How does cloud migration assurance help resolve issues related to the migration of COTS applications to the cloud?
Building applications from scratch can be beneficial. It gives the flexibility to develop customized solutions specific to the organization’s requirements; this approach can sometimes backfire as the time to go live and achieve competitive advantages in the market may be delayed. Moreover, there can also be inherent technical debts which might remain unresolved due to other pressing priorities from time to time.
Another approach would be to have best of breed solutions where few or more applications or modes in the overall solutions are procured as Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) products.
The cloud policy of the organization may demand to move all the applications from on-premise to the cloud. It becomes difficult to move the solutions to the cloud for the heterogeneous solutions, where few components are COTS products and homegrown components.
Challenges in migration of cloud applications having COTS components
Many products are still in the process of having an authentic cloud version, especially if these applications have been in operation for several years and their vital licensing patterns are tied to hardware. These applications may become a hindrance to the cloud transformation journey for an organization. We need solutions for getting these applications to migrate to the cloud to realize cloud-based solutions fully. Service companies have also developed customized solutions to move COTS applications on the public cloud infrastructure, and few COTS vendors have created SaaS-based offerings.
Following are the few challenges companies encounter while transferring solutions with COTS applications to the cloud:
- Challenges associated with COTS applications which are highly dependent on underlying hardware for licensing and operations.
- End to end system showcasing higher latency when moved to the cloud.
- Technical challenges arising out of the existing architecture of shared storage, multicast and 3rd party integrations.
- Non-availability of cloud approved version of a product.
These challenges become more severe considering the below objectives of cloud transformation:
- Cost optimizations
- Reducing maintenance
- Higher availability
- Better user experience
Need for migrating COTS to cloud
Organizations understand the need to have their applications available, anytime, everywhere, to everyone. There are definite benefits of moving its applications to the cloud (public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud) in terms of cost, availability and focusing on its core business.
Organizations are moving their COTS applications to the cloud, namely to:
- Achieve agility for the organization’s application landscape
- Enable automatic provisioning and DevOps for the organization
- Removing dependence on hardware, especially end of life servers
- Increase resiliency and enable disaster recovery capacities for mitigating risks
- Consolidation of data centers
- Reducing maintenance costs on tools, on-premise hardware and personnel
Following are the typical phases of migration of COTS applications to the cloud:
- Analyzing: Analyze product functionality, configuration, interfaces, infrastructure, data storage, as well as security and data privacy.
- Planning: Decide on target architecture in the cloud, compatible cloud services, cloud type and service provider, process and approach for migration, data identification, interfaces, DR requirements, and infrastructure capacity. Finalize monitoring plan, KPIs and alignment with business goals.
- Migration: Iteratively execute migration plan with data, applications, and interfaces. Ensure post-migration testing results align with expectations and the critical KPIs are aligned or are better than pre-migration workflows. Conduct end to end testing, performance and security testing to ensure migration has no adverse impact on the application’s functional and non-functional areas.
- Optimization: Continuously monitor, calibrate and fine-tune COTS application post-migration to the cloud to ensure its alignment with business requirements.
Assurance for Cloud Migration
A well thought out cloud testing strategy is essential for assuring smooth application migration to the cloud, as legacy functional and regression testing methods will not be aiding value here. In addition to practical aspects, organizations have to plan mitigation plans for availability, performance, latency, and security.
The risk of application failure or cloud server overrunning cost is the preeminent risk, which can be mitigated with a cloud-centric testing plan.
We recommend the below approach for cloud migration assurance:
- Analysis and planning: Planning the various phases of testing, coverage, test oracle, resources and scheduling.
- Pre-migration testing: Comprise baseline testing in existing applications and create benchmarks for functional and non-functional KPIs.
- Migration Execution: Providing validation during the migration process for different types of data and records from source to target.
- Post-migration testing: Ensure validation of end to end tests with respect to benchmarks of pre-migration testing. It covers functional, integration, performance, security, resilience and disaster recovery scenarios.
- Monitoring and maintenance: Covers post-go live testing, parallel run for a specified period, and resources monitoring.
These steps ensure a smooth transition to the cloud and mitigate the risks of application failure and performance degradation.
IGT Solutions helps you with faster, smoother, secure and cost-optimized cloud migration assurance for your business-critical applications.
Yatender has 20+ years of experience in software test engineering. As the head of Testing Practice at IGT Solutions, Yatender is actively involved in innovations related to test engineering covering new tools, technologies, and solutions, and enabling IGT’s clients to achieve faster time to market quality improvement, and optimization of developer efforts in overall SDLC. A result-oriented leader, proficient in delivering high customer value and achieving excellence in service delivery management with proven skills in consulting and managing large and complex test programs. When away from work, he enjoys reading on a variety of topics and spending time with kids.