Five Things to Know About Migrating to Public Cloud

By Derek Smith | Director of Cloud Strategic Alliances & Brand, Cloud Solutions Group

If there is one buzzword everyone has heard over the past couple of years, it’s cloud.

Get to the cloud.
Your data is in the cloud.
Backup to the cloud.
Migrate to the cloud.

Successfully migrating to public cloud means that your organization needs to deliver the maximum
benefit of moving to the cloud with minimal effort, and especially minimal cost. So, the key question is How does an organization successfully migrate to the cloud?

Seems kind of vague. You’ll need to ask more questions: Which cloud platform? Which applications? Which data? Hybrid? Full public cloud? Is it scalable? Is it highly available?

Let’s try and rephrase the question to account for these variables.

How do you build a business case and plan a successful cloud migration when the technical and non-technical pieces of every organization’s portfolio are completely unique?

There are five key public cloud migration processes you should follow to ensure maximum benefit with minimal effort and cost. Let’s take a deeper look into Public Cloud Migration Strategy.

1. Plan for the Migration

Planning for a public cloud migration is the single most important step in the process. Having a proper
plan in place reduces costs and time and enables your organization to establish migration priorities as
well as performance baselines. First and foremost, define your business purpose for cloud migration.
Why are you moving to the cloud? Evaluate all your expected migration costs and needs and do a full
assessment of your current environment and applications.

Next, pick your cloud platform. Is it Microsoft Azure? Google Cloud? AWS? Is it a platform other than the
big three, like Oracle? Your organization will also have to address other key processes up front. Some of
these include:

  • Determining a deployment model (IaaS, PaaS & SaaS)

  • Creating a data-migration plan

  • Migrating or modernizing your applications?

  • Transferring domains and IPs to applications

  • Creating testing and validating plans

If you’d like to know more about the planning process and how Trace3 can help your organization
throughout your project, please contact us.
2. Code, Rinse, Repeat

Another buzzword you should get used to hearing if you haven’t already is Everything-As-Code. What
does this mean?
Simply, Everything-As-Code (EaC) is a way of managing IT infrastructure, policy, security, compliance and more and building processes and tools that support modern software applications. Manual processes and activities that employees are responsible for are turned into software code so that automation can manage them instead. Anything that needs to be figured out, agreed on, and controlled gets
documented and “codified” as a configuration file that humans can read and is then executed by
machines. There are three main benefits of an EaC approach:


    Repeatability All processes and policies are written in code, so they are easily replicated. If a
    policy needs to be implemented in another location, the original policy can be used with only
    minimal changes, saving developers time and leaving less room for error.

  • Scalability By coding everything, systems can scale up and down on demand with little risk of
    error. Since everything is written in code, testing becomes easier as well. Organizations can spin
    up Development, Testing, and Production environments with minimal effort and developers can
    test their changes before they are put into production, reducing the risk of errors and security

  • Security Security-as-code is the key to shifting left. Trace3 takes things a step further and
    starts left, aiming for true DevSecOps. Security is defined at the beginning of a project and
    codified for repeated and consistent use. Using predefined security policies boosts efficiency
    and allows for checks on automated processes, preventing errors in deployments.

3. Validate Security

Cloud security is the practice of protecting cloud-based data, applications, and infrastructure from
cyber-attacks and cyber threats. This is similar to cybersecurity with one main difference. In cloud
security, organizations must secure their assets, which reside in a third-party service provider’s

As enterprise cloud adoption grows, more applications and data are being migrated to third-party cloud
service providers (CSPs). Most major CSPs offer standard security tools with monitoring and alerting
functions as part of their service offerings but often these tools do not provide enough coverage,
meaning that there are gaps between what is needed and what is required.

This is a pivotal step in the public cloud migration process. Ensure that everything that needs to be
monitored is being monitored. If you need assistance in identifying your security gaps or finding the
optimal software to meet your security requirements, please contact Trace3.

4. Verify Compliance

Cloud compliance is the process of complying with cloud usage regulatory standards as well as local,
national, and international laws. In other words, to maintain compliance, your organization’s cloud
services must follow all requirements, including:

  • Laws like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

  • Industry standards like Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)

  • Any internal governance policies your organization creates to achieve goals

The first step in achieving cloud compliance is to identify which regulations and industry standards your
organization needs to comply with. Some of the common cloud compliance frameworks include ISO
27001, SOC 2, NIST, HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), and FedRAMP. It is important to understand that
your organization is responsible for keeping information safe within the cloud, and not the CSP.

Complying with these frameworks with help your organization ensure proper access control to any data
within your cloud, encrypt all sensitive data that may exist in the cloud, and understand which data to
keep off the cloud due to sensitivity concerns.

The final steps in this process are to conduct regular internal audits to identify and remediate any
vulnerabilities in your compliance as well as understanding the Service Level Agreements your
organization has in place with their Cloud Service Provider. Compliance is an important component of
every cloud migration. Organizations that fail to protect user information stored in the cloud due to
inadequate security measures as mandated by regulatory compliance are also compromising user trust
and organizational loyalty.

5. Optimize

Cloud optimization is the process of eliminating resource waste by selecting, provisioning, and right
sizing the resources you spend on cloud features. A great cloud optimization strategy can help your
organization see what it is doing right and where it needs to improve to make the most out of its move
to the public cloud and the associated costs. Some essential steps for optimizing cloud usage include the

  • Using reserved instances where applicable

  • Using optimization tools to improve cloud transparency

  • Using serverless computing and microservices including Kubernetes, Docker, and more

A sound cloud optimization strategy can help ensure an organization’s migration to public cloud pays off in the long and short runs. Proper optimization is achieved by using a combination of tools including
performance metrics, effective instance estimates, and cloud resource tagging. The benefits of
optimization can fuel not just the organization’s worker productivity, but also innovation and efficiency.

To learn more about Trace3's Cloud Solutions Group and how we can help you translate your business strategy into the cloud approach that works best for your organization, click here


Derek Smith works as the Director of Cloud Strategic Alliances and Brand at Trace3. As part of the Cloud Solutions Team, he engages with clients to help transform their business applications, operations, and initiatives to the Public Cloud. Additionally, Derek also regularly serves within the Azure Community as a Mentor, Public Speaker, Content Creator, and Enthusiast for all things Azure Public Cloud. Check out Derek's social pages:

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