The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the digital transformation journey of businesses, large and small. Fundamental to this transformation will be three main technologies: cloud computing, big data analytics and cyber security. @NASSCOMR recently released a report “SMB Cloud Adoption in India: Towards a Digital First Nation” which analyzes cloud interest, adoption and maturity levels for SMB users and non-users. The report was released during a webinar on COVID’s “Next Normal” cloud migration, an important topic that resonates very well with the report’s findings. Based on the roundtable on the journey to cloud migration and the best practices that SMBs can follow, I attempted to capture the key points below. Note: This article does not cover all aspects of cloud migration, but will serve as a guideline. While I have attempted to classify the migration journey into specific buckets, it is by no means linear; many of these steps should be done in parallel. PHASE OF DISCOVERY AND PLANNING OF THE CLOUD MIGRATION JOURNEY Fundamental to understand the interconnections and interdependencies of the application-server mesh; also interdependencies with multiple layers of an application, so you also know which servers need to be moved to the cloud There may be servers that are at the end of their lifecycle and therefore may need updates (green field) or legacy machines Automation would help to standardize configurations for multiple servers Anticipating the hiccups – software compatibility issues esp. operating systems; outdated operating system that may need to be updated; software modernization for applications, new requirements, etc. SELECTING THE RIGHT SERVICE MODEL: Understand the cloud adoption frameworks of various cloud service providers Depending on the type of applications to be moved to the cloud and the types of workload – compute, storage, network – decide based on the type of service – IaaS, SaaS or PaaS MIGRATION READY INDEX * – THE 7 Rs APPROACH: Not all workloads / applications need to be moved to the cloud. The 7 R’s approach will help you decide if a particular application is / is not suitable for the cloud environment: Rehosting: or lift & shift. Easier to use, more efficient and popular; effectively, replicating the on-premise environment on the cloud; applications may not be optimized. Replacement: transformation of underlying databases, operating systems, apps or web servers; benefits efficient and easy to do and very fast Repurchase: essentially replacing the software on site with the SaaS solution; If some applications are difficult to migrate to the cloud for various reasons, such as updating, etc., choosing SaaS might be a good strategy. For example, CRM can be moved to Salesforce.com Re-factoring: re-architecture of applications for the cloud; very complex, expensive and time-consuming Transfer: Moving VMware virtual machines from on-premises to VMC (VMware Cloud on AWS) Withdrawal: With the move to the cloud, some applications may become redundant, especially. Retention of legacy applications: applications remain on-premise; depends on application criticality and prioritization SECURITY AND COMPLIANCE Ensuring applications get very secure and flexible connectivity (public and private) and are always available to users – direct impact on UX Operational consistency: lack of a standard framework vertical specific for security and compliance Advanced threats: User access: decide who can access; how you grant access; what is the access level; authentication, etc. Application Access: Malware threat. There are tools and services available with cloud service providers that limit unauthorized access / use Data loss – most important. Where IP or data exchange mechanism is not appropriate, DLP (Data Loss Prevention) software can be used. Information Visibility: Mobile devices and edge computing are leading to the dissemination of information. You will need policies to decide where to provide information, what information is provided to what type of authorized user, etc. Compliance: Make sure there are standards such as ISO27001, FEDRAM, PCI, HIPAA, SOX, etc. Data: three types of verification: data location policies (country specific); Data sovereignty (data is subject to the laws of the country in which it is located); Access to information Security and compliance is the joint responsibility of three stakeholders: the customer implementing the cloud; SaaS Provider; and cloud vendors MIGRATION JOURNEY Phase I: Perform an application lift & shift with minimal changes to ensure your team is comfortable with the new environment With lift & shift, you can run your existing production environment without confusion or risk Having a hybrid cloud strategy (private and public cloud) as a fallback option in case of disaster Start with the least critical applications so that there are fewer disruptions and you will also gain the necessary experience and confidence. Document your experience. Use automation as much as possible to save implementation time. Anticipating compatibility issues esp. with operating systems Load testing: usually the first step before starting to use applications The throughput on the cloud may not be the same as on prem. When the new environment is ready, initially, test with a low user load with limited users in a real production environment; over time, move 100% of your workload to the cloud Step 2: Once customers graduate from Step 1, they choose a multi-cloud environment where they have 2 or more public cloud providers Cost savings will not be visible in Phase I. Adopt cloud-native services such as serverless architecture, spot instances, autoscaling, shutdown servers when not in use – this will help achieve maximum cost savings, improve team productivity and time to market Use the cognitive services available on the cloud that will offer you immediate benefits: image recognition, automation, insights, knowledge search, etc. Control and Visibility: With the right combination of tools and skills, the cloud improves control and observability, especially. in a multi-cloud / hybrid environment and this can also be automated Have a good migration strategy: a good team with the right skills, cloud architects, security capabilities, gain consensus and ownership of management Make sure to follow practices and using DevOps Automation Infrastructure as code when performing the migration COST CONTROL AND OPTIMIZATION Cost control and optimization: very crucial to understanding cloud platform cost attributes – how costs change from an instance site to a other. Invest in training and learning cost attributes Lack of cost visibility: Every cloud application must have a person / team who own it, even if it’s PoC or shared service. The cost must be shared / split between different BUs or attributed to an IT services team. Don’t leave anything untagged. Publish dashboards and make information available in real time; Get alerts when costs deviate too much Costs: Instead of providing costs based on different running cloud services, cloud providers need to provide a cost breakdown in terms of customer application spend and cost of their BU: this is how they track costs internally. TRAINING Make sure you train your resources for the cloud environment; not the same as on-prem. Budget for training resources so you can make the best use of cloud features You can access the webinar recording at: https://tinyurl.com/y8yu4sv2 and the report at: https://tinyurl.com/y7j8nyyd PANELS: Sukhjit Singh, Technical Director, AT&T (Moderator) Tarun Gupta, Head of Business Unit – Cloud Services, MothersonSumi Infotech & Designs Ltd. Aman Aggarwal, AVP-Cloud and DevOps, AL NUOVO Gurprit Gulati, Founding Director, Umbrella Infocare Private Limited Ram Narasimhan, MD, CDO and CIOO, Xebia IT Architects India Private Ltd. Rashid Sayeed, Director-IT Service Delivery, Conduent Business Services India LLP * There are variations in the number of Rs: 5 Rs (Gartner), 6/7 Rs (AWS). I have kept 7 as this is what was discussed in the webinar references: https://www.infosys.com/about/knowledge-institute/insights/documents/cloud-migration.pdf https://aws.amazon. com / blog / business-strategy / 6-strategies-for-migrating-applications-to-the-cloud / Share your feedback at: firstname.lastname@example.org
COVID’s ‘Next Normal’ post Fueling Cloud Migration: The 7 Steps Guide First Appeared on NASSCOM Community | The Official Community of Indian IT Industry.