The Importance of a Cloud Adoption Framework
The first step for any organisation wanting to adopt cloud services is to have a proper strategy in place. Cloud Adoption Frameworks (CAF) have been established by all the major public cloud providers (Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google) and provide guidance designed to help organisations create and implement business and technology strategies necessary to migrate to the cloud. They provide best practices, documentation, and tools that both architects, and business decision makers need to meet short-term and long-term objectives.
There are three key pillars of the Cloud Adoption Framework:
1. Cloud Strategy and Adoption
This pillar is key to understanding the business objectives and strategy behind adopting cloud services.
It begins with preparing a business case, identifying the total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) to adopt cloud services. A discovery programme is proposed to understand the cloud readiness of the current IT estate. This will be further developed to form a migration or transformation plan with a prioritised roadmap of activities which align to the business objectives.
When deciding on the best strategy for the current estate, organisations will need to go through an application rationalisation process, to determine the best approach for migration or transformation of each service.
At Leidos, our approach starts with a cloud discovery workshop to help organisations realise their individual cloud strategy and identify the value cloud computing can bring them. Real customer success stories are used to demonstrate how to master the challenges ahead and make digital transformation a success.
The remaining two pillars can be thought of as providing a foundation framework. They are a combination of a Landing Zone and a Well-Architected Framework.
2. Landing Zone
Landing zones provide a pre-configured environment - provisioned through code (Infrastructure as Code) - to host workloads in private, hybrid, or public clouds. Landing Zones allow you to standardise cloud environments in a repeatable manner. They offer consistency across all tenants in naming, scaling, and access control. This also includes guardrails providing governance, compliance and management of those workloads.
3. Well-Architected Framework
The Well-Architected Framework focuses on 5 Pillars:
- Cost optimisation
- Performance efficiencies
- Operational excellence
The framework provides architectural best practices across the five pillars for designing and operating reliable, secure, efficient, and cost-effective systems in the cloud. The framework provides a set of questions that allows you to review an existing or proposed architecture. It also provides a set of best practices for each pillar.
This framework will ensure that any solution deployed within cloud:
- Is secure by design, reliable and resilient by design, leveraging cloud-native services.
- Is monitored to continuously improve on performance to avoid any potential failures to meet SLAs.
- Is continually updated and enhanced with new features and technologies that are released (using DevOps practice and CI/CD releases).
It is critical to apply the Well-Architected framework when designing any application to ensure all aspects are addressed during the design phase. We take this a step further to identify cost savings, improve application performance, and reduce security risks in your cloud environment. Leidos certified cloud architects leverage their expertise to undertake a deep-dive review into the performance of your existing cloud workloads. Recommendations on how these workloads can be re-architected so that they adhere to best practices and meet your business goals.
The Benefits of a Cloud Adoption Framework
A cloud adoption framework takes a lot of the guesswork out of migrations. Using a Cloud Adoption Framework, an organisation’s migration process will be supported by their public cloud provider’s best practices. A cloud adoption framework is critical to align the technical changes involved in a cloud migration with the business goals for the project. To discover more about Leidos’ cloud capabilities, please click here.
Kenneth Niblock is Principal Solutions Architect at Leidos