Written by Danubius IT Solutions
It's no secret that a vast number of enterprises are marching towards cloud solutions.
In a world ever-growing in its digital needs, the cloud offers flexibility, scalability, and robust solutions. For many, the first step is to transition their web-front systems to public clouds while leaving their core systems on-premises. But as with many business transitions, the devil, they say, is in the details.
Mission (Im)Possible: Migrating 24 Applications
Danubius played a pivotal role in the collaborative effort to migrate 24 crucial business applications from on-prem environments to the cloud in less than 9 months, working alongside other dedicated team members from 3rd party organizations.
While the middleware and backend systems would remain on-prem, they needed to be securely networked and invoked. The question looming was, "Lift & shift - or maybe not?"
With no direct guidance, just an end goal and a deadline, the stakes were high. Our approach wasn't just about migration; it focused on Infrastructure as Code (IaaC), automation, and the design and introduction of a centralized and efficient CI/CD process.
Navigating Through the Technical Labyrinth
Although the migration wasn't adding new application features, from a non-functional perspective, it promised a faster, more efficient, and reliable system. Engaging with the testing process, given this context, felt like navigating a maze with the added weight of a packed schedule.
The team structure was a blend of insiders, those acquainted with the inner workings, and outsiders who brought in fresh perspectives and up-to-date technical skills. Both had unique roles to play. While insiders focused on internal processes, and organizational alignment, outsiders bridged gaps with architectural knowledge on CI/CD and automation flows, system engineering and industry best practices.
Disaster recovery, high availability, backup solutions, and detailed monitoring and tracing were also essential components of the task. Navigating this maze required methodical steps.
Outline of the Project
Application Assessment: Before any migration could occur, we initiated a meticulous examination of the applications. We focused on understanding their core features, release processes, architecture and dependencies to identify potential roadblocks.
Dependency Determination: As the applications don’t operate in isolation, we constructed a comprehensive dependency graph. This highlighted how each application interacted with others, ensuring smooth transitions.
Non-functional Requirement Planning: We delved into aspects beyond core functionality. We addressed IT security protocols, adhered to regulatory requirements, and ensured robust disaster recovery and backup measures. This step was pivotal for uncompromised monitoring.
Assessing Corporate Level Requirements: The corporate level defined a common cloud strategy and established a couple of rules and central services that the local organizations had to comply with. As this groundwork was still evolving during our project, we continuously had to reach out for the latest directions and adapt our work accordingly.
Stakeholder Management: Our approach was holistic. Beyond just technology, we frequently collaborated with business units, interfaced with the software vendors, and maintained agile team alignments. This ensured every stakeholder was in the loop and satisfied.
Release Planning: Instead of a one-size-fits-all plan, our release strategy was custom-tailored. It revolved around pivotal clustering techniques and business-driven priorities. We created logical application groups and worked out a roadmap on how to process them – partly parallelly, but also shifted in time to allow proper focus.
CI/CD Architectural Design: We didn’t just settle for the existing. Our vision was to enhance current Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment processes for optimal performance. For some of the software vendors, that was the time to switch from delivering pre-built releases to pushing their codes to the central repository of their client and automating the build and deployment processes.
Application Containerization: Embracing cutting-edge solutions, we integrated developments like Helm for superior lifecycle management, adding a robust layer to application packaging and deployment. It included the education and support of software vendors on how to adapt their processes.
Deployment: With everything prepped and primed, the applications were ready to be auto-deployed into the cloud-based test environment.
Server Tests: Post-migration, it was crucial to validate that all infrastructure connections were steadfast. This ensured uninterrupted functionality.
UAT Test Preparation: To validate our work, we involved the business side in User Acceptance Testing preparations. This guaranteed that the end product resonated with user expectations.
PRD Release: With rigorous tests and validations behind us, the applications were finally released to the production environment, marking the culmination of a successful project.
The Danubius Approach: Teamwork, Passion, and Beyond
At Danubius, our workflow is more than just a linear process. It starts with assessment, consultation, workshops, and spirals into planning, implementation, and organization. Testing and verification follow, rounding off with a transfer of knowledge for continued operations.
We believe in simplifying tasks without diluting their essence. Agile methodologies guide our team collaborations, and our sense of ownership doesn't stop at our designated tasks. If a solution requires us to go above and beyond, we're up for the challenge.
The project also saw experts from other suppliers, and instead of rivalry, we found synergy and supported each other’s work. For us, the end game is always client satisfaction and creating sustainable solutions.
The project not only led to sustainable infrastructure but reduced BAU tasks, offering more scalable systems. The insurance provider now boasts a more stable, robust, and secure data environment.
As the curtains fall on this project, one thing is crystal clear: in the realm of cloud migration, it's not just about moving applications but reshaping digital destinies. Got a similar project on the horizon? Let Danubius guide you through. Reach out to us, and let's make digital magic together.
Ready for your own cloud journey? Connect with us and let’s discuss the specifics!