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Cloud Migration: 5 Tips & Tricks

By Jonathan Seelig

The technology of application building has changed dramatically in just a few short years. The big enabler has been the cloud, and the cloud will undoubtedly continue to be the infrastructure on which businesses develop new apps. As Gartner pointed out recently: By 2025, over 85% of businesses will embrace a cloud-first approach and won't be able to fully execute digital strategies without the use of cloud-native technologies.   

But how do businesses migrate to a cloud-first approach? How do they move forward with digital transformation when their IT infrastructure is still in their basement or co-located nearby? Migrating data, applications, and other business elements has the potential to be complicated.

Nevertheless, a few tried and tested practices can simplify the process:

Rule #1: Stay Flexible

With all kinds of workloads migrating to the cloud, businesses are realizing that there's a clear need for a flexible cloud that can be rapidly adapted to specific needs. No single cloud architecture can offer consistently great application performance for all users. It's not realistic to assume that all new applications being developed will run from a couple of dozen locations operated by a few hyperscale cloud providers.  

Why? For some applications, the data must reside in a specific geography for legal reasons. And for other applications, such as those with strict response time requirements, throughput, and latency thresholds that cannot be effectively supported by a large public cloud located many miles away. So when you migrate, keep your options open for where exactly you want to migrate to.

Rule #2: Avoid Proprietary Technologies

One of the principles of purchasing is to avoid being vendor-locked. If you build applications to run on a single cloud platform because you're using proprietary technologies, you won't be able to optimize your spend. Clearly, the more flexible you are in terms of where you migrate to run applications, the more flexibility you'll have to generate an optimal budgetary framework for a given application.

In today's world, open protocols for application building enable businesses to engineer, architect, and code applications so that they are not locked into a specific cloud and can run in multiple locations. Standards such as Kubernetes and the S3 protocol are the leveling tools that create that flexibility not only for application performance but also to control data portability and manage your budget.

Rule #3: Go Distributed, and Be Where You Need to Be

As opposed to the large public cloud, where all computing is done in a central location, a distributed cloud consists of a system of servers that are not all in the same place even though they're managed through a single provider. The servers in a distributed cloud can be anywhere in the world! This not only enables you to migrate what you need to where you need but also improves user experience in a multitude of ways.  

All of this can be done programmatically, allowing business-critical applications to run in specific locations. As a result, enterprises can create an optimized cloud computing strategy, taking advantage of available infrastructure in locations of their choosing. As an alternative to the traditional public cloud model, the distributed cloud is a moldable infrastructure that helps businesses intelligently phase in cloud migration.

Rule #4: Think Hybrid 

After a decade in which cloud computing has been synonymous with large public clouds, businesses are discovering that their ideal computing environment may be a blend of server types: on-premises, bare-metal, co-located, and distributed across multiple continents. They need a cloud provider that offers flexibility to customize a hybrid cloud which unifies all this infrastructure.

Such a hybrid cloud architecture, which integrates application deployments across multiple locations, can greatly streamline and simplify the migration process. What's required is an agnostic cloud that runs on any server technology and is interoperable with existing infrastructure.

Rule #5: Live at the Edge

Businesses are producing - and consuming -  massive amounts of data that need to be in proximity to end-users.  From smart city devices to digital healthcare, much of modern computing is moving to the edge of the network. Big data centers strain to provide the transfer rates and response times that are critical to many applications.

What's the right cloud for that, and how do I migrate to it?  An integrated hybrid cloud- with the agility of the public cloud and the high performance of private edge infrastructure -  can be easily integrated into any business' cloud architecture, and it has the latitude to handle emerging location-dependent apps, such as the new wave of IoT applications. 

Bottom Line: When Migrating, Infrastructure Should Never Be a Limit 

With a unified and distributed cloud architecture, businesses can seamlessly deploy anywhere they need to be, utilizing a network of service providers instead of relying on the availability of computing resources in a specific location.  The distributed architecture empowers you to migrate your data - and deploy applications in any location and in any existing public or private environment.




Jonathan Seelig is co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Ridge, the world's most distributed cloud. He works with early-stage technology companies as an investor, advisor, and board member. He was previously co-founder of Akamai, which was the world’s first CDN. Mr. Seelig is a frequent speaker at cloud industry events.

Published Friday, July 08, 2022 7:13 AM by David Marshall
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