Google is obviously one of the biggest brands in the tech and internet industry. 

While in cloud computing, Google is not yet the market leader (Amazon still holds that reputation), Google Cloud is slowly gaining market share. Various services under the Google Cloud umbrella have powered reputable companies from PayPal, Airbnb, and Bloomberg, among others.

If you’re currently thinking about migrating to Google Cloud, but don’t know where to start, then you’ve come to the right place. This guide will discuss all you need to know about Google Cloud migration: the advantages of Google Cloud as an IaaS, why you need to migrate, and how to do it efficiently and securely.

Without further ado, let us begin.

Google Cloud: What Is It?

Google Cloud: What Is It?

Google Cloud, or to be more exact, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), is Google’s cloud-based Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering. It is a suite of cloud computing services, similar to Amazon Web Service (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, which are currently the number one and two leaders in the IaaS market. 

While Google Cloud isn’t (yet) as big as the two closest competitors, it has a distinct advantage in the fact that it runs on Google’s infrastructure. This is the same infrastructure used by Google to run its search engine, Gmail, and even YouTube, as well as other advantages such as:

  • Security: Google Cloud offers the same level of security measures used in Google’s popular services like Gmail and YouTube.
  • Google’s private network: Google Cloud utilizes Google’s private fiber-optic network that is available in many countries all around the world. This will translate into a higher speed and reliability. 
  • Easy migration with no downtime: with Google Cloud, you can easily migrate from one virtual machine to another, without any downtime. 
  • More attractive pricing: at the moment, GCP offers more attractive pricing than its closest competitors, AWS and Azure, up to 50% lower price.

Migrating to Google Cloud will provide better capabilities in data management for your company, as well as Google’s machine learning capabilities. In turn, these advantages can help your business improve its performance while also being more efficient. 

Google Cloud Migration: Preparation

How you should approach the migration process to Google Cloud will depend on two key factors: your system’s environment and operation types. 

Basically, there are three basic categories of system environments:

  1. On-premise: an environment where you have full ownership, control, and responsibility. 
  2. Private hosting: you outsource your infrastructure to a private hosting service. You don’t have control over physical security and network (although some vendors may offer limited control over their physical hardware). However, you still need to manage application resources and virtualization platforms on your own.
  3. Public cloud environment:  The vendor will technically manage everything for you, including the virtualization platform.

On the other hand, there are two types of operations to consider when it comes to cloud migration:

  1. Legacy: this type of operation is developed without considering cloud environments and doesn’t support any scalability.
  2. Cloud-native: developed with the cloud environment in mind, so migration will be easier and more secure.

Identifying your starting point is crucial so you can better prepare for the migration process. In general, migrating from a legacy, on-premises environment is the most challenging and may require multiple migration steps.

Google Cloud Migration: Step-By-Step

Google Cloud Migration: Step-By-Step

Step 1: Assess

In the first and arguably the most important phase, you perform an assessment of your existing environment to determine how easy it will be to migrate your apps and operations.

You should consider:

  • App dependencies and requirements
  • The performance benchmark for each app
  • Number of users (licensing issues) for each app
  • Cost of ownership

Based on your assessment, you can categorize your systems and apps into three categories: easy to migrate, hard to migrate, and impossible to migrate.

Step 2: Plan

This step is about planning how you’ll migrate your workloads and apps and planning the new cloud infrastructure for these apps. 

The planning process should include:

  • Assigning identities: check out Google Cloud’s identities here.
  • Planning resource organization: assigning roles to each identity
  • Defining roles for resource access: you’ll need at least the following roles:
    • Organization admin; responsible for defining the hierarchy of the organization and managing its resources
    • Network admin; creates, configures, and manages networks
    • Security admin; establishes security policies for the organization
    • Billing admin; monitors resource usage (spending) and configures billing account
  • Planning network topology: setting up the network topology from the initial environment to Google Cloud.

Step 3: Deploy

You can use many different approaches in this step, but according to Google’s recommendation, you should move all your data to Google Cloud first before migrating the applications.

You have several options on how to move your data:

  • Manual deployments: for example, using Google’s Cloud Console and manually running commands to move data and workload. Not recommended since it’s error-prone and not repeatable.
  • Configuration management (CM) tools: using a CM tool to deploy the workloads.
  • Container Orchestration: for example, Google Kubernetes Engine can be deployed by a service provider like Pythian to automate the orchestration of applications running in containers..
  • Automation: automating the artifact production to also automate the deployment process.

Step 4: Optimize

Now that you’ve successfully moved data, workloads, and applications, this step is about optimizing the target environment, including but not limited to:

  • Establishing and training a team to ensure they can use Google Cloud more efficiently
  • Monitoring everything to ensure performance and scalability
  • Automate whenever possible
    • Automate critical and time-consuming activities to reduce risk and save time
    • Eliminating the need for performing repetitive tasks to improve the efficiency of your team
  • Use managed services (i.e., Cloud SQL for SQL) instead of relying on self-managed applications and services.
  • Codify everything to make sure your cloud environment has a clear audit trail, and everything is repeatable.
  • Use Google Cloud Backup regularly to protect your system from accidents and disasters

Ultimately, optimization should be focused on ensuring a more efficient execution of operations so you can reduce costs.

Google Cloud Migration with Pythian

Google Cloud migration can help your business maximize your ROI by taking advantage of cloud-native capabilities.

Pythian Google Cloud migration services will help you ensure a seamless and secure migration to Google Cloud Platform (GCP). So, you can experience Google Cloud’s advantages faster while also enjoying Pythian’s in-depth data expertise and customizable security solutions.