Tips to plan your hybrid cloud migration

hybrid cloud migration

Why should your organisation start using cloud services and infrastructure? Why is hybrid cloud the preferred model to use? And how do you avoid the problems that often arise when companies try to deploy a hybrid cloud? Sithabile Technologies’ experts weigh in on this crucial business topic.

The world’s oldest computer is the Antikythera Mechanism, a 2,000-year-old mechanism that worked on gears and predicted the movement of planets. Fast forward two millennia to the late 1800s, when engineers created the punch card system.

A few decades later, magnetic tapes, keyboards and mainframes replaced punch cards, followed by integrated electronics and the first microprocessors.

Cloud: the new computing era

Cloud computing represents the next big step forward for computing. Cloud technology users do not need to own and maintain the underlying infrastructure, and their costs ebb and flow with their demands.

Cloud computing is more predictable and enormously scalable. One server can act as several separate machines, or several servers can combine to create one very powerful machine. Cloud computing is super-computing on tap. The power once reserved for the government is now available to every organisation.

If a company owns and runs servers that power cloud software, that is called a private cloud. And when they use a third party’s servers and services, that is called a public cloud. If they combine both, it’s a hybrid cloud strategy.

Hybrid clouds enable organisations to keep specific systems in-house, usually for security, compliance or competitive reasons, and consume public services that they might only need ad hoc or prefer to ‘rent’ to avoid capital costs.

For example, a bank might run sensitive financial transactions on internal servers but use a public cloud provider such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services for development or customer-facing portals.

“Hybrid cloud is very powerful and can deliver fantastic long term value and strategic control. But there is no hybrid cloud model that fits every business. The challenge is to have a good hybrid cloud strategy you need to design one that fits your business requirements,” says Malcolm Tiley – Technology Specialist at Sithabile Technology Services.

Tips to design business-ready hybrid clouds

The shift from punch cards to mainframes to agile personal computers substantially affected how organisations operated. Hybrid cloud projects reflect the same principle, so organisations mustn’t rush or shortchange the process.

Hybrid cloud failures can be costly and even unsalvageable. Yet, with the proper roadmap, they can avoid the big potholes.

Tiley offers the following tips:

●      Create a vision and outline initial use cases: Don’t move everything simultaneously. What are the priorities? What operations would benefit most from cloud services? For example, are specific backups better off at a cloud location, or is it time to retire your email servers for a cloud-hosted improvement? Focusing on priorities will deliver quick wins and momentum.

●      Identify and include stakeholders: Business systems have users—people, departments and projects. Yet, too often, companies expect the IT teams to do all the work and neglect to include those who rely on those systems.

●      Determine migration needs: Not all systems migrate equally. You could consider retiring something, perhaps replacing a spreadsheet file share with a cloud accounting platform. But you also might have a very customised system that you want to move off its old hardware into a virtual cloud machine. These are very different migration projects. Also, migrations create downtime and system unavailability, so coordinate accordingly.

●      Incorporate compliance and security: Layering compliance and security over a new system can create new cyber risks. The best practice is to involve both disciplines from the start. It’s much more effective and generates considerably more value and flexibility.

●      Select migration partners: Your IT teams are experts at running your systems to support your plans. They are not experts at designing and executing a cloud migration’s nuances. Even if they are, migrations are complicated, and it is prohibitively expensive in costs and time to have your IT people divide their valuable attention in this manner. Select third-party cloud migration providers, vetting them on their past work and consultative pedigree.

●      Remember change management: If you build it but don’t tell the users what to expect, they will not come. They will kick, scream and undermine your expensive changes. User consultations and proficient training, bringing people along in stages, will often make the success of a hybrid cloud migration.

Cloud migrations are tricky. Hybrid cloud migrations are more so. Yet, the rewards of a successful migration are incredible: faster technology and better cost spent that form the foundation of modern agile and data-driven organisations.

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest