Migration to the Cloud

The first step to migrating is doing a Cost Benefit Analysis

Taking your on-prem applications and data, and moving them to the cloud can be a daunting task!

More often than not, clients don't know where to start and don't understand what their cost would be either. This is where App Sparq plays a significant role by understanding the existing application infrastructure of the client and then performing a cost benefit analysis to determine whether it is worth it to migrate to the cloud.

Puzzle Background Digital Transformation Process

Customized Migration Plan

We also offer expert recommendations to save on cost when migrating specific applications. Once the client is happy with the analysis then we provide a Migration Plan in order to port on-prem apps to the cloud using a phased out gradual approach that ensures a successful and flawless migration, with zero/minimal interruption to the business.

Below is an outline of the steps we take for migrating to the cloud:

Before we can even consider migrating to the cloud we need to determine whether it is worth the effort. This why the very first step of our approach is to conduct a complete cost-benefit analysis. During this step we analyze the existing systems, data and applications of the client. Then we perform an evaluation and determine an approximate cost to migrating to the cloud. We present our detailed report as well as recommendations on cost savings to the client. If the client sees value in the migration then we proceed to the next step.

This may seem obvious, but prior to the actual migration to the cloud, we have to prepare for it. The level of preparation details depends on the client's business, but there are some basic steps we take to ensure a successful migration. First, we help the client to clarify the reasons why they are moving to the cloud. The cloud offers many benefits, but we have to identify the exact benefits that each client will get by moving their applications to the cloud.

When you move an application from an on-premise data center to the cloud, there are two ways you can migrate your application—a shallow cloud integration or a deep cloud integration. For a shallow cloud integration (sometimes called "lift-and-shift"), you move the on-premise application to the cloud, and make no—or limited—changes to the servers in the cloud for the purpose of running the application. Any application changes are just enough to get it to run in the new environment. You don't use cloud-unique services. This model is also known as lift-and-shift because the application is lifted "as is" and moved, or shifted, to the cloud intact.

For a deep cloud integration, you modify your application during the migration process to take advantage of key cloud capabilities. This might be something simple like using auto scaling and dynamic load balancing, or it might be as sophisticated as utilizing serverless computing capabilities for portions of the application.

Although we are experts in Microsoft Azure, we help the client to decide what kind of cloud model they will adopt. This choice depends on whether they wish to move to single or multi-cloud.
A single cloud environment is accomplished by using a single cloud provider to serve any and all applications or services that the organization decides to migrate to the cloud. Single cloud environments can utilize either private or public clouds, using whichever one better serves their current and future needs. They enable organizations to move workloads to the cloud as their needs grow, with the option to expand the number of virtualized servers if their need grows beyond a single cloud server's limits. Often, organizations with a single cloud model are employing the cloud for a single service or application, such as email, enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), or something similar.

In a multi-cloud environment, an organization uses multiple different public cloud services, often from multiple different providers. The different clouds may be used for various tasks to achieve best-of-breed results or to reduce vendor lock-in. This reflects the growing acknowledgement that not all clouds are created equal -- Marketing and Sales, for instance, likely have different needs than Software Development or R&D, and different cloud solutions can meet those requirements more effectively. Multiple clouds also give organizations added peace of mind by minimizing dependence on any one provider, often decreasing costs and increasing flexibility.

Based on a service that the cloud is offering, we are speaking of either:
  • IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service).
  • PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service).
  • SaaS (Software-as-a-Service).
  • Or, Storage, Database, Information, Process, Application, Integration, Security, Management, Testing-as-a-service.

Once the planning is complete and the right cloud environment(s) chosen then it is time for execution. Depending on the size of the client's databases and applications, we use different techniques for actually copying everything over. If there isn't a lot of data to migrate, then we can simply copy the data over the internet connection. If the data is large then we could compress it before sending it. Alternatively, we could also ship the physical drives to the provider to reduce bandwidth costs.

It's important to take of security during the migration. Any temporary storages for the client's data should be as secure as the end destination. We also take advantage of the cloud migration tools supported by the Cloud providers to help with the migration.

Even after we have finished migrating everything to the cloud, there are a few more things to consider. Most important is resource optimization. The cloud is optimized for dynamic resource allocation, and when we allocate resources (servers, for example) statically, you're not taking advantage of the cloud's strengths. As we move into the cloud, we make sure that there is a plan for distributing resources to the entire application suite.

Another aspect is continuous support. We do not simply migrate and then leave! In fact, we also provide post-migration support to ensure that all apps keep running smoothly in the cloud. We offer enhancements and improvements to take advantage of the native apps in the cloud. We are skilled at monitoring the resources and apps deployed in the cloud and have created an agile support model to stay abreast of any issues that arise and to quickly resolve them while keeping the business processes running without any disruption.