They say to “aim for the stars and keep your sights high”. That’s quite the scenario, albeit in a poetic manner, in cloud computing. By the next three years, most enterprises cite hybrid cloud as the most likely cloud adoption model. In the present scenario, though 85% of the companies have planned to adopt hybrid cloud solutions, only 30% of them have been successful in migrating to hybrid cloud environments. While reasons like skills gaps, security, and compliance concerns in juxtaposing multiple environments together are assumed to hinder the migration journey, there is one key factor that businesses are missing out on. It is adopting a phased approach to migration. The phased approach results in a risk-proof strategy that segregates down applications and workloads required for migration so that businesses can reap the full benefits of hybrid cloud innovation.
This blog navigates the common challenges and pain points that come with the hybrid cloud migration process while suggesting industry-proven strategies and best practices to ensure that this approach successfully drives powerful business innovation and transformation initiatives.
Pitfalls that Occur While Migrating to Hybrid Cloud
The journey of hybrid cloud migration paves the way for some critical roadblocks namely, migration complexities, data security concerns, and network design issues. Each of these challenges has been discussed briefly below:
Data Security & Privacy
Usually, it is easy for businesses to keep their sensitive data in a private cloud. Though organizations are migrating to hybrid cloud for improved security and risk management, they must manage different security platforms which can lead to serious security and risk management complications.
Complex Integration Processes
Migrating configurations and metadata can be cumbersome and challenging as it involves multiple applications. Added to this, is the humongous task of managing the infrastructure and supporting the integration process.
Bad Network Design
Network design can make or break the migration process. To ensure a successful hybrid cloud migration strategy, businesses need to focus on network bandwidth and operational security requirements for building an effective network design.
Lack of Skills
There are times when companies depend too much on internal teams to migrate and manage their hybrid cloud infrastructure. Already burdened with core operational tasks, over-reliance on internal teams for such transformation initiatives can sometimes lead to bad decision-making, inefficiency, and loss of business opportunities. Internal folks might not be well-versed with the intricacies of every cloud solution to suggest and implement the best approach.
Zero Unified Visibility
Once the migration is done, enterprises face challenges to obtain a 360-degree view into the hybrid cloud applications, involving two or multiple different environments, that often cause low transparency, development problems, and lack of collaboration and transparency.
Strategies for Blueprinting a Risk-proof Hybrid Cloud Migration Strategy
Before undertaking the migration journey, here are certain strategies one must follow to ensure they offer unprecedented agility, security and workload scalability.
Are the Applications Hybrid-cloud Ready?
This is the step that users often neglect. It’s true that hosting applications in one environment is less complicated than integrating two environments. This is why enterprises need to gauge which applications are ideal for hybrid cloud migration. Usually, the applications that exist the load balancers migrate to a hybrid Cloud. IT managers should leverage application tracking to track traffic communications, check how much data is shared across the servers, and assess the lag time that can potentially impact the application’s performance.
Select the right pieces of an application
Since applications are made of different modules and submodules, businesses should consider which segments of applications should be containerized and moved to the cloud. To arrive at this stage, they should account for on-demand and cloud-bursting capabilities. Normally, you need to pay for starting dormant workloads on public cloud servers. However, with hybrid cloud AIOps-driven automation, you can scale these workloads up and down according to the business requirements. Usually, workloads that require huge databases and excessive customization may not be feasible for hybrid cloud migration if cost savings is one of the primary goals.
Time is also another factor that needs to be considered. Workloads can drain extra costs since the cloud service providers charge the business for the setup time even before the workload starts running. Automating workloads does remove manual labor; however, it does take time (maybe seconds or hours) to build complete and ready-to-go resources.
Storage Size Matters
Storage size is another aspect of adopting a hybrid cloud model. Generally, cloud storage expenses grow over time depending on the usage which can make the budget go haywire. Leveraging cloud storage tiering can store the most frequently accessed data in fast cloud storage systems while retaining the least accessed data in slow cloud storage systems. This process, in turn, helps to minimize latency and throughput, and response times for business-critical data.
Look Out for Network Issues
Network lag is an issue that can arise if the business shift application(s) and workloads to the cloud. This delay can negatively affect customer experience and application performance. Enterprises should figure out why and how this delay is happening. In most cases, this stems from a bad-quality connection to the cloud platforms. With cloud connectivity, you gain interoperability between on-premises and public clouds that streamlines and makes your business operations agile so that the businesses can scale up and down according to the business requirements.
Regularly Monitor the Performance
How does one know that their hybrid cloud migration has been successful? The answer lies in evaluating metrics. It is important to track data from multiple sources and systems and measure their performance and impact. This can include performance data, customer engagement, and customer support responses, depending on the type and nature of the business. Now here comes the real challenge- comparing and correlating data from different sources. To do this, you need to make certain adjustments to the workloads, and redefine and align the metrics to the specific business and cloud needs.
Best Practices for Hybrid Cloud Migration
Here are the best practices that organizations can adopt to expedite their hybrid cloud migration process.
Assess or Upgrade Source Server
By leveraging a pilot migration process, companies can monitor system performance and source servers. They can upgrade the hardware by minimizing the load on one server and migrating highly intensive workloads to another server. Also, it is advisable to deploy server-class physical machines than virtual machines. In this way, businesses can eliminate performance issues during the migration process.
Leverage Two-Hop Migration
Say if any business intends to migrate on-prem Exchange Server to Office 365, they should opt for the two-hop migration. The process involves migrating Exchange 2003 to the latest version and finally to Office365. This is done to ensure that the Exchange server users have access to their mailboxes.
Be Familiar with Legal and Compliance Requirements
Before migrating any applications to the hybrid cloud, businesses should familiarize themselves with data laws and compliance regulations of that geographical region. Based on this, they should choose a hybrid cloud-managed services provider that offers a country-specific guidelines repository to ensure businesses achieve full compliance with changing regulations and standards.
Tracking and Streamlining Resource Usage
By deploying monitoring and optimization tools, organizations can monitor resource usage in their hybrid infrastructure, detect areas of improvement, and minimize costs. For instance, IT managers can leverage auto-scaling or load balancers to disperse traffic across different servers.
Facilitating Effective Cost Optimization Strategies
With techniques like reserved instances, resource tagging, and spot instances, companies can diminish cloud costs and eliminate over-provisioning of resources.
Don’t Fall Behind on Hybrid Cloud Migration Journey. Transform Risk-proofed with Cloud4C
Migrating the entire infrastructure to a hybrid cloud is an uphill climb. One tiny mistake in the process and the business will face disastrous consequences to the risk of losing credibility. This is why IT managers should opt for the best strategic partner that offers tailor-made solutions and strategies aligned to their IT systems to ensure a seamless transition at every step of the process. Remember, that choosing the right strategic partner can make all the difference between a successful business transformation and an implementation failure.
Marking a presence in more than 25 countries with a well-known stellar track record of successful deployment of public, private, multi, community and hybrid clouds, Cloud4C, one of the leading cloud services providers, offers a holistic suite of enterprise hybrid cloud solutions and managed services.
With Cloud4C’s hybrid cloud Migration Factory Approach, businesses can enable zero friction, zero data loss migration to the hybrid cloud infrastructure in few weeks. By leveraging automated migration services and solutions, deploy, run, and manage applications anytime, anywhere via a universal interface. Cloud4C’s hybrid cloud approach comes with tailored hybrid cloud capabilities like RPA, SHOP, UCP, and other next-gen technologies that help to craft an effective migration framework strictly compliant with industry best practices and international standards.
To know more about Cloud4C’s hybrid migration services and how their experts can help you take full advantage of the hybrid cloud performance, get in touch with one of its representatives today.