Migrating your enterprise software to the cloud – Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
It seems that everyone these days is evaluating their on-premise hardware, security, support, and staffing. Some are looking to co-locate (colo) their environment, to retain the hardware and control over their systems. This takes the physicality of it off their plates, while placing it onto the data center or Managed Services Provider (MSP). Some wish to retain their software but have all the infrastructure handled by someone else – often bundled with the support of that software.
This blog focuses on IaaS, which is outsourcing the infrastructure.
IaaS typically includes compute, storage and network related resources. IaaS is a highly secure, reliable/redundant and scalable choice for businesses that no longer want or can afford focusing on constant hardware needs and expansion of an on-premise solution.
One of the first steps to take is to ensure you have domain expertise. As is the case with many types of technology, it is a challenge for organizations to keep up with technological change. In most cases, it is critical to engage with an organization or expert that focuses on enterprise IaaS, managed services, and technology management. Accordingly, an expert organization can help you through key considerations, such as:
- Choice of IaaS provider
- Choosing a new provider and/or data center can be daunting. Let the experts do the work for you, or at least lead you through the decisions. Some things to look for:
- Location of the DC’s: A common thought is to use a data center that is located by your headquarters. How would that help against a disaster that impacts the region the headquarters is in?
- Rather, is the datacenter located in one of the FEMA recommended locations?
- Does the IaaS provider have redundancy? Geodiversity?
- How well can the infrastructure withstand a disaster?
- Does the IaaS solution have the ability to connect to other environments, IaaS environments (data centers) and/or third parties?
- What services are provided by the IaaS MSP?
- You will want to ensure that in addition to the IaaS, PaaS, or colocation services, they offer additional services like data protection, redundancy, network, security, and project support services.
- Compliance reviews: Does the IaaS MSP have audit compliance reviews for SSAE SOC1 Type2, SOC2, PCI, HIPPA, CJIS, Insurance, External Penetration Testing, GDPR and SPMA?
- Specification (Sizing)
- What types of resources will you need in your new environment? CPU, memory, storage? Check what you currently have, what you think you will need for growth, and what is needed to support governance.
- Your IaaS MSP can lead you through these decisions.
- Without taking this step, it is likely that either substantial gaps are seen in your infrastructure or your IaaS costs spin out of control.
- Operating Systems
- Can (or should) your systems be upgraded?
- During an IaaS conversion (lift and shift), it usually makes sense to bring your operating system up to the current version.
- In many cases, a new install of your operating system can send ongoing issues to the grave yard.
- Upgraded OS versions may also bring more options for the new IaaS environment
- Enterprise Software
- Although many companies choose to manage the migration to a new IaaS solution independently, some SIs may capitalize on the move to a new environment to perform software upgrades or other changes
- Again, it’s important to work with a trustworthy MSP / SI during these steps, so only necessary upgrades and alterations are considered
- What are all of the costs of operations (TCO) for your current solution vs the IaaS solution? Often, this type of move can save you lots of money, making it a sound business decision.
- It is common to see cost evaluation only include hard dollars. However, TCO includes many other costs, such as wait times, application faults, business impacts, disaster exposure, security & risk, obsolescence, and more.
These are just a few considerations and decisions needed when deciding to go to an IaaS or another type of off premise hosting.
Director of Services
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