August 24, 2018

It Takes Just 5 Steps to Move to the Cloud

 

By Kirk Bohn
Cloud Services Enablement Leader
Arrow ECS

 

Cloud computing has changed the way companies manage their data centers. As a result, CIOs around the world must constantly evaluate the never-ending emerging technologies, business models, and economic movements that are constantly being thrown at them – blockchain, machine learning, IoT, the subscription economy, autonomous everything, and, of course, digital transformation.

CIOs are now seeing enormous business opportunities that these cloud-based advances are providing them, such as more dynamic and reliable products, more efficient supply chains, more personalized customer service, and, hopefully, more happy customers.

On the other hand, there are also significant risks associated with cloud computing, including information security and oversight. In order to make sure your customers’ cloud-based IT infrastructure meets its goals without introducing unnecessary risk, follow these five steps as a guideline:

Step 1: Determine the Kind of Cloud Your Customer Needs

Your customer’s applications can run in the public cloud, the private cloud, or a hybrid cloud. Depending on the nature of your customer’s data and the sensitivity of their assets, one configuration may be more appropriate than the others. Costs and the effort needed to migrate will also vary among the options. It is also essential to make sure your customer’s cloud architecture will support their computing needs before proceeding with any migration.

Step 2: Decide How the Application Will Be Migrated

Migrating an application isn’t always as simple as moving it to the new environment. While it may be possible to simply install the software and change references to server names or IP addresses, your customers may gain more benefits by modifying the application to take advantage of vendor-provided features. Weigh those factors against the advantages carefully; however, because this decision can add time and expense.

Step 3: Establish the Environment

Once the desired architecture is known, it can be provisioned with the necessary hardware and software. Create the appropriate number of virtual machines with parameters that will provide the required performance. Install the necessary application software and any necessary software patches if applicable

Step 4: Perform a Trial Migration

Because the change to virtual data servers is so significant, it’s important to thoroughly test the move before committing to it. Most cloud computing vendors will agree to a trial period. During this time, review the application’s performance in the cloud compared to performance in your customer’s local data center. Evaluate both application metrics such as transaction processing rates and data center metrics such as speed of adding additional servers.

Step 5: Complete the Transition

Once the trial period is complete, assuming success, finalize the transition. If only a subset of the application’s data or functionality was migrated to the cloud, the full scope can now be transitioned. Unused local servers can be retired or repurposed. Depending on the extent of the migration, your customers may be able to shut down their old data center.

Complex Transitions Require Expert Assistance

The complexity of migrating critical applications to the cloud requires the systems integration expertise of a Cloud Value Add Distributor. And since we are a full-service CVAD, we also offer financing options. You can be assured that Arrow’s wide-ranging partner network provides solutions that will help you meet all your customers’ cloud computing needs. 

Contact us

If you would like more information about how to begin selling cloud services, contact us at 877.558.6677 or send an email to ecscloudservices@arrow.com.