Over a decade, many start-ups and large enterprises have adopted cloud and its computing power to build sustainable products. As the COVID-19 pandemic has flared up all over the world, the governments have declared nation-wide lockdowns and corporates have no option but to ask employees to work from home. There has been an issue with managing on-premises especially as employees have found it hard to come to work and therefore on-site activities are affected. The shift to work from home has given cloud-based services/applications a significant boost that is forcing organizations to migrate to a stable and better cloud platform.
According to a report by Right scale, in 2019 around 91% of businesses have adopted public and private cloud computing. Moreover, most enterprises use both options, with 69% opting for hybrid cloud solutions. Since almost all the organizations are using cloud computing platform, and we may see a significant rise in cloud adoption of services or applications in the future.
One such example of a big gainer is “Zoom Meeting” last month it has crossed meetings participants from 200 million to 300 million in this challenging time. Zoom uses Kubernetes microservices architecture to support its application to scale up and scale down the load.
Netflix & Amazon the entertainment applications have also experienced a significant rise in its subscribers. Netflix has doubled its subscribers from 7.2 million to whooping 15.8 million only in one quarter. Amazon has crossed 150 million subscribers all over the world gaining most of it in the last quarter. E learning has also seen a huge boost as everyone is using online platforms for learning due to nation-wide lockdowns. The focus of these companies is predominantly on the front-end of migration of these applications to a stable cloud platform. It can involve migrating one single application or the entire estate and they are taking quick actions.
What is Cloud Migration?
When organizations transfer their own data (applications, and workloads) from their own premises to the cloud or from one cloud to other clouds, this process is known as cloud migration.
Cloud Migration can involve one or more cloud platforms, some clouds are public, where it is owned and managed by third-party cloud service providers and space is shared with other organizations, and some are private, where cloud resources are exclusively for a single organization.
Many organizations prefer a combination of public and private cloud; this creates a hybrid cloud environment where you are able to reap the benefits of both environments. A typical hybrid cloud environment is where some computing assets are on-premises, e.g. databases but applications are on public cloud. You can easily shift data and applications between private and public clouds for more flexibility and deploying options.
Cloud Migration Strategies
Some basic and important points business need to take care while strategizing your cloud migration process, like which type of workload to consider moving to the cloud, which to keep on-premises. Let us see some effective strategies to move your application quickly and efficiently to the cloud to keep your applications running smoothly.
Lift and Shift Approach (Rehosting)
Lift and shift is one of the quickest ways to move your application into the cloud. It is nothing but taking the same software and servers that your organization was using but now moved and running on the cloud. It is the easiest and the most suitable approach for those organizations that have not yet migrated to the cloud and for those who are not used to the cloud environment.
However, there are some drawbacks to this lift and shift method. This lift and shift migration process will not be able to take full advantage of the cloud speed and versatility. Since you cannot change the applications code, it does not change the process of the application. Hence, it does not improve the performance of the application compared to original. However, it is a great way to begin and then start optimizing the environment and take benefits of what the cloud has to offer.
This lift and shift approach of migrating the application is useful for companies having seasonal or predictable peak. It is suitable for companies like food delivery that have more demand on weekends, websites that are targeting seasonal products receive visitors on particular period like holidays, seasons, festivals etc.
This process replicates the application on the cloud platform by using the cloud environment’s functionality and services. Refactorization helps you to modify your code very fast, as a result, you are able to keep up with your customers too, updating the application quickly.
Refactorization helps you in shifting a particular application to the cloud and so picking right platform for the application is important. You need to look for a tool that can carry out speed to change and which can fulfil all your needs. It is also necessary to refactor the application in the correct order.
Despite being expensive, it can make faster application updates and the application becomes highly scalable. There are some disadvantages like missing capabilities, transitive risk, and framework lock-in if you are trying to refactor the applications. This strategy also requires more knowledge about the cloud platform and services offered by the cloud.
However, this leaves you to focus more on your code and data and let the Cloud Provider worry about infrastructure and components.
As the name suggests it does the same, it is a big bang approach to rebuilding the entire application, discarding the entire code, and replacing it with new. For example, if you have built an application in .NET then changing it to Java. However, the goal and the business model does not change but it just needs a revamp. If you are looking to get into the architecture of containerization or microservices then this is the best way.
Rebuilding is difficult as it requires a lot of planning and it will be costlier as well. However, it also depends on your organization how fast it can change after considering rebuilding an application. If the application is completely cloud-native then it will be easier to update and the whole process will get on the fast track.
Rebuilding these applications in the complete modular form will be easier to maintain in the future. It can also help in saving time and can work on multiple cloud service providers.
The approach is most advisable if you are still using legacy applications, which has started showing signs of decay and disuse. You are already thinking of going for new technologies and revamping the application, it makes sense that at this point you also start thinking of using the best Cloud Technologies to scale, manage and optimize it.
Replacing your Application
The most commonly seen cloud migration strategy is moving your application to some SaaS platform. It is mostly done on an application-by-application basis, there is no need to shift your static application you can keep it on-premises. Shifting to SaaS is like adding up many new cloud features that also frees up your employees to focus on more prioritize tasks.
However, there are some drawbacks to this strategy as it limits you to modify the app code and if you did not follow the rules then you might lose the support model and upgradation from the cloud company. It means if you have started shifting all your applications to the cloud you may not be able to modify them and you will lose your competitive edge over them.
Choosing a cloud migration strategy is challenging as it requires a lot of brainstorming and careful implementation. Many migration projects runs into delays, cost overruns or even it may disrupt your IT strategy. eInfochips is a Microsoft Productivity Gold Partner with 70+ DevOps/CloudOps expertise and 10+ years of cloud services experience will help you to modernize your application and complete the migration process. If you are looking to fully migrate your application to the cloud or even need to set up new applications on the cloud contact our team today.