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Migrating Applications to the Cloud, Part 2

This is the second part of an article that explains how to migrate an application from onsite to the cloud. You can read the first part here.

So now that we’ve explained why you would want to migrate an application from onsite to the cloud, let’s describe the steps you usually need to take to perform such a migration.

First, you’re going to need to select a hosting company to host your application for you. When selecting a hosting company, you need to make sure that it supports the application you want to migrate. You’ll also want to make sure that it can host the application the way you want it to be hosted.

Most hosting companies should be able to support any up-to-date Windows- or Linux-compatible application. Some applications may need to be customized or rewritten to be able to be migrated to the cloud, however.

In addition, many hosting companies will allow you to select how your application is hosted, including:

  • Whether it’s hosted on a shared or dedicated server

  • The specifications of your VM or server (including the amount of CPUs/vCPUs, RAM, and HDD/SSD)

  • Whether they are managed or not (managed hosted applications are actively managed by the hosting company; they usually come with services such as 24x7x365 monitoring, managed security, automatic updates, managed backups, and 24x7x365 technical support)

  • Whether they have been made compliant with a certain IT regulation, such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, or SOX

If there are multiple hosting companies that support your application and can host your application the way you want it, other factors to consider when comparing hosting companies include: the terms of their SLA (including whether they offer a money-back uptime guarantee), their pricing, their pricing model, the number of years they’ve been in business, their client lists, their testimonials, the availability of their technical support, their security controls, their data loss prevention measures, their certifications, and whether or not they own and operate their own datacenters.

After selecting a hosting company, next you need to deploy either a hosted virtual or dedicated server (virtual servers cost less than dedicated servers and are more scalable, while dedicated servers generally perform better and are more reliable and compliant).

You also need to select the operating system and hardware specifications of your server, ensuring that both are compatible with your application (for example, if your application used a maximum of x amount of RAM when deployed on an onsite server, then your hosted server should have x amount of RAM).

The next step is to install your application on your hosted server, then transfer over all of your existing data (which may require signing up for a separate hosted database). Also, if your application relies on other onsite applications in order to work, then these other onsite applications may also need to be migrated.

To ensure that your employees continue to have access to the onsite application during the migration, you should perform the migration before or after regular working hours or on the weekend. You should also perform the migration via an encrypted connection to ensure the security of your data.

Finally, you’ll have to integrate your hosted application with the rest of your IT assets and decommission the onsite application. You may also need to use app publishing software such as Windows Server RDS or Citrix XenApp to make your hosted application available to your employees.

If you require any assistance with your migration, simply contact your hosting provider.

A much simpler way to migrate an application from onsite to the cloud is to pay a business or individual with a lot of experience and skill at performing such migrations to do it for you. Many hosting companies that provide application hosting services, for example, also offer onsite-to-cloud application migration services in which they handle the entire migration process for you for an additional, relatively small fee.

In addition to letting you avoid having to perform the migration yourself, paying your hosting company to handle the application migration process can also result in a much quicker and problem-free migration.