How to Achieve a Successful Legacy System Migration to the Cloud for your Applications

legacy system migration

With the current state of marketing, a legacy system migration for your application sounds almost like a simple task, something akin to a drag and drop. Upload everything to the Cloud and voilà – time to cut out early for the day.

Guess again. According to Nextgov, 44 percent of organizations have experienced migration failure when it comes to their applications. Even if you’re successful in the preliminary move, it’s almost a guarantee that you’re going to encounter issues post migration costing your organization time and money. So, what makes it so difficult? And why exactly do you need to perform a cloud migration of your applications in the first place?

Moving to the Cloud Isn’t Just a Nice-to-Have Option

While your applications may not have been built for Cloud, they are in use and valued by your customers, partners, and employees.  This may be the very reason for delaying your move to the Cloud. Yet, changing technology demands create burdens on your IT infrastructure. Aging infrastructure, new security risks, exhaustion of resources, performance issues, maintenance costs and corrupted data – the risks grow exponentially as your legacy infrastructure continues to age. However, these aren’t necessarily the biggest issues.

When your legacy applications aren’t built on a next gen platform, compliance, security, privacy and regulatory issues start to become major challenges. In addition to the rising costs of trying to keep your old infrastructure compliant, your legacy infrastructure will eventually become obsolete, and a change will have to be made in order to stay in compliance of the law.  Think of this in terms that anybody who ever owned a PC in the last 17 years can relate to – Windows XP.

Windows XP made its debut in 2001 and quickly became a favorite, so much so that when Vista appeared in 2007, many Windows users stuck with XP. In fact, even though Microsoft ended support for XP in 2014, people still continued to use it, as they trusted the software and were experienced with it. Your legacy infrastructure is basically XP, and if you continue to rely on it, you’ll face the same problems as those who are hanging onto XP.

Vista was developed primarily to improve security in the operating system. While it did that, it unfortunately, lacked compatibility with some pre-existing hardware and software. The technology in which your applications relies upon is generally obsolete the day after you install it.  New security issues come to the forefront daily and it takes continual investment in infrastructure and continuous operations to keep your data secure and your platforms complaint. Just like Vista, when migrating to the Cloud, there are many compatibility issues that creep up. At Edge, we see this firsthand, migrating over 500 legacy applications into the Cloud every year.

The Challenges of Cloud Migration

Cloud migration doesn’t magically make applications perform better, or become secure and compliant. Whether it’s to a private cloud or AWS, for a successful migration, find a hosting partner that has the technology, people, processes and continuous monitoring capabilities in place to proactively handle any challenges along the way. They must be experienced in architecture and deployment, have superior engineering skills, and most importantly, possess the application expertise and consulting capabilities to be a trusted partner in decisions for the benefit of your company.

The first item on the list of migration is full-scale tune-up of your existing legacy applications. This will make your application more amenable to the Cloud. At Edge Hosting, we liken this to a broken engine or at least one in need of major maintenance. If you take an old engine out of one car and put it in a new car, that new car isn’t going to run any better. It often takes just a bit of fine-tuning, and in a few cases, a rebuild of the underlying engine, to drive desired customer outcomes.

Part of our process is understanding customer pain points, finding broken elements and blind spots, and using time-tested design patterns to tweak and tune the engine during your transformation and migration process. As part of our process, we also surround your applications with hardened secure infrastructure and implement high availability strategies to eliminate noise and problems.

The desired end state should be “boring.”  A proactive and consultative approach to your migration with a deep understanding of your applications and dependencies will ensure that your infrastructure is never the source of excitement; the goal should be enough resilience that your applications are considered a utility.

Considering AWS?

If you are migrating to AWS, there are often problems that arise from vertically-scaled legacy applications. Quite simply, these applications can go against the grain of AWS. Sometimes, the answer may be Hybrid Cloud, using a hardware-based load balancer rather than a pure cloud solution, or deploying an SQL server into a Windows instance. PaaS offerings may be the proper solution. You may even need to change the structure of the cloud environment to fit your specific applications.

Also, when using AWS, customers may not be familiar with their shared responsibility model, which dictates who is responsible for the maintenance of specific parts of security of your applications. It can be easy for customers to forget about what they need to do on an on-going basis. By partnering with Edge Hosting, we take on the responsibility of continuous monitoring and operations, so you don’t have to worry. That enables you the freedom to focus on your business and build impactful solutions.

Additionally, if you choose to perform your cloud migration on your own, or with a vendor inexperienced in your technology, chances are the migration process will be inefficient and greatly escalate your project’s cost. The right hosting partner will perform all the troubleshooting and optimize your workload to ensure a successful and cost-efficient migration.

The Benefits of Cloud Migration of Your Legacy Applications

With a successful migration, you can achieve cost savings and peace of mind while eliminating CAPEX and reducing overall OPEX. The other most important factor is that cloud adoption enables you to achieve security and regulatory compliance. Consider these attributes pull-through value items for your customers. If you’re selling licenses to your application, you can tout the strength, security and cost value, building more trust in your application throughout the marketplace.

In terms of functionality, you now have high scalability to adjust to load demands and business growth. Edge Hosting provides first responder operations support as well as continuous monitoring. If an issue arises, any time of the day or night, the Edge team will proactively manage the issue.

If you’re looking for more information about cloud migration of your legacy applications, download our Working with Edge eBook. See how Edge Hosting can help you achieve security, privacy, and regulatory compliance.

If you would like to talk directly with a cloud migration expert, please contact Edge Hosting at 888.428.2752.

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