Nowadays entrepreneurs are constantly looking for solutions that would help to take their businesses to a new level and facilitate their expansion. Implementation of cutting-edge solutions, improvement of already adopted software, integration of the existing software with third-party solutions, legacy application modernization… The list of actions taken by business owners is endless, but in broad terms, their goals are common.
Many companies use on-premise infrastructure to store and manage the internal data. As time goes by, a company expands, acquires new employees, and the usage of a local server becomes neither effective, nor cost-efficient. Therefore there arises a necessity to search for a flexible and scalable solution that would help to reduce a company’s expenses — application migration to cloud. In the article we consider the main benefits of this approach and discuss the legacy-cloud migration options.
Essence of Application Migration to Cloud in General Terms
Cloud migration presupposes migration of the existing legacy application deployed on an on-premise server to the virtual computer server — cloud. Its main task is to provide access to the information on the cloud storage and delivery of the virtual “hardware”. Therefore after application migration companies do not need to have the local server for business tasks resolution, but they can choose a provider and use a cloud infrastructure, and its maintenance will be the vendor’s burden. Once application migration is complete, users will have a quick and flawless access to data from anywhere in the world. Moreover, a provider ensures strong security and integrity of your data, and scalability of IT infrastructure.
Benefits of Application Migration to Cloud
It’s not a secret that any entrepreneur wants his/her business to be flexible and adapt quickly to the constant changes in the market. Application deployment on an on-premise server poses certain constraints and limitations, which makes business owners think over the migration of the application to the cloud. Below are the core advantages of cloud migration which entrepreneurs rely on when decide in favour of this option:
Each and every company strives to avoid unnecessary spendings and meanwhile maintain the efficiency or even boost it up. Deployment of your existing application to the cloud gives business owners such an opportunity. When a company uses a local server, it has to incur costs related to its maintenance, support and acquisition of the necessary hardware. But when a company uses a cloud server, it pays a fixed amount monthly, which is significantly lower than the expenses for the local server.
When you only start to run your business, the capacity of the local server may be enough. But time doesn’t stand still, as well as the development of your company. Therefore there may arise a need for additional capacity which entails tremendous expenses for scaling the application in on-premise infrastructure if you continue to use the local server.
When your application is migrated to the cloud, scaling can be done quickly, depending on the current needs with no efforts from the customer’s side, since it becomes the provider’s responsibility.
Read Also Application Modernization vs Building App from Scratch — Choosing the Lesser of Two Evils
- Data Safety
If you deployed your application on an on-premise server, there are one or several data centers that store your data. In case of some accidents, fire for instance you may lose your data with no possibility to restore it. Unlike a local server, cloud has the whole network of data centers located in various points of the world and guarantees data safety due to the automated backup.
- Leveraging of New Technologies
If you want to use emerging technologies such as Machine Learning on a local server, you have to configure the data pipeline and deploy services manually with your own efforts. It’s a time-consuming and labour-intensive process that requires specific DevOps skills. If you have your application on cloud infrastructure, you may connect ML as a service. It goes without saying that you will also have to adapt the service to your tasks, but meanwhile the efforts and time required for overall configuration will be incomparable, since most processes are automated.
- Business Agility
The rules of business are such that in order to remain competitive and not to lag behind, you have to be flexible and adapt quickly to the emerging realities. In case your application is migrated to the cloud, you may concentrate on the resolution of important business tasks instead of wasting time for shipping and installation of the necessary hardware. In the cloud, almost all necessary services are available on demand, which significantly economizes your time and provides an opportunity to reach the market quicker.
Main Cloud Migration Strategies
Before you migrate your application to the cloud and start taking the advantage of it, it’s necessary to establish a plan how exactly you are going to do that. To do it correctly, you need to formulate your business needs and choose the type of cloud migration that suits you best. Below main strategies of cloud migration you may choose from are outlined:
- Rehost or “Lift and Shift
Rehosting is the simplest way of migrating your application to the cloud. If you choose this option, you may not introduce any modifications in the code, just redeploy it on the cloud server. This method suits you best if you are not closely familiar with the cloud environment or you want to migrate your code as it is, without any modifications or improvements. Nevertheless, if you decide in favour of rehosting, you should be prepared for a number of limitations, as you will not be able to use the full potential of the cloud.
Another option of cloud migration is re-platforming. This method is pretty similar to the rehosting option, but if rehosting doesn’t presuppose any changes in the code, re-platforming requires some improvements of the existing code and adapting it to the new platform. In this case changes do not affect the architecture of the application, and therefore its functionality. If you decide in favour of the re-platforming option for cloud migration, you will be able to leverage such cloud capabilities for your application as auto-scaling, data processing services and many others.
In contrast to the re-platforming method, re-architecting presupposes significant optimizations (even those that affect the core architecture) of your application for the cloud. For example, you have an application which has a complex “smelly” architecture, and there exists such a module as machine learning which differs from cloud service for ML. And when you are in the process of migrating the application to the cloud, you may face the lack of technology agnostic that will inevitably lead to the necessity of making modifications to the architecture of your application.
Obviously, it requires some time and effort, but you will gain the possibility to use a wide range of benefits offered by the cloud.
In case the technologies used for your application are absolutely outdated and the code requires a huge number of changes and improvements, it makes sense to consider the option of rebuilding the application from zero. In this case you have a chance to fully adapt your application to the cloud infrastructure and take all the advantages of it. Obviously, application rebuilding will take much time and effort, but in the end you will be sure that your app functions properly in the cloud environment.
Companies opt for cloud migration due to the variety of reasons: flexibility, safety and of course, cost effectiveness. In order to carry out the cloud migration successfully, it’s necessary to evaluate your application to understand which changes and improvements it requires. This action will help you to choose the application migration to cloud strategy that suits you best, so you could take advantage of the services you really need.
If you plan to start your cloud migration journey but have no idea where to start, please contact us, our team will provide you with consultation and answer all your questions.