Managed IT services providers recommend virtualization not because it is an IT business trend that everyone simply must ride, but because it is, quite, a smart way of managing your IT resources. Every day, more and more organizations migrate to the Amazon Web Services public cloud. However, despite the cloud’s benefits in scalability, agility and efficiency, they discover a new set of challenges that need to be overcome.
Gartner estimates that more than 50 percent of enterprises will have adopted a hybrid cloud approach by this year. Transitioning from a traditional on premise IT infrastructure to a public cloud can be overwhelming and success requires a different mindset and range of skills. Here are a few points that you should consider when in moving to the AWS cloud.
1. Preparation for migration: Some points that you need to consider when preparing for the large scale migration are – if everyone within the organization on board with this major move? Are your employees adequately equipped with knowledge about the cloud? And, since large-scale transfers involve big data, would your security framework be able to deal with potential security threats during the transition? Can your company handle the inevitable expenditure that goes with investing in the cloud?
2. Reasons for migration: You as a business owner, should have a clear understanding of the reason for migrating to the cloud and the importance of it. The most compelling reason is the need to meet your business’s increasing demand for efficiency, that would lead to greater profitability. Other reasons could include change of organizational leadership or a shift in business structure that necessitates storage recalibration.
3. Cloud Finances: Different organizations have different financial approaches, and their choices of IT infrastructure reflect this fact. For some, the on-premise approach of making a large, upfront capital expenditure to purchase infrastructure and then capitalizing the investment over time may be the favorable option because they prefer to keep complete control over their IT environment. However, for others, a heavy initial expense is not ideal, so a cloud approach with only ongoing, operational costs is more fitting. This option may be particularly suitable for organizations with fluctuating needs on a monthly basis, as an on-premises data center will not offer them the flexibility they require. Regardless of the approach, it is important to compare the respective costs before deciding which one is most suitable. The best option may be to combine both on-premise and cloud to create a hybrid cloud environment. This will allow for steady workloads to be kept onsite while bursts in demand can be processed by an on-demand, public cloud.
4. Security and Availability: The idea of handing over all of your data to a public cloud provider can be a daunting because of the obvious security and availability concerns. However, public cloud providers must adhere to strict compliance protocols and can implement and maintain much higher security levels than on-premise installations because they have more available resources.
5. Migration requirements: While migrating to the cloud you need to have every tiny details in place like, which specific data, servers, or applications need to be migrated? Does your company need large-scale migration, or can it survive on moving only a small part of your resources to the cloud? Perhaps, a subsidiary could survive without having to be moved to the cloud.
6. Beware of Staff Apprehension: Any dramatic change within an IT environment will face staff apprehension. You might expect the shift to be met with resistance from corporate management, but the real doubts will come from your IT team. After working with on-premise infrastructure for years, administrators will not welcome any changes they think could jeopardize their jobs. Help your team embrace this shift by making sure they receive suitable training to prepare them for a new set of challenges.
7. Log Analysis and Metric Collection: Organizations moving to AWS suddenly find themselves managing a highly scalable and highly dynamic environment that requires a new type of log analytics and metric collection. The need for centralization of data is crucial in dynamic environments because often you find yourself trying to troubleshoot a problem on servers that no longer exist.
8. Impact to the business: Temporary downtime is something you have to be ready for. You might need more time or you might need to consider alternatives for the brief interruptions that come with migration, and of course budget can be a major factor in your decision to move. You can save your business from unnecessary obstacles by first assessing its ability to handle these situations.
AWS is the preferable public (IaaS) cloud choice for enterprises today, and it looks set to stay this way. To achieve a successful transition during a migration of workloads and products to AWS, the process needs to be carefully planned and implemented in a step-by-step fashion that will prove the benefits of the move to all of the owners.