Most enterprises have an extensive portfolio of custom-built and off-the-shelf software that their business units depend on for day-to-day operations as well as long-term management. With the increasing push to move to an enterprise cloud model, companies need to start thinking about migrating those existing applications sooner rather than later.
Enterprises have to check each application in its portfolio to decide if it can be moved to a cloud environment; if it can, they must discuss the best method for making the shift.
The criteria for determining which applications should move to the cloud is unique to each enterprise. Keeping some data or applications locally hosted may make the most sense for security or regulatory reasons. Once the enterprise identifies which applications need to migrate to the cloud, the next step is to decide how to handle the migration.
Classifying Migrating Applications
Each application is a bit different. Some will work great in a cloud environment with few changes. Others may need a complete rebuild to make this happen. Classifying migrating applications depends on determining how well it will run on a virtual machine stack and its ability to handle a commoditized and standardized platform.
You can classify migrating applications three ways:
Lift and Move
Some applications will migrate to the cloud model easily. These applications usually have a stand-alone functionality that uses isolated application components. It will work well for a multi-tenancy environment. You may need to make some minor changes to the architecture but not extensive changes. The resources for these application migrations will be minimal.
Transformation Before Migration
Some applications will need extensive changes to make it work on a cloud architecture. These applications quite often have business logic tightly integrated into the software’s architecture. Loosening that coupling and moving towards a service oriented architecture will make the cloud migration easier. Developing APIs will make integration with other cloud services easier. A moderate amount of resources will be required for these applications.
Some applications will need a complete rewrite to work in the cloud. Some have libraries that will not work on the standardized platform or virtual machine stack. Others are massive monolithic applications that requires a complete architecture overhaul to handle a multi-tenant environment. Others need an extensive reworking of business logic. These will take the longest to migrate and will need the most resources.
Migrating applications to the cloud will take time. However, the cost savings of using the cloud over purchasing, supporting, and maintaining internal infrastructure will pay for the migration over time. The focus should be on getting your infrastructure migration organized and starting the change.