The cloud offers a vast array of benefits to businesses, from lower costs to improved application performance, and from faster development and deployment to improved time-to-market metrics, so businesses that host applications on a cloud platform can reduce infrastructure spending, increase operational efficiency, and become more agile. It is perhaps no surprise, therefore, that Gartner, Inc. forecasts that worldwide cloud spending will grow by 207% in 2023 and that enterprises will spend more on public cloud services than traditional IT solutions.
Data centres and the cloud are closely intertwined - facilities like ours provide the physical infrastructure necessary for cloud computing services to be delivered over the internet, and for storing, processing, and managing the data associated with cloud technologies.
Many organisations choose not to put all their data in the cloud (perhaps they manage particularly sensitive data governed by strict security regulations), opting instead for a hybrid solution. These mixed infrastructure deployments involve public cloud, private cloud, and bare metal platforms and allow businesses to take advantage of the strengths of each platform while maintaining a cohesive and connected infrastructure environment. The two cloud environments are connected via a secure network connection, enabling data and applications to be easily moved between the two environments. The public cloud component of a hybrid solution (typically rented from cloud providers) is often used for running applications and workloads that are not sensitive in nature or require a high degree of scalability. The private cloud component (owned and managed by organisations) is often used for running applications and workloads that are sensitive in nature or require a high degree of control and customisation.
The migration process – getting it right
Migrating to the cloud can be a complex process, and it is important to carefully consider various factors to ensure success:
Clearly defined goals and objectives
Determine what you want to achieve with the migration and how the cloud can help you achieve those goals.
Select a cloud service provider
Choose a provider that meets your needs and requirements. Consider factors such as security, compliance, availability, performance, and cost.
Choose a cloud deployment model and design cloud architecture
Choose the cloud deployment model that best suits your needs (often a hybrid cloud model) and design a cloud architecture that aligns with your business objectives and requirements for scalability, performance, and availability.
Implement security measures to protect your data in the cloud. Consider factors such as data encryption, access control, and data backup and recovery.
The migration of data to the cloud needs to be well planned and executed to ensure a seamless migration that minimises downtime and data loss. Some applications may need to be modified (refactored) to take advantage of the unique features and benefits offered by cloud environments. This may mean evaluating applications’ architecture, dependencies, performance and scalability. The first step is deciding which applications should be migrated to the cloud. Many application types are good candidates for the cloud, including:
- Applications with variable workloads (i.e., those that experience seasonal spikes in usage) - the cloud's elastic capacity can easily accommodate these fluctuations.
- Applications with availability requirements (i.e., those that support critical business operations or customer-facing applications) – cloud providers offer robust infrastructure and redundancy options that can ensure high availability.
- Applications with limited scalability (i.e., those that are currently limited in scalability due to hardware limitations) and those with high storage requirements - the cloud provides virtually unlimited scalability and storage that can help to remove these limitations.
- Legacy applications (i.e., those that are expensive or difficult to maintain due to outdated hardware or software) - the cloud can offer a cost-effective way to modernise and maintain these applications.
Ensure that your existing systems and applications can be integrated with the cloud. Consider factors such as API compatibility, data synchronisation, and middleware requirements.
Performance and monitoring
Establish performance and monitoring measures to ensure that your cloud-based systems and applications are performing optimally. Consider factors such as response time, uptime, and scalability.
Training and support
Provide training and support to your staff to ensure that they are familiar with the new cloud-based systems and applications. Consider factors such as documentation, online resources, and technical support.
Develop a cost management strategy to ensure that your cloud-based systems and applications are cost-effective. Consider factors such as cloud usage, billing, and optimisation.
We have a growing ecosystem of service providers and carriers at both of our colocation facilities (Farnborough and Manchester) to support our clients in pursuing their cloud strategies by offering direct connection to a community of private, hybrid and public platforms and cloud services. Our Manchester site has its own dual-site cloud hosting platform (CloudActiv), which provides constant, sub-millisecond replication between two identical platforms, in two separate UK locations.
Our flexible colocation, combined with secure, private connections to a hub of public clouds, which offer additional resilience and flexible bandwidth for predictable high performance for organisational cloud strategies, may well offer the off premise solution you have been looking for. Get in touch via our website, or call us on 0333 202 3195, to discuss your requirements with us, or to arrange a tour of either or our two facilities: London-edge Farnborough and Manchester.