Following on from our last video, Understanding Hybrid, Private and Public Clouds, our CEO, Tim Poultney, will now talk through How to Virtualise Your Business and Migrate to the Cloud.
Bring your business one step closer to the cloud and watch this video now.
My name is Tim Poultney; I am the CEO of Veber. We are a UK-based service provider with extensive experience in hybrid, dedicated and cloud hosting environments. I am here today to talk about how to virtualise your business and move it to the cloud.
The most important objective when moving your business to the cloud is getting a smooth transition. The best way of achieving this is planning, planning and planning. The more planning you do the better, the simpler, and the more straightforward the migration will be.
For every migration that we have worked on, we start the planning process by gathering all the information about the data flows within your businesses and all the systems you have got, whether that be an accounting system or credit card transaction, whether that be a server that stores video files or an accounts document that sales are using. We take all of that information and basically build out a complete infrastructure design, whether that is for one server or whether that’s for a hundred servers. It will allow us to build an understanding of your environment as well as allowing you to work out what you actually need to do, and whether you are going to keep, migrate, archive or delete these systems. Some of the older systems you might decide you can actually just archive off and not move to the cloud.
Moving forward, once you have built this big map you most likely want to look at whether you are going to stay on the public, private or hybrid route of clouds. Many people with one server think that it is a lot easier to have one public cloud environment, but it could quite often work out simpler to actually put it into a private cloud because we can break up their present one server environment and put different functions on different servers.
It is one of the things that’s quite hard to do, because obviously people believe that the bigger the business the more of the risk there might be. It’s actually not necessarily like that, moving legacy applications, moving environments that haven’t actually been changed for many years can be easier than actually migrating a new platform that is using many different services. So what I would actually say to everybody is to look at each individual part of the project, calculate the risks, and keep in mind that it can take a long time to actually move these environments over- it’s not necessarily really quick.
Once you’ve worked out all your risks and you’ve worked out all the services that you actually want to move to the cloud, you want to find a cloud partner that you can work with: someone that understands your environment, someone that can help you achieve your goal of migrating to the cloud. Most people should have one provider- if you start to go to many providers to deliver each individual element it’s very hard to work out where it’s working and where it’s not working when there’s a problem.
It is essential that the provider supplies everything that you need, that you understand what they are actually giving you, so instead of having one bill that says cloud hosting, you can actually break it down and understand what you’re buying as part of that, and that will then give you the ability to understand the total pricing of what they are actually offering, because if someone bundles everything together it makes it hard for a business to understand what they are paying for with each element should they want to upgrade or change the environment on the fly.
The biggest discussion point that I have with all of our clients is trying to work out the level of security and the level of reliability that they require within their business, what type of encryption, what type of firewalls, do they want a shared firewall, do they want a dedicated firewall, do they want to encrypt their data at rest, do they want to have VPN or token security access. All of these things can be achieved, it’s just a case of understanding at the beginning of the project what we are actually trying to achieve. If we are looking at sensitive data, is that data actually applicable to move to the cloud, because you might find that there is some data like credit card data or end user data that you can’t easily move to some cloud providers, so again you need to be very wary of what you just push into the cloud.
Once you get to the point where you have built your plans and tested the concept, you’re understanding where you are going. We always recommend to people to backup everything that they presently have so that they can always go back to their existing environment. We recommend that they test their backup plans, so they test what they are actually backing up, how they are backing up, and they can actually restore that data. Once you have started moving to the cloud you might find that particular projects worked, particular projects have failed. Whatever those failures might be, whether it’s taking too long or whether the types of encryption you have selected for your firewall doesn’t work or the configurations of the VPN wasn’t quite right, if you can always roll back to your old environment, that will make it significantly easier for the management or the IT team to sign off on this project.
We all know that change can be scary to staff, we all know it’s disruptive in businesses, so we recommend you pre-empt the cloud migration by talking to the staff, explaining where they are moving to, why the business is doing this. Then you can also come back to asking them whether there is anything they are missing, and whether there is anything the ICT department hasn’t picked up.
As a takeaway from this, Veber’s approach will always be the same: planning, planning and more planning.
If you would like to know more about how to virtualise your business and migrate to the cloud, Veber can help. Get in contact with one of our friendly team today.
Featured Blog Posts