More and more businesses are discovering that cloud computing can save them a lot of headaches when it comes to managing their server. By offloading the tasks of running hardware and software to an offsite cloud provider, cloud computing enables companies to focus better on core business services and management issues.
In addition, businesses save on software licensing costs as well as overhead and IT costs. Instead, they only pay subscription fees to the cloud provider for the online applications they use. At the same time, businesses can increase productivity with regards to software use; cloud computing gives you the power to provide your employees unlimited access to shared resources and databases. Cloud-based services are also scalable – you can expand in a snap as your business grows.
Because of these benefits, cloud computing has attracted many start-ups and small businesses who don’t have the budget for maintaining an onsite IT team or a dedicated physical infrastructure to depend on.
Migrating to the cloud, however, is much more complex for companies with legacy systems. How do you relocate the old systems and software to the beaming new world of cloud?
With proper planning and execution, these hurdles can be easily overcome. Here are the steps on how to migrate legacy systems without a fuss:
Create a Plan of Action
Migrating legacy systems to the cloud is not the same from business to business. Each will have different system specifications and requirements so you need to come up with a solid strategy.
Planning well migration of legacy systems to the cloud allows business to determine the functionalities that they need. More importantly, it allows them to improve on processes to increase their chances of migration success. When creating a plan of action, you should:
Determine the resources you need. In order for migration to be successful, you have to identify your current workloads, their configuration, licensing requirements, apps, hardware, etc. In order for migration to be successful, you have to identify your current workloads, their configuration, licensing requirements, apps, hardware, etc.
Categorize workloads into easy, slightly complex, and complex to migrate. You can determine this by looking into the following elements: type of application (e.g. web server, streaming service); resource usage (e.g. CPU, memory); shared components, etc.
Set a schedule for migration. Migration would mean server downtime, so you should decide on a date or time where migration would not interfere much with business operations. Start with workloads that are easy to migrate. Basically those that use fewer resources, run on a single server, or are low-risk applications are easy ones.
To migrate or to not migrate. You should understand that not all can be migrated to the cloud. You may succeed to migrate some applications using some processes such as recompilation, while some should remain as they are. Some assets you may want to keep include HR payroll software and Photoshop. Others are best relocated to the cloud, particularly if you have workers from different locations or constantly roaming workers. Before deciding whether to keep or migrate things, you should be clear on the risks and merits of your choices. An experienced IT will be able to help you identify what you need to move to the cloud and which ones are best kept in their current state.
In addition to the technical requirements, businesses should also identify their business objectives – are they in line with the scopes of private cloud? Some of the criteria you need to review include infrastructure cost and acquisition times.
Act on the Plan
Now that you have a plan, you need to put it to action. First, you have to look for cloud providers whom you can trust. You need to inform business departments as well as stakeholders about the big change. Ask them to refrain from making urgent requirements from IT staffs until after the migration process has been completed.
Finally, you need to train managers and operational staffs on how to use the new cloud-based system.
Cloud computing is a relatively new technology. Though your cloud provider may have the best intentions, things may go wrong during the relocation so you need to monitor post-migration events.
Some of the issues you may encounter include over-configuration of virtual server; absence of record of old versions. These problems should be addressed immediately.
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About the Guest Author:
Rodolfo Lentejas, Jr. is a fulltime freelance writer based in Toronto. He is the founder of the PostSckrippt, a growing online writing business dedicated to producing top quality, original and fresh content. To know more about him, please visit www.postsckrippt.ca. Like him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.