When you first hear about the benefits of moving to the cloud, such as reduced costs, scalability and improved agility, you may anticipate all of the advantages. Without a clear picture of the migration process, there may be unexpected hurdles to reach these benefits. Preparing for cloud migration involves careful planning, and there are three key steps that can help minimize complications during the process:
Assess your current IT environment. Preparing for cloud migration begins with a clear picture of your existing architecture. You probably have some type of asset inventory, but if it is dependent on a manual update, it’s likely incomplete or not up-to-date.
It may be tempting to opt for a “lift and shift” model of cloud migration, but you’ll miss an important opportunity to jump in for a full inventory and then create a way to better manage your asset list. You’re likely to discover “zombie architecture,” which comes in a variety of forms, including forgotten devices, hidden services, networks no longer in use, and unmapped containers. These zombies tend to incur costs, as well as present security and compliance vulnerabilities.
These problems only become worse following a cloud migration. If you don’t have a system that detects assets that aren’t being used and then decommissions each one when it is not needed, your costs will multiply. You can employ an automated discovery tool that will sift your network and hosts to create a dynamic inventory, which will become more valuable as your architecture changes.
Determine how migration will change your existing assets. Once you have established what assets you have and counted the surprise services and containers, you can create your new application pattern as needed. Your cloud migration will dictate changes to your application architecture, such as your development teams that will have access to new cloud paradigms and features. You’ll also have access to new levels of scalability, redundancy and recovery that are automated. You’ll have to address security considerations and ensure your sensitive data isn’t being exposed to new vulnerabilities.
Incorporate automation where appropriate. If you’re using clusters of containers or virtual hosts in your on-premises systems, you’re likely already automating some processes. Now, it’s time to take it further with an automation-first strategy. You’ll see the necessity of automation as you move forward, preparing for cloud migration. As assets are used across a number of data centers and architectures, you’ll find manual maintenance and deployment nearly impossible. It’s also one of the best ways to achieve increased value in a cloud migration.
Preparing for cloud migration may force your company to work through some messy asset discovery steps, but it will be worth it for a smoother overall transition to the cloud. Contact us at Diversified Technology Group to learn how to execute a smooth transition to the cloud through careful preparation.