Application migration: The comprehensive guide you should know

Consider the following situation: you have recently purchased a new apartment. This can make you happy. However, you must relocate all of your apartment’s furniture, home décor, and vibe to a new location. Therefore, you have the option of hiring a moving company, an individual removal porter, or doing everything yourself. Whatever you choose, you will have to do that in some way. That is the process of relocation, if you want to simplify the concept of application migration as much as possible. In this blog, we will bring to you The comprehensive guide of Application migration. So let’s start.

Application migration

What Is Application migration?

Application migration refers to the process of moving existing software from one computing environment to another. You can mean a variety of things in the computing environment:

  • Laptops
  • Data centers
  • Servers
  • Cloud
  • Scanners and printers

Applications are designed to run on specific operating systems and network architectures, or to be developed for a single cloud platform. As a result, migrating an application to a new environment will have a number of difficulties. It is usually easier to migrate applications from virtualized or service-based architectures than from bare metal hardware.

Furthermore, different applications have different paths to the cloud. Developers have referred to these application migration patterns with names with “R” since the initial days of cloud computing.

  • Rehost: is lift-and-shift. This is a common strategy in which a business moves an application from an on-premises server to a virtual machine in the cloud without significant changes. Rehosting applications is faster than other migration strategies. Moreover, it is also cost savings. However, the applications will not benefit from cloud native computing capabilities unless they are modified. Besides that, the long-term costs of running them in the cloud can be higher.
  • Refactor or re-architect: Refactor or re-architect: Refactoring is the process of making relatively significant changes to an application. Therefore, It can scale or perform better in a cloud environment. It can entail recording major portions of the application to better take advantage of cloud native features. For example, restructuring a monolithic application into a set of microservices or switching from SQL to NoSQL as the data store.
  • Replatform: This is a kind of hybrid between lift-and-shift and re-architecting. Moreover, it also involves making minor changes to it in order for it to benefit more from cloud architecture. Furthermore, upgrading the application to work with a cloud native managed database, changing the operating systems or middleware it will use, or containerizing the application are some examples.
  • Retire/replace: In some cases, simply decommissioning the application makes good sense. This can be due to its limited value, or it is more cost-effective to replace it with a new offering—often a SaaS platform—than it is to migrate the application.

Strategy

To build the perfect application migration strategy for your business’s unique IT environment and business needs, you must understand what applications are in your portfolio. Furthermore, you should be aware of the specifics of your security and compliance requirements, as well as the cloud resources you are currently utilizing. In addition, describe your on-premises storage, compute, and network infrastructures.

Therefore, to be successful with a cloud migration, you must understand the key business drivers motivating it. From it, you can align your strategy with these drivers. Furthermore, you should be aware of why you’re migrating to the cloud and what you hope to achieve with the change.

Application migration risks

Stakeholders may be concerned that application migrations will cause business disruptions or incur unexpected costs. The following are the most common dangers:

  • Unexpected technical challenges: For example, an application can have so many dependencies which refactoring or replatforming can be more complex and time-consuming than original one
  • Unanticipated costs: Without careful planning, businesses may suffer overspend like new licensing fees or training costs involved with obtaining employees up to speed on new tools. 
  • Unexpected downtime: Significant changes to an application can result in conflicts or issues. It leads to unplanned downtime, both for the application and for connected or dependent systems.
  • Cultural differences or difficulties with change management: Different businesses use apps in different ways. As a result, these differences can cause friction that slows down a migration project.

A detailed and careful evaluation of the risks and benefits of rehosting, re-architecting/replatforming and retiring each application in your portfolio can mitigate the overall risks of application migration. It’s important to compare department-level costs to the total cost of business, as well as to calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO) of any hardware you need to keep running applications on premises.

Changing use cases for application migration

Previously, businesses often migrated applications to the cloud. Because they desired the flexibility, scalability, and predictable pay-as-you-go cost structure provided by cloud providers. However, nowadays, they are also looking for environments that foster innovation. Access to high-performance processors required to power deep learning algorithms or containerized applications is one example. It enables development teams to improve customers’ digital experiences by implementing changes quickly. Furthermore, cloud computing enables businesses to experiment, test new ideas, and “fail faster.” In many cases, cloud-friendly technologies such as containerization enable end users to have better experiences than virtual machines.

3 stages of an application migration plan

Identification and evaluation of applications

During this step, you should have a complete catalog of all applications in your portfolio. The applications will be classified according to whether they are business-critical or non-critical and what you stand to gain by migrating each to the cloud. You should make an effort to comprehend the value of each application in the following characteristics:

  • The impact on business
  • Capability to meet critical business requirements
  • Data importance and timeliness
  • Dimensions, complexity, and manageability
  • Maintenance and development costs
  • Enhanced value from cloud migration

During this step, you can identify which applications are ready and which require changes before being cloud-ready. Besides that yYou can also use application dependency discovery tools. Therefore, you can determine whether it is possible to migrate a specific workload outside of its current environment.

TCO (total cost of ownership) analysis

Calculating the total cost of a cloud migration project can be a difficult task. You must compare situations for keeping applications and infrastructure on-premises with for moving them to the cloud. This means you have to calculate the costs of purchasing, operating, and maintaining the hardware you’d keep on-premises in either situations

You should compare the monthly bill you receive from your cloud provider in both situations, as well as the costs of the migration itself. It includes the costs of testing the new infrastructure and training employees to use updated software. Don’t forget the costs of maintaining legacy applications that remain on-premises.

Assess overall risk and project duration

In this final step, you’ll create a project timeline and define any risks or stumbling blocks you may face.

Migration of legacy applications to the cloud

The older the application, the more difficult it is for migrating to the cloud. Outdated software is troublesome in several ways. It is costly to maintain, it can pose security risks if it is no longer patched. Moreover, it performs poorly in modern computing environments. Therefore, before migrating legacy applications, you should conduct a thorough assessment of them.

Application migration checklist: How should each application be evaluated?

  • Level of complexity: who created it, where are the documents, how old is the application, how important it is to the network, and much more.
  • Criticality: how important is the application to users, where it is used, who manages it, is it synchronized with other applications, and so on.
  • Compliance requirements
  • Is it subject to a service level agreement (SLA)?

Application Migration project plan

Planning application migration as a project is the best method to practice it. In this case, you’ll define the measurable goals, including the exact timeline and budget limits. Don’t miss the importance of detailed preparation and attention to detail in this situation.

Determine the age of your software right away. The older the technology, the more expensive and time-consuming your project will be. Furthermore, age has an impact on legacy application migration.

Testing

You have to make sure that no data or capabilities are lost during the application migration process. So you should run tests. 

To ensure that no data or capabilities are lost during the application migration process, you should run tests during the migration to ensure that all data is present, that the data’s integrity has been maintained, and that the data is now in the correct storage location.

Following the completion of the migration, it is also critical to perform follow-up testing to benchmark application performance. As a result, you can make sure the security controls remain in place.

What is the application migration process?

Application migration entails moving software applications to a new environment. It mostly refers to the business benefits of moving to cloud platforms, such as better control over corporate finances, increased responsiveness, and faster updates.

How long will the application migration schedule take?

The timeline for your application migration is determined by the age and complexity of your software. It also depends on the specifics of the target environment. It takes about 4 months on average. But this is a very wide estimate.

Application migration best practices

Here is a list of the most successful application migration cases.

Assess the application and environment

A perfect assessment is the exact calculation and description of all available assets. At this point, the most important task is to avoid missing critical details that could lead to serious problems in the future. 

An application’s comprehensive evaluation includes an examination of its IT infrastructure, legacy constraints, and problematic internal dependencies for data migration. Moreover, compliance standards, scalability issues, and business practices should all be mentioned in the environment analysis.

Create a deployment document

Creating a deployment document is another excellent method of presenting the application and environment assessment. A well-written report includes the following sections:

  • An inventory of all available servers, apps, and supporting technologies,
  • The catalog of network specifications, which includes connections and application dependencies.
  • Statistical information about the application’s performance
  • The presentation of all potential issues that must be addressed during application migration.

You should focus on the specific server settings and dependencies when creating a deployment document. So you can  save time and effort for your team in the later steps of software testing and maintenance.

Moreover, you should create measurable KPIs as well. Because they are critical to the success of the application migration project’s performance. Furthermore, KPIs aid in monitoring day-to-day activities and taking necessary steps to eliminate potential issues in advance.

Make plans for data migration.

The best preparation is creating a backup of the entire file you’re about to transfer.  Application performance monitoring is more complex in data migration preparation. In this case, you should set up the necessary analytical tools. Therefore you can track and ensure the success of your application migration project. Moreover, when migrating data to the cloud, AHT TECH JSC recommend paying attention to the following application migration services:

  • Google Cloud,
  • Pivotal,
  • Salesforce,
  • Amazon Web,
  • Microsoft Azure.

You can merge application performance monitoring with better control over your system resources by selecting any of them. 

Another critical aspect of planning is to ensure compliance monitoring and validation. This entails gaining additional control over data migration for businesses that serve highly strict and regulated industries like the government.  As a result, the first stage of data migration is to determine whether the applications are prepared for the changes and challenges that the target computing environment will provide.

Here are the three most common compliance issues:

  • PCI DDS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) appears when your users need to enter their credit card information, 
  • PCI DDS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) appears when your users need to enter their credit card information, 
  • GDPR (European General Data Protection Regulation) appears when your visitors are required to provide information about their EU citizenship.

Restore and reconfigure

Your task at this point is to reconfigure your application in the new computing system. Moreover, to accommodate the applications in your new environment, you can define the related files and rediscover paths and connection strings.

Automate when possible

In this case, you have to minimize disruption, save time, and increase the effectiveness of your migration. In most cases, there is room for automation in repetitive patterns. Look for opportunities in your previous stage experience to help you with your work in the following stages.

Create a test plan

Developing a testing strategy is critical for application migration. Your ability to see your application through the eyes of a user and/or server administrator is critical here: seeing your application through the eyes of a user and/or server administrator ensures the best testing practice.

Conclusion

Don’t hesitate if you have any questions about our blog. Let us know at CONTACT FORM. More importantly, AHT TECH JSC also provides the great System Integration & Data Migration Services for your business. Don’t miss our services to take your business into the new world. 

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