“Do your homework first. Otherwise costs will spiral and the risk of security attacks could be huge,” comments Neel Dev, Practice Director for all things Microsoft Azure related.
Neel advises that it is important to always begin with a thorough implementation plan. This should include a detailed review of your current IT estate considered alongside your goals as a business, taking into account both the short and long-term objectives.
Cloud Architect for Healthcare customers, Josh Storm, added: “Start from the ground up by understanding your infrastructure – something Trustmarque is expertly placed to support with. We can help to identify the systems that would benefit the business by being in the cloud and then work with you to develop your roadmap.”
As part of your infrastructure review, all of our Cloud Team equally pressed the need to understand and validate your dependencies.
THE DETAIL IS IN THE PLANNING
“Take the time and effort to understand the dependencies between your data sources and how they interact with one another,” comments Callum MacCallister, Cloud Solutions Architect – Azure SQL, Data and Analytics. “Migration is more than just migrating data you have to migrate the architecture as well, and that is often much harder to do than the systems it supports.”
These inter-dependencies should be considered alongside the “importance and sensitivity” of your data as a key driver behind your cloud architecture.
Once you have your strategy and design, the environment can be quickly scaled out and altered as needed, says Cloud Solutions Architect Adrian Fish.
He commented: “Many organisations start deploying test environments in the cloud which quickly become live production solutions. But without the proper planning or assessment, this can result in security holes being created in the cloud which can then reach back to on-premise deployments.
“From a cost perspective, understanding the correct components in the cloud to deploy can have significant cost implications, switching a VM instance to a different one or adopting PaaS and SaaS solutions can reduce costs and management overhead. Additionally, if you have the correct Microsoft licenses these can be moved to the cloud and integrated with Reserved Instances to reduce VM costs by up to 80% – these are significant cost savings that can be made.”
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Of the other recommendations from our team are creating effective monitoring and usage alerts on all compute, storage and networks. And the benefit of deploying a robust roles-based permissions model to facilitate security and compliance.
Finally, it is important to prepare to “upskill your IT staff”. The technical skills needed to deploy, manage and maintain cloud environments are changing rapidly and traditional IT capabilities aren’t always ready for a full cloud migration.