Community Blog Embarking on a Gradual Migration to the Cloud

Embarking on a Gradual Migration to the Cloud

This article discusses how and why hybrid cloud can be a great option for organizations starting their cloud migration journey.

Cloud Migration. It's OK to take it slowly.

We all know that cloud computing makes a lot of sense. However, the thought of migrating your existing data center to the cloud can seem daunting. Where on earth do you start?

One option that's popular with Alibaba Cloud customers is to run your first cloud computing pilot project with a brand-new system that's being deployed, instead of moving a system that's already up and running. For example, if the sales department needs a new CRM and a suitable software package has been chosen, instead of installing yet another physical server in the on-premises data center, or spinning up one or more new virtual machines, take the opportunity to build it in the cloud. Start by using pay-as-you-go billing so that you can create new servers for short periods easily and cheaply and then remove them if things don't go quite go to plan.

When things are more settled, and the new system is almost ready for launch, switch to monthly billing.

System Status Dashboards in the Cloud

If you're not quite ready to build a customer- or employee-facing system in the cloud, why not build something which implements a system status facility for all your internal systems (email, web sites, CRM, accounts package, payroll database, and so on)? It's a great way to learn about connectivity between cloud-based and in-house resources. A system status dashboard is always best hosted off-site, so that it remains accessible in the event of a major on-premises IT failure that would otherwise prevent people from trying to look up details of the problem.

As you gain more confidence in your hybrid cloud approach, consider moving one or more existing systems towards the cloud. If your in-house storage system is running short of space, for example, configure your firewall to store its logs in Alibaba Cloud Object Storage Service (OSS) instead of on-site. If your web server utilizes a back-end database such as MySQL or SQL Server, migrate the database to an Alibaba Cloud ApsaraDB RDS instance while keeping the web server in-house for the time being.

When you're ready to move the web server to the cloud, Alibaba Cloud has recently launched Starter Package 2.0, which offers Linux and Windows servers for a greatly reduced price with massive amounts of data transfer included. For example, a 4-core Linux server with 16GB of RAM, a 320GB SSD drive and 6 terabytes of data transfer is only USD $80 per month.

Because data transfer charges don't apply to inbound traffic, migrating files to your new cloud server won't land you with an unexpected bill. Traffic between ApsaraDB RDS instances and Alibaba Cloud servers is free too.

Alibaba Cloud offers a free Cloud Migration Tool, which makes it easier to migrate existing Windows or Linux servers to the cloud. If you require additional help, do not hesitate to reach out to our experts through the Cloud Migration Service to ensure smooth migration of your business system, database, and storage to Alibaba Cloud.

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