An Introduction to Cloud Migration


According to IDC, world­wide spend­ing on pub­lic cloud com­put­ing will in­crease from $67B in 2015 to $162B in 2020 at­tain­ing a 19% CAGR. Businesses are recog­nis­ing that the fu­ture is cloud. Technology must be avail­able on de­mand and pro­vide real in­sights into busi­ness per­for­mance to de­liver value. This is why we’re see­ing more or­gan­i­sa­tions mi­grate to the cloud. To il­lus­trate the im­pact a cloud mi­gra­tion can have, we’ve doc­u­mented a past pro­ject with the Department of Defence.

What is cloud mi­gra­tion

Cloud mi­gra­tion is the process of mov­ing an ap­pli­ca­tion’s schema or data from a lo­cal ap­pli­ca­tion to the cloud. The time it takes to mi­grate to the cloud will vary de­pend­ing on the or­gan­i­sa­tions cur­rent legacy land­scape. For ex­am­ple, mi­grat­ing a sin­gle Access Database to the cloud may take one or two days, whereas mi­grat­ing and con­sol­i­dat­ing twenty dis­parate legacy sys­tems may take months.

There is no sin­gle right way to com­plete a cloud mi­gra­tion. At WorkingMouse we be­lieve au­toma­tion plays a piv­otal role when mi­grat­ing ap­pli­ca­tions to the cloud. When per­form­ing mul­ti­ple mi­gra­tions as part of a dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, the process can be­come repet­i­tive and te­dious.

An im­por­tant point to note is that adding code on top of legacy sys­tems com­pounds the true legacy prob­lem. The nec­es­sary IP of the legacy sys­tem should be iden­ti­fied and the rest of the ap­pli­ca­tion should be dep­re­cated. If left in play, it will add to the cost of main­te­nance.

How Codebots mi­grates to the cloud

Codebots is the pro­pri­etary tech­nol­ogy used by WorkingMouse pro­ject teams. It was de­signed to au­to­mate a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of a mi­gra­tion, al­low­ing de­vel­op­ment re­sources to fo­cus on the im­por­tant tasks. Leo Mylonas, lead en­gi­neer of Codebots breaks down the legacy mi­gra­tion process when us­ing a code­bot (see video be­low).

A code­bot can in­ter­pret a di­a­gram of the ap­pli­ca­tion. Because of this, the first step in a cloud mi­gra­tion is to re­verse en­gi­neer the legacy data­base into a model. The rea­son for start­ing with the legacy data­base is to en­sure there is a data mi­gra­tion plan for data that will even­tu­ally be moved from the legacy to the cloud. The next step is to ab­stract the legacy ap­pli­ca­tion into a re­quire­ments back­log, schematic model and user in­ter­face. The code­bots can un­der­stand the in­tent of the soft­ware based on these arte­facts and write the ma­jor­ity of the new cloud ap­pli­ca­tion. Once the new cloud ap­pli­ca­tion is im­ple­mented, the data mi­gra­tion plan (explored at the be­gin­ning of the process) can be per­formed. This will mi­grate all cur­rent users and their data to the cloud. We’ve bro­ken legacy mi­gra­tion down into six steps, check out our re­sources.

Benefits of cloud mi­gra­tion

By mi­grat­ing to the cloud, your busi­ness can scale up at will. You’re not con­fined by hard­ware re­straints or the sig­nif­i­cant ef­fort re­quired to im­ple­ment a small change across every de­vice within an or­gan­i­sa­tion. Cloud ap­pli­ca­tions also al­low you to ac­com­mo­date a dis­persed team. Because they are avail­able on de­mand, they can be ac­cessed any­where at any­time. This is crit­i­cal in a mod­ern so­ci­ety where em­ploy­ees are look­ing for flex­i­bil­ity.

In our ex­pe­ri­ence, the great­est ben­e­fit that can be de­rived from cloud mi­gra­tion is trans­parency. Too of­ten, an or­gan­i­sa­tion with dis­parate sys­tems will have no idea of the to­tal ROI of the de­part­ment. To il­lus­trate this, check out our case study on the Department of Defence.

The state of cloud mi­gra­tion

The state of cloud mi­gra­tion is var­ied. Some busi­nesses have thrived in the dig­i­tal era, turn­ing tra­di­tion­ally long, man­ual processes into stream­lined soft­ware. The rea­son it’s so var­ied is be­cause com­pa­nies may be­gin a dig­i­tal strat­egy with­out ac­count­ing for the on­go­ing com­mit­ment. Cloud mi­gra­tions nor­mally form part of a larger dig­i­tal strat­egy. Digital strate­gies re­quire on­go­ing mod­erni­sa­tion and adap­ta­tion (depending on ini­tial feed­back from staff and users). For feed­back on your dig­i­tal strat­egy and how cloud mi­gra­tion can play a role, book a con­sul­ta­tion.

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Eban Escott

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