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1 August

2 A short guide to cloud migration The cloud is unchartered territory for many organisations. Yes, there are a number of really important benefits to cloud computing - no matter how big or small your business is. But cloud migration can still feel daunting. How about some help? A smooth move to the cloud is all about planning. And there s no substitute for seeking independent advice from an IT expert. But in the meantime, here s a brief introduction to cloud migration and some tips on finding a cloud service provider that fits your business, budget and ambitions. 52% of organisations see the cloud as beneficial for growing their business or implementing a new company strategy. Microsoft survey, (0)

3 Why migrate to the cloud? It s a good question. One you must be able to answer to define the business case for migrating. The aim should be to create efficiencies, improve flexibility and boost productivity. But how do you propose achieving this? Cloud computing can encompass many different areas of IT, including data storage, management, business continuity and disaster recovery. And the potential benefits over traditional hardware and software are clear: greater flexibility, more power, reduced costs. So which specific cloud infrastructure should you use? That requires an objective look at your business and a detailed understanding of the available technologies. It s why an independent viewpoint from an IT expert can be so helpful. Parting the clouds: which is the right cloud for you? PUBLIC CLOUD PRIVATE CLOUD HYBRID CLOUD OVERVIEW OVERVIEW OVERVIEW Cloud services provided for a general audience and accessed over a public network. The cloud offerings from technology behemoths such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google fit within this category. Setup is relatively cheap and running costs predictable, but there is limited scope for adaptation or customisation. Sharing cloud architecture may also create security or privacy concerns for some users. Your own private cloud hosted on or off-site. This single tenancy model is good for organisations where security and privacy are paramount: financial services or legal firms, for example. Private clouds give you more flexibility for customisation and are ideal for complex applications, or those that require integration with other programs. The trade-off is that private clouds generally require greater investment to setup and have higher ongoing costs than shared resources. As the name suggests, this is a combination of public and private cloud infrastructure. With hybrid clouds you have the potential to benefit from the relative strengths of each cloud type (0)

4 Finding the right cloud service provider With dozens of competing suppliers and hundreds of different offerings, finding the right cloud service supplier (CSP) is a weighty task. Definitely not one to try and squeeze into your lunch break. Consider your options carefully. Choosing the wrong cloud provider can have serious consequences. And changing providers can be time-consuming not to mention costly. When choosing a CSP there is no substitute for independent advice from an expert who understands the market options. But here are a few pointers to get you started. 1 Cut through the marketing hype. Your selection process should involve a careful comparison of technical specifications, pricing and service level agreements. 2 Ask for a client list and references. A CSP should have a proven track record of delivering the cloud services you need, to businesses like yours. You could even approach a CSP s existing clients for feedback. 1 in 3 US companies now using the cloud for automation of business services. Redwood Software survey, Make sure your CSP has a flexible, scalable offering that can accommodate future demands as your company grows or your imperatives change. Global cloud services market is predicted to grow from $76.9 Billion in 2010 to $210 Billion in Gartner (0)

5 Finding the right cloud service provider 4 Keep your options open in the future. Avoid getting locked-in to cloud infrastructure that has restrictive contracts or proprietorial technologies (technologies that are unique to the specific supplier). Open source systems that integrate with other common systems and features are usually far more desirable. 5 Understand how you are billed. Each CSP will have a different price system, so understanding how you pay for each service is essential for a meaningful comparison. 19.6% growth in cloud services worldwide in Gartner (0) Case Study: Talis Capital Talis Capital is a dynamic London-based private equity firm. The company urgently needed to update their outdated, inefficient IT infrastructure and connectivity solution. IT Lab recommended migrating to a cloud based solution for , hosted desktop, data storage and hosted VoIP. The aim was to provide greater flexibility, scalability and disaster recovery capabilities. The cloud migration was organised by IT Lab together with a move to new offices in early A new server and network hardware, structured cabling and a resilient fiber internet connection were installed and tested before the move. One month prior to the physical relocation, users were transferred to the new cloud based system. This helped minimise disruption to business operations during the move itself. Talis Capital s new hybrid cloud system provides the benefits of the cloud along with fast local and group offline access capabilities. All files are automatically saved both to the cloud and an onsite server. The cloud storage copy has versioning to provide for easy online backup and restore by IT staff or employees. A VPN is no longer required for remote workers with full access via a web interface or an app for iphone, ipad and Android devices. Offline access to files is provided by a Personal Local Cloud, which automatically synchronises with the local and cloud servers. Office 365 provides in the cloud on a simple per user pricing model with unlimited storage. Mimecast gives anti-spam and anti-virus protection, along with mailbox archiving for 10 years in accordance with FSA regulations. I spoke with my IT manager at IT Lab 3 times a day in the run up to the migration. It went smoothly and we experienced no downtime at all, which was quite surprising, says Jackie Hemming, Office Manager at Talis Capital. The cloud solution provides real value for money. 4.

6 Finding the right cloud service provider 6 Even the largest CSPs can experience technical problems. And when disaster strikes you could be left in the dark. Check Service Level Agreements (SLAs) carefully. They should be clear and simple, explaining the minimum service guarantees, who is responsible should there be a technical issue and how you will be compensated. 7 Security is paramount. Naturally your potential CSP should follow recognised security policies in line with industry best practice. But make sure you understand the data privacy and retention policies too, as well as the data storage location. It s also worth finding out if you can implement user authentication and access controls. Information like this may be squirreled away in complex small print so ask the CSP for a verbal explanation if anything is unclear. 1 in 3 US companies now using the cloud for automation of business services. Redwood Software survey, Redundancy (the provision of duplicate or backup equipment that takes over the function of equipment that fails) should be discussed at an early stage. Adequate backup procedures and robust disaster recovery plans must be incorporated into your cloud offering (0)

7 Finding the right cloud service provider 9 Make sure your potential CSP has a user-friendly client admin interface. It should allow you to conduct admin tasks or add server capacity easily. Ask for a demonstration before you choose one CSP over another. 10 Getting stuck with an unsuitable CSP is an important concern. To avoid the risk of lock-in, choose one that implements open cloud standards. Avoid proprietorial technology and check contracts carefully for restrictive termination clauses. Case Study: Vision Underwriting Online insurance broker Vision Underwriting was an early adopter of cloud technology in Cloud computing addressed key business drivers for the company, which was in the process of downsizing its in-house IT team. Achieving cost reductions without sacrificing performance was a primary concern as the firm reduced from two IT employees to one permanent member of staff. They needed a scale-able IT infrastructure that could expand quickly and easily according to increasing demand. Trading online from several e-business websites, high availability and business continuity were also paramount. IT Lab established a fully managed cloud infrastructure for Vision Underwriting that now encompasses 5 virtual cloud servers on a shared Hyper-V platform. The cloud servers are configured with snapshot technology so if one fails data can be restored quickly from a previous version. Data is also backed-up to a secure, mirrored off-site data vault, located within two secure data centres. A central cloud server provides mailbox access for office terminals, remote laptops and mobile users. Handling confidential client information means robust security is a must so a signed SSL certificate securely encrypts all . Mimecast provides cloud based anti-spam and anti-virus protection, along with archiving and disaster recovery functions. As cloud technology has developed, so the firm s system has been transferred to take advantage of the very latest technology. In a virtual cloud environment the migration process is straightforward with no disruption to workflow. Due to staff redundancy we needed to move to a flexible, fully supported cloud infrastructure for our data and applications. That way I wouldn t have to worry about whether the or applications were working and I could concentrate on project work and e-business development, explains Andy Othen, IT specialist at Vision Underwriting. The continuity and service has been second to none. Each time we switched platform the transfer was seamless. I was told we were going to move. Then I was told we had moved and everything had gone well. I didn t actually notice a thing! (0)

8 Understand your systems and how you use them Have you considered which specific assets and systems you want to move to the cloud? Usage is a big factor. But there are technical considerations too. For example, some cloud providers do not support certain operating systems and platforms. Get your cards on the table early so you can assess the scope of your migration and find your best available options. Here are some more tips Conduct due diligence on your workloads. This will help determine the right cloud product(s) for your business. Examine the implications cloud migration will have on the licensing of applications. It may affect the pricing of commercial software. Understand any dependencies. Many applications operate on different machines and require separate network settings and storage devices. Mapping these dependencies will make your life much easier when it comes to migration. Cloud computing solutions should be the natural option for small businesses. In a recent survey, 62% of SMBs reported using some type of cloud application. CIO Enterprise Forum (0)

9 What you need to know about connectivity When you move to the cloud, fast and stable internet connectivity becomes imperative. So this may be a good time to invest in a better internet connection or a dedicated point-to-point connection to give you a wide area network (required for cloud computing) similar to a high speed local area network. Although the cost of connectivity has fallen in the last few years, it can still be prohibitive. An IT expert will be able to advise you on your connectivity options and may even be able to source reduced rates or preferential terms on a contract. Worth a phone call? We think so. You should also consider whether your applications will work over a connection or if you might need to move to a remote working solution such as Terminal Services or Citrix. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) will achieve a compound annual growth rate of 41.3% through 2016, the fastest growing area of public cloud computing. Gartner Sign up to receive the next white paper in our series at itlab.com (0)

10 Want some help planning a flawless cloud migration? Our cloud migration specialists will help you make confident decisions and put you on the path to a disruption-free cloud transition. Call +44 (0) or to find out more. 40% of small British businesses have grown during the recession by using cloud computing; 58% reported that cloud computing has helped reduce their IT costs. Manchester Business School & Vanson Bourne survey, 2012 London, UK IT Lab Big Studios 1 East Poultry Avenue London EC1A 9PT Birmingham, UK IT Lab Midlands Management Office 191 Fazeley Street Digbeth Birmingham B5 5SE Cape Town, SA IT Lab South Africa The Harbour Bridge Roggebaai Canal Lower Long Street Cape Town (0)

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