Migrate Your Application to Cloud: Practical Top 10 Checklist

By Subraya Mallya - April 2010 | Topics - Cloud Computing

The internet is littered with top 10 lists advising of the considerations for the cloud, which primarily are designed to help you decide if you should move to the cloud or not. But once you have made the important decision to migrate your app to the cloud, the below offers a list of important things to check before moving to the cloud.

With all the talk about the cloud, and an increasing understanding of its value and importance, there are elementary steps that must be taken before migrating your application to the cloud. For advanced developers, these may seem second nature, but with today’s technological platforms that enable easy migration, it has now become possible for beginner and intermediate developers to use the cloud. These tips can be beneficial for them.

  1. Is your app a web app? It sounds basic, but before you migrate to the web, you need to make sure that your application is a web application. Today, there are simple tools that can easily convert it, but make sure to convert it.
  2. Is your app native .NET/Java? Before you start to migrate your app to the cloud, understand what it is you are transferring and the technological aspects of it. This is important because you need to know which clouds support your stack of technologies.
  3. Do you use any interop to other technologies? Prepare yourself. If you do use any interop, it is important to make sure that those technologies are also supported by the cloud you are targeting
  4. What database type do you use? When you are planning to migrate, make sure that the target cloud can support the database you are using. If not, can you change the database? Alternatively, you can consider running the application on the cloud and connect to an on-premise database; some DB vendors already support securing these channels.
  5. What kind of management/monitoring tools do you use on your app? This is particularly important to check if your app was not originally a web app. Not all management and monitoring tools can be used on the web (and even more so, not on the cloud), so confirm this before you start. If your tools are not web-compatible, can you recreate them for the web?
  6. Can you assess the costs of cloud deployment of your app? Costs are an important factor when considering migrating to the cloud. Explore whether you can optimize your costs. For example, what are the payable elements on this specific cloud and will you be able to optimize those elements to maintain the lowest possible costs? Some will try to scare you away from the cloud with fore-warnings of high costs, but there are cost-effective ways to use the cloud.
  7. Determine the security risks that cloud deployment will reveal. There are two steps to this. First, review the provider’s regulations and trust level. Second, know that security hazards can be created by making the client available from any PC that is connected to the web.
  8. Upgrade costs. Figure out what the costs and technical implications of upgrading your app are, as well as changing it after deployment.
  9. Flexibility and transferability. Have you checked if you will be able to move between cloud providers? Are you locked into a specific provider after the app is deployed? Sometimes, when choosing a specific cloud platform, you have to make adjustments to fit their specifications. This may put restrictions on your ability to transfer to another cloud platform.
  10. Scalability and redundancy capabilities. Are you able to provide full dynamic scalability and redundancy capabilities to the server parts of your app? It is important to realize that these are directly affected by the technologies that you use, and their ability to scale. When it comes to ability to scale, if you cannot scale dynamically, you simply can’t move to the cloud.

These are only some of the important concerns you should review after you have decided to step onto the cloud, but before you begin the migration.

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