Created on:
July 22, 2019

Taking the Next Steps in Migrating Your Enterprise Applications to the Cloud

Cloud migration is more than grabbing your on-premises applications and moving them to a server in the cloud—using the cloud as only infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).

If you haven’t built any—or have built only a few truly native cloud applications—you need to take the next steps to realize the full power of the cloud for your business.

Phase One: Your Migration Strategy

If you’ve already begun to migrate some of your applications, you’ve probably begun the first step Amazon Web Services (AWS) recommends, namely forming your migration strategy. During this step, you’ll evaluate which applications will migrate easily, with a seamless functionality in the cloud as well as on-premises.

Some applications, AWS points out, are easier to re-architect or optimize once you’ve migrated them since in the migration process your team has gained a better grasp of your cloud environment and the migration of all the application’s data and traffic is finished.

You might find, though, that some of your applications are a bit iffy as to how easily they will migrate to the cloud as you look at their architecture. For those, you need to find out if they’re a good fit for migration.

CIO’s Jinesh Varia recommends a proof-of-concept test to evaluate a given application’s suitability for migration. As he points out, this test does two things: gets your team familiar with your cloud provider’s unique environment, and tests your hypothesis that this application would be a decent candidate for migration.

Phase Two: The Proof-of-Concept Test

Varia advises teams to develop a small greenfield test application that has the same critical features as your legacy application does. After you migrate this prototype application to the cloud, you can learn about what problems you might encounter when you migrate your legacy application--and look for ways to overcome those challenges.

Look for a legacy application that looks like it will function well in the cloud environment. Build your prototype in such a way that it tests all the critical areas of functionality in your legacy application. Varia advises beginning with a small dataset or database. You may need to launch and terminate several instances and should stress-test the system, performing all the necessary benchmarks to confirm your assumptions. That way, you'll know if your legacy application merits migration.

Not only will this prototype test the legacy application itself, but the experience in the new cloud environment will provide you and your team with more insight into possible challenges you might encounter as you migrate your applications to the cloud.

Phase Three: Consider Cloud-Native

If some of your key legacy applications don’t look like they’ll migrate to the cloud well, consider replacing them with cloud-native applications. Since they use container technology and a variety of cutting-edge frameworks and languages, cloud-native applications are easier to scale and easier to optimize. Your DevOps teams won’t need to interact with your infrastructure providers’ APIs, since an orchestrator allocates resources automatically.

Fully managed services: Avoid the need for server maintenance with fully managed services, such as the AWS Aurora Database or Microsoft's Azure SQL Database, which automate administrative tasks such as database setup, hardware provisioning, backups, and patching. Their automatic monitoring and high availability allow you to scale rapidly to dominate your niche worldwide.

Serverless applications: When you go serverless, you never have to worry about managing runtimes or servers, allowing your developers to spend their time on building applications that can streamline your workflows and scale your application to whatever level you need it to be.

As you explore all the possibilities migration to the cloud can bring to the table, you’ll no doubt want to leverage every bit of cloud computing’s capabilities to take your business to the next level. To discover more about all the ways you can make the most of your move to the cloud, subscribe to the Astor newsletter today.