Moving to the Cloud.

1.What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud hosting is an IT provisioning model in which a service provider leases dedicated servers "physical or virtual" and computing services to client. The equipment is at the hosting provider's facility and managed there by their personnel.
Some examples of cloud hosting providers are Amazon AWS, Windows Azure, Google Compute Engine, Rackspace, Heroku, Akamai, IBM SoftLayer to name a few.

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2.When to consider Cloud Migration?

If the "CAPEX - capital expenditure" and "OPEX - operational" of acquiring, running and maintaining your IT infrastructure is spiralling out of control .
When your business grows across international boundaries.
Need to validate a Proof of Concept "POC" solution before implementation approval.
Have remote users and offices spread across different locations.
Need to perform heavy computational tasks like Big Data queries without incurring the capital costs.

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3.What services are available with Cloud Migration?

Pretty much anything that can be run on a local server from databases, web, application and terminal servers to authentication services like LDAP and Active Directory.
Networking services like VPN "Virtual Private Network" gateways that allows remote users to connect to hosted servers.
Email hosting, message queues and notification services is also possible.
Backups for disaster recovery, file storage for users and servers and also content delivery network for multimedia files and documents.

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4.What are the risks with Cloud Migration?

One of the main problems with cloud hosting is good network connection between internal and external services, but most cloud hosting providers have point of presence with network providers to alleviate this.
Default capacity limits on storage and networking allowance because the entire service provider environment is shared by all clients, but this can be mitigate by buying dedicated resources.
Integrating and extending internally hosted or legacy applications with external ones could some times be difficult.

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5.What are the benefits of Cloud Migration?

One of the key selling point of cloud hosting is dramatic cost reduction and control possible with on-demand usage of all resources.
Redundancy - Most cloud hosting providers have multiple geographical presence to cater for disaster recovery and capacity expansion.
Security - Regulatory and legislative requirements force cloud hosting providers to undergo rigorous accreditations and adoption of industry best practices.
Options - cloud hosting providers keep coming up with new services and innovative solutions that clients can benefit from without the cost of research and development

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6.How do you choose the right solution?

Depending on your business model or computational requirements, cloud hosting could be implemented as a public, private or hybrid solution.
If have strict legal, regulatory or compliance requirements, a privately hosted solution would be the best option with the service provider.
Internet facing services like web servers could be hosted as a public solution while hybrid provides balance between private and public.
Seek professional guidance and expert consultation before making any investment decision.

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