By: Matt Smith
Furthermore, employees of companies with networks in the cloud can access data and applications from any location, updates to the data center occur in real time, and storage space is no longer limited by the confines of the company's own hardware.
Despite these benefits, migrating a network to the cloud is overwhelming for most businesses. Below are some steps you can follow to make the migration as painless as possible.
1. Choose a Cloud Provider
Choosing the best cloud provider is one of the most important steps in the migration process, and there is much to consider. Some of the most important points include:
- Performance. Before choosing any cloud provider, consider its reputation for performance. Avoid cloud providers with frequent service outages, and make sure that the provider has an effective procedure in place for dealing with any service problems that occur.
- Security. When you choose a cloud provider, you are trusting it with your data. Ask about your provider's security measures before you sign a contract.
- Support. Cloud providers offer varying levels of support. If your company is retaining its own IT team, you may not need as much support from your provider. However, if you are new to the cloud or you don't have IT professionals in-house, choose a company with a strong commitment to customer support.
- Billing. Cloud providers use different methods to calculate your monthly usage charges. While some providers charge a flat fee, others charge based on the amount of resources you use. If your usage fluctuates considerably, it's often wiser to choose a provider that charges on an hourly basis. Conversely, if you expect that your usage won't fluctuate, flat fees may be preferable. Keep in mind that providers with usage-based billing structures often impose a minimum monthly charge.
2. Prepare the Network
Before you begin the migration, collaborate with your provider to find out what you need to do to prepare your data and applications. It's always wise to back up all of your data in case something happens during the move, and many providers will want to evaluate your applications for compatibility before attempting to transfer them. In some cases, your IT team may need to modify your applications before they will operate effectively within the cloud. If your team cannot modify the applications, it may need to design new ones.
3. Make the Move
As you migrate to the cloud, depend on your cloud provider to answer any questions you may have. Make sure that your IT team follows all instructions carefully. Even with the best preparation, there will always be a few obstacles, so try to be patient as you become comfortable with your new cloud-based network.
When implemented properly, the cloud can be an amazing tool for your business. Though the migration process can be frustrating and confusing, it's well worth it in the end. By following these steps, you can reduce the anxiety associated with the move and ensure the process is no more complicated than it needs to be.
Bio: Matt Smith is a Dell employee who writes to help raise awareness on the topic of cloud computing and other network management subjects.