While the first association with the cloud is usually storage, it can do a lot more than that. Cloud computing allows companies of all sizes to have access to top level hardware and software which a few years ago was only available to the richest corporations. Now all of this is easily available to virtually any company with just a few clicks and many of the organizations keep finding out a lot more uses for the cloud than just storage.
One of them is letting the cloud do the heavy-lifting for apps and services. Why invest in expensive servers and constantly rush to update and scale them, when you can always have as many resources as needed at any given moment? Using the cloud to run your apps is definitely worth exploring, even if it’s just for internal apps for employees.
Still, it’s not as easy as copying and pasting the apps in the cloud. You have to put in some effort beforehand in order to prepare properly for possible snags along the way.
Preparation is your friend
Before you even start looking for a suitable cloud service provider, take a step back and look inside… of your app, not your soul. Completely review the app(s) you want to migrate to the cloud. See the platform(s) they use and need. For example, can they run on a virtual machine? Or is it better for them to have a dedicated server? What VMs are compatible? As you can guess, that’s all important information when choosing a cloud provider later.
Also, explore the actual functions, behavior and goals of the app. Is it an app which relies on big databases with a lot of number crunching? Or is it a communication-based app where quickness is key? Does the app feature user uploads or will it need constant access to a CDN? How much of the used app data has to be transferred along? How often does it need to have backups and/or snapshots in place? What add-ons may need to be added to the cloud setup?
Explore whether you can use the app in a hybrid or multicloud setup. Some apps could offer this benefit while others would require everything to be moved at the same location.
Of course, don’t forget to check out the security features of the app. Is it possible for them to remain intact when the app’s migrated? Is it possible to upgrade them and will they co-exist with the provider’s security measures? How easy is it to work with the app via VPNs, firewalls and so on?
In short, make sure you cover all the bases and tick off all the boxes. In fact, make a checklist of everything you need to review and analyze. All of this information will help you know what to look for in cloud providers when you’re finally ready for the migration.
The time to move
When you start to shop around for a provider, follow your list of requirements and ask for everything that you’re not sure about. For example, if it’s not clear what’s the network connection, ask for more details. If you need some specific add-ons or modules for your app, ask beforehand if they are present or possible to be added at the time of migration.
When you’ve chosen a provider, don’t rush to migrate immediately. Spend some time to explore the future home of your app(s). Get used to the new dashboard, the tools and so on. Maybe even perform a test installation and play around with it. This way through some initial trial and error you can avoid some mistakes that could happen during the actual migration.
Finally, stay ready for a lot of unforeseen issues. As much as you have prepared, migrating apps always involves some unexpected issues or something that has been overlooked despite several checkups. Chances are you will also have to make some changes to the app. When you go into the process with the understanding that it’s a big change and you will have to make some new decisions, you will handle things with relative ease.