Google Cloud Migration: How to Achieve it
Author: Haziqa Sajid
The decision to migrate your IT infrastructure to the cloud is the first step toward optimizing internal resources. It’s a long process, but it’s worthwhile once you go through it. However, two different things are simply deciding to migrate vs. doing it.
The market for public cloud services has been on a steady rise. Google’s Cloud service is no stranger to this rise, with Google Cloud’s share of Alphabet’s overall revenue growing from 4.3% in 2018 to 7.5% in 2021. The product/service offering in Google Cloud’s marketplace has also increased, standing at 4600 products/services in 2021. This rise can be attributed to the value proposition offered by Google Cloud, which is why the end-users need for such services is expected to grow in the future. Therefore, cloud migration is essential to understand, as the end-user is expected to go through the process eventually.
Migrating to Google Cloud requires assessment and planning before moving forward with deployment. This means analyzing your internal requirements, identifying infrastructure type (legacy or cloud-native), planning the cost of migration, etc.
Here, we’ll take an in-depth look at the Google Cloud Migration process and the different aspects that need to be considered to achieve it successfully.
Understanding Google Cloud and Its Value Proposition for Businesses
Google Cloud allows users to access their data from any device or location connected to the internet. This removes the need to keep data stored on one access point (such as a local server).
Google Cloud stores the data off-site, which can be accessed by any authorized user if there’s a working internet connection.
The value proposition for businesses is immense. Here are the benefits:
- Unlimited Storage Capacity
- Enhanced Reliability
- Unlimited Storage Space
- Better Team Collaboration
- Automatic Software Integration
Part 1: Understanding Your Business’s Requirements
The first part of cloud migration is tough to understand as it requires you to have a thorough understanding of your internal requirements. This involves careful planning to mitigate issues that can arise later. To understand what to factor into your plan before deployment, let’s understand the process in 7 simple steps.
Step 1: Defining your Environment
To start, let’s first define the three main kinds of environments. Your business is likely to fall under any one of these three categories:
As the name suggests, an on-premises environment has IT infrastructure stored at your business’s physical location. This means an in-house team fully manages all hardware and software your company uses.
B- Private Hosting:
The business hires a service provider to manage part of the IT infrastructure in a private hosting environment. This can be off-site security and storage for the server. Meanwhile, a private hosting environment can be arranged where you’re still controlling other parts of the IT infrastructure, such as the virtual infrastructure.
C- Public Cloud:
You’re still responsible for managing some parts of your IT infrastructure in a private hosting environment. But in a public cloud environment, you can leverage public cloud environments such as Google Cloud to manage all the infrastructure fully off-site.
Step 2: Understanding Workload Types
Mainly, there are two types of workloads. Understanding the difference and identifying which category your business workloads fall under is important to understand costs.
A- Legacy Workloads:
These workloads are usually older systems back when cloud computing wasn’t the norm. Therefore, they aren’t designed to migrate to a public cloud environment, such as Google Cloud.
Of course, this doesn’t imply that it can’t be done. However, deploying a legacy workload to Google Cloud will take added cost and time.
B- Cloud-Native Workloads:
These workloads are made specifically for cloud environments. This means they have the built-in capability to migrate to public clouds, such as Google Cloud. It makes them more scalable and cheaper to migrate.
Step 3: Choosing Your Migration Type
Generally, there are three types of migrations. These are:
1- Lift and Shift:
The lift and shift are the easiest type of migration. This is because it involves the least amount of work, time, and resources to deploy your IT infrastructure on the cloud. In this type of migration, you ‘lift and shift’ your IT infrastructure on a public cloud without changes.
This means taking a legacy workload and moving it to Google Cloud without configuring anything. Of course, this can imply issues with scalability, managed services, and pricing later. But for some businesses, it might be easier to pull off as it doesn’t disrupt internal operations as much.
2- Improve and Move:
The improve and move migration takes a bit longer than lift and shift. This is because you are ‘improving’ and then ‘moving’ your IT infrastructure to a public cloud. This type of migration involves configuring the workload to run according to how a cloud-native workload should work.
This involves some amount of refactoring to be done. But once done, you can run fully optimized apps for a cloud-native environment. This helps you take better advantage of what Google Cloud can do. It makes your IT infrastructure more scalable later, helps with managed services, and features better pricing. It also offers better performance and makes the entire user experience smoother. Of course, since it requires more time and resources to pull off, it is comparatively more expensive than lift and shift.
3- Rip and Replace:
While the ‘improve and move’ migration works well, migration is achieved through refactoring at the end of the day. As a result, there is still a gap between the complete package you get with a public cloud and the package you get with refactoring. This is what the rip and replace migration solves.
You decommission old apps not designed for a cloud-native environment in a rip and replace migration. Once done, you replace them with a cloud-native application that can take complete advantage of Google Cloud. This turns your entire environment into a cloud-native one, completely devoid of legacy-system features.
Since there are no more limitations, you can take advantage of maximum scalability and performance. Not only that, but you also achieve maximum cost-efficiency in the long run. But of course, because this involves the most time and resources, it also implies the highest cost of deployment.
Step 5: Breaking Down the Workload
At this point, you should have already identified the kind of workload your business has. The next step is to look at each app and assess how it will perform once it migrates to the cloud. This helps identify issues that can arise from any individual point and lets you create a plan to tackle them before deployment.
Step 6: Experimenting with Google Cloud
Once you’ve broken down the workload and identified the issues/dependencies attached to each component of the overall workload, the next step is to run a simulation. In our case, this means creating a ‘Proof-of-Concept (PoC)’ and running experiments on Google Cloud to assess the validity of the migration.
This can help assess different aspects such as latency, speed, reliability, etc. It also helps reduce risk, as experimentation allows you to check in real-time how the current environment adapts to Google Cloud post-migration.
Step 7: Calculating Costs
Google provides a pricing calculator for its Google Cloud service to help estimate the cost of migration. We can use this to estimate costs after considering workload type, migration type, etc.
However, this does not factor in the cost of running/maintaining a data center, cost of human resource, and other related operations. This means you will have to include these costs separately.
Part 2: Deployment
The moment of truth arrives as you finally start the deployment process to Google Cloud. But even here, you must reconcile with the fact that there are several different paths to choose from. This is because deployment types vary, ranging from manual to automated deployments.
Let us look at each type separately so you can assess which makes the most sense for your business.
1- Manual deployment:
A manual deployment allows you to bypass documentation and quickly move your workload to Google Cloud through commands.
But in the process, you might end up with errors. Not only that, but a lack of automation means you might not be able to repeat the process once the workload has been deployed.
2- Controlled deployment using CM Tools:
To avoid the hassle of complete manual deployment, you can use Configuration Management (CM) tools to automate it.
Configuration Management (CM) tools such as Ansible, Salt, Chef, etc., help with navigating through code, idempotency, and especially managing larger workloads. However, this is not a fully automated process as it involves customization of the workload.
3- Automated deployment:
In a fully automated deployment, such as a Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipeline, the entire deployment process is automated. Automated deployments help make the entire process repeatable and free of unknown risks such as unexpected errors.
Part 3: Post-Deployment Optimization
After deployment to Google Cloud is complete, the next step is to make sure the entire environment is optimized properly. What does optimization mean in our case?
It implies setting checks and balances to make sure your environment properly takes advantage of cloud-native capabilities. This can include optimizing everything for performance, scalability, disaster recovery, etc. But most importantly, optimization means making sure that your business can reduce costs as much as possible by taking advantage of Google Cloud capabilities.
Looking to Avoid the Hassle? Move to V2 Cloud
It’s important to note that Google Cloud is not Google’s only product. Since they’re a huge organization, it’s not possible for them to tend to every customer for migration issues. Not only that, but there’s also a human factor involved. Your business needs to make sure it has skilled IT staff that can execute the migration process from start to finish.
In most cases, businesses have different core products/services, and the internal team is not trained to understand the cloud migration process. Since Google Cloud requires hiring a skilled team, businesses must allocate a great amount of time and resources to make migration happen.
This is where V2 Cloud comes in. Your business can minimize the hassle of the cloud migration process through our personalized support. You can book a personal meeting with our sales team, layout your requirements, and focus on your core product/service offering. You can read up further to understand how you can leverage the V2 Cloud VDI solution for your business and book a meeting with the sales team to minimize the migration hassle.