Moving to the cloud can be a daunting task for agencies and companies.
There are a lot of fear that come along with making the leap into a remote digital space: Will my applications work? Will my data be safe? Will my customers be happy?
However, Charles Fullwood, senior director of software solutions at Force 3, says with the right planning and tools, risk can be taken out of cloud migration.
“Our recommendation is to have a really strong and well-thought-out cloud strategy,” Fullwood said as part of the discussion Federal Agencies Bridge to the Cloud, sponsored by Force 3. “We recommend customers create a journey roadmap, which is a project plan for what they are going to do for each application.”
The benefits and needs for a cloud are many in the current digital landscape. Fullwood said federal agencies are struggling with resource constraints, the need to be agile and mobile and the necessity for state-of-the-art technologies. Those are all reasons agencies want to move to the cloud.
One of the biggest worries for agencies moving to the cloud is getting applications to transpose from a local system to the cloud.
“You really truly don’t know how an application is going to perform until you move to the cloud,” Fullwood said. “That is a very big concern for many customers. Some customers don’t understand the full slate of dependencies to run that application.”
Fullwood said it’s best to conduct an application performance assessment, and to use a testing solution before the migration.
“We implement that solution in the data center,” Fullwood said. “From there we establish a baseline of application performance before the migration over a period of 30 days. We develop metrics, we understand the profile of the application, we are able to identify when the application is running at peak or low utilization. We create a baseline.”
Fullwood said he then puts an application into the cloud and creates a cloud baseline and compares the two.
“We are able to see of the application is performing the same way,” Fullwood said. “It gives us an idea of what we need to do to make that application run optimally.”
Issues for applications include third-party software products, configurations, rules and other things.
Solving application issues depends on the type of application, the language it was written in and many other variables.
“It really depends on the application, the workload, a lot of factors come into play,” Fullwood said. “We recommend more modern applications and trying to optimize those as much as possible before they are migrated.”
Of course, once data and applications are in a cloud, agencies want to know they are safe and recoverable
“We recommend our customers look at a full-fledged backup and recovery solution that is fully automated that allows customers to backup to a cloud solution,” Fullwood said. “You have to create and implement a backup and recovery environment. Our recommendation is if you are working on perimeter to back up into the cloud.”