By: Catherrine Garcia | Sept. 25, 2019
Cloud has become the norm today for businesses because of the benefits it offers. According to a RightScale report, 94% of enterprises are using cloud in 2019.
However, migrating your website, apps, and workloads to cloud is a challenging task because your entire business relies on it. But if you follow the right cloud migration strategy, it can be done in a seamless manner without impacting the business.
What is cloud migration?
Moving your existing website, data, and the workloads from the physical infrastructure to cloud (virtual) is called cloud migration. You don’t need to have any physical servers or any other infrastructure to store or host anything. Everything will be taken care of by the cloud service provider.
Advantages of cloud hosting
Cost-effective: You don’t need to have physical infrastructure (hardware) on premise to host your website. You just pay for the resources you consume on cloud.
High-availability: Cloud helps you maintain high uptime for website.
Scalability: Cloud can grow or shrink automatically if the traffic is varying on your website.
Mobility: Cloud can be accessed from anywhere which allows your teams to access resources from home, train, airplanes, etc.
Security: Since everything is managed by the cloud provider, you don’t have to worry much about security.
These are a few of the main benefits of cloud as compared to typical web hosting. Now, let’s have a deep dive into how to migrate a website to cloud.
1. Find the right cloud provider
There are a lot of cloud providers available out there. The top players are—Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, to name a few.
You have to analyze your requirements and then compare the services offered by the cloud provider to know which loaded with features. Remember, all the providers have some strengths as well as weakness. For instance, some might offer greater scalability, while others provide custom management features at low cost.
So, do your researches properly, analyze everything, and then choose the service provider. Also, calculate the costs associated with all the services, hidden costs such as bandwidth, APIs, messages, etc.
2. Assign an expert
Some companies have a team of their own to handle this, but they should make sure that their teams are skilled with migrating, testing, as well as supporting the move.
If you aren’t sure about the success of your migration process, then it’s better to find an experienced cloud consultant. He can guide you on every step and lead the path.
3. Build cloud migration strategy
Having a strategy in place is very important for a successful migration. The assigned expert should guide the team to ensure that nothing goes wrong.
The workloads that are lesser crucial but suitable should be lined up first. If things go smoothly, line up the rest of the workloads one by one.
It should also be taken care of that the configurations are different for cloud and on-premise. So, keep track of the configurations and manage things accordingly before migration.
The strategy should have everything in place, what to do, what to avoid, what should be done if there are errors, etc.
4. Pre-migration testing
Once the strategy has been built, assign the appropriate roles to developers, designers, managers, and admins. Everyone should know their roles thoroughly and in collaboration with each other.
Developers should be ready with the updated coding, troubleshooting options, performance measures, etc. All the webpages and blog setup should be checked to ensure that there are no broken links or 404 errors.
Generally, your website gets down or under maintenance mode during the migration. You have to inform your customers about it so that they don’t panic. If the customers can’t afford the downtime, then you will need another strategy that doesn’t cause downtime.
Apart from downtime, you will also need to handle the governance and security changes. The governance and security policies are different for cloud, as these are managed by the service provider. Redefine your security and governance policies before migration.
5. Cloud migration process
If you have the perfect migration strategy, then things are supposed to run smoothly. The unexpected issues can be reduced by using the right tools and skills.
On the day of migration, develop an appropriate instance on the cloud where your workloads will be moved. Create a copy and backup of all your files and database, in case things go wrong.
The duration of migration will depend on the size of workloads. It’s better to compress the files before moving, to reduce the time taken during migration. If the workload is not heavy, it wouldn’t take much time. Rather than lining up everything at a time, it’s suggested to line things up one by one.
6. Post-migration testing
Once the website migration is done, it’s time to cross-check if everything is running well. It’s not an easy task to check things. So, assign the teams again on their roles to see if their functions are working, if all the data has been migrated, users can access it or not, if internal elements are interacting with each other, etc.
Software testers should be on their role as soon as the migration gets over. SSL certificate, domain names, website speed, webpages, blog, everything should be checked.
7. Train your staff for cloud
While cloud is great, but what if your staff isn’t handy with it? Most of the digital transformation strategies fail because of staff lacking the right skills. Hence, it’s important to conduct workshops and trainings for the required staff so that they can become familiar with the cloud, process, and the way things work on it.
Handing over to you:
Building a right cloud migration strategy is the key to a successful website migration. Half of the work is done with it. If you are looking to migrate your website to cloud hosting, then follow the steps mentioned in this blog.
Let us know if you have any query.