Modern cloud providers offer compelling opportunities to modernize IT infrastructure and gain operational efficiency through DevOps, containers, and cloud-native design practices. However, migration to the cloud can be quite challenging.
Those who join the cloud movement soon realize that there are a lot of moving parts that have to be managed separately and then coordinated to achieve the desired results. This eventually leads to the understanding that although the cloud allows the implementation of a lot of interesting techniques, it is merely a tool, not a solution. And as with any other instrument that leverages new technologies, the key to success lies in the careful planning and design of your future platform.
In this blog, we describe the steps you can take to migrate from Cloud Foundry to Microsoft Azure in a matter of days using the Pivotal Cloud Foundry to Azure Kubernetes Migration Starter Kit we have developed.
If you want to accomplish the goal of going mainstream by running containerized applications in the cloud, the most popular platform for doing so is Kubernetes. It comes in many flavors and is available as a managed service offering from all major cloud providers.
However, it is often jokingly stated that "one cannot simply put a container in Kubernetes and expect it to work". As soon as you try to carry out such a “container drop”, you will find yourself facing dozens of questions that need to be addressed at once. Answering them one by one will help you define the target state of your cloud environment before you even start deploying any applications with business logic.
The interesting fact about a microservices platform is the fact that technology-wise there is no “holy grail” for every placeholder. The market offers multiple solutions that can be matched to different workload specifics, required external integrations, adoption complexity, or even team preferences.
Yet, the general architecture always stays the same. It can be implemented on top of any modern cloud, or even on-premise infrastructure. With a focused selection of DevOps and operational technologies, it can even be made portable enough to fit the concept of a true multi-cloud solution, although in practice this is rarely required.
The process of cloud migration encompasses a lot of steps, including the creation and implementation of a platform blueprint, along with determining the technology for each box. This typically takes anywhere between one and three months, depending on a particular toolset, as well as the capacity of the development team. Only after you are done with this preliminary step can you finally start to move applications over.
Repeating this process from scratch is neither exciting nor efficient. Especially when it isn’t even factored into the plan for the platform to become a live system, which requires additional features like IaC and CI/CD pipelines, deployment orchestration, etc.
Fortunately, there is a better way. The reusable reference implementation we have developed allows you to focus on business applications from day one.
The Pivotal Cloud Foundry to Azure Kubernetes Migration Starter Kit comprises a set of "plumbing" snippets aimed at accelerating cloud ecosystem buildout. It comes with the ability to revisit, fine-tune, or even replace some components later on to meet operational requirements. This results in accelerated time-to-market with little to no disruption on the way to a wider business ecosystem, and much simpler change management control.
To illustrate a practical use case for our microservices platform, we developed the idea of using it for particular migration scenarios. Here we are going to talk about migration from Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) to Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS).
PCF, which is also known as VMware Tanzu Application Service, is one of the top choices for our clients. It offers a wide range of pre-configured components which contributes to its popularity.
At the same time, some customers find it quite restrictive in terms of customizability and scalability. Since they don’t want to start from the ground up, they look for ways to future-proof their business by leveraging modern-day technologies for their legacy workloads, and cutting down on licensing costs.
Those of our customers who seek guidance during their digital transformation journey often choose Azure as a primary platform for building their business. Here are the main drivers behind this decision:
Azure is one of the best cloud providers and we can talk endlessly about its features; however, let’s jump into the details of PCF to AKS migration and see how it helps starter kit adopters to achieve their goals.
Implementation of the starter kit is a threefold process centered around the platform, continuous integration, continuous delivery (CI/CD), and migration.
One of the important parts of PCF migration is to choose the type of journey you will take:
The platform is your target environment. It’s a place where all workloads are running, and all objects should coexist together, making security the top priority. For this reason, several important Azure => Kubernetes integrations are leveraged:
Managing continuous integration (CI) tools is a tough challenge. There may be some roadblocks related to the vague definition of responsibilities, inaccurate estimation of needs, and even lack of expertise required for the successful implementation of CI.
The CI/CD component of the accelerator can be adopted from our library or custom-made using a set of curated libraries and flows. It offers a plethora of tools that can help you further your digital transformation journey.
When paired with our expertise, these tools will maximize your efficiency, facilitating the efficient delivery of the entire application to your customers. To achieve that, our starter kit includes:
The migration process can be distilled into the following steps:
At this point, all applications become part of lift and shift migration, available for traffic and ready for any kind of enhancements.
While migration is a complicated and tedious process, the results can turn out to be a game changer for you, your teams, and your customers.
Are you ready to go down this route? Feel free to contact us and we will guide you through your digital transformation journey.