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Cloud migration helps businesses move their applications, databases, and other IT resources to remote servers in a seamless, secure, and transparent manner. According to the 2022 State of Multicloud report, 60% of organizations are now running production workloads in a public cloud, with migrating more workloads as the most important cloud initiative overall.

For better scalability, availability, cost savings, improved productivity and business agility, and operational resilience, cloud migration strategies are being adopted faster than before. Depending on which cloud provider you will choose and the workload you have, effective cloud migration will result in building your organizational, operational, and technical capabilities.

From the planning stage up to selecting an appropriate cloud environment, migrating data and apps, and evaluating the progress, making the transition is not easy but worth it when done right. Leveraging new technologies, consolidating resources, and enabling digital transformation as a whole will allow enterprises in the cloud era to grow further.

Cloud Migration Roadmap and Strategies

Cloud is becoming the new normal for companies of every size. For most organizations, the question isn’t if anymore but instead what are we moving as well as when and how fast can we move? Indeed, there are many opportunities to grow, succeed, and advance when moving towards the cloud.

The cloud's strength lies in its flexible infrastructure, manifesting advantages such as decreased hosting costs, enhanced customer experience, improved team collaboration, disaster recovery, and security. As a matter of fact, many companies accelerated their cloud migration process in 2020/2021 to support remote working, online transactions, and online data storage.

A typical cloud migration scenario involves moving data from a legacy system to the cloud. An ideal roadmap would include defining your strategy before you plan your migration, preparing the team for migration before adopting the cloud environment, and after migration, securing and managing your workloads to ensure cost optimization.

Before getting started, it is smart to assess the current environment and calculate your cloud server requirements based on current or planned application resource. After which, you can choose your cloud service provider – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, or Azure – and the cloud model you prefer to adopt (public, hybrid, private, or multi-). 

Companies need to build a unique cloud migration strategy that reflects where the company needs to grow in the future to accomplish business and operational goals. There are common migration strategies you can follow, depending on your needs:

(1) Rehosting

Cloud rehosting is the simplest and most popular method of cloud migration, causing minimal disruption on all fronts. Also known as the lift-and-shift migration, it transports an exact copy of your current environment to the cloud. Involving the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) model, it redeploys existing data and applications on a cloud-native server. This is a good option for cases where no code modifications are done and applications are kept intact.

Huawei Cloud surged by over 200% in the IaaS market, positioning itself among the top five IaaS vendors with 4.2% in global market share. Using Huawei’s global experience, the vendor provides leading data migration services, as well as application integration migration and virtualized migration services to customers around the world.

(2) Replatforming

This involves making further adjustments to optimize landscape for the cloud. The core architecture of applications stays the same, but any incompatibility will undergo a rewrite on the codebase. By modernizing legacy applications, this move-and-improve approach is a good strategy for building trust in the cloud – the middle path between rehosting and refactoring.

Adopting a third-party software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform could be beneficial, without doing all the work of building and maintaining it yourself. Relaunching Console Connect’s CloudRouter solution, businesses can instantly use CloudRouter to connect between different cloud platforms and cloud regions, and establish secure and fast connections to multiple SaaS providers.

(3) Refactoring

Also known as the rearchitecting or rebuilding, this involves a complete refurbish to a company’s existing environments. When a legacy software is too old to run on current cloud tech, rebuilding from scratch is the solution. Following a lift-tinker-and-shift approach, it is the most expensive option, but also the most compatible with future versions.

This includes the use of virtualization with containers or VMs and microservices that make more efficient use of resources, supporting businesses for their digital transformation journey.

On the other hand, retaining and retiring are also other cloud migration strategies to consider. The former is when you plan to revisit cloud computing at a later date, while the latter means letting go of applications that are no longer useful.

Case Studies

20 years ago, Amazon already began the development of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) at Amazon Web Services (AWS). On 2006, AWS started offering web-based computing infrastructure services, now known as cloud computing.

Now, AWS is the most popular public cloud platform, particularly in the telecom industry. Nokia has collaborated with AWS to extend the reach of its Cloud RAN technologies in support of 5G deployments and the development of new use cases. In this collaboration, Nokia will leverage AWS services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), AWS Outposts, and AWS Local Zones for automating network functionality.

Independently, Nokia’s new software-as-service (SaaS) offerings – Nokia AVA and the Nokia home device management SaaS – aim to help communication service providers (CSPs) and enterprises strengthen their energy efficiency efforts and optimize home device management.

Netcracker also announced the deployment of its full stack digital BSS/OSS and orchestration applications on AWS. Netcracker’s modern cloud BSS/OSS and SaaS-based model allows operators to transform into technology enablers. “Operators no longer need to worry about cumbersome BSS operations and can instead rely on an experienced agile partner to increase the speed and flexibility of their business operations,” said Mervat El Dabae, Regional Vice President, EMEA, Netcracker.

By incorporating AWS marketplace services into its own marketplace solution for CSPs, Netcracker is strengthening its ecosystem approach to telco service agility. Relatively, Bernard Najm, Vice President, Telco, MEA, AWS has mentioned why they focus on the automation of OSS/BSS. “We focus on the automation of OSS/BSS, cloudifying those complex structures because we believe that complexity will increase, so the earlier we start with the simplification, the easier it will be to manage complexity and thus reduce the cost,” he explained.

While thinking about which hyperscaler to trust, Red Hat has pointed out how operators in a multi-cloud environment must control their own destiny and build the ideal strategy fitting to their services. “Red Hat’s goal is to make the cloud infrastructure, the software layer, as easy to consume as possible. Whether you're deploying that for RAN, edge, IoT, 5G core, or enterprise services, it needs to be consumable in a very easy way and provide all the capabilities as part of that infrastructure,” said Azhar Sayeed, Senior Director, Global Telco Technical Development at Red Hat.

Moreover, AWS Direct Connect makes it simpler to establish a private, low-latency network connectivity from your premises to AWS. Providing a more consistent network experience, Etisalat supports businesses in their cloud journey with AWS Direct Connect, enabling the secure transfer of data directly from data centres, offices or a colocation environment.

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