Six Steps to Ensure a Smooth and Cost-Effective Cloud Migration

Significant capital and personnel investments reside in corporate data centers. As organizations move applications to the cloud, these assets are often overlooked. Consequently, many enterprises miss out on opportunities to maximize their technology Return on Investments.

Let’s examine how to avoid being one of those corporations.

Moving large volumes of data from on-premises systems to the cloud is a time-consuming, complex, and often frustrating process. Businesses need to minimize downtime, migrate large volumes of data to a new platform, maintain system availability, and dispose of their hardware. A lot is on their plate, so some opportunities are missed.

Fill the Skills Gap

Challenges arise right at the start of the journey. Staff is comfortable with how legacy systems function. Cloud systems operate differently: How they function, what are key design considerations, and where problems lie is not the same when a data center resides miles away rather than on site. Consequently, system technicians need to understand how the disparities will impact performance and troubleshooting, something that can be hard to grasp since they do not know what they do not know.

Organizations have two choices to fill the void. They can train their staff, a time-consuming and often expensive process, one that in many cases is not feasible since their tech staff is already stretched thin. Another option is turning to a third-party supplier for help. Companies, like Top Gun, have worked on numerous similar projects, hit different potholes, and use that experience to prevent others from repeating the same mistakes.

Undertake a Comprehensive System Assessment

Every organization operates in a unique way. Therefore, what is needed for their migration varies. The firm must assess its existing infrastructure, applications, and data and determine their compatibility with cloud services.

Risk is part of every business transaction. Since businesses nowadays rely so heavily on their computer systems to conduct their business, they want to have as little downtime as possible during the transition. They need to conduct a thorough risk analysis, identify potential trouble spots, and brainstorm to mitigate these issues.

Big Decision: Lift and Shift or Rewrite?

Companies also have two choices when moving their applications. A Lift and Shift takes the existing application and ports it to the cloud. No significant changes are made to the application itself.

A rewrite is the second option. Older applications were designed before today’s modern advances. If the application relies on long standing legacy code, the firm needs to layer containers and orchestration solutions, e.g., Docker and Kubernetes, so it runs efficiently in the cloud. Rewriting takes longer on the front end but usually pays dividends after the application is deployed.

What to Do with Your Hardware Infrastructure?

Enterprises need to proactively manage what happens with their existing hardware, something that is frequently overlooked in the process. After all, they cannot just leave their hardware on the curb and wait for the trash collector to pick it up. Their systems are assets and misappropriating them increases a migration’s time and cost, sometimes significantly.

Many enterprises can and should extend the life of their legacy systems. Here, working with a third party, like Top Gun, is helpful. Usually, the hardware can be repurposed. An enterprise can take their older hardware and use it as an application development platform or a Disaster Recovery system. Another alternative is relying on the system for spare parts. This option is popular in medium and large companies where large server farms support the business.

Even when a company decides it no longer wants the legacy equipment, someone else might. Third parties, such as Top Gun, often buy back the equipment at market prices and use it for other clients, resell it, or as spare parts for their systems.

Look for Flexible Maintenance Terms

As corporations extend their hardware’s lifecycle, a question emerges: Who is responsible for ongoing maintenance? Hardware suppliers try to lock customers into long term, expensive maintenance contracts, which often do not make sense with repurposed hardware that has a short or unclear lifecycle.

Third parties offer more flexibility. Their contracts run for months rather than years. Furthermore, the support expenses are much less, as much as 60% lower than an OEM’s pricing.

Dispose of Your Data Properly

Regardless of what a company does with its servers, storage, and network equipment, those items have the company’s DNA, software containing proprietary information. When the application is running, corporations put a lot of checks in place to ensure that information remains confidential. They need to take the same approach when disposing of their hardware. Throwing your computer in a landfill does not mean the information on the system is also disposed of. Instead, it is exposed and becomes a potential way for hackers to breach your proprietary data.

So, a business needs to find a partner, like Top Gun, that specializes in IT Asset Destruction (ITAD). They provide secure disposal of IT hardware, ensuring that all sensitive data is thoroughly sanitized through professional data erasure best practices. They follow rigorous data protection and e-waste compliance regulations, such as the European Union’s Waste from Electrical and Electronics.

Cloud has become a key way to support business applications, so many companies are moving to that platform. An effective migration requires choosing the best path, determining what they will do with their existing hardware, and properly disposing of company data. Corporations do not have to make the journey alone. Third parties have expertise that smooths out rough spots in the process.

Top Gun, an engineering-led firm, enables cloud migration projects by ensuring that legacy hardware remains viable as companies execute their migration strategy. As a key partner, Top Gun has helped many enterprise organizations migrate smoothly to the cloud while maximizing the significant investments they have in their mission critical data center hardware.