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On-premises to Google Cloud Migration: Steps and Best Practices for Embracing the Cloud


March 31, 2023


The term “cloud migration” can be daunting for many CIOs and IT decision-makers, especially when they know it’s not a matter of if, but when they’ll have to undertake the journey. However, embracing the cloud is a trend that’s gaining further traction than ever before, with the average company willing to have $8 out of every $10 for IT hosting going toward the cloud by 2024 (according to McKinsey & Company).

As experienced business leaders know, employing proactive measures at the right time can help prevent potential setbacks. This applies to migrating to Google Cloud as well. It all boils down to effective planning, and it’s essential to envision every step of the process using industry best practices to ensure the safe, secure, and seamless transfer of data with zero impact on end users.

The result? Organizations can reap the full benefits of Google Cloud!

It’s worth noting that while many cloud providers offer services for application and data migration, these solutions usually require a significant restructuring of the application during the “lift-and-shift” operation. This is a process that excessively consumes time and resources. So, how can you circumvent these challenges and accelerate your Google Cloud migration journey with ease and efficiency?

Why Migrate from On-premises to Google Cloud?

Enterprises worldwide are now well aware of the numerous advantages of the cloud. But with most cloud platforms offering similar benefits, how does Google Cloud distinguish itself? Let’s take a closer look at what it has to offer.

Google Cloud comes with an intuitive and configurable interface, lower costs, preemptible instances, and flexible compute options, all while deploying full-scale encryption for all data and communication channels, including the traffic between data centers. With Google Cloud, you also get off-the-shelf APIs for computer vision, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and translation, enabling ML engineers to build models using the TensorFlow deep learning library. Additionally, it offers customizable payment options, cost-efficiency, and Machine Learning, all of which help drive business innovation and growth in more ways than one. Let’s delve into the end benefits that come with making the switch to Google Cloud.

Data Confidentiality: This is a major concern for many organizations, but it can be effectively addressed with a redundant, multi-layered infrastructure on a global network. This ensures your data remains private throughout the database migration process and beyond.

Agility: Cloud platforms are designed to provide business agility, and Google Cloud takes this a notch higher with its in-built technologies that allow for live VM migrations without any downtime. This results in increased efficiency, process automation, and faster results.

Seamless Scaling: With the infinite scaling power of the cloud, system upgrades that used to take months can now be completed within a few hours. By automatically spinning up servers as needed, organizations can seamlessly scale up or down to meet their ever-changing business needs.

Cost and Labor Savings: Cost savings is one of the most evident and common benefits of any cloud migration journey, and migrating to the Google Cloud is no different. It can help save costs on infrastructure, hardware, and labor. Additionally, with Google’s flexible payment structure, organizations only need to pay for the uptime that they use.

Business convenience: With Google Cloud, developers can save time and execute their code across multiple channels without any reconfiguration, resulting in significant time and cost savings in addition to facilitating quicker execution across the board.

Data-driven decisions: Google Cloud’s analytics capabilities enable businesses to gain a thorough understanding of all data, including customer behavior, operational insights, and even real-time industry trends. By tracking countless data points, business leaders can access actionable insights, strategize accordingly, and adapt to changing circumstances.

Innovation: Google Cloud’s AI and machine learning prowess make it an ideal platform for facilitating innovation and exploring new business models. This allows organizations to stay up to date with the current trends while also staying ahead of the curve in anticipation of future trends.

Enhanced customer experience: When several such benefits combine, they improve customer experience and lead to significant growth. Internal customers are freed from mundane tasks, leading to better results and faster execution, ultimately resulting in a higher CX score for those that matter the most: the end customer.

Steps and best practices when shifting from On-premises to Google Cloud

To successfully transition from on-premises to Google Cloud, following a step-by-step process that incorporates best practices is recommended. Ideally, the Google Cloud migration strategy and practices should begin with identifying your current environment, be it on-premises, co-location, or private cloud, and classifying your workloads as either legacy or cloud-native. Legacy workloads can be transformed into microservices through refactoring. Once the classification is complete, you may consider one of the three approaches for shifting from on-premises to Google Cloud.

Lift and Shift: The Lift and Shift approach involves migrating workloads to the Google Cloud with minimal changes and re-platforming. However, it is worth noting that such workloads are not primed to take full advantage of Google Cloud’s capabilities like autoscaling scalabilities, fine-grained pricing, and highly managed services.

Modernize and Move: In the Modernize and Move approach, enterprises can make the most of Google Cloud’s capabilities by refactoring workloads. This means that the migration takes longer than the Lift and Shift approach due to the need to modernize the application.

Remove and Rewrite: The Remove and Rewrite approach entails removing and rewriting existing applications as cloud-native. This ensures enterprises get the full advantage of Google Cloud’s environment and features, as the newly written apps can work with the latest frameworks like microservices. This also guarantees ‘future-proofing’ to a large extent.

After finalizing the right approach for your enterprise, the next step in the Google Cloud migration journey involves four components: assessment, planning, deploying, and optimizing.

Assessment: Perhaps one of the most crucial components of the on-premises to Google Cloud migration journey involves a thorough assessment and discovery of the current environment, including application inventory, dependencies, network, security, licensing, and compliance requirements. To ensure a successful cloud migration, assessing the TCO and performance benchmark parameters is essential.

Planning: Upon completing the assessment, a primary cloud infrastructure landing zone needs to be created for all the workloads. This landing zone should include identity management, organization and project structure, Virtual Private Networks, security and categorization of your apps, and developing a prioritized migration strategy.

Deploying: This stage involves designing, implementing, and executing the migration process with a vetted deployment process using Google’s tools. The various tools allow enterprises to redefine the flow, catering to their unique requirements.

Optimizing: Once all the workloads are deployed successfully, the next and final phase is optimizing the apps to ensure they work flawlessly in the Google Cloud environment. This entails following best practices that cover monitoring, alerting, backups, and high availability.

Advantages Of Google Cloud Migration

Here are some benefits of Google Cloud that make it stand out from its competitors:

Time and Resource Savings: With its Lift and Shift approach, Google Cloud is a better option when it comes to making minimal changes to the architecture. This enables users to save time and resources while shifting infrastructure and applications from on-premises Virtual Machines (VMs) to those operating in the Cloud.

Hybrid-friendly: Google Cloud’s hybrid-friendly nature enables enterprises to make the most of the cloud’s security and scalability features. Additionally, this offers the flexibility to plan, build, and easily manage reliable applications, whether hosted on-premises, multi-cloud, or privately.

Choices Galore: The other advantage Google offers is its ability to facilitate extended support not only from Google, but also from its extensive partner ecosystem for on-premises to Google Cloud migration. One such partner with end-to-end capabilities is Hexaware.

When combined with the other benefits that a modern cloud platform can provide, it is evident how Google Cloud can be a game-changer for your enterprise!

How Hexaware can help

Hexaware takes pride in being a strategic partner of Google Cloud. Our enterprise modernization platform, Amaze® for applications, offers industry-proven Google Cloud migration solutions, enabling our customers to fully unleash every benefit of Google Cloud by automating, optimizing, and advancing their operations. Furthermore, Amaze® for applications is specifically designed to modernize and migrate custom Java, .NET, and TIBCO applications to a cloud-native architecture. It also accelerates the transformation of the underlying database into Postgres/SQL Server on Google Cloud.

For more information on how we can help your enterprise achieve a smooth and seamless on-premises to Google Cloud migration, please visit https://hexaware.com/amaze-on-google-cloud-marketplace/.

About the Author

Ajay Kumar Mycherla

Ajay Kumar Mycherla

Ajay leads the amaze® for Apps product engineering development team. He is a certified AWS Solution Architect. In his current role, he is responsible for managing product features implementation in line with amaze® for Apps product roadmap and quality standards on various technologies like Java and .NET database integration platforms.

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