Successful Cloud Migrations Using DevOps

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the delivery of resources like compute, storage, memory, and network as a service, using a pay-as-you-go pricing model. A key advantage of cloud computing is that you don’t have to make significant investments in infrastructure.  Instead, you just provision the resources that your application or service needs and pay for what you are using. Once migrated to the cloud, managing your infrastructure, ensuring adequate capacity during peak loads, and searching for ways to deliver resiliency will be a thing of the past. The cloud delivers the capabilities to automate capacity management and ensure resiliency which allows you to direct your resources to propelling the business through innovation and creating business value.

What is Cloud DevOps?

DevOps is often defined as a software development methodology or as a set of technologies and processes, aiming to unify software development and software operations. However, we think that DevOps is more than this. We believe that DevOps is not just about tools and automation, DevOps brings teams together and allowing them to communicate, collaborate, and own the solution. DevOps creates a cultural shift that transforms the delivery of new software features and unifies the team.

Why Cloud and DevOps?

Cloud computing has gained traction in the last couple of years, the task to move to the cloud remains daunting.  DevOps and cloud migration are more closely related than many people may think. The tools that DevOps practitioners use every day are of the utmost importance for a successful cloud migration.

At Tricension we know that the key ingredient of successful cloud migration is a detailed, well-defined and iterative roadmap that will assist you with your journey. Here are the six steps of our roadmap.

  • Phase 1: Assessment
  • Phase 2: Discovery
  • Phase 3: Analysis
  • Phase 4: Strategy
  • Phase 5: Delivery
  • Phase 6: Support.

We will discuss these phases in detail but at first it is important to understand why DevOps is a key ingredient for a successful cloud migration.

Cloud migration is an opportunity for enterprises to optimize their operational processes and improve their overall efficiency.  DevOps, with its powerful tools and automation of processes, provides the means to perform a stress-free migration to the cloud while improving your operational efficiency. The agile processes created in a DevOps transformation makes the move to the cloud almost simple and seamless.

Cloud Migration Using DevOps

Migrating your application to the cloud can be performed using different approaches. For example, you can choose either to refactor or, more traditionally, to rehost your application. No matter which option you choose, your main goal should be to increase efficiency, speed, quality all while reducing costs. To achieve these results, you have to rely on a thoughtful plan and rigorous execution. If not planned or executed correctly, a cloud migration project could result in unexpected downtimes and penalty performances. Unfortunately, both have potential to drive your customers away from the cloud.

Due to the complex nature, cloud migrations require multi-disciplinary teams, a high degree of coordination and an overall commitment to the goals and metrics of the project. To bridge these different needs, DevOps brings to the table a flexible and experiment-driven culture. The core principles of DevOps like automation, transparency, agility, faster iteration cycles are of utmost importance in delivering complex projects that require precise execution and detailed risk management, such as cloud migrations.

Implementing Cloud Migration with Tricension

Tricension is committed to provide you with the best DevOps practices and to plan and execute state-of-the-art cloud migration. Our experts have the necessary business and technical skills and are here to work with you to improve your entire software delivery lifecycle. Our expertise covers all the areas needed to build a successful DevOps cloud migration strategy.

Phase 1: Assessment

We know that the issues companies are facing when moving towards cloud are usually not related to technical aspects. Cloud migration or cloud operations are architectural issues, and the whole environment where the company operates has to be taken into account. We are happy to work with you to understand all existing systems along with their interdependencies and key business requirements as we prepare for a migration to the cloud.

Phase 2: Discovery

With a detailed understanding of your current environment and of the business requirements that are key to your success, the Tricension team can put together a set of cloud success objectives and define a business strategy driven architecture.  Experimentation with a proof-of-concept project may propel the success of future migrations.

Phase 3: Analysis

Also, we will help you to craft the best-suited cloud roadmap that considers all the current and future needs of your business. We will look to drive cloud native automation, establish a DevOps culture and dig into the requirements that will define success. As we take a more detailed approach to the migration, governance comes into the forefront. Governance is the constant process of enforcing the policies with the aim of imposing limits and how and when your computing, networking or storage resources are used. With the major changes that a cloud migration brings, there is no standard governance process that perfectly fits the needs of every organization.  Instead, a mix of software tools and custom tailored processes has to be used to address the specific needs of your enterprise.

Tricension will build a customized governance approach that will address your specific needs and ensure your success in the cloud.

Phase 4: Strategy

Tricension, drawing upon our extensive cloud platform expertise, will ensure that you have a well-defined roadmap that accounts for the needs of the business.  Tricension will lay out the roadmap with a well-defined architecture accounting for capacity and peak load requirements as well as ensure a level of resiliency that provides you with the business continuity that your customers expect.

Phase 5: Delivery

Tricension, with its proven track record of similar projects, has the expertise to accelerate the cloud migration process by seamlessly moving your existing workloads to AWS or Azure clouds. We are committed to provide maximum uptime as well as optimized performance.

Phase 6: Support

At Tricension, we established robust end-to-end AWS or Azure managed services approach which ensures your organization’s cloud infrastructure is optimized for cost, scalability, security and best performance.

How Does DevOps Work?

By applying continuous integration / continuous delivery software development principles across the entire IT ecosystem, DevOps maximizes the speed of delivery and provides important advantages for both the customer and the enterprise.

Before starting to discuss how DevOps works we must understand one of its core concepts: the delivery pipeline.

The delivery pipeline represents the activities, the workflows and the automation that an enterprise uses in order to deliver continuous value to the customers. Depending on the organization and on the product, continuous could mean daily, weekly, or even monthly. It is, however, important that the new functionalities are delivered more frequently than the current processes.

Next, let’s see how a delivery pipeline looks in practice.

In the beginning, the new business idea is communicated to the developer. Once the developer finishes the implementation process, he/she will test the new code using an environment representative of production. With the cloud, you are now able to test in like environments at a mere fraction of the cost.

Then, the code will be deployed to the test environment and thoroughly tested. When all the necessary tests are passed, the new code is deployed to the production environment. Here, another round of tests are performed. Only after all tests had been passed, the code is released. Once in production, the code is continuously and carefully monitored.

Let’s see how this processes work for most enterprises and highlight how Tricension, with its extensive DevOps expertise, can help you improve them.

Requirements

As we already mentioned, the first step consists of creating the requirements and planning the most important milestones of the development process. It is here, in the very beginning, where one the most important problems usually comes up.

When starting a software project, many organizations are tempted to use a method that is proved to deliver good results for most business endeavors: the waterfall approach.

However, software development has its own perks. First and foremost, almost any functionality that is going to be implemented is something that your development team is doing for the first time. Hence, the planning will hardly be accurate. Second, it is well known that almost half of the functionalities implemented in any software are not used or are not not bringing the expected business benefits.

Fortunately, Tricension experts can help you overcome this obstacle, and avoid the situation where you find yourself being locked in an excess of requirements. We will show you how to use the proven lean principles to your own advantage and provide you the tools and processes to quickly respond to any change in the marketplace.

Also, we will work to optimize this section of the delivery pipeline, by decomposing the requirements only at the level that is needed to achieve the desired business outcomes. Essential new features that are going to provide a competitive edge will not have to wait for all the functionalities that were previously defined and development team will always work on the most important tasks.

The Testing Environment

Now that we have finished coding, the next step is to start testing the new functionalities. In a traditional approach, the task of providing test environment belongs to a different department: Operations. For large enterprises, getting and setting up a testing environment is a convoluted management process that coordinates different teams in charge with servers, storage, network and security.

Let’s assume that, with a considerable effort, you managed to set up your test environment and the actual testing process can begin. Usually, the testing process is performed using a time-consuming and inefficient manual approach. The problem with this approach is that it is not repeatable and consistent. Thus, a lot of time is spent trying to find problems that, for example, belong to the test environment itself and not to the code. Also, the time required to perform a battery of tests significantly delays the feedback the developers are waiting for. As a result, you get slow overall deployment cycles.

Tricension experts will use the best DevOps practices in order to make your testing process more efficient. We will introduce the best test automation tools and will support the integration with the existing workflows. This will make your tests repeatable and the results will be consistent. Also, the time needed to run a complete set of tests will be reduced to several hours, meaning that testing will cease to be a bottleneck in your delivery pipeline. Thus, you will be ready to achieve production level quality in the shortest amount of time.

Deployment to Production

Deploying the new code to production is usually an effort driven by company’s Operations department. Unfortunately, it is not unusual to discover new code issues arise at this point in time. The biggest trouble often it is not easy to identify the root cause: a bug in the code, deployment issues, testing inconsistencies or something else. To solve this problem, companies usually rely on large cross-organizational teams, that require a lot of of time and resources to identify and fix the issues.

With our extensive expertise, Tricension has the tools and knowledge to improve the consistency of your environments. The infrastructure will be described as code and automated. Therefore, different environments will be consistent with each other and the increased speed of batches will allow more frequent deployments.

Monitoring

Many problems encountered in the monitoring phase are caused by the fact that in the traditional approach, it is hard for developers to foresee all the potential problems caused by real-life usage.

Tricension experts are well equipped to work with you in order to avoid these issues. First, we will ensure that the testing coverage is good. Second, we will perform all the needed tests: functionality tests, regression tests, performance tests, security tests and so on.

Equally important, we are ready to show how to move monitoring early in the delivery pipeline.

AWS Cloud Migration

We know that the cloud migration journey is unique to every enterprise. Based on this and on our extensive expertise with AWS cloud tools and services we are in the position to craft and execute the best AWS Cloud migration roadmap for your enterprise. We will help you make use of the best services that Amazon provides for migration automation:

  • AWS Migration Hub, designed to provide a holistic view of your migration progress
  • AWS Server Migration
  • AWS Database Migration

With its more than 90 services ranging from compute and databases to analytics and artificial intelligence, AWS is designed to seamlessly improve the time you need to build new applications or add features to an existing one.

Tricension cloud enablement and DevOps practices will support your seamless migration to AWS and enable you to benefit from:

  • Improved operational costs
  • Increased productivity
  • Application resilience

Azure Cloud Migration

We know that migrating you applications to Azure is an important undertaking, therefore our experts are ready to provide an easy step-by-step process that is easy to follow but, at the same time, can be customized to suit your unique needs. Our unique process follows and improves on the best practices that Microsoft recommends for any Azure cloud migration project:

  • Discovery, where the applications and workloads are identified and documented. Also, an assessment is performed to evaluate the interdependencies between applications, the target architecture is defined and a migration roadmap is crafted.
  • Migrate, where each component is migrated using flexible and powerful tools that Azure offers.
  • Optimize, where the resources are fine-tuned to improve security, performance, and ROI.

Our experts will use the best tools and services available to provide an easy migration process:

  • Azure Migrate, which discovers your on-premise infrastructure and apps and collects all the needed information to identify the best migration scenario.
  • Azure Site Recovery, which will help with the replication of VMs into Azure.
  • Azure Database Migration Service, designed to streamline the migration process of an on-premise Microsoft or Oracle database to Azure

Once the migration process is completed we will continue to to monitor your applications and manage your cloud costs with Azure Cost Management.

Why Use Tricension DevOps Cloud Migration Services

Tricension is a technology advisory and custom software development company based in Kansas City that helps enterprises and organizations achieve value from technology initiatives.

Led by experienced technology architects, developers, and big data experts, Tricension uses a systematic approach focused on your long-term goals. Our dedicated team, with multiple certifications, can modify existing products or develop a new one specifically for your needs. We help our clients automate business processes deploying technical and industry-specific expertise. We also provide a wide range of advisory and consulting services like virtual CIO, enterprise architecture planning, DevOps, cloud migration and enablement.

Based on our expertise, we are in the unique position to offer an end-to-end approach which assures that your cloud migration project runs smoothly and the migrated applications meets the business requirements related to security, availability and performance. Our portfolio of services include:

  • Initial discovery and assessment,
  • Business case creation and assistance on selecting the best cloud provider
  • Cloud migration roadmap development
  • Target architecture development, that includes sizing, security, resiliency along with ITSM processes,
  • Detailed cloud migration planning,
  • Infrastructure as a code development,
  • Monitoring and optimization

Tricension business and technology experts have a proven track record of helping our clients deliver applications faster and with fewer risks. By embarking together with us on DevOps cloud migration journey you will:

  • Reduce your hardware costs
  • Improve overall productivity by deploying DevOps processes and tools
  • Increase the speed of applications deployment
  • Simplify your entire IT operations

Tricension has all the right tools that can assist your organization to select and implement the right technologies that will bring you the best business results.

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