Business critical middleware applications are often expensive and difficult to work with on legacy infrastructure, and often they don't provide a sustainable, successful, or scalable solution. Moving these applications to the cloud is often a business priority but can result in large complex projects.
With careful planning and with the correct approach many of the pitfalls can be avoided, resulting in a smooth cloud migration. In this article I will highlight typical cloud challenges I’ve seen and demonstrate how the right framework will accelerate the migration process and deliverer assured cloud security, resilience, and cloud operations.
Migrating middleware to the cloud
Most middleware applications were not developed for use in cloud, so this can make the process of migration more difficult.
There are typically three options for this type of dilemma.
- Re-host. This is the most common solution. It consists of a “lift and shift” of both your middleware and the network architecture into the cloud. It is seen as the quickest and cheapest option with no code or architectural changes.
- Re-platform. This involves moving your applications to the cloud without major changes, all while taking advantage some of the benefits of the cloud environment.
- Refactor. This involves re-writing the software and modifying applications to better suit the cloud environment. This has long-term benefits with cost-savings and increased resilience.
Whilst migrating to the cloud can be a complex task. The key element of success comes from understanding your environment and applications, your budget and timeline, as well as how things will operate when they are in the cloud. Not all the options above will be able to satisfy this dilemma.
The reality of cloud migration
Whilst following a re-host, 'lift and shift', strategy may seem the most straightforward and cheapest solution, it may not in the long term provide the most cost-efficient, sustainable, successful, or scalable choice. Re-hosting your workload could end up costing more as it has not been optimised to suit your cloud environment, and your application suffer from latency or performance issues after migration. If the strategy for migration focuses solely on getting the middleware into the cloud in this basic fashion, key areas of concern are often missed.
Business continuity. Disaster recovery is often left on the on-premise system and forgotten about.
Security. Rushed cloud setups can result in unexpected security issues and breaches. Vulnerabilities in the applications and systems’ availability that could lead to loss of sensitive data and money.
Automation. This can start with good intentions - with plenty of automation scripts written at the start - but during the switchover, manual processes take over to get the job done.
Documentation. This is often overlooked and, by the time the migration has occurred, there is no documentation or guidelines for operational support teams to follow.
These issues create an undesirable build-up of tech debt before your project is even live, which can damage your middleware migration altogether.
On the other hand, whilst it might deliver the best long-term benefits, refactoring your application for a cloud environment is not for beginners. This requires advanced coding, automation, and DevOps skills and exposes a risk of errors at the code, configuration, and infrastructure level.
The optimum solution in this context, if approached in the right manner, is to re-platform your applications. Although, on its own, this may not be as fast as a re-host, and may not deliver all the benefits of a refactor of your application, when approached in the right way with a solid framework providing the groundwork you can get closer to the speed of a ‘lift and shift’ with the assurance of a cloud deployment that adheres to best practice.
Migrating your middleware and choosing the best solution for your business's needs can be an enormous challenge for the IT department. But getting this process right can reap even bigger competitive advantages.
Piksel Group’s Cloud Acceleration Framework (CAF)
To deliver this optimum solution we developed the Cloud Acceleration Framework (CAF). This provides a defined migration path, with a quick, low-cost, and low-risk implementation that focuses our customer’s business needs.
A launchpad CAF (Cloud Acceleration Framework) provides a migration plan for customers to follow and get going quickly and smoothly - the framework will simply tell you what to do.
for speeding up the implementation of middleware in the cloud.
A set of best practices. Nothing is missed as the framework provides best practice implementations across security, resilience, and operations.
Curated and managed Infrastructure as Code. Many of the best practices come from IAC (Infrastructure as Code) modules. The module side of the framework is curated and managed, ensuring consistency, so you don't have to worry about keeping them updated.
A seed for middleware implementation projects. The framework provides code repositories that you can take ownership of. In addition to this, your business can customise your own automation pipelines and the glue code that sticks modules together to suit your specific needs.
Best practice CI/CD workflows. Post migration involves continued management of your middleware infrastructure. CAF provides minimal risk CI/CD implementations and 100 percent deployment automation.
A quick start tool. Simple to use tooling ensures you can get your projects started quickly, with best practices and standards built in.
A framework that ensures success
CAF makes cloud adoption simple. Our framework harnesses tools that cover typical 'challenging' areas, ensuring migrations are achieved safely and quickly.
By utilising Piksel Group CAF, we can guide our customers through a set, standardised process to successfully migrate middleware to the cloud with fewer issues and in so doing accelerate the achievement of the business objectives.
Our Technical Architects have built a fully functional CAF demo environment.
If you would like to find out more and participate in a demonstration of a cloud deployment using the Piksel Group Cloud Acceleration Framework contact us now.
Topics: Cloud migration