Best Practices for Migrating to the Cloud
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Aron Wagner
Posted: Jul 10, 2023, 8:34 PM

Has your company ever been plagued by critical data losses, struggled to find the right IT expertise, or had to worry about server hardware and backups? If your answer is yes, there’s only one solution that addresses all these issues simultaneously - cloud services!

New-age businesses are rapidly adopting cloud technologies to overcome infrastructural challenges, make workflows seamless, and scale and expand their operations. The power of cloud adoption is helping businesses across industries accelerate their digital transformation initiatives.

Why move to Cloud?

Cloud migration refers to the process of moving a company’s data and resources to a host cloud environment, either partially or wholly. The process involves transferring critical databases, digital assets, and IT resources to third-party hosted cloud servers.

The aim behind it is to attain benefits such as higher efficiency and performance for the company.

The pace of cloud adoption tells us that entrepreneurs and organizations recognize the cloud’s radical capacity to transform businesses. More than a third of all companies are expected to discard legacy enterprise software in favor of cloud-based tools in 2023, according to some estimates.

Let's understand the key benefits of cloud computing behind this rush:

  • It enables businesses to focus on core operations and helps overcome IT constraints by enabling outsourcing of data management.
  • Cost-saving is a huge aspect of cloud migration. Managing and monitoring traditional on-premise data centers don’t just cost companies money but also valuable time and energy. Outsourcing cloud infrastructure helps direct business resources toward more revenue-generating activities
  • Scalability is often the most-touted reason for cloud adoption. It refers to the ability of cloud platforms to allow for adaptation to changing computing requirements by increasing or decreasing storage and network capacities as needed. This improves dynamism and efficiency in resource management

Cloud Migration Best Practices

Cloud computing is revolutionizing business innovation, creating more flexible and scalable realities. Its adoption requires effort and careful planning because transitions can be challenging.

The shift from self-managed data infrastructure to third-party servers certainly takes a lot of homework. Formulating a fool-proof transition plan is the first step toward achieving successful cloud migration for your business.

Here are some best practices to keep in mind.

1. Assess your Migration Plan

An important part of the migration is having a broad plan that takes into account the industry requirements, cost-benefit analysis, and security review, among other considerations. You also need to decide on the particular cloud environment that aligns most closely with your needs.

There are three types of clouds:

  • Public clouds
  • Private clouds
  • Hybrid clouds

Additionally, there are three different types of cloud services:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

You need to carefully evaluate which combination of cloud type and service is most closely aligned with your needs.

Your cloud migration plan can vary depending on the industry you are in. You can also choose to move all your data at once, or have an incremental approach and go with phased transitions. Having a well-defined set of goals before executing the cloud migration process is important as it helps you narrow the focus on your business goals.

2. Keep Track of Application Performance

System management becomes crucial in both pre and post-migration stages to establish benchmarks and weed out errors.

Application performance monitoring (APM) refers to the tools used to manage and monitor performance data that can be isolated and analyzed to improve the application’s performance. It helps IT professionals ensure reliability in infrastructure as well as valuable user experience (UX) for the company. These metrics include bandwidth consumption, user traffic, error rates, and other performance indicators that help in understanding the digital experience.

They ensure cloud migration takes place smoothly with full-stack observability. They are all the more important when dealing with hybrid clouds and distributed metrics.

Using logs, metrics, and traces ensures a smooth cloud transition. There are several key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be tracked to set a baseline for post-migration integration and analysis. You can then prioritize whatever indicators suit your business model, whether it is technical or business-leaning.

3. Interoperability and Standardization

The rapid evolution of cloud computing across sectors is well-documented, but integration and technical compatibility issues can sour the deal for enterprises. Cloud Interoperability refers to the smooth exchange of information across platforms, be it cloud-to-cloud exchange or user interaction with the platform.

With 92% of businesses going for multi-cloud environments, avoiding vendor barriers has been key to business growth and the smooth functioning of cloud-based enterprises. Several organizations across the world are pushing for open cloud standards to enable greater interoperability.

Cloud providers must focus on developing ecosystems that support calls for interoperability by improving data sharing and synchronization. With the cloud becoming a conduit for huge amounts of legacy data, a focus on ensuring accurate, secure, compliant practices go a long way in making cloud interoperability a reality.

4. Security management

Companies have been wholly responsible for all their data in traditional self-managed server environments. Outsourcing data management, however, does not mean the customer is absolved of all responsibility. The Cloud Service Provider (CSP) either bears partial or shared responsibility under the shared responsibility model. Several practices increase the robustness of security during and after migration:

  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs) - Clarity on SLAs to outline baseline responsibilities regarding the particular services is necessary to separate security and compliance responsibilities. It helps both providers and users avoid assumptions and overlapping workloads.
  • Leveraging cloud management tools - Companies that focus on cloud management systems by harnessing data-driven insights to uncover existing security vulnerabilities stay ahead of the game. Easy-to-digest dashboards, real-time full-stack visibility, and automated services that make use of big data analytics help secure data on transit as well as in situ.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) - AI-powered cybersecurity systems have the power of predicting sophisticated attacks and threats. Recent surveys and reports point towards a better defense during cybersecurity events when AI-enabled technology and human intelligence work together.

5. Compliance Assurance

The exponential growth in data collection means more and more countries are building regulatory safeguards for citizens to avoid exploitation by bad actors.

To avoid any legal issues, companies must steer clear of regulatory lapses and violations. Cloud compliance means obeying local, national, and international laws as well as industry standards for the upkeep of cloud data and processing.

A few of the most common regulations are around payment systems, threat response, and data privacy. They include:

  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a federal law in the US that protects against disclosure of sensitive health information.
  • The US-EU Privacy Shield, a legal framework regulating the transatlantic exchange of personal data for commercial purposes.
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for EU member states, which sets legal standards for handling personal data

Existing rules are constantly updated and both cloud providers and customers must keep themselves updated. Getting regular legal audits and internal security checks is also necessary to ensure that legal expectations and data protection standards are being strictly adhered to.

Migrate Securely with American Cloud

American Cloud works across sectors to ensure a smooth, non-disruptive, and integrated cloud migration process for clients.

We value transparency, accessibility, and democratization of the cloud. That’s why open-sourcing and net neutrality are guiding principles at the heart of all our services.

Make the most of cloud computing with American Cloud.