Cloud Migration and Cloud Services
By Luca Junghans
A look inside these cloud capabilities
MajorKey works with clients to migrate business applications to the cloud, and Valence builds services on the cloud. This is one reason these businesses are such a powerful combined force.
The cloud refers to software and services that run on a (usually) regionally located server owned by the cloud service provider, instead of on an on-premise server owned by a customer. Cloud servers are in data centers all over the world. By using cloud computing, companies don’t have to manage physical servers or run software applications on their own machines.
It’s big business. In fact, one of our partners, AWS contributed 14.5% of revenue to Amazon’s overall business in 2021, which would have operated at a $1.8 billion loss in Q4 without it – and AWS revenue was up nearly 39% compared to 2020.
There are many ways to use and understand the business impact of cloud technology. We are breaking down the distinction between cloud services and cloud migration for you here!
Cloud Migration and Cloud Services
Simply put, cloud migration is what happens when a company moves some or all of its software onto cloud servers.
In other words, cloud migration is moving your software to a managed server operated by the cloud provider; and cloud services are technology solutions built on top of those managed servers. There’s a whole range of capabilities bridging the two.
Let’s take a closer look.
Cloud services range in how much they abstract away from the customer. A good example is Amazon Cognito, which is a user management cloud service. Amazon Cognito has implementations of basic user functions such as login, logout, sessions, and security, so a customer doesn’t have to worry about a deeper technical implementation of these features and can focus on managing users.
Cloud services are so flexible that there are seemingly infinite ways to deploy them for a business. Cloud services are the infrastructure, platforms, and software hosted by cloud providers, and there are three common solutions:
- Infrastructure as a service: The renting out of virtual machines and space to customers, while providing a way to remotely manage the resource. When a company migrates to the cloud, they are using this service.
- Platforms: Providers like AWS and Azure build specialized software on top of their own cloud hardware and offer the software to customers as a service. These are specialty services and can provide patterns for things such as Data Analysis, Compute, IoT, APIs, Security, Identity, and Containerization. We wrote about Digital Twins in a previous post, which referenced Digital Twin platforms offered by AWS and Azure.
- Software as a service (SaaS): Software can be built on top of the platforms offered by the cloud providers. Software developers can also partner with other third parties to provide fully built instances of software that typically come with subscription rates, customer support, and personal configurations of the software. Examples of this include Atlassian Jira and Confluence, Dropbox, Salesforce, and G suite.
These services can be transformative for businesses in general, but it’s not always easy to know the best way for your business to use them. The added benefits to this migration range per case, and here are four examples:
- Scalability: Cloud services often offer on demand scaling options that can satisfy unexpected or planned growth. Depending on your product, this can be a lot easier than upgrading on-premise hardware, but not always cheaper.
- Cost: Although we expect the costs to be passed to the consumer in some way, the logistics of maintenance and upgrades to the cloud systems is handled by the provider. In many cases this can translate to a huge amount of money saved for the customers.
- Performance: Performance enhancing services like CDNs and regional hosting, when understood and configured properly, can have tangible and positive performance impacts.
- Local Management: Being on the cloud means access to the digital portals to manage the services (most times). This creates a lower bar of entry for employees to manage and observe the resources.
Many businesses start their digital transformation journey by migrating infrastructure or applications from on-premises servers to the cloud. Notably, cloud migration can also refer to a situation where a business needs to bring the cloud resources they manage into an on-premises environment. It can also describe a situation where a business moves its data resources from one cloud provider to another.
Cloud migration to use cloud services is a process that presents many upsides, and is worth investigating! The process will add additional complexities – specifically, security and governance will generally be instituted upfront as a base for the rest of the migration. We design and engineer performant, scalable, and maintainable applications that save businesses money, fill in knowledge gaps, and provide users with a positive experience.
Here are two examples of cloud services that we’ve built for clients:
- Building cloud applications with AWS lambda: We have bridged the gap between multiple third-party APIs and created new databases that consolidate data and deliver it to a web application. Cloud services remove the need for our clients to interact with these multiple services, which saves them time and money. At the same time, we used AWS Cognito to help our customer manage roles and users in a secure and trusted way. This removed the need for our engineers to write our own user management software, a cumbersome task.
- Data pipelines: We identify problems in our customers’ current database providers and migrate data to a more performant and better structured database in cloud-to-cloud migrations.
We will continue to build and migrate while we investigate the future of the cloud. What are the new services and platforms? Who can benefit the most from them? How can we do it right? We will be prepared for the cloud migration and services needed from the real world to the metaverse, and beyond.
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