The upward trajectory of cloud adoption shows no sign of slowing down. Predictions surrounding future uptake, spend and data storage vary between sources, but they all point towards cloud’s continued domination of the IT agenda. However, while the age of cloud adoption is in full swing, many organisations still have misgivings. This is especially true when it comes to the migration of existing assets.
Many of our most-read blog posts this year focus on overcoming issues related to cloud migration. They address challenges such as stakeholder uncertainty as well as rescuing a migration that looks set to fail. Practical guidance on matters like migrating databases, building cloud landing zones and improving cloud cost management also proved popular.
Top five cloud migration blogs of 2021
1. How to break analysis-paralysis and enable cloud migration
Cloud solutions architect and APN Ambassador Colin Barker acknowledges that it’s sometimes hard for largescale cloud migrations to get started. Uncertainty surrounding cloud costs and future performance leads to procrastination, with decision makers reluctant to take a leap of faith.
To avoid or overcome this situation, Colin advocates breaking largescale migrations into a series of smaller migrations. It reduces risk and allows various approaches to be tested, proved and costed. New learnings inform successive migrations and the inhouse team develops skills and confidence along the way.
For migrations to AWS, the Migration Acceleration Program (MAP) also helps decision makers understand what they’re signing up to. The ‘assess’ and ‘mobilise’ aspects of this framework provide clarity on the effort required to unlock cost savings and additional cloud benefits.
As Colin says: “When the process is broken down into discrete stages it’s easier to make a robust and persuasive business case that’s more likely to be approved.”
Read his post in full here.
2. How landing zones make cloud adoption quick, secure and cost-effective
Practical steps that can simplify and de-risk cloud migration include the use of landing zones. They provide a pre-configured template where developers can deploy migrated workloads quickly, easily and securely.
Foundational elements of cloud landing zones can cover everything from governance and data security to network design and identity/access management. Their bespoke configuration means specific requirements for the individual organisation or industry sector can be accounted for. Critical factors like security and compliance are baked in, so developers can dedicate more time and energy to tasks that deliver value or competitive differentiation.
Our landing zones blog explains how they aid cloud adoption, unlocking cloud benefits as well as improving security and cost-effectiveness. It also emphasises the need to manage landing zones on a long-term basis as a core element of the cloud strategy. Find out more here.
3. How to move a relational database to the cloud without a hitch
Senior database administrator Bethan Guy is an authority on cloud database best practice. She also holds a wealth of expertise in the effective migration of databases to the cloud environment. Unfortunately, many cloud migration strategies underestimate the complexity of this.
As Bethan explains: “There’s a tendency to assume databases will integrate with the new environment without much effort. This is rarely the case and the consequences of a poorly executed migration range from performance glitches to full-blown outages. Hosting costs can also spiral up.”
Bethan outlines key areas that should be considered upfront so potential problems can be identified and avoided or mitigated. These include deciding whether the target database will use the same technology as the source database, or whether a cloud-native alternative might deliver better outcomes. Most importantly, she underlines the need to treat a database like any other workload, developing a migration blueprint to help it get off to a good start in the cloud. Read more here.
4. Six ways to rescue a failing cloud migration
Another blog from Colin looks at common cloud migration problems, and how to get back on track.
One of his key points is to make sure everyone’s expectations are aligned. Transparency is key, and all stakeholders need to appreciate the time and effort involved in leveraging cloud benefits. It’s also important to be pragmatic about what will work in the cloud. In some situations, it may be better to opt for an intermediary step before pursuing a cloud-native solution.
Much of the time, he says, cloud migrations perceived as failures are still on the journey to success. Issues related to cost management and performance can be ironed out with expert cloud engineering support. The trick is to identify where and why things are going wrong, then take decisive steps to put them right.
Read all six of Colin’s suggestions here.
5. What to do when cloud costs get out of hand
Cloud cost management can be one of the biggest challenges for organisations that have recently migrated. This is often a problem following a ‘lift and shift’ and our blog on improving cloud costs generated a lot of interest this year. It outlines three practical steps to help brings costs under control. These include the avoidance of overprovisioning, a robust tagging strategy and investment in cloud engineering skills.
Ultimately, for cloud migration to deliver cost benefits organisations need to take advantage of on-demand access to resources. Ideally, this should involve rightsizing and autoscaling, so that at any given moment ‘just enough’ resources are deployed.
Optimising cost management also requires good visibility of cloud-based assets, which is where tagging comes in. This should be treated as an ongoing process to maintain visibility as the estate continues to evolve.
Not all organisations have the inhouse skills to implement these measures, which is why training and mentoring plays a vital role in cloud migration success. Factoring this into the migration strategy is essential to leverage benefits, and avoid common problems, in the cloud. Read the full blogpost here.