What is a Cloud Migration?
A Cloud migration, or migrating to the cloud, refers to the transfer of data, business operations, applications or services to “The Cloud.” In simplest terms, the cloud is someone else’s computer(s).
Mostly, it is a term that refers to hosting companies with complex systems that can spin up to provide a multitude of services that will handle any type of software. Migration to these systems will bring businesses numerous benefits.
Usually, the decision to move to cloud infrastructure comes to escape legacy infrastructure. This is typically a natural progression for many companies, and migration is seriously considered when the cost of maintaining failing infrastructure is higher than a migration to hardware maintained by hosting service providers. This also brings deployment and maintenance into the purview of the host as well.
With that, the question is begged.
What exactly is legacy infrastructure, and how do you know when to move away from it?
But for this, you have to know there are many parts of infrastructure that are not limited to just servers. Software, operating systems, and hardware can all become legacy systems, given enough time.
An example is Windows Vista, which is just old enough to be End-of-Life (EOL), meaning it will no longer receive updates to be secure from vulnerabilities. Other products, like Windows Server 2012, are sunsetting with EOL coming in a few years.
This makes now an ideal time for many to think about migrating to newer software, and possibly to the cloud, for increased flexibility and functionality.
The most straightforward way to put it is that legacy infrastructure is any operating system or software that no longer has support. For hardware, it’s a bit harder to tell right away. But you can usually consider your hardware outdated if you’re seeing failing hard drives, having to replace power supplies due to odd behavior, or if the hardware itself is several years old and doesn’t move as quickly. Depending on the quality of the original hardware, this might take longer to set in. But it’s an inevitability in hosting.
Moving data to a cloud model can yield numerous benefits to any organization. Businesses can take advantage of a private cloud and lock it behind a public cloud, or only move your data applications to reduce on-premise infrastructure. There’s an infinite amount of possibilities to take advantage of when it comes to cloud architecture.
Nine Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud
With so many reasons to move to the cloud, here is a list nine of the most prevalent benefits that will come from migrating to the cloud:
1. Reduction of Performance Costs
Without the overhead of maintaining an existing on-premise setup, you could see a drop in overall cost switching to cloud computing. Many hosts provide cloud plans on a pay-per-use basis, while others like Liquid Web provide lock-in monthly rates for predictable billing.
2. Higher Performance With a More Dynamic and Robust Setup
With the ability to scale new and existing environments, development, testing, and deployment become increasingly adaptive.
3. Centralized Deployment for Easier Collaboration
Centralized deployment brings a heightened collaboration to projects that require a meeting of the minds.
4. Inventive Developmental Solutions and Testing Environments
With entire networks protected by VPN, you can create whatever type of network is needed to accomplish any number of tasks and goals.
5. A Myriad of Backup Solutions to Prevent Catastrophic Failure
Cloud infrastructure comes with on-server backups, off-server backups, offsite backups, and disaster recovery options. Even if the server somehow disappeared altogether, a copy can be deployed in a matter of minutes. This effectively prevents the majority of catastrophic events and hacking attempts, even if your system is compromised!
6. Monitoring Infrastructure is Standard in Cloud Computing
Watching ports, pings, packets, traffic, hits, hacks, whatever. It’s monitored and if there’s ever a problem, you’ll know right away.
7. Outsourcing Security to a Team of Dedicated Professionals
Liquid Web has staff 100% of the time, 24/7/365. Support is available whenever needed and ready to analyze anything that could be considered a threat.
8. Scalability On-Demand
Increase the server capacity for large events or holidays like Black Friday, and then scale back to normal size for business as usual. With a cloud environment, it’s just a few clicks away and easier than ever.
9. Flexibility to Invent New Solutions for Any Circumstances
Want to test what it would be like to have a dedicated database server? Need to see how much more performance you could get without mail on the web nodes? You can test all of this with cloud servers, and more.
Migrating From Legacy On-Premise to Modern Cloud Hosting at Liquid Web
Aging architecture and software on legacy infrastructure will eventually need a new solution such as migrating to cloud infrastructure with Liquid Web. There are many migrations tools available, so we’ll take a brief look at what that process will entail. There are several steps to a migration with Liquid Web.
The first step is the Initial Sync, which will involve gathering all login information, as well as any additional specifics that might be outside of what a default migration is that our admins will need to know. Then, next comes the Testing Phase, in which they’ll ask you to review the data that isn’t live yet in order to confirm its function and integrity. The final step is to schedule a time to Resync Data, assist in updates to bring the sites live, and troubleshoot any inconsistencies that may occur or issues found.
1. Initial Sync
In the initial sync, it’s important to know your root level logins and a basic knowledge of all the systems your on-premise infrastructure utilizes. This will help the Migrations Team to gather the information required and make a solid plan to move all data to the cloud infrastructure without fail.
During the testing phase, a cloud environment will be prepared and built for you and your data will be migrated in for testing. Follow the instructions provided by your host, and then you can view the cloud infrastructure before it’s live. This means it’s time to test all functionality that’s mission-critical and report back with any issues found. The more testing done, the easier it will be to finish the migration with the final sync, so make sure to test thoroughly!
3. Final Sync
Lastly, the final sync for your new infrastructure will be scheduled and upon conclusion of the sync, your new cloud server will go live. There will be a few instructions and a scheduled downtime window where they’ll stop traffic to the on-premise and resync information before making the target information live. This will give a clean break of all data and bring you up and running in the cloud with minimal effort.
White-Glove Migrations at Liquid Web
With years of experience and knowledge with a dedicated team of migration professionals, Liquid Web can take a lot of hassle out of migrating data to the cloud and assist in the next evolution of any legacy infrastructure. And best of all, any migration solutions to Liquid Web is free, whether it’s to the cloud or dedicated hardware.
If you are interested in any migration solutions or just want to know more about the benefits of migrating to the cloud, please contact us with your questions.
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Joe is a Linux System Administrator with specializations in migration and hardware. He has been digging into tech for over six years professionally.
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