Whenever you’re embarking into unknown territory, it’s always a good idea to partner with someone who’s been there and done that. For companies getting ready to migrate their applications to the cloud, that partnership and expertise can be found in Dedalus, a Brazilian cloud services broker that specializes in migrating and managing applications through each stage of the cloud journey.

dedalus logoOne of 15 premier Amazon Web Services (AWS) partners in the world and the only one in Latin America, Dedalus relies on New Relic exclusively to provide visibility while moving applications to the cloud and running them once they’ve been successfully migrated. That means a focus on managing the application, not just the infrastructure.

Mauricio Fernandes, president of Dedalus, recently sat down with us to explain how the company uses New Relic to provide customers visibility before, during, and after the move to AWS. Mauricio shares his thoughts in this case study and in the video below:

 

 

But in addition to talking about his experiences with the New Relic Platform, Mauricio also offered his top five recommendations for companies getting ready to migrate to the cloud:

1. Go for quick wins.

The first thing you have to decide is what application(s) to move—and which ones to tackle first. A few good candidates Dedalus has seen AWS recommend include:

  • Stand-alone apps
  • Apps with loosely coupled SOA-based integrations
  • Low-hanging fruit

The common thread in each of these is that they can all be categorized as quick wins. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure by choosing to start with an overly complex or mission-critical app that can’t afford to go down. Learn from something simple first (like a website) and then use that win as an example for your next app migrations.

2. Have a game plan.

Because AWS is so easy to use and get started, serious planning can often go overlooked when starting a cloud migration project. At Dedalus, it’s not uncommon to hear from customers who decided to dive into AWS without going through proper planning. Once you identify your initial goals for migration, it’s important to have a game plan that will not only help drive the direction of individual app migrations, but of security, architecture, and processes as a whole as well.

3. Start monitoring the app from day 1.

Moving to the cloud requires a major shift in the way you think about building and maintaining applications. Unlike legacy, on-premises architectures, using cloud services requires:

  • Focusing on the app first and the infrastructure second
  • An independent third party to monitor the user perceptions of your app
  • Measurement and processes focused on enabling safe but rapid changes with real-time, data-driven, feedback loops

While AWS does come with its own cloud metrics to track performance, that gives you only a limited view into what’s really going on. You also need end-to-end visibility into app performance, and you should make sure you have it from the very beginning.

4. Think host-based security.

In addition to changing the way you monitor performance in the cloud, you also need to understand the new security requirements of your cloud environment. Dedalus recommends choosing host-based security solutions like Trend Micro, which protects each EC2 instance with its own firewall and IDS/IPS. A couple other tips: Don’t make too much public. Separate static assets and move servers away from the edge, and create appropriate principles, authorization, and privileges for AWS resources.

5. Don’t go it alone.

According to a recent EMA paper, one of the top three challenges companies face when moving production applications to public clouds is a lack of “cloud trained” personnel. Lack of expertise isn’t the only issue though; most companies also have a lack of resources. In addition to figuring out and managing a migration plan, they’ll have to invest in training and recruiting cloud-trained personnel. So it can make economic sense to have the management services done by a consulting partner. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, says Fernandes, when such cloud migration services and best practices already exist.

To learn more about Dedalus and how it uses software analytics to help companies migrate to the cloud successfully, check out this case study + video.

Asami Novak is director of content strategy and development at New Relic. Prior to joining the New Relic team, she wrote marketing and ad copy for a variety of B2B and B2C companies. Her editorial writing has appeared in WIRED and Dwell, among other publications. View posts by .

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