Working with a managed IT provider is an excellent way to keep your systems up and running with 24-7 monitoring and support, as well as secure you against cyber threats. However, partnering with IT professionals also gives your business an opportunity to harness the power of cloud computing and raise your business operations to new heights of efficiency and flexibility.
But what exactly does a cloud migration entail? And how does a managed IT provider like Levit8 support your business’s cloud infrastructure after it’s been established? This article will cover all that and more.
Strategic Cloud Migration Planning
In case you didn’t know, a cloud migration basically refers to the process of moving your business systems onto the cloud. Because every business is unique, a cloud migration can vary greatly in its complexity depending on the type of business you’re in and what your unique requirements are.
You can think of cloud migration in the same way as moving your business premises to a new location; you need to take a careful, planned approach to ensure that everything is moved across seamlessly and gets up and running again with minimal downtime (and ensuring you don’t lose anything along the way).
This is where the expertise of a managed IT provider like Levit8 comes in handy. The process begins by assessing your current infrastructure and data systems. This assessment is crucial to understanding how to best transition your services and data to the cloud with minimal disruption.
Here’s a breakdown of the steps:
Assessment of Current Infrastructure: Evaluating existing IT systems, applications, and data storage.
Identifying Business Requirements: Understanding the specific needs and goals of your business for cloud migration.
Selecting the Right Cloud Environment: Deciding the right cloud platform based on business needs. At Levit8, we recommend and specialise in Microsoft Azure cloud migrations.
Data and Application Categorisation: Classifying which data and applications should move to the cloud and in what order.
Developing a Phased Migration Plan: Creating a step-by-step approach for migrating to the cloud, prioritising critical systems.
Testing: Conducting tests to ensure compatibility and performance in the cloud environment.
Execution of Migration: Implementing the migration plan while minimising operational disruptions.
Post-Migration Review: Assessing the cloud environment post-migration for any needed adjustments or optimisations.
Example: Let’s say you have a retail business with a significant online presence. We would first evaluate your existing e-commerce platform, inventory management systems, and customer databases. The goal is to create a migration plan that moves these elements to the cloud without interrupting daily sales or compromising customer data. This might involve migrating the customer database first, ensuring it’s fully operational in the cloud, and then proceeding with the e-commerce platform. The process is meticulously planned to ensure each step is executed smoothly, minimising potential downtime or disruption.
This careful planning ensures that the transition to cloud computing enhances your business operations without causing unnecessary interruptions.
Cloud Security Implementation
Good security measures are an absolutely essential part of managing your cloud infrastructure. Managed IT providers focus on several key areas to ensure that your cloud-based assets get the protection they need:
Data Encryption: One of the fundamental steps is to encrypt data both in transit and at rest. This ensures that even if data is intercepted or accessed by unauthorised individuals, it remains unreadable and secure.
Access Controls: Implementing strict access controls is vital. This involves setting up user authentication protocols, defining user roles, and ensuring only authorised personnel can access sensitive data and applications. For example, an employee in the marketing department would have different access rights than someone in the HR department, limiting exposure to sensitive information.
Regular Security Audits and Compliance Checks: Like any system, regular audits are needed to ensure your cloud security is up to scratch. This includes checking for vulnerabilities and ensuring compliance with relevant data protection regulations.
Collectively, these measures form a robust security framework, safeguarding your cloud environment against a wide range of cyber threats.
Performance Monitoring and Optimisation
Cloud services offer dynamic capabilities, but their performance needs continuous monitoring and optimisation to ensure efficiency. A managed IT provider can use various tools and processes to keep a vigilant eye on cloud performance.
Continuous System Analysis: Monitoring tools like New Relic or Datadog can be used for ongoing system performance analysis.
Identifying and Addressing Issues: Any performance bottlenecks or issues are quickly identified and addressed, ensuring smooth operation.
Resource Allocation: Resources can be allocated in a dynamic way to respond to demands, scaling up server capacity during peak traffic periods.
Example: Let’s say you’re running a Brisbane-based e-commerce company. In this case, performance monitoring tools like New Relic might be used to track website load times. If a slowdown is detected, resources can then be dynamically allocated to improve performance.
Integration of Cloud Services with Existing IT
Integrating cloud solutions with existing IT infrastructure can be complex, but it’s essential to ensure a smooth workflow for your team. Managed IT providers have the expertise to ensure that this integration is smooth and efficient, and can provide:
Compatibility Checks: Ensuring new cloud solutions are compatible with existing systems.
Seamless Data Integration: Tools like Talend or Apache NiFi can be used for efficient data integration between your existing systems and cloud platforms.
Custom Integration Plans: Developing tailored plans to integrate cloud services smoothly with current IT infrastructure.
Example: Let’s say you run a local accounting firm and you want to move to cloud-based accounting software, integration tools like Talend ensure smooth data transfer from your old system to the cloud without disrupting daily operations.
Customised Backup and Disaster Recovery Solutions
While one of the benefits of cloud computing is that data is more easily accessible and kept up to date, there is still the vulnerability of losing it all due to a data breach or some other kind of disaster. This is why it’s essential to plan for the worst with robust backup and disaster recovery plans. The good news is that managed IT providers can design these plans to be customised to the specific needs of your business.
Cloud Backup Tools: Utilising tools like Azure Backup for regular data backups.
Disaster Recovery Planning: Creating and implementing a disaster recovery plan that includes data recovery and system restoration.
Regular Testing: Conducting regular tests to ensure the effectiveness of backup and disaster recovery measures.
Example: For a healthcare provider, we might set up Azure Backup for regular data backups. This would ensure patient records are securely stored and easily recoverable in case of a system failure.
Get the Full Suite of Cloud Solutions and Infrastructure Management Services with Levit8
Cloud computing has so much to offer your business. Still, it can become a liability if you don’t have the right expertise on your side to ensure everything translates and functions smoothly. This is where a managed IT provider like Levit8 comes into the picture, helping you harness the full potential of cloud solutions without falling into any of the common pitfalls that plague other businesses.