and security are always a key for any cloud migration. Cloud providers provide difference security measurements and solutions. The right configurations and implementation are required, however, to meet the governance and compliance.  
Most on-premises applications were designed differently from cloud applications. It can be difficult for existing applications to work properly with the new cloud environment. 

Where To Start Cloud Migration?

Cloud Computing does provide better Scalability & Flexibility. Not every server or application, however, can be migrated directly to your cloud provider’s. You need to plan in the right way to avoid any obstruction to your cloud journey. Gartner has outlined the five different ‘strategic R’s for cloud migration: Rehost, Refactor, Revise, Rebuild and Replace, as well as “The IT Roadmap for Cloud Migration” as a good reference for the organization.

How To Start Cloud Migration?

Business use case is one of the first steps to consider before starting any cloud migration for different types of industries: Cloud ComputingCommunicationsFinancial ServicesGovernmentEducationManufacturingSoftware Development and System Integration.

Below are few cloud migration processes: 

1) Cloud Migration Planning

  • System and application due diligence and assessment (contact us for free assessment) 
  • Identify each system and application ownership 
  • Study and analyze actual requirements and sizings based on current actual utilizations 
  • Business plans and forecasts 
  • Assign the right human resources and trainings/workshops 

2) Business Case study 

  • Set the right expectations and objects for the cloud journey  
  • Review current business plans with use cases 
  • Study the current actual total cost of ownership (TCO) and compare with the Cloud’s TCO 
  • Use realistic assumptions without too much forecastings 
  • Understand cloud cost options, especially for cloud providers who offer multiple pricing models and discounts for long-term commitment
  • Review the five R’s from Gartner shared above, that prevent lock-in/lock-down by technologies. For example: Rebuilding the application based on Kubernetes (More info: How Azure Stack HCI work with Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS)
  • Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud strategy (More info: How TechFINITY PAYU works for multi-cloud) 
  • Cloud Services Providers Comparison  

3) Cloud Data Migration 

  • Data Backup and Disaster Recovery before moving to the cloud 
  • Migration by phases, and group same applications and dataset into same the phase 
  • Proper downtime planning and management 
  • Identify ownership of each migration task 
  • Pre-test the server and application in the new Cloud platform 
  • Simulate and identify possible risks before and after migration 
  • Roll-back plan for any issue 

4) Cloud Management (Post-Migration)  

  • Resource optimization for cost saving 

Written by Stephen Sit | Cloud Orchestration Officer