Steps to take when migrating to the cloud
Moving over from your tried and tested on-premise server to a cloud provider can be an intimidating step to take for any business. Regardless of the reasons why you have decided to do so, it’s important to understand the process of migration, and be properly prepared for what’s to come. To help ease the procedure, we’ve put together this short, digestible guide about how to guarantee a successful migration.
Why should you even consider moving over to a cloud?
If you are still at the early stages of deciding whether or not to go ahead with migration, consider the following common reasons why businesses use a cloud;
- It’s cheaper. Often the use of a cloud service is less expensive than maintaining your own server on-premise.
- Ease of maintenance. Most cloud providers will perform any necessary updates automatically, as and when they are required.
- More security. As long as you opt for a reputable cloud service, the chances are that your information will be safe from hackers.
- It’s more scalable. A cloud can quickly respond to the changing needs of your business. If you need more or less storage space, this can be achieved promptly.
6 Tips to Ensure a Smooth Migration
Once you’ve decided that moving over to a cloud would be an advantage to your business, it’s imperative that you are fully aware of what’s involved. As well as all the benefits you’ll see, this includes being prepared for problems you could encounter along the way. Avoid these with the following tips;
- Choose the right cloud
First of all, you need to take time to find the right cloud service for your needs. They differ depending on how much data you need to store and how many users you’ll have. When thinking about this you should consider any future events for your business. For example, if you know you will be releasing a new product and are expecting heavy traffic to your site, the cloud service must be big enough to accommodate this.
Another important consideration to make is the reputation of their service. Check for reviews on security, pace, and support. You could ask around for recommendations or check online tech forums for advice and discussion.
- Create a solid plan
The number one piece of advice for ensuring a successful cloud migration is to make sure you have a steadfast plan.
- Plan your work: it’s not a good idea to run new campaigns or implement site changes at the same time as the migration.
- Back-up your information: just in case things go wrong. For peace of mind, you will benefit from having copies of site code, files, and data in a safe place.
- Make a list of log-in details: compile a list of all the services you use and the login details needed to use them. This should include access to the control panel for your current server.
- Find out how long it will take: depending on the amount of information you need migrated, the process could take anything from a few hours to a few months. Make sure you know what you’re working with and plan accordingly.
- Tell everyone involved
It’s important to make anyone who could be affected aware of the changes; that is, everyone who uses your computer systems. By informing your staff, not only can they prepare for downtime, but they are also more likely to be helpful and positive about the process. If you don’t tell your employees and there are problems with the migration, they’ll become frustrated and stressed with the situation.
- Invest time and money
It’s recommended that you do as much research as you can before migrating over to the cloud, in order to be fully prepared. To help with this, instead of going it alone consider using a cloud migration service. Experts can offer a broad scope of advice from the outset as well as hold your hand throughout the process to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.
- Arrange extra support
When conducting a process like migrating to a cloud service, you should assume that there will be a few teething issues along the way. Avoid delays in getting back to business as usual by hiring a few extra support staff in the IT department, or requesting the presence of some experts from the cloud provider you have chosen. Offering any necessary training for staff before the migration occurs could also be a good option.
- Perform a site analysis
Before the transition date, spend time auditing your existing domains and data. There are services out there which you can use to crawl your website(s) to identify broken links – known as 404 errors – these should be fixed before migration takes place. It’s also a good idea to collate a list of redirects you have set up, so you can make sure they still work after moving to the cloud.
Final things to consider
A cloud service could provide your business with the ideal solution to storing your data. It’s often a cheaper, more secure, and more scalable option than having an on-premise server. If you’re getting ready to migrate over to a cloud, avoid difficulties by investing time beforehand to be sure you fully understand the implications of making this change.
Written by: Dan May, commercial director at IT services provider ramsac.