cloud based services

Developing and Implementing a Cloud Based Service Migration Strategy

Migrating IT infrastructure cloud based services provides innumerable benefits once accomplished, but remains one of the biggest challenges facing organizations today. That is because even when all the advantages are known, the question remains of HOW to actually move your resources to the cloud computing model. The best step to developing your cloud based service migration strategy is to use an iterative approach that reduces the complexity of a comprehensive strategy. The general steps involved for most organization are 1. Obtain a clear picture of your IT infrastructure What are you currently using. Are all your current needs being met? Do you have any gaps in your infrastructure?

2. Determine which portions of your infrastructure would benefit from a migration to cloud based services It may not make sense to move your entire infrastructure to cloud based services. You may want to keep certain portions on site or in-house. Consider these potential cloud based service benefits.

3. Order those resources in terms of simplicity and necessity When looking at cloud based services pick those that are simple for you to understand and use. Only get what covers the services you need.

4. Workshop a roadmap for a migration of those resources to cloud services Plan out the steps it will take to move your current infrastructure to the cloud services. Do you need to re-organize information? What other prep will need to be done before the migration can occur?

5. Migrate resources to a staging cloud environment and test Make sure to test your new cloud based service in a staging environment before fully implementing so that you understand best practices and can instruct employees.

6. Make the switch to using your cloud based implementation for production, then repeat from Step 2.

Each of these steps subdivide into many nuanced sub steps and developing an overall plan entails careful thought and planning. With all the complexities involved, additional help may be required to realize your goals.

Organizations developing a cloud based service migration strategy often work with outside technical consultants experienced in cloud migration strategies to provide additional guidance with the process. Corner Alliance offers experienced technical consulting to develop a cloud strategy as comprehensive and robust as your customers and employees expect. We can help you understand the benefits of cloud computing as they apply to your organization and assist in developing a migration strategy that fully utilizes the benefits of cloud based services.

Why Use a Cloud Based Service?

The cloud. By now you have heard it discussed and probably understand what it means. (It’s a set of remote servers, hosted online that are used to store, manage, and process data, rather than on a local server or your personal computer.) That sounds great, but why should you use it over your local server or computer? What’s the big deal? By utilizing cloud based services, your organization can focus resources on improving business rather than on maintaining your IT infrastructure. Cloud based services offer more flexibility, reliability, and security while keeping overhead minimal and reducing costs. Below are the key benefits associated with cloud services. 1 - Test Driving Cloud Servers Organizations traditionally required large upfront investments in hardware to get their applications running. No matter how well you plan your hardware requirements, there is always a degree of uncertainty which cannot be avoided. Are you overspending on unnecessary hardware? Are you buying underpowered hardware?

The beauty of cloud computing resides in the ease with which you can rapidly test different hardware configurations in a matter of minutes. By test driving your servers, you confidently decide on appropriate resources without all the guesswork. If you ever outgrow your current resources, upgrading can be accomplished in a few clicks.

2 - Increased Fault Tolerance and Reliability Downtime damages reputations and frustrates customers who expect the “always on” nature of the internet. Reliable, fault tolerant infrastructure is now a standard requirement for your website, applications and overall infrastructure. Cloud service providers understand this and continually work to simplify the process of designing fault tolerant systems. Designing a reliable fault-tolerant network used to be a complex and expensive task. Cloud services are changing that. Most cloud computing providers maintain redundant data centers located around the world designed to keep your applications running even in cases of major disruptions or disasters. The ability for automatic failover to an entirely new datacenter in the case of failure is now commonplace and expected.

3 - Increased Security Cloud based services alleviate the burden of keeping servers updated and secure. Cloud service providers employ teams of security experts tasked with maintaining your infrastructure so that you don’t have to. Recently there was a large scale vulnerability discovered known as Heartbleed which affected most web servers running on the internet. Within a matter of hours, most major cloud computing providers applied mass security updates to their servers without any action required by their customers. Organizations still managing their own non-cloud (in house) servers had a much more laborious and expensive process of manually upgrading their servers and hoping that their fixes were applied correctly.

4 - Cost Savings You may ask, “Why should I pay a monthly fee for cloud computing services  rather than buying my own equipment up front?”. Valid question and the answer boils down to operations and maintenance costs. Servers inevitably fail, backups corrupt, security vulnerabilities are discovered and all of these things are expensive to fix. In the cloud computing model, you effectively have an entire professional IT staff maintaining your infrastructure for you. Your cloud provider monitors your hardware, upgrades your software, applies security patches and performs tests with minimal action required by your organization. Due to the fierce competition in the cloud computing space, costs associated with cloud computing are also routinely dropping.

What’s keeping you from switching to cloud based services? Look for part 2 of this series, “Developing and Implementing a Migration Strategy” soon.