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Selection of services and apps | STORM Clouds Services

Roadmap about migration of public services into the cloud

A step by step roadmap for Public Authorities to help them as they plan, determine effort and budget, select the appropriate services, make the required internal organisational changes and finally execute the migration into cloud.

Selection of services and apps

As Public Authorities start migrating their applications to the Cloud, it is important to determine which applications fit better into this environment. Identifying and prioritising the best applications to be moved to the cloud means to consider and analyse different factors that have to do with the service/app itself (architecture, design, potential usage etc.), the experience and expectances of the responsible organisation, dependence on third party software etc. The selection of services should primarily be made based on the organisation’s objectives and needs, and for this, internal reviews might provide important insight.

An application must meet certain requirements to be considered as a good candidate for migration to the cloud. The best ones are applications, which take advantage of the elasticity of Cloud Computing. Based on the Cloud Standards Customer Council (2013) the most and less suitable applications for migration to cloud computing are the ones described in the following table (Table 5).

Suitable Candidates for Cloud Less Suitable Candidates for Cloud
  • Applications that are used by a group of mobile workers to manage their time and activity, and that contribute only limited information to the company’s broad management information databases.
  • Applications that are run infrequently but require significant computing resources when they run.
  • Applications that are run in a time zone different from that where your company’s IT personnel are located.
  • Development, testing and prototyping of application changes, even if the final applications will be run on your own infrastructure.
  • Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) applications.
  • Applications that involve extremely sensitive data, particularly where there is a regulatory or legal risk involved in any disclosure. These will at minimum require special treatment if they are to be run in a cloud service.
  • Applications now being run on the company’s private network and that are very performance-sensitive.
  • Applications that require frequent and/or voluminous transactions against an on premises database that cannot be migrated to cloud computing.
  • Applications that run on legacy platforms that are typically not supported (or may not be supported in the long run) by cloud providers.

Table 3: Application Candidates for Migration to Cloud Computing. Source Cloud Standards Customer Council (2013, p. 7).

FACTORS AFFECTING THE SELECTION OF SERVICES FOR MIGRATION

Identifying and prioritising the best applications to be moved to the cloud means to consider and analyse different factors, such as:

  • political priorities
  • user driven aspects
  • technical and legal specifications/ restrictions (including ownership, security, flexibility, level of maturity, language, documentation, target users etc.

In particular, the following type of applications will benefit from Cloud’s ability to automate the dynamic of resources to match the current demand:

  • Applications that are designed to spread their workload across multiple servers.
  • Applications that run occasionally but require significant computing resources when they run.
  • Applications with unpredictable or cyclical usage patterns.
  • Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Applications.

For these type of applications, the rapid elasticity combined with the pay-by-usage characteristic of the cloud can lead to significant financial savings. For each of the services identified, the following table must be completed.

Type Technologies
Operating Systems  
Programming Languages  
Databases  
Web/Application Services  
Frameworks  
Applications Lifecycle Tools  
Open Source Code Repository  

Table 4: Technical Information about candidate applications to migrate

Migration of services to the cloud means the possibility of other municipalities to access services and transfer them without the need to develop them from the scratch. Such a task includes the analysis of a different set of criteria such as i) documentation, ii) target users, iii) flexibility, iv) language, v) compliance with internal security regulations and vi) specifications.