Best Practices to Reduce Cloud Migration Costs

Cloud Migration Costs

In the early 2010’s, moving technology infrastructure to the cloud was one of the significant items in an enterprise’s innovation roadmap. Fast forward to 2020, and you no longer see migration to the cloud as just an innovative idea but as a necessity for business survival. 

Businesses of all sizes and across every domain have moved their digital ecosystem (either partly or completely) to a cloud environment.  

By 2022, the global public cloud market size is expected to reach a staggering USD 331.2 Billion from the USD 182.4 billion it was in 2018.

Today, nobody needs to sell the idea of cloud migration to any business as there are enough success stories available for businesses to learn and be aware of its benefits. Now is the time to take the next step in Cloud wherein businesses need ideas and guidelines on how to optimize their cloud ecosystem for reduced operational costs. Moving to a cloud model already results in cost benefits but you can further improve the savings with a few tips. 

Here are some:

Create a strategic roadmap

Cloud is the answer to a lot of problems, but you need to be well aware of the depth of each problem before moving it to the cloud for a solution. Do not rush with your migration exercise and check for prerequisites in your applications that may need a relook before cloud migration. A good example would be databases. Very often, your digital applications may be using databases that need updated code or refactoring before being deployed on a cloud environment to handle workloads. By missing out on identifying this need, the migration exercise may work well initially but eventually result in poor performance, which can further delay business activities dependent on it. To solve the performance issue, there may be a requirement to bring down the particular component of the application and re-deploy it and map all dependent systems once again. This effort would result in cost escalations and risks due to the activity being done after the business systems have gone live on the cloud. By preparing a roadmap for cloud migration, you can easily segregate components in your technology stack based on their prerequisites for cloud migration. This way, you can ensure that you move the right component only when it is in the right state and at the right time to guarantee disruption-free business operations once deployed.

Read: How to Build a Rock-Solid Cloud Strategy

Keep a tab of environments

The ease with which the Cloud offers the provisioning of environments for deployment can turn out to be a challenge at times. Developers tend to use several environments for different kinds of testing activities. More non-production environments can push up infrastructure costs on the cloud. To reduce this buildup of cost, developers can shift to simpler continuous integration modes of deployment and use smart routing between applications to enable the parallel existence of logical environments near the production environments. This will help in empowering developers to test applications in what is called “dark launch” mode within the production environment thereby reducing the need for multiple test environment provisioning from the cloud provider. This will ultimately bring down infrastructure costs.

Using the right kind of provisioning tools such as terraform or cloud formation or Azure Resource Manager, it’s possible to spin up (and down) new environments quickly. With the right monitoring and automation in place, one can easily get flexibility and cost savings.

Leverage Intelligent Scaling

While most cloud providers allow autoscaling of environments to meet demand spikes from enterprise workloads, there is more that can be done to improve scaling efficiency and reduce costs further. By leveraging proactive scaling capability, enterprises can train their work environments to analyze past traffic and performance behavior of various components in the workload such as databases, memory, etc. and predict future needs of scale and prepare the infrastructure for better utilization. This would help in optimizing infrastructure usage during workload fluctuations. Rather than having to provision extra environments all the time in anticipation of increased workload, such an intelligent scaling mechanism allows organizations to utilize existing infrastructure in the cloud optimally and reduce running costs. 

Build a diverse team of specialists

The cloud requires a slightly different team structure to succeed. The SRE and DevOps teams are now joined at the hip with the development teams and not a separate silo. This can lead to lower cost of operations because it actually leads to more automation and clear insights into how infrastructure usage affects costs. 

By the end of 2020, it is expected that nearly 83% of enterprise workloads will be on a cloud ecosystem. This could be public, private, or hybrid and vary by industry. But the bottom line is that more businesses are moving in the direction of going into a cloud-only mode from a cloud-first mode of business. 

Increasing competition, disruptions in the market by events like the COVID 19 pandemic will all put pressure on top management to optimize costs, and their IT budgets will not be spared from the axe. Hence, businesses need to leverage the cost efficiencies they can bring about using the above tips to ensure that they can sustain profitably.
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