More about Cloud Migration
- Why Cloud Adoption Fails and 6 Tips for Success
- Cloud Application Migration: A Practical Guide
- Top 3 Cloud Adoption Frameworks: Your Path To The Cloud
- Cloud Roadmap: Mapping Out Your Path To The Cloud
- Cloud Journey: 6 Stages of Cloud Adoption
- What is Cloud Migration? Strategy, Process and Tools
- Better in the Cloud: Workloads Gartner Says You Should Move to the Cloud Now
- 3 Cloud Migration Approaches and Their Pros and Cons
- What Is a Lift and Shift Cloud Migration?
- Cloud Data Integration 101: Benefits, Challenges, and Tools
- Cloud Migration Tools: Transferring Your Data with Ease
- Cloud Volumes ONTAP: Cloud Migration Case Studies
- Transitioning Out: Having a Plan for a Cloud Transition
What Is Cloud Application Migration?
The term “application migration” refers to the process of shifting software applications between computing environments. The process may apply to moving applications between a public cloud to a private cloud or moving applications from a local server to a cloud environment. Cloud migration helps organizations leverage the advantages of the cloud for their applications, including cost reduction, a higher level of scalability, and quick application updates.
In this article:
- What Are Your Cloud Migration Options?
- Software Migration Challenges to Overcome
- Application Migration Plan Stages
- Managed Application Migration
- Cloud Application Migration with Cloud Volumes ONTAP
What Are Your Cloud Migration Options?
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) hosts infrastructure on the private and public cloud rather than the traditional on-premises data center. The service provider manages the infrastructure, delivered to customers on demand.
You can re-platform an application onto Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) by moving your application and making minor customizations. This method eliminates the daily costs and responsibilities of operating, managing, and owning the infrastructure hosting your application. You can usually use the same licensing structure as you had on-premises.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS is a cloud computing model whereby a third-party provider delivers software and hardware tools to users via the Internet. Typically, a user needs these tools for application development. A PaaS provider hosts the software and hardware on its infrastructure.
Typically, PaaS does not replace all your IT infrastructure but does provide an optimized environment for application development. You can install data sets and applications in this environment. Developers can thus focus on creating and running applications instead of spending time on setting up basic services and infrastructure.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS is a software licensing model, in which software is located on external servers and not hosted in-house. With SaaS, access to the software is provided on a subscription basis.
When you use this model, you can decide to give your cloud provider full responsibility for all parts of the application, including updates and maintenance.
The cloud provider configures their solution to your organizational requirements and takes responsibility for security. The downside of a SaaS model is that it is typically less customizable than an application hosted on-premises, and you might lose custom developments built for your organization in the past.
Software Migration Challenges to Overcome
Here are some of the main challenges involved in software migration.
When you migrate an application, you could face unexpected costs resulting from the complexity of the migration process. For example, you may have to train staff in using the new system or toolset, requiring extra hours and expenses. For your migration to be successful, you need to assess the expected costs realistically, considering potential complications.
Disruptions and Downtime
Migration can impact processes that are critical to your business functions. If you experience an unanticipated outage, you may lose customers and revenue. To reduce unexpected downtime, you should consider the potential issues that may affect performance so you can address them in advance.
It is essential to protect the privacy of your business operations and data when migrating to a third-party system, such as a cloud server. Whenever you work with a third-party vendor, you need to carefully oversee the migration process and ensure the proper SLAs are in place.
You need to ensure that the new environment is compliant with regulations such as HIPAA. It is important to have a compliance strategy in place before you begin the migration process to find suitable vendors and solutions.
Stakeholder Commitment Issues
Migration projects often take a long time to complete, testing the commitment of key stakeholders. You need to have a clearly defined long-term with measurable targets to help keep team leaders and department heads on board.
Using Different Systems Simultaneously
Organizations typically migrate applications gradually to maintain business continuity, resulting in a period of overlap between the data and functions of the old and new environments. This overlap can create confusion as to which system should be used for each task. You need to have a clear plan outlining the data storage requirements of each migration phase.
Application Migration Plan Stages
Your application migration plan is key to making the process manageable. While the specifics of a migration plan differ for each organization, any application migration plan should address the following basic elements.
Related content: Read our guide to cloud roadmaps
Identify and Assess Your Applications
First, you need to discover and audit all applications used in your enterprise environment. You should assess the importance and complexity of your applications, categorizing them as business-critical or non-critical. An application assessment should include any requirements for modifications or re-coding, helping you decide whether to migrate or replace the application.
Determine Which Legacy Applications to Migrate
Most organizations continue to use legacy applications long after the introduction of new technologies. You might want to keep your legacy applications to avoid the expense or disruption of acquiring a replacement—as long as they perform adequately.
However, when migrating to a new environment, especially in the cloud, legacy applications can be difficult to migrate or maintain. You can migrate some applications unchanged or with minor alterations but replacing other applications with cloud-compatible alternatives could be cheaper.
Calculate Your TCO
Software migration carries a significant risk of unanticipated costs. Review your application migration plan to evaluate the total cost of ownership (TCO). You can compare various scenarios to see which options strike an acceptable balance between cost savings and performance. Consider factors such as the maintenance costs, the cost of replacing or acquiring new applications, and training.
Assess the Project Duration and Identify Potential Risks
Do your best to forecast the likely duration of your migration project and consider the risks of unexpected hurdles. Your forecast will not be perfect, but it should help reduce the risk of overblown costs and disruptions.
Managed Application Migration
Cloud providers offer managed services that can make it easier to migrate your applications to the cloud. Here are a few types of application migration services you can use to plan, execute, and automate an application migration.
Related content: Read our guide to cloud migration tools
In a complete blueprint service offer, your vendor helps you define your migration objectives and strategy by recognizing your users’ needs and your organizational requirements. They also collect details about your environment and applications, developing a complete action plan for the migration process.
If you select a managed deployment, your vendor helps you strategize and plan your migration. They also help you manage the migration and any related troubleshooting and testing. This method is typically a turn-key option that features full-scale and end-to-end support.
Cloud Managed Services
A managed cloud service option provides observation and maintenance of your cloud-based IT environment. Your managed cloud service provider takes responsibility for functions, including acquiring as-a-service providing on your behalf. They also manage cloud security. Application migration may also be part of the packaged service.
Application modernization services provide custom development services. They can help you prepare legacy applications for utilization in the cloud, by adapting them to run in virtualized environments or containers.
Cloud Application Migration with Cloud Volumes ONTAP
NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, the leading enterprise-grade storage management solution, delivers secure, proven storage management services on AWS, Azure and Google Cloud. Cloud Volumes ONTAP capacity can scale into the petabytes, and it supports various use cases such as file services, databases, DevOps or any other enterprise workload, with a strong set of features including high availability, data protection, storage efficiencies, Kubernetes integration, and more.
In particular, Cloud Volumes ONTAP assists with lift and shift cloud migration. NetApp’s data replication tools SnapMirror® and Cloud Sync service will get your data to the cloud.
Learn more about how Cloud Volumes ONTAP helps with lift and shift cloud migration.
In particular, Cloud Volumes ONTAP provides Cloud Manager, a UI and APIs for management, automation and orchestration, supporting hybrid & multi-cloud architectures.