Why Migrate To The Cloud: The Basics, and Benefits
Cloud computing is nothing new for businesses. Although about 98% of companies operate their own hardware servers on-site to maintain IT infrastructure, the pandemic has made some adjustments. Now, companies are migrating to the cloud and rejecting legacy systems to ensure business continuity.
What is cloud migration?
Migration to the cloud means the process of relocating digital operations to the cloud. It generally refers to moving from on-premises data centers or legacy infrastructure to the cloud. One of the most accurate cloud migration comparisons I've come across is that it's like a physical move, except it's about moving digital assets from one data center to another rather than packing your stuff and moving to the new one, a physical place to go. Before delving into the subject, it is worth spending some time to better understand the basics: what types of cloud services exist and what types of cloud access exist.
Cloud Service Models
There are three main models of cloud services. Each is designed to meet specific business needs and create the most appropriate cloud environment possible.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): - Software that is available through providers on the Internet. Salesforce, Dropbox, Slack, and MailChimp are examples of SaaS.
- Platform as a service (PaaS): Platforms that provide tools for application development. Some examples are AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Heroku, and some Microsoft Azure services.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): cloud-based platforms that use a Pay-as-you-go model to provide computing infrastructure. Examples of IaaS include AWS EC2, Rackspace, Digital Ocean, and Google Compute Engine.
- On-Premises: Software and hardware installed in the company's office or data center.
Cloud Deployment Models
Simply put, cloud deployment refers to how the software is deployed. This, in turn, influences who can access data in the cloud and how.
There are three main models:
- Public cloud: This cloud computing model involves the public availability of digital assets in the cloud over the Internet. Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn are examples of public services. Public clouds are free for customers or offered by subscription (i.e. PaaS, SaaS).
- Private cloud - Also known as the “corporate cloud”. Unlike the public cloud, it serves a single company and does not provide access to unauthorized users.
- Hybrid Cloud: As the name suggests, this model is a mix of on-premises infrastructure, public cloud, and private cloud. Large companies often use it to keep important data in public-private and in various support services.
Why move to the cloud?
Now that you know what your options are, it's time to find out how you can take advantage of cloud migration:
Reduce costsNo need to buy expensive server equipment, maintain it, and pay high electricity bills. It also reduces operational costs because your DevOps specialists and system administrators do not spend time on backups and hardware maintenance. Cloud providers offer Pay-as-you-go pricing, I.e. You only pay for the computing power you use.
ScalabilityWith cloud workloads, you can quickly react to spikes in demand and reduced capacities when needed. All of this is automatic and does not require a lot of time or effort. With on-premises hosting, you must purchase and install additional equipment to increase capacity. But once a peak load ends, you still have to pay for the redundant resources it consumes.
SecurityTrusted cloud providers regularly update their services in accordance with the latest industry standards and in compliance with regulations. These measures are intended to reduce the risk of cyber attacks against you as a customer.
ReliabilityIt is true that not all cloud deployments go smoothly. There may be some hardware issues and downtime. However, migrating to the cloud is also a reliable step to reduce downtime and lower the risk of data loss in the future. Most cloud providers have SLAs that guarantee 99% availability. Vendors are also responsible for backups and disaster recovery, which can save your team a lot of time.
Rapid DeploymentFrom a business growth perspective, the cloud offers unlimited opportunities for businesses. It also affects the pace of digital innovation. With the technical flexibility of cloud providers, your development teams can streamline and speed up work processes.
AvailabilityCloud Computing allows you and your team to access applications anytime, anywhere in the world. This means that companies can offer their employees flexible hours that allow a smooth transition to remote work.
Given the current situation, the transition from legacy software and adoption of the cloud are logical steps. It becomes an essential step in business continuity and an investment that pays off fairly quickly for most companies.