In an era of increasing digitisation, organisations are harnessing the power of cloud computing to enable more agile, scalable, and cost-effective operations. However, the migration of a portfolio of technical applications and infrastructure to a public cloud requires a carefully planned and executed strategy.
Before initiating the migration, it is essential to develop a comprehensive strategic plan that includes a thorough understanding of the portfolio's current state, a vision for the future state, and a roadmap to achieve this transition.
The initial assessment should evaluate all applications and infrastructure in the portfolio in terms of their operational requirements, dependencies, performance metrics, and costs. The findings will shape the decision on which elements should move to the cloud, and which should remain on-premise or be retired.
Next, define the objectives of the migration. Are you aiming for cost reduction, agility, scalability, or a combination of these? Defining these objectives will guide you in selecting the right cloud service provider and the type of services you'll require.
Once your goals are clear, you can evaluate public cloud providers. Consider factors such as their service offerings, cost structures, security protocols, compliance certifications, service-level agreements (SLAs), and customer support.
Prominent providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure, offer an extensive range of services and have robust security measures in place. However, the choice depends on your specific requirements, and it is crucial to conduct a comparative analysis before making a decision.
Now, with a clear understanding of what you need and a cloud provider at your disposal, you should design your cloud architecture. This stage should consider application interdependencies, data storage, networking, and security measures.
Regarding security, you should consider implementing a multi-tiered security approach, employing firewalls, encryption, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and secure gateways. It’s also necessary to adhere to the principle of least privilege (PoLP), granting only essential access to users.
Taking into account the trends in technology, it is strongly recommend to take advantage of this opportunity and to port all the application that are being moved to Kubernetes, as this, if well implemented will provide scalability and cloud portability almost by default.
Costs in the cloud can quickly spiral if not adequately managed. It's important to leverage cost management tools offered by cloud providers to monitor and control expenses.
Consideration should be given to optimising costs through methods such as 'Right Sizing' - matching resource allocation to workload requirements, 'Spot Instances' - leveraging unused cloud capacity at reduced costs, and 'Reserved Instances' - committing to longer-term contracts for lower rates.
After the careful planning and design, the next step is to execute the migration. This stage might involve re-platforming, re-hosting or re-architecting the applications based on the chosen strategy. Remember, it's advisable to start with less complex, non-mission critical applications, and gradually move to the more critical ones.
Once the migration is complete, validate the performance and security of the migrated applications and infrastructure. This involves testing, tweaking configurations, and monitoring performance over time to ensure that it meets your business needs and that security is watertight.
Training your teams in the new environment is also a significant post-migration task. They should be comfortable managing, operating, and troubleshooting the newly migrated systems.
Migrating a portfolio of technical applications and infrastructure to the public cloud is a monumental task that, when properly executed, can provide significant benefits. It requires careful planning, selection of the right cloud provider, diligent cost management, and a relentless focus on security. With this step-by-step guide, your organisation can successfully undertake this migration journey and harness the full power of the cloud.Contact us for more information