I would be honest that I was never a big fan of multi-cloud, hybrid cloud setup, however, working on many multi-cloud projects over an extended period of time, now I am convinced that it is going to be new normal.
The mono-cloud setup is very common in startup scenarios, where you begin your life on AWS and probably you will stay there for a long period of time.
However, the story for the enterprise is completely different. Enterprise has to carry the baggage of massive on-prem infrastructure, applications, and middleware which was built during golden ages (the 90s ) and running when nobody knew what cloud was.
Now we are here in 2020, where even a 5th grade is talking about cloud and Data Analytics, I am not kidding I was told that now in 5th grade they are being taught about Data analytics in the cloud environment, enterprises sitting on their on-prem infrastructure have to do something.
Reason for cloud migration
We have been told for a long time that cloud migration is all about saving capital expenditure and overall operation costs, but my experience says otherwise. Cloud migration is often a very costly affair and the monthly Cloud bill is not less either. The benefits that you would get from Cloud is
- Top class Infrastructure service, which almost impossible for most enterprises to get such service at a given price point.
- No more IT bureaucracy: I think business had enough dealing with their IT department to get things done. They want their technology solutions to be delivered fast and smoothly.
- Never-ending digital transformation: You know what I am talking about, You are embarking on this journey you need to extra careful about your priorities. Often just scrapping the stone age application is more viable then reinventing the wheel in name of digital transformation. So business users are so scared of this word that inspired us to build a forecasting solution which does not require you to go through painful digital transformation, check out our SKUcaster solution: https://www.becloudready.com/products/forecasting-engine-sku-forecast/
Does that mean you need to start your cloud migration journey just because your friend CIO suggested? Old wisdom says you don’t need to jump into the river with everyone, and I completely agree that. So how to find the middle road?
First, you need to identify the strategy.
Choosing a Cloud Strategy
- Migrating old applications: This one is probably the most painful and expensive. When we talk about cloud, majority of them are running on Linux platform, and legacy apps could be running on earlier Unix flavors HP, Solaris, AIX, etc. Anyone has done any porting project in their life they know, it takes a long time to finish the porting.
- Containerization: This could be a solution and often Containerization is easier then you might think. I am not saying you need to immediately assume you need to user Kubernetes, you can use a container-based application like any other process in Linux. Of course, in future, if you want to use orchestration and “self-healing” ( auto-restart ) feature of Kubernetes, then you can always use it ( even without using it)
- Identity Federation: Identity federation service ( Single Sign-on – SSO ) will be the very first thing you need to consider. If you are 100% Microsoft shop, then it might be easy with office 365 offerings, however, if you want to do it yourself you need to use cloud-specific services.
- For AWS : https://aws.amazon.com/identity/federation/
- For Azure: Azure AD ( https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/security/fundamentals/choose-ad-authn)
Hybrid Cloud Architecture
- PII Data: Some organizations CIO has concerns about moving their PII data into the cloud or any public infrastructure, such concerns could be easily mitigated by having a distributed data strategy where the can keep certain partitions of the data on-prem and keep the rest of it on the cloud. For example all modern open-source data platform does provide such features ( PostgreSQL, Hadoop, ElasticSearch, etc).
Before you take the plunge, always remember cloud migration is a journey not state you need to onboard your existing IT staff.
Yes, before you think the obvious, you need to tell them no we won’t fire you. Yes, the fear is real! believed me, even if most people don’t accept it. I remember in one of my meetings with a client when I suggested to my client that you should switch all your infra to AWS, he jokingly said, hey tomorrow they will say we don’t need you anymore. Even though he was joking I could see from his action that he was resisting the change without knowing the fact that moving to AWS/Azure would have made his/her job more valuable.
The fear that IT infra guys will lose their job owing to the cloud is just not true. Of course, they need to upgrade their skills and hence they are getting ready for the future. It is clearly evident that now CTO/CIO are heeding this and are investing in workforce training, which explains how busy we were last year delivering high tech training. In 2019, we trained close to 1000 people ( online + Bootcamp ) and we are looking to double the number this year. Check out our training offering: https://www.becloudready.com/trainings/