When you choose Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) as your cloud model, you keep more ownership and more control over your infrastructure than when you choose Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS). Along with that control comes more responsibility for making good decisions that let you experience the benefits of cloud. To make those decisions wisely, plan carefully for your transition to IaaS and how you’ll manage your systems afterwards.
Define Your Transition Scope and Goals
Expect to spend significant time planning what will be part of the move to IaaS. You need to understand all your workloads and whether their load, usage patterns, and architecture make them a good fit for the cloud. Many organizations begin by transitioning basic services such as email before migrating business critical applications.
Along with those technical considerations, make sure you understand your business goal for making the migration. Different goals, such as reduced cost or increased efficiency, may lead you to make different decisions regarding your cloud architecture.
Build the Environment in the Cloud and Your Data Center
IaaS means that you’ll be managing your cloud environment, and it’s important that you properly size your environment to meet your IT needs. IaaS providers offer a wide selection of instances that vary in cpu, memory, and other resources; there may be instances optimized to support different types of workloads and meet different availability needs. Choosing the proper instance has a significant impact on the success of your IaaS transition. Storage types vary similarly and also require informed choices.
Also identify any upgrades needed to your own infrastructure. While cloud moves resources out of your data center, the network that allows you to access those resources isn’t part of cloud. Make sure you have adequate network capacity to access your cloud. You may also want to consider using a private connection rather than the public internet to add additional security around your data access.
Execute Your Cloud Migration
Once your plans are complete and the environment is ready, it’s time to move your applications to the cloud. This may be a simple “lift and shift” process, which migrates applications exactly as they are to their new server, but some applications may need to be restructured to run in the new environment, which is more complicated and takes more time and effort. Either way, plan a thorough checkout of the environment before shifting production processing to the cloud. Your plans should potentially include running in parallel before shutting down the old environment or falling back to the on premises servers if your transition experiences issues.
Your plans should also plan for the effort required to integrate your IaaS environment and your existing resources. Even if you aren’t planning a true hybrid cloud, you’re likely to need to share data between applications that have migrated to IaaS and applications still running internally. Figure out in advance how you’ll transport and synchronize data between the two locations.
Monitor and Manage After the Migration
Because you retain responsibility for resources in an IaaS environment, effective monitoring and management is critical for ensuring you get the best performance. You’ll need to monitor utilization and grow capacity as needed. Your monitoring can also identify IaaS resources that aren’t needed any more, and you can shut them down to reduce costs.
Infrastructure as a Service can help you reduce costs and make more efficient use of your IT resources. dcVAST offers IaaS that provides a reliable, flexible IT environment to meet your business’s technology needs. Contact us to learn how we can help you transition to Infrastructure as a Service.