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4 questions to find out if you are ready for Cloud migration
According to Orbis Research, the CAGR, The Cloud Migration Services market, will reach a historic high in 2025. At the same time, despite the high demand and popularity of Cloud technologies, not all companies can migrate to the Cloud at all and do this as smoothly as possible
Much has been said about the benefits of switching to Cloud technologies. Indeed, this provides quick deployment, mobility, and flexibility. The main driving force of migration to the Cloud has been and remains the growing demand for businesses to scale and be adaptable in a continuously changing environment. According to Orbis Research, the CAGR, The Cloud Migration Services market, will reach a historic high in 2025. At the same time, despite the high demand and popularity of Cloud technologies, not all companies can migrate to the Cloud at all and do this as smoothly as possible. In my seven years of experience in Cloud infrastructures, I have identified four main questions, and after answering them, it will immediately help you understand whether Cloud technologies are suitable for your company. They will also help to identify bottlenecks and allow you to decide whether to start the migration process immediately, take some time to upgrade the existing infrastructure, or choose other methods.
Question 1. Is an architecture of a server-side application monolithic or not?
If architecture is monolithic, then it’s irrelevant in most cases. Yes, there are exceptions but they are usually very specific. For example, this can be a product that does not need to be scaled and it works properly as it is, unless there’s a need to make it fault-tolerant. In this case, even a monolithic application that does not need to be scaled horizontally can be easily scaled vertically. An application can be migrated to the Cloud and that's no longer what this is regarding cost-effectiveness. Infrastructure will continue consuming a lot of resources, but it will become more fault-tolerant. There are very few such stories.
Question 2. Can a server application be run in multiple instances and work efficiently?
This means that I can run several instances of the same program (replicas) on different servers, balancing the load between them. In this case, you should take into account some factors:
- Proper storage of user sessions.
- Storage of persistent data and work with them.
- Ability to distribute background tasks between workers.
If all of the above-mentioned conditions are met, you can migrate to the Cloud. If they do not, you need to upgrade an application and postpone moving it to the Cloud.
Question 3. How dependent is a server application on the file system?
If an application depends on the local file system, then it cannot be scaled properly. This is not the end of the world, and a bottleneck can be “plugged” with money—Amazon, for example, has the EFS (Elastic File System) service, which makes it possible to solve a problem such as this, but it costs a lot. I know companies that successfully use it. For most of them, a bill for hundreds of thousands of dollars for this solution relates to how they understand what a reliable infrastructure is based on their business objectives and volumes of work. If the company cannot afford this service, then it’s necessary to adjust an application. If you do it right, then the costs of dealing with this problem can be reduced by more than 10 times. Unfortunately, there are exceptions as well, and it’s not always possible to change the code.
Question 4. Are there any legal restrictions for storing sensitive data in public Clouds?
For instance, are there certain data that a company cannot store in the public Cloud according to the legislation system of a particular country or some other countries? Banks, insurance, and medical companies most frequently face these restrictions—this is when it comes to considering only legal businesses. As we know, there are areas such as activities and businesses that are considered illegal in some countries and can be restricted or prohibited in others. In any case, it is worth paying close attention to legal issues.
In addition to technical, there are also non-technical issues. In most cases, non-technical ones in particular significantly cause a delay in moving to the Cloud and affect whether companies survive or not, especially when we’re talking about startups. We often face a situation when a company’s in-house team needs additional expertise it doesn’t have or is not sufficient enough for Cloud migration. However, a company hesitates to attract an external vendor in the hope of handling everything by itself. Sometimes an in-house team makes up to 10 attempts to migrate to the Cloud on its own, wasting valuable time and a large amount of money before they make an informed decision and address a company specializing in Cloud migration.
It can take you a great deal of time to choose a contractor as it is sometimes difficult to assess the quality of the services provided, and a desire to save time and money is too great. After the third or fourth attempt to hire a team with the proper expertise, this problem is finally solved.
Unfortunately, this approach leads to:
- A significant timeline shift. This is while most competitors have already passed this phase. They’re strengthening their capacities and scaling up easily, without any problems concerning fault-tolerance, security and saving the resources for the infrastructure maintenance (TCO).
- The increase in costs. It goes without saying that the resources spent—money and time—can be used more efficiently and invested, for example, in business development.
Planning is a key point for Cloud migration. Everything has to be analyzed and prepared properly, including the application itself. If an application is not adapted to the Cloud, important questions haven’t been raised, or a company is persistent in its efforts to solve everything on its own, then you can get nothing to win, and can also lose the competition. Against a background of the competitive environment, technical difficulties in scalability often lead to permanent losses of market positions and even the closing of a business. In conclusion, I’d like to say that moving to the Cloud for the vast majority of businesses is an absolutely cost-effective solution if its implementation is planned accurately and properly by professionals.
Daniel Yavorovych is a Cybersecurity Specialist and Cloud Infrastructure Architect. He is a Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder at Dysnix, a company that carries out complex projects in Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence and Data Science. The Dysnix team also deals with the development of Opensource solutions that are being successfully implemented for Google Cloud Platform improvement.