Your developer that is now retired, built a handful of your legacy applications 20 years ago and now you want to move them to the cloud -- is that even possible? This is a scenario that companies are facing without their long-trusted experts at their side, as they try and navigate our new cloud-enabled world. Questions of “can I migrate existing applications directly without drastic changes?”, or “do I have to completely rebuild everything?” are setting IT departments in a frenzy as they try to conform to the business agility goals set by C-level executives.
Unfortunately, applications are often not considered “cloud-ready”,meaning they weren’t designed in a way where they can just move over to the cloud. Instead, the applications have architectural design principles (soon to be limitations) from being built on top of the standard two or three tier architectural design. So now, the biggest concern is, how do we verify and ensure that the necessary steps are taken to make legacy applications ready for the cloud?
1. Identify Which Category Your Applications Fall Under
In preparation to migrate applications, it’s first important to identify which category each application is in to determine the next steps.
Lift and Shift - These applications are for the most part ready to migrate. The applications are either already virtualized, or are ready or compatible with hypervisor platforms. In these cases there should be little work to do, including adjusting and testing the virtual machines.While there are often few changes like changing location of storage volumes or network settings, it rarely makes the most efficient use of cloud services.
Refactor - To make some legacy applications wholly cloud-friendly, it can require modularizing the monolithic application architecture. Instead of simply lifting and shifting applications, redesigning some internal applications will realize full performance abilities, maximize the scale-out feature of a cloud offering, and lower costs.
2. Create a Service-Based or Service-Oriented Architecture
Cloud applications function best when deployed as a collection of services, or APIs. While some developers still create tightly coupled applications, it is better to expose the underlying functions as services to be leveraged independently.
3. Model and Design for Agility
The cloud is a flexible place, so the applications should be too. When designing apps, try to avoid using specific topologies for application code and deployment. Instead, the application should be as generic and stateless as possible so that if factors like IP addresses change, the application will not falter.
To further enhance agility, also consider building and storing data remotely using SQL or NoSQL type of database to prevent duplication and inconsistency in data.
4. Ensure the Proper Security Measures Are in Place
According to recent research by Netskope, 93% of cloud applications aren’t enterprise ready. “Researchers are seeing a broad transition from traditionally on-premises HR services to cloud-based apps like Workday, SuccessFactors, and Ultimate Software. Most of these new apps contain sensitive data but aren't always sanctioned by IT, putting the data at risk.” To avoid following in these dangerous footsteps, businesses should consider having IT thoroughly vet all applications to ensure the safety of sensitive data. While trusted and common applications like SuccessFactors may be IT approved, it is critical to also clear the connected applications like virtual signature tools.
Moving to the Cloud Comes in Many Flavours
While we have laid out some of the essentials when getting applications cloud-ready, no two cloud migrations are alike. With goals of obtaining better agility and economy, taking the wrong steps and having applications fail isn’t a exercise you’ll want to complete. Instead, co
nsider using a cloud enablement partner like Edgeworx to ensure that your applications aren’t just compatible, but also reaching the fullest performance potential.
One of the early statements we voiced to our customers still stands: “not all applications are network friendly, nor are all networks application friendly.” There’s only one way to find out: speak with one of our experts about our cloud migration vision, call +1.647.793.4731 today!