School of Computer & Information Sciences

School of Computer & Information Sciences

ITS-532 Cloud Computing

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Chapter 13 – Migrating to the Cloud

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Learning Objectives • Define requirements for migrating an application to the cloud. • Describe the importance of backing up data before and after moving an application to the

cloud. • Appreciate the benefit of using experienced consultants to assist with a cloud migration. • Describe an application in terms of its resource use. • Define and describe vendor lock-in and discuss ways to avoid it. • Describe the importance of training employees before, during, and after a cloud migration. • Describe the importance of establishing a realistic cloud-deployment schedule. • Discuss key budget factors impacted by the cloud. • Discuss potential IT governance issues related to the cloud. • Define and describe cloud bursting.

 

 

Migration to the Cloud • An application can be moved to the cloud quickly.

• There are a myriad of cloud-solution providers who will eagerly assist by giving you instant access to cloud- based servers, data storage, and support.

• Like all IT projects, the process of moving an application to the cloud, or the process of creating and deploying a new cloud application, should be well planned.

 

 

System Requirements

• All IT projects should begin with specific requirements. The process of taking an application to the cloud, known as cloud migration, is no exception. The cloud- migration process should start with defined requirements.

 

 

Common Cloud System Requirements

• Data security and privacy requirements • Site capacity plan—the resources that the application initially

needs to operate • Scalability requirements—the measurable factors that should drive

scaling events • System uptime requirements • Business continuity and disaster requirements • Budget requirements • Operating system and programming language requirements

 

 

Common Cloud System Requirements Continued

• Type of cloud: public, private, or hybrid • Single- or multitenant solution requirements • Data backup requirements • Client device requirements, such as computer, tablet, or smartphone

support • Training requirements • Help desk and support requirements • Governance and auditing requirements • Open source software requirements

 

 

Common Cloud System Requirements Cont.

• Programming API requirements

• Dashboard and reporting requirements

• Client access requirements

• Data export requirements

 

 

Real World: CloudSwitch Cloud Migration

• Many companies have enterprise-based applications that are widely used by their employees.

• These applications, therefore, are mission critical.

• CloudSwitch provides a downloadable application that companies can install within their data center and that securely maps the company’s on-site applications to a cloud-based solution in a matter of minutes.

 

 

Protect Your Existing Data • Before you begin your application migration to a cloud provider,

make sure that you back up your data so that you can revert, if necessary, to a known point.

• Then, be sure that you and the provider agree to the backup procedures that will be employed after they take control of your data.

• It is easy to move a solution to a cloud provider. You need to ensure that it is equally easy to move out of the cloud if necessary.

 

 

Protect Your Data Privacy

• If your company has specific privacy requirements, such as those of the Health Insurance Privacy and Portability Act (HIPAA) for health care, or of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for education, have your provider state explicitly, in writing, its data privacy policies and procedures.

 

 

Use an Experienced Cloud Consultant

• Moving a solution to the cloud is a learning experience. • The process has many options and a wide range of potential

pitfalls. • Many companies provide consultants who are experienced in the

cloud migration process. • Before you begin your application’s migration to the cloud, you

should consider hiring a consultant. In most cases, you will find that hiring a consultant saves you money in the end and helps you avoid costly mistakes.

 

 

Know Your Application’s Current Characteristics

• Before you move your application to the cloud and risk facing scaling issues, be sure that you monitor your application to identify its key performance indicators.

 

 

Common Characteristics • Demand periods—Does the application have periods of

high or low demand, such as 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.? • Average users—How many users typically use the

system simultaneously? • Disk-storage requirements—What are the application’s

typical disk-storage needs? Are the files permanent or temporary? Are most operations read or write operations?

 

 

Common Characteristics Continued • Database-storage requirements—What are the application’s

database requirements? Is the database replicated in real time? What is the application’s database read/write ratio?

• RAM use—What is the application’s range of physical and virtual memory use?

• Bandwidth consumption—What is the application’s bandwidth requirement?

• Caching—How does the application currently cache data?

 

 

Remember Vendor Lock-In • Occurs when a vendor makes it difficult for a company to switch to

another provider, even if the vendor has failed to fulfill the SLA. • This lock-in may occur because the vendor is unable to export data

completely, or because the vendor provides services its competitors do not.

• A cloud-service provider should make it easy for clients to move to another provider in the event that the provider fails to meet one or more of the SLA requirements.

 

 

Real World: Kayako Help Desk Solutions

• Change-management consultants often cite the integration of a trained help desk staff as key to an application’s successful integration. Kayako, provides a variety of key help desk tools that a company should consider before migrating a solution to the cloud: – Support ticket management – Ticket escalation support – Live support desk chat software – VoIP phone integration – Remote computer access

 

 

Define Your Training Requirements

• To reduce employee stress during an application’s migration to the cloud and to increase employee productivity with the cloud-based tools, you should consider training before, during, and after the cloud migration.

 

 

Training Requirements • Employee preparedness for the SaaS solution • Developer training on the solution APIs • Administrator training for cloud-based operations • IT-audit group training for corporate governance issues

and internal controls • Help desk support preparedness training • Business continuity and disaster preparedness training

 

 

Real World: RightScale Cloud Application Management

• RightScale provides a fully automated cloud-management platform that lets companies deploy cloud-based solutions across one or more clouds.

• RightScale provides its cloud-management software as an SaaS solution that lets customers deploy and manage their solutions quickly.

• The RightScale website also features valuable videos, white papers, and forums that focus on cloud computing.

 

 

Establish a Realistic Deployment Schedule

• Cloud providers can quickly deploy solutions. • You should set a deployment schedule that provides

sufficient time for training, testing, and benchmarking. • Many organizations will use a beta-like release schedule that

gives employees a prerelease chance to interact with the software and provide feedback.

• The testing period may provide time for the company to establish early system-performance benchmarks.

 

 

Budget Factors • Current data center costs breakdown, including:

– Rent – Power and air conditioning – Collocation costs – Server costs – Data storage costs – Network costs

 

 

Budget Factors Continued • Current payroll costs for existing site administrators and

projections for possible staff reduction opportunities • Current costs for software licenses that may shift to the

cloud, and the (lower) projected cloud-based costs for the software

• Current payroll costs for patch management and software version updates

• Current hardware maintenance costs

 

 

Real World: GoGrid Hosting • GoGrid is a very large IaaS solution provider that

provides scalable solutions to thousands of customers.

• At GoGrid, customers can acquire on-demand solutions for physical, virtual, or hybrid servers at cost effective pricing levels.

• Additionally, GoGrid offers solutions for load balancing, collocation, and cloud-based data storage.

 

 

IT Governance • Before you migrate an application to the cloud, consider the

following governance requirements: – Identify how the cloud solution aligns with the company’s business

strategy. – Identify and define the internal and external controls the company will

need within the application, and at what control points, in order to validate that the application is performing correctly and is free from possible external modification.

– Describe risks the IT staff is trying to mitigate and ways the cloud can help.

 

 

IT Governance Continued – Describe who within the company will have access to data within

the cloud and how they will get it. – Determine who within the cloud provider’s organization will have

access to data within the cloud and how they will get it. – Discover how the cloud provider logs errors and system events

and how you can access them. – Determine how and when the cloud provider performs system

updates and patches. – Discover which performance-monitoring tools are available for

your use.

 

 

Cloud Bursting • When an on-site application encounters increased user

demand, the application expands into the cloud. • When the user demand declines, the application leaves

the cloud. • Cloud bursting is most common for seasonal demand,

or event-driven demand, such as the load on Google Maps when an earthquake or other natural disaster occurs.

 

 

Cloud Bursting Continued • Cloud bursting lets a company extend an on-site application into the cloud to scale

temporarily to meet user demand.

 

 

Key Terms

 

 

References

• Jamsa, K. A. (2013). Cloud computing: SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, virtualization, business models, mobile, security and more. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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