6 Cloud Migration Strategies: Choosing the Right One


These days, more and more companies are opting for digital transformation. As a result, there is a tectonic shift toward frameworks and tools that create efficiency and improve the bottom line. Businesses today realize cloud’s benefits that enable economies of scale by removing redundant tasks and reducing operating costs.

However, it is always easier said than done. In one of our earlier articles, we discussed how migrating from an on-prem environment to the cloud requires a systematic well-thought-out plan. This article outlines six common cloud migration strategies while providing insights on key considerations and factors to help choose the right one.


Common Cloud Migration Strategies

1. Rehosting

Typically referred to as the lift-and shift technique, a Rehosting strategy involves migrating applications partly or fully from an on-premises setup to a cloud-based infrastructure without the need to redesign the application architecture.

Strategic Purpose

Rehosting helps companies get up and running quickly without the need to make extensive changes. 

When to choose this strategy

Rehosting is often used where monolithic applications form a considerable part of the entire workload. Besides, a key factor in choosing this migration strategy is specifically when there is a need to scale the migration as fast as possible with minimum business disruptions. For organizations that are hesitant and are experimenting with cloud capabilities without getting into long-term plans, Rehosting is recommended as the justified approach. Additionally, for organizations that prefer to use a blended model of both on-prem and cloud, Rehosting turns out to be a sensible choice.

2. Replatforming

Often known as the lift-tinker-and-shift approach, a Replatforming migration strategy is a variation of the Rehosting approach that optimizes workloads and applications before moving them to the cloud. 

Strategic Purpose

Replatforming enables companies to upversion applications while retaining the core application architecture. Where upversioning involves rewriting application codes as necessary changes that optimize its usage in the cloud. A typical example of this is migrating database servers from on-prem to a cloud-based Database-as-a-Service offering. In this case, to support a DBaaS model, the database requires application codes to be rewritten, however, its underlying business logic and core architecture are retained by following a Replatforming strategy.

When to Choose this Strategy

Chosen by organizations who want to modernize some aspects of their applications to take advantage of cloud benefits like scalability and elasticity. However, organizations must be mindful of the considerable effort, time, and money that is incurred as part of the migration.

3. Refactoring

Refactoring is a better-fit strategic approach that involves making extensive modifications to the legacy application architecture and a large portion of its codebase for an optimum fit into the cloud environment.

Strategic Purpose

Refactoring aims to improve the existing application and implement features that could be difficult to achieve with the current way the application is structured. Rewriting the existing application code also helps organizations enable better resource utilization for workloads that would otherwise be expensive to rehost in the cloud. 

When to Choose this Strategy

Organizations that want to migrate legacy applications can take advantage of the higher cost benefits this migration approach provides. It is also suitable for businesses that want to add additional features to their applications that leverage niche cloud utilities that improve performance to meet business requirements. Adopting cloud services such as Serverless Computing, High-Performance Data Lakes, etc. are some of the commonly known factors to choosing this model.

4. Repurchasing

Known as the drop-end-shop approach, the Repurchasing migration strategy involves moving from on-prem to a cloud setup by scrapping existing licenses and starting up with newer ones to fit the cloud model. Commonly used for adopting a SaaS-based version of an application that provides the same features of the application, though work in a cloud-based subscription model. 

Strategic Purpose 

This approach to cloud migration helps organizations migrate from a highly customized legacy environment to the cloud as effortlessly as possible with minimal risk. This involves retiring the current application platform by ending existing licenses and then renewing newer ones that support the cloud.

When to Choose this Strategy

A Repurchase strategy can be chosen when dealing with proprietary platforms or products not designed to operate on cloud infrastructure. A typical example is the migration of an on-prem HR application to Workday on the cloud or using a SaaS-based database service such as Airtable.

5. Retiring

This approach involves retiring or turning off parts of an organizational IT portfolio that are no longer useful or essential to the business requirements.

Strategic Purpose

Retiring specific services that are either redundant or a part of the legacy stack improves cost savings. This involves identifying applications, tools, or services that are no longer scalable or negatively impact other aspects of an efficient framework, including security, resilience, and interoperability.  

When to Choose this Strategy

Organizations must choose this migration strategy after doing a thorough evaluation of all applications, IT services, and data management tools. A common rule of thumb is to evaluate retiring services with a valid business justification and not just for the goal to embrace modern technology. 

6. Retaining

The Retaining migration strategy involves only migrating a part of the legacy applications, tools, and platform components that support migration to the cloud. Essentially this implies the components that cannot be Refactored or Retired are Retained within the on-prem setup, while the rest is migrated to the cloud. 

Strategic Purpose

The retain approach to cloud migration allows organizations to maintain or keep parts of their IT portfolio on-premise while applying a part-migration method to run cloud applications.

When to Choose this Strategy

A Retaining migration model is often chosen alongside another migration strategy. Organizations with obligatory compliance or regulatory requirements that demand to store or run some aspects of their IT portfolio within certain regions or on-prem.

Cloud-migration-strategies 6 Cloud Migration Strategies: Choosing the Right One

Key Considerations to Choosing a Cloud Migration Strategy

Choosing a migration strategy requires careful consideration of critical factors that have the potential to affect core business objectives. As a rule of thumb, it is advised that organizations consider the following before choosing one of the cloud migration strategies:

  • Current on-premise workload: Although the cloud promises scalability and efficiency, it might not be suitable for running certain workloads without adequate refactoring. As a result, organizations must carry out a thorough analysis of what applications to migrate and in what order. This process helps to decide the most efficient way to migrate to the cloud.
  • Security: The transition process poses unique security challenges and risks that organizations need to be cautious of. Being aware of such challenges helps organizations perform due diligence in choosing the right cloud provider and a migration strategy.

In the absence of the right skill sets and expert guidance, migrating to the cloud is never easy. This is particularly complex for organizations that are trying to take advantage of the cost-efficiency, scalability, and elasticity of a cloud model without knowing the unknowns. 


At Optimus, we take pride in having supported several clients in their journey to digital transformation and migration to the cloud. Contact us today to know more. 


How to Choose the Right Partner to Manage Your Cloud Infrastructure

There are many benefits to using a partner to manage your cloud infrastructure, ranging from disaster recovery to cost control, and it’s a great idea to seriously consider using a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP). But how do you know who the right CSP partner is for your organization? What are some things to look for when picking one? In this article, we’ll cover what a cloud service provider is, the benefits and value-add of using one, and how to pick the right CSP for your organization. 

What is a Cloud Service Provider?

A Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) is an accredited partner who is an active participant in a program that enables them to manage cloud customers’ software services. In particular, they aim to accelerate the customer’s digital transformation journey as an advisor. 

What Are the Benefits of Using a CSP?

Account Management

Account management is a practical upside to using a CSP. Because your CSP partner is responsible for your billing, you get a monthly invoice for the cost of your subscription (the same amount as you were previously paying with pay-as-you-go), instead of paying for resources from a credit card.

Technical Support  

CSPs are a great resource for technical support. Because they are usually in the same time zone and region as you, they can quickly use targeted problem solving to help with any issues that may arise. Then, after the situation is assessed, if it’s surmised that Microsoft intervention is needed, your CSP partner will help those communications along, allowing for a smoother resolution process. 

Costs Control

CSP Partners are incredibly proficient in all things Microsoft Azure; they are very familiar with the ins and outs of the system. Along with this knowledge comes the ability to optimize costs. Those without a CSP Partner often pay much more for the same resources or experience accidental runaway costs. 

What Value Can the Right CSP Add To Your Business?

Speed & Agility 

The valuable knowledge that CSP Partners hold is in part due to extensive experience deploying similar projects for different customers. When you need help deploying Azure resources, you avoid wasting time hiring new team members or upskilling your existing staff. 

Disaster Recovery 

A CSP Partner is a massive asset when disaster strikes. Although experiencing a big disaster is usually far and few between, when it does happen, data recovery needs to be swift and done with confidence. If you’re in a disaster situation, having a CSP Partner who is an expert in disaster recovery techniques, and can mitigate losses as well as looking after customers is a big win. 

Change Management 

Digital transformation is not a one-and-done project.  It’s a continuous process of understanding Cloud technologies and modernizing and optimizing your systems and processes. Having a CSP Partner can help you understand the changes that need to take place in order to maximize the benefits of Azure. This is an incredible resource that will save time and costs in the long run.

Security Monitoring

Security is a priority for many organizations. Sometimes you might not have the budget or capacity to do it in house. CSP Partners can help monitor critical Cloud assets such as production environments in Azure, Cloud email filtering, SaaS Platforms and more. They can assess credential misuse that can put your data at risk and jeopardize the future of your business. As well, when using a CSP like Optimus, experienced security analysts will be a natural extension of your team, and will triage, report, and investigate suspicious event sources. After doing so, they can provide advisory services based on results from these detailed investigations in order to strengthen your security system and defend from future potential malicious activities.

Value-of-a-CSP-e1619673590265 How to Choose the Right Partner to Manage Your Cloud Infrastructure

How to Pick the Right CSP to Manage Your Cloud Infrastructure:

It can be overwhelming trying to narrow down on the right CSP for your organization. Luckily for you, we’ve outlined a few things to keep in mind when vetting a partner. Firstly, look for a CSP that you can trust. It’s important that they have the expertise to provide guidance and mitigate bumps in the road. They become your first-tier support, so you want to make sure that they are reliable and responsive. 

Here are some more questions to ask yourself when embarking on a cloud managed service partnership:

  • Does this partner have good customer service? 
  • Do they charge additional costs for simple questions or support tasks? 
  • Are they offering monitoring services to reduce risk and proactively optimize?
  • Are they providing regular recommendations?

Not all cloud managed services partners are the same, and although some of these services may not apply to you, it’s important to look at what your needs are and whether the partner can meet them.

Questions-to-ask-CSP-e1619673641240 How to Choose the Right Partner to Manage Your Cloud Infrastructure

Optimus as Your CSP:

At Optimus Information, we understand how important cloud management is to your business. That’s why we automatically provide all our clients with our basic Cloud Managed Services free of charge.

We hope that this article cleared up the benefits of a CSP and how to choose the right partner to manage your cloud infrastructure. If you have any questions about our services, feel free to reach out to us here.

Cloud Migration: Common Challenges and Recommendations

SL-101820-36860-11-1030x687 Cloud Migration: Common Challenges and Recommendations


It is estimated that today more than 90% of companies are already using some form of cloud services, while by 2023, the public cloud market is projected to reach $623.3 billion worldwide. These statistics highlight the consistent emerging pattern of businesses migrating their infrastructure from on-premises to the cloud. Industry pundits also claim that it’s no longer a question for companies to ask if they should move to the cloud but rather when.

There are several reasons to it. Adopting the cloud offers improved data access, scalability, and application security while achieving enhanced operational efficiency. A projection by Oracle also predicted that companies can save up to 50% on infrastructure expenses by deploying workloads to a cloud platform. 

However, transitioning to the cloud comes with its own set of challenges, with a disclaimer that not every cloud migration project goes as smoothly as intended. While there are a number of factors to failure, a lack of planning and insight before cloud migrations are one of the most prominent reasons for an outright failure. This not only means that the organization’s long-term goals to improve operational efficiency goes for a toss but also result in wasted effort, time, and money.

This article addresses the most common challenges to expect when moving from an on-premises setup to a cloud platform, and how to overcome them.

Common Challenges of an On-Prem to Cloud Migration

As an essential best practice, organizations are required to diligently research and assess the most suitable processes, methodologies and plan every step of the migration to ensure the right decisions are made, and costs are controlled. Here are some key considerations that should be followed as the rule of thumb. 

Choosing the Right Model and Service Provider

Choosing the right cloud model for a business and the right service provider can not only make or break the migration project, but also affect its future maintenance and sustainability. 

There are 3 cloud models that require an assessment to ascertain the best fit for the company:

  • Public Clouds are the most popular choice where a service provider owns and manages the entire platform stack of cloud resources – which are then shared to host a number of different clients. Some common examples of such managed service providers are MS Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud.
  • Private Clouds, on the contrary, don’t share computing resources as they are set up specifically for exclusive use by a single organization. Compared to public clouds, such a framework offers more control over customized needs and is generally used by organizations who have distinct or specific requirements, including security, platform flexibility, enhanced service levels, etc.
  • Hybrid Clouds are a blend of a public/private cloud used with an on-premises infrastructure. This allows an organization to interchange data and applications between both environments that suit its business process or technical requirements. For businesses that are already invested in on-site hardware, a Hybrid cloud model can ease a gradual transition to the cloud over a long-term period. Additionally, for businesses that are too reliant on Legacy applications, a Hybrid cloud model is often perceived as the model that provides the leeway to adopt new tools while continuing with traditional ones. 

Challenges-of-Cloud-Migration-e1617044236232 Cloud Migration: Common Challenges and RecommendationsImage source: Intel.com

Apart from the cloud model, when it comes to selecting a service provider, there are key factors to consider such as 

  • how the data is secured, 
  • Agreed service levels and the provision to customize them, 
  • a guarantee of protection against network disruptions, and 
  • the costs involved. 

It is important for an organization to be mindful of vendor lock-in terms, as once the transition starts with migrating data, it can be difficult and costly to switch providers.

What is recommended?

Plan exhaustively on analyzing the current and future architecture, security, and integration requirements. Be clear about the goals of migrating to the cloud and identify the vendors that will most likely help in achieving them. A best practice of choosing the preferred service provider often starts with evaluating the proposed Service Level Agreement (SLA) for maintenance commitments, access to support, and exit clauses that offer flexibility.

Engagement and Adoption from Stakeholders

When introducing changes within an organization, it is often met with resistance by multiple stakeholders, which can thwart efforts for a smooth switch. This can be explained by scenarios where – the finance department may oppose the transition because of cost, the IT team may feel their job security is threatened, or the end-users won’t understand the reason for the change and fear their services might get impacted. Though such resistances are usually short-term, such factors may often compromise an organization’s immediate goals unless stakeholders are onboard.  

What is recommended?

Dealing with stakeholder resistance requires a holistic change in mindset across all levels of the organization. While hands-on training and guidance may provide support for users in adopting and using cloud-based services, preemptively addressing any resistance is a start on the right foot. Additionally, as an advisory for various organizational units, it is suggested to build a compelling business case that highlights current challenges in the organization with clear explanations on how migrating to the cloud will resolve these issues. 

Security Compromise

Whether the underlying architecture relies upon on-premises or the cloud, protecting a company’s data remains a top priority for any organization. When migrating to the cloud, a large part of the organization’s data security is managed by the cloud service provider. As a result, it is vital to have a thorough assessment of the vendor’s security protocols and practices.

This also means that organizations remain in control of where the data is stored, how incoming/outgoing data is encrypted, what measures are in place to ensure software is updated with the latest fixes, as well as the regulatory compliance status of the provider. Certain enterprise cloud providers like MS Azure take a holistic approach to security and offer the highest industry security standards that are aligned with regulations like PCI and HIPAA. 

What is recommended?

Define in-house security policies and explore the available cloud platform’s security tools. As a result, it is critical to proactively consider: 

  • authorization & authentication, 
  • audit lifecycle, 
  • application and network firewalls, 
  • protection against DDoS attacks and other malicious cyberattacks. 

Besides, a secure cloud migration strategy should administer how security is applied to data in-transit and at-rest, how user identities are protected, and how policies get enforced post-migration across multiple environments. 

It is important to note that administering security across all layers and phases of implementation requires much more than using tools. This usually begins with:

  • an organization to foster a security mindset
  • adopting security as part of the workflow by embracing a DevSecOps model, 
  • as well as incorporate a robust policy and audit governance through Security-as-Code or Policy-as-Code methodologies. 

Avoid Service Disruptions

Legacy models that rely extensively on third-party tools which are through with sunset clauses, or in-house developed applications, require special provision for a smooth transition. More so, frameworks involving virtual machines that include hardware-level abstraction are practically more complex that syncs and maintains abstraction layers through pre and post-transition phases. Unplanned migrations for such setups may often lead to performance issues including increased latency, interoperability, unplanned outages, and intermittent service disruptions. 

What is recommended?

Replicating virtual machines to the cloud should be planned based on an organization’s workload tolerance, as well as its on-prem networking setup. It is advised to make use of agent-based or agentless tools available by service providers, such as Azure Migrate that provide a specialized platform for seamless migrations. 

As for legacy or sunset apps, organizations are advised to plan for Continuous Modernization that provisions regular auditing of such apps, while planning for a phased retirement in the longer term. For setups where an immediate Lift and Shift isn’t an option, the organization should recalibrate its migration strategy by considering Refactoring or Rearchitecting strategies, that reimplements the application architecture from scratch. 

Cost Implications

Accounting for near and long-term costs during cloud migration is often overlooked. There are several factors that require consideration to avoid expensive and disruptive surprises. As migration from a legacy to the cloud is gradual, in the immediate term, organizational units often need to continue using both on-premises as well as the cloud infrastructure. This implies additional costs towards duplication of resource consumption such as – data sync & integrity, high-availability, backup & recovery, and maintenance of current systems

What is recommended?

Over the longer term, using a cloud platform is more cost-effective. Though there is very little that can be done by an organization to avoid most of such expenses during migration, what is required is to include these within its financial projections. While doing so, expect there to be upfront costs related to the amount of data being transferred, the services being used, and added expenses that may arise from refactoring to ensure compatibility between existing solutions and the cloud architecture. 

Benchmarking Workforce Skills

A migration plan that doesn’t benchmark workforce skills is often considered flawed. Cloud migrations can get complicated with customized requirements, using new technologies, and assessing what systems and data will be moved. During this, a good chunk of the effort goes towards the analysis of existing infrastructure to establish what will work on the cloud and identify the future gaps with respect to in-house workforce skills. 

What is recommended?

Migrating to the cloud is a complex process that requires a unique set of soft and hard skills. Before transitioning, it is essential to understand what practical knowledge the team has with cloud platforms, and then take the necessary steps to upskill in relevant cloud technologies and security. An important consideration around this should also factor in the allocation of contingent funds towards setting up a consistent framework of skills upgrade for seamless adoption of emerging tools and practices.

Key Takeaways

Adopting a cloud framework today is more a necessity than a projected goal. While migrating to the cloud, an organization’s goal remains equally important to develop a migration strategy, that sets realistic expectations by undertaking thorough due diligence. Being aware of the challenges and how to address them, not only minimizes immediate risks, but also prevents the project from becoming a disaster in the longer run.

By the end of it all, the successful strategy determines how efficient the migration is, without a noticeable impact on productivity or operational efficiency.

Microsoft Ignite Announcements 2021

Microsoft-Ignite-Announcements-2021 Microsoft Ignite Announcements 2021


Microsoft Ignite hosted their second virtual conference in 2021, and had so many exciting speakers and announcements, that we thought we should dedicate an article to some Microsoft Ignite announcements. Microsoft Ignite was started in 1993 and is an annual conference of developers and IT professionals. They gather to discuss new developments in cybersecurity, AI, and Azure innovation, as well as listen to brilliant keynote speakers. Microsoft Ignite 2021 took place from March 2-4 and we want to tell you some of the most exciting projects that were shared during the event. 

Microsoft Teams Update

Microsoft Teams has undergone a plethora of updates, many of which are new video call features to increase ease of meetings and functionality. “Dynamic mode” is one of those new features. It automatically adjusts to the meeting experience based on the users and content, allowing for easy transitions based on the meeting itself. “Powerpoint Live” is another one to try out! The presenter can see what the others are viewing without switching screens. This allows for virtually seamless presentations without worrying whether the right presentations are being shared or the slide is correct. Along with Powerpoint Live, Microsoft Teams now has “Presenter Mode”, which has created more options for presenters to have polished and interactive presentations. Finally, Microsoft Teams addressed a cybersecurity concern by creating “invite only meeting controls”, making sure that only the relevant people are allowed into a call. 

Microsoft Power Platforms Update

Some of the other exciting Microsoft Ignite announcements have to do with Microsoft Power Platforms. The popular low-code, development platform for experienced coders and business users alike has taken companies by storm. Some of the features that experienced upgrades in 2021 are Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agent. Power Apps, Microsoft’s low-code program that allows everyone to build and share apps, now has offline mobile capabilities, geospatial capabilities like maps, and more. Power Automate, Microsoft’s automation platform that allows for greater productivity and secure automation, has made shared desktop flows available across organizations. And finally, Power Virtual Agent, that allows users to create their own chatbots with ease, now includes data loss prevention options as well as new topic trigger management for the chatbots. For more information on Power Platforms Updates, click here.

Azure Arc Updates

For those who haven’t heard of Azure Arc, it’s a set of technologies that innovates Azure management and services to any platform. They have also undergone extensive updates this year. Firstly, they have made it possible to run machine learning everywhere. Microsoft shares, “By using Azure Arc to extend machine learning (ML) capabilities to hybrid and multicloud environments, customers can train ML models directly where the data lives using their existing infrastructure investments. This reduces data movement while meeting security and compliance requirements.” Next, they expanded on their program by allowing users to build cloud native applications at scale, anywhere. Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes is now generally available. To learn more, read the full article from Microsoft. And finally, in collaboration with Azure Stack HCI and Azure Arc, users are able to modernize their data centres with ease. It’s a cost-efficient hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solution, all managed through Azure. To learn more about Azure Stack HCI, click here.

Data and AI Announcements

Another exciting Microsoft Ignite announcement has to do with Azure Percept, Microsoft’s platform that simplifies the usage of Azure AI technologies on the edge. This includes Azure Cloud offerings such as AI model development, analytics, and more. The platform even includes a development kit, which comes with an intelligent camera: Azure Percept Vision. Want to learn more about this exciting product and how Microsoft is increasing accessibility? Read the full article from them here.

Additional Resources

We’ve touched on some of the updates and announcements that happened at the Microsoft Ignite Conference 2021, but we’ll share just a few more highlights in case you would like to check out additional resources. 

Microsoft Virtual Training Days

If you’re interested in gaining more hard skills, taught by an experienced instructor in your language, check out Microsoft Virtual Training Days here

Keynote Presentation by Satya Nadella

At the conference this year, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, gave a keynote speech on Microsoft’s vision for the future of Mixed Reality. You can watch the full presentation here to learn more. 

Learn about Cybersecurity

And finally, learn more about cybersecurity, compliance, identity and management in this video from the conference. 


We hope that you learned something from these Microsoft Ignite announcements, and feel free to reach out to us at info@optimusifo.com with any further questions.


Essentials of Data Governance

pexels-christina-morillo-1181341-1030x688 Essentials of Data Governance

In the era of emerging technologies, data has become essential for organizations. With rapid digital transformation across industries, gaining a competitive advantage is crucial for thriving in the market. Today, data is the new “oil” that forms an organization’s core for business growth. However, the rate of data generation has become enormous. A recent report by Towards Data Science produced the statistics of data generation that stands at a whopping  2.5 quintillion bytes. Additionally, the current projections state the data generation rate to rise to 133 zettabytes by 2025.

In recent years, the increase in the number of data breach cases has doubled. The imminent threat in a business is the possibility of data breaches. To bolster data protection, it is of utmost importance to have a robust data governance framework. As per IBM data breach reports, the average cost of a data breach is highlighted as $3.86 million, while the USA alone recorded a breach of $8.64 million.

There is a need for robust data governance framework to tackle such challenges. Standard data governance ensures data security, data quality, and integrity while providing the traceability of the data origins. Also, data governance can be successfully implemented when high-quality data is readily available with crucial information on the data types, which is achievable with a data catalog.  Besides, an organization attains firm control over its data usage policies when a regulatory body imposes stricter guidelines. Today, it is possible with some of the robust regulatory bodies available that put a strong emphasis on data governance. Among them, the most well-known is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Furthermore, a data governance approach can reach its ultimate goal within an enterprise with its essential components, namely processes, policies, access controls, and data protection, encompassing the entire data-related workflow within an organization. Tech giants such as Microsoft have contributed significantly to the data governance requirements with the Azure Purview offering that has reach achieved wide acceptance in the industry.

The article delves into the topic to provide a deep insight into data governance and its regulations.

Data Governance Overview

Data governance is a strategy that incorporates the practices, processes, and technical requirements of an organization into a framework by which an organization can achieve standardization in its workflow, thereby providing protection and the appropriate management of its data assets. A useful data governance model’s scalability is a must as it ensures that all the policies, processes, and use-cases are applied accurately for transforming a business into a data-driven enterprise.

Another crucial aspect of data governance is for an organization to conduct a risk assessment and compliance. The successful integration of data governance is determined by efficient data management and data security factors within the framework. An ideal governance policy must address the critical components of data storage,  the original source, and a well-defined data access strategy. Furthermore, data governance solutions focus on providing response plans relating to misuse of data and unauthorized access.

Data governance and data management are often used synonymously, but it is essential to understand that data governance forms a significant part of a data management model.

Data Catalog

A data catalog acts as the inventory of the critical data assets in an organization. The use of metadata helps to manage the data more efficiently. The data professionals benefit from a data catalog as it helps in data collection, organizing data, easier accessibility to data, and improvement of the metadata to support data discovery and governance. While the data generated is enormous in a day to day functioning of an organization, finding relevant data becomes challenging for specific tasks. Additionally, data accessibility is demanding due to various legal regulations of the organization and a particular country’s government. The key factors to understand are the data movement within an organization, such as the individuals who will have access to it and the purpose they want to access it. Such tracking of the data ensures the protection of the data as it limits unauthorized personnel. Thus a data catalog plays a crucial role in addressing some of the challenges related to data.

  • A data catalog provides all the essential data required by an organization; therefore, data accessibility from a single point ensures reduced time for searching data.
  • Creating a business vocabulary.
  • Efficient transformation of data lakes into data swamps.
  • Identifying the different structures of the data.
  • Availability of high-quality and reliable data.
  • Data reusability possibilities

An organization can achieve a competitive advantage with the appropriate use of data. Therefore the data should be trustworthy from the appropriate sources. Some of the organizations’ key members, such as C-level executives, use data for business decisions. Thus, a data catalog becomes useful for looking at cost-saving and operational efficiency factors with a keen eye on fraud and risk analysis.

Data Governance Framework

A data governance framework allows an organization to focus on achieving the business goals and data management challenges while providing the right means to attain them more speedily and securely. Besides, the results of a data governance integration are scalable and measurable.Key-Participants-in-a-Data-Governance-Framework Essentials of Data Governance

Figure. Key Participants in a Data Governance Framework. Source


Some of the essentials of a data governance framework are:

  • Use Cases

The data governance framework must address some critical factors, such as the use case for several business scenarios in an organization. The data governance use cases should interlink the need for a data governance framework and its contribution to achieving business goals. Ideally, the use cases are derived from significant factors in an organization, such as revenue, cost, and the associated risks. The category-related use case addresses the enrichment of products and services, innovations, market opportunities, and the ability to achieve them at a reduced cost of maintenance with efficiency, auditing, and data protection.

  • Quantification

The need to quantify data is an absolute necessity as it produces data governance integration in the organization. A business needs to ascertain that they are following, covering all the categorized use cases with evidence to monitor the performance and provide future insights.

  • Technical Benefits

With the technical addition in a workflow, the data governance solutions can efficiently address some of the critical components, thereby ensuring efficiency. The data governance must address factors like the need for technology investment and the primary members who will work with data-related processes. A technical infusion in the workflow also enables the easier discoverability of data definitions, data categories, data lineage, and the appropriate classification of data as trustable data or untrustworthy data. The technical addition also makes it possible to create a feedback mechanism for resolving regulatory issues and policies concerning data usage.

  • Scalability

The data governance policies should be capable of providing scalable results. Using a scalable model provides growth opportunities for an organization by addressing the problems in a data lifecycle. The primary focus is to introduce new tools to reduce operational costs and provide data protection for business growth.

Data Governance Processes

The data government processes comprise of the following.

  • The organization must be mindful of the essential documents such as regulatory guidelines, statutes, company policies, and strategies.
  • A clearly defined workflow states legal mandates, policies, and objectives to be synchronized to help an organization meet data governance and management compliance.
  • Data metrics to be incorporated to measure the performance and the quality of the data.
  • Principles of data governance to be met.
  • Identification of the data security and privacy threats.
  • Control measures to ensure smoother data flow with a precise analysis of the risks.

Data Governance Policies

Under data governance, there are various policies to determine the effectiveness of the organization’s operational strategies. Some of the policies related to data accessibility, data usage, and data integrity are incredibly crucial for successful data governance implementation. The most important policies that an organization must follow for successful data management are as follows.

  • Data Structure policy
  • Data Access Policy
  • Data Usage Policy
  • Data Integration Policy

 Privacy and Compliance Requisites

The organizations are associated with a significant amount of highly sensitive data. Therefore, an organization needs to follow the regulatory compliance of data governance. In the context of business, privacy refers to an individuals’ right to have control over the type of personal data they want to be collected and used and the sensitive information that should be restricted. As per EU directives for data governance, sensitive data is defined as the data that contains a name, address, telephone number, and email address of an individual. On the other hand, sensitive personal data is distinguished clearly, as the data contains information on a person’s ethnicity, political opinion, religion, race, health-based information, criminal conviction, and trade union-based membership details. Such data have stricter guidelines that must be followed with due diligence.

Role of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)  was established in the year 2016. The primary aim of the regulation was to provide a framework for data privacy standards. GDPR states that any company looking to conduct business in Europe must be willing to adhere to data protection norms. The GDPR has strict guidelines that ensure the protection and privacy of personal data for its citizens. The mandate was an update from the previous Data Protection Directive in Europe.

Crucial-Requirements-of-GDPR- Essentials of Data Governance

Figure. Crucial Requirements of GDPR. Source


Under GDPR, the mandate’s scope extends its reach in terms of the territorial horizon while providing a well-defined law for processing personal data by offering their business services in Europe. The organizations or individuals aiming to provide their services without the presence in Europe are monitored for their service offering under GDPR guidelines. The tracking of such services includes online businesses that require users to accept cookies to access their services. GDPR also differentiates the various data types and the data considered personal data under the mandate.

Furthermore, the direct and indirect data are interlinked with the identification of data subjects. The data subjects are people who can be identified with their information presented in the data. The data in this context is related to personal information such as names, addresses, IP addresses, biometric data logs, citizenship-based identification, email, and the profession.

Additionally, the GPPR mandate ensures that the data is collected within the limits of the law, and it should be highly secured while it exists the records of the organization with stricter rules for its uses. The primary categories of GDPR data governance requirements are:

  • There must be a classification of personal data, while personal identification data must have limited usability. The individuals can access their data and hold the right to request personal data removal or rectification. The mandate also states mandatory data processing requirements and portability of data.
  • Data protection is a must, and it should cover all aspects of safeguarding personal data collected. Also, there must be confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the data collected for business purposes. The organizations should also adhere to data restoration regulations for scenarios that may involve data loss due to technical failure or accidents.
  • The collected data must be well- documented as per legal procedures.

Access Controls

Access controls form an integral part of access governance that regulates the accessibility of data. The critical areas covered comprise the guidelines to specify who can access the data and view it. Additionally, it specifies that there is a requirement to state the purpose of data access in the organization. The compliance of access controls allows eliminating unauthorized access of data.

As per the GDPR mandate, some of the data protection requirements must enforce specific procedures.

  • There must be accountability associated with data protection requirements. Data protection personnel must be appointed to manage data and monitor its activities for organizations involved in data processing activities. The appointed individuals must ensure that the data protection standards are met.
  • Data storage is the essential factor for data privacy. Therefore, organizations must have a data map and data inventory to track the source of data and its storage. The source includes the system from which it was generated while tracking the data lineage to provide comprehensive data protection.
  • Data accuracy is paramount, and organizations must keep up-to-date data to achieve high-quality data. Also, data quality reporting must be followed to keep up with data quality standards.

Data Protection

  • Data intelligence provisions for getting insights with 360 visibility of data.
  • Identifying data remedies for security and privacy issues.
  • To protect sensitive data with access governance and ensure no overexposed data exists with data governance methods.
  • Integrating artificial intelligence capabilities to identify dark data and its relationship.
  • Assigning labels with automation to provide data protection during the workflow and the lifecycle of the data.
  • Rapid data breach notification and its investigation.
  • Automate procedure for classifying sensitive and personal data.
  • Automated compliance and policy checks.
  • In-depth assessment of risk scores with metrics depending on the data type, location, and access consent.

Reimagining Data Governance with Microsoft Azure Purview

Azure Purview is a unified data governance service by Microsoft. The governance service enables management and governing of on-premise, multi-cloud, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) data. The users can have access to a holistic and up-to-date map of the data with automated data discovery. Besides, the classification of sensitive data is more manageable along with end-to-end data lineage. With Azure Purview, the data consumers are assured of valuable and trustworthy data.  Some of the key features of Azure Purview are discussed in the following section.

  • Unified mapping of data

The Purview data map feature establishes the foundation of practical data usage while following the data governance standards. With Purview, it is possible to automate the management of metadata from hybrid sources. The consumer can take advantage of data classification with built-in classifiers that can Microsoft Protection sensitivity labels. Finally, all the data can be easily integrated using Apache Atlas API.

unified-data-mapping Essentials of Data Governance

Figure. Unified Data Mapping using Azure Purview. Source


  • Trusted Data

Purview offers a data catalog feature that can allow the easier search of data using technical terms from the data vocabulary. The data can be easily identified as per the sensitivity level of the data.

  • Business Insights

The data supply chain can be interpreted conveniently from raw data to gain business insights. Purview offers the option to scan the power BI environment and the analytical workspace automatically. Besides, all the assets can be discovered with their lineage to the Purview data map.

  • Maximizing Business Value

The SQL server data is more discoverable with a unified data governance service. It is possible to connect the SQL server with a Purview data map to achieve automated scanning and data classification.

  • Purview Data Catalog

The Purview data catalog provides importing the existing data dictionaries, providing a business-grade glossary of terms that makes data discoverable more efficiently.


Business enterprises are generating a staggering amount of data daily. The appropriate use of data can be an asset for gaining business value in an organization. Therefore, organizations need to obtain reliable data that can provide meaningful business insights. Advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and data analytics provide an effective way of integrating data governance in the operational workflow. Today, tech giants like Microsoft, with their data governance offering: Azure Purview, have paved the way for other organizations to opt for data governance. Many startups follow in the footsteps and have acknowledged the importance of data governance for high-quality data while ensuring data privacy at all times, thereby offering several data governance solutions in the market. A robust data governance framework is essential for maintaining the data integrity of the business and its customers.



5 Tips for SaaS Business Success

tips-for-saas-business-success-scaled-e1615238708300 5 Tips for SaaS Business Success

With February came another exciting event in our webinar series: Learning from the Best SaaS companies, with guest speaker Boris Wertz. Wertz is the Founding Partner of Version One Ventures, a fund that invests in early-stage founders across North America. He has years of experience investing in consumer internet and enterprise companies and was generous enough to share his insights on how to create business success in SaaS. We talked about all things SaaS, from reducing the friction of initial engagement, to one of Wertz’s biggest tips, leveraging the preexisting to build something even more effective. Growing innovation is absolutely crucial and if you keep reading, you’ll learn our top tips for SaaS business success. 

Reducing Friction

When speaking about the critical importance of reducing friction, Wertz shared some wise words. “If you can reduce the friction of engagement for a new user, you’re onto something.” People want a user experience filled with ease, not hard work, and that’s the simple truth of it. The example of YouTube came up in the webinar, and how a lot of their initial success can be attributed to their easy video upload experience for users. It makes the service highly requested and attractive to clients. 

Leveraging the Preexisting

Another tip for the SaaS industry is remembering that there is no need to build everything from scratch. Leverage whatever you can that is already out there! As Wertz puts it, there is a lot of technology and infrastructure that can be “stacked” to create something unique and meaningful. And it has never been easier to do so. In this case, “it makes no sense to reinvent the wheel.”

Capital Efficiency

Capital efficiency was another topic that was touched on during this webinar. Being capitally efficient is one of the most important ways to ensure SaaS business success. Wertz gave the example of Slack, the highly profitable chat room app that connects all members of an organization. When they focussed on capital efficiency, they saw immediate results. Capital efficiency refers to when more annual recurring revenue is created in a year than burned. Something to keep in mind is that a big part of capital efficiency is market efficiency as well. Staying informed about pricing and upselling and expanding your business for current clients can help you stay above the curve and avoid churn. 

Developing a New Category

It’s been said before, but still rings true; if you can find a hole or area of need in the industry and find a way to fulfill it, you’re on the right path. Developing a new category can be difficult but it’s not impossible. The app Slack is an amazing example here as well! They had no enterprise sales at first but as the problem of communication within organizations evolved, they found increased success. One strategy to get started is to solve a small problem for a small group of customers but then expand from there. Wertz gave the example of Hootsuite, the popular social media management platform. They were able to pick up on a trend that needed some work and although they started small, they quickly multiplied in size.

Creating a Great Team

As with any other situation, having a skillful, enthusiastic team is a big part of achieving your organization’s goals. Communicating the importance of having the ability to learn and stay intellectually flexible is crucial when evolving your SaaS processes. A team that keeps a growth mindset while exercising a strong work ethic will quickly rise through the ranks. Finally, having team members that comprehend the power of storytelling is a big benefit. When interacting with clients or even within the organization, understanding how to sell an idea or weave emotion and meaning into it is a big bonus.


Want to learn more about creating SaaS business success? Read our blog Microsoft Tools to Grow Your SaaS Business.

Five Core Principles to Simplify Public Cloud Management

public-cloud-e1614288447834 Five Core Principles to Simplify Public Cloud Management

The Challenge of Managing Public Cloud Platforms

Migration to a cloud-native framework has been at the center of digital transformation for many organizations over the past couple of years, and this trend is on the rise. In particular, Public Cloud offerings are extensively getting adopted since they make applications highly scalable, easily accessible with an internet connection, and secure without the efforts of managing infrastructure. This however remains dependent on a proper migration to the public cloud that ensures a seamless transition, reduced costs, and enhanced operational excellence. 

While there are several benefits of migrating to a public cloud, the migration in itself may also bring a set of challenges related to governance, security, and resource optimization. This is often because, when migrating to a public cloud, organizations use different solutions to host different functions and applications. Such a model may also introduce unseen operational complexities and hidden costs. As a result, it is strongly advised that organizations weigh their options well, and take a pragmatic approach to manage both the transition and operations of their public cloud instance. 

In this article, let us explore the five best practices to make the most of your public cloud platform.

Core Principles to Simplify Public Cloud Management

1. Embracing Automation

Public cloud adoption calls for quick and responsive applications that require repetitive and time-consuming management tasks. This is specifically true with respect to public cloud offerings, where businesses could be using a combination of different compute resources from different vendors. In such scenarios, the cloud management experience becomes much simpler if organizations embrace smart automation to enable, deploy, and update applications autonomously. 

To do so, it is important to adopt DevOps practices that simplify the management of cloud-hosted applications. Besides reducing repetitive workloads, automated processes reduce the human error element in cloud management, making applications highly efficient, reliable, and available. By automating workflow processes, IT staff and resources can be directed toward activities that add business value and improve the overall operational experience.

2. Focus on Security and Governance

Data privacy and security remain a chief concern among cloud service providers, IT developers & operators, application end-users, and business managers. This asks for the need to leverage cloud-centric tools that enforce authorization, validation, and authentication across all users and devices accessing the cloud network. 

To help with this, it is recommended to take advantage of out-of-the-box solutions like Identity and Access Management (IAM) available in Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon’s AWS. Using these ensures only intended users gain access to specific services of your cloud ecosystem. Other security and governance tools organizations can consider include: 

  • Role Based Access Control (RBAC), 
  • Single Sign-On (SSO), and 
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

Additionally, organizations should also put in place security management and enforcement policies to ensure security incidents do not interfere with operations. System and Performance Monitors also act as essential services that help manage assets that interact with the cloud ecosystem. 

3. Use a Consolidated Platform for Visibility and Monitoring

A Public Cloud Ecosystem consists of several interdependent assets, often managed by different vendors. Managed Public Cloud vendors typically offer a single pane of glass– a dashboard that helps to monitor all services and assets running in the cloud framework. This eliminates the need to learn how to navigate the interfaces of all these services, making monitoring and management simple for both operators and developers. 

Using a single pane of glass dashboard also helps you compare prices and performance of services offered by different vendors, allowing greater insights on cost savings and optimization. This also allows you to familiarize yourself with the core concepts of various tools within the cloud platform, eventually helping to manage applications more effectively. Microsoft Azure Monitor, Amazon CloudWatch, and BMC TrueSight are some popular dashboard solutions that help to improve a hosted applications’ observability and management.

4. Plan for Continuous Integration and Development

Cloud Resources are built to scale up and down seamlessly with changes in workload. This makes migrating the massive number of technologies and tools as one of the greatest challenges to public cloud adoption. For the same reason, it is important to start with a Minimum Viable Cloud – the starting point for your migration, and a platform that can be used to continuously improve as you build your ecosystem. This also helps to generate an understanding of the cloud platform’s fundamental concept, while ensuring that there is no service downtime. Once a benchmark is defined, an automated workflow should be set up to continuously improve the application and infrastructure by matching changes in consumption patterns and computing technology. 

5. Optimize Resource Costs and Consumption

A major part of public cloud management involves eliminating wastage, identifying & eliminating mismanaged resources, and right-sizing compute constructs. Public cloud providers like AWS and Azure charge clients for allocated resources, whether these are in use or not. Unsurprisingly, organizations typically amass charges through unattached and unused resources. 

It is, therefore, important to ensure you reserve (and eventually pay) only for the resources you use. Besides picking the right size of computing instances, it is also important to observe trends in resource usage using tools such as a Heatmap. These resources can then be provisioned accordingly to support peak performance of the hosted application. 

Investing in Reserve and Spot instances also helps reduce expenses on computing resources offered by public cloud vendors. For complex setups, another way is to use a Multi-cloud architecture that helps avoid vendor lock-in while keeping budgets flexible.


Closing Thoughts

Above are some of the key principles that allow an organization to get the most out of a public cloud platform. While use cases for organizations may differ, the goal is always to achieve fast, reliable, and responsive applications with limited risk, at a reduced cost. It is recommended, however, to pair these practices with the right tools, processes, and people for a successful implementation of a cloud-native setup.  


5 Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud using the Azure SQL Database

data-migration-SQL 5 Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud using the Azure SQL Database

As we move into 2021, migrating data to the cloud has been the norm for the last few years. We would even go as far to say that it’s becoming an essential part of any thriving business model, especially as COVID forced the world to shift online. With the pandemic came budget cuts, less resources to put toward technical training, and decreased business agility. These pain points can all be lessened by undergoing cloud migration. What does it take to migrate to the cloud using Azure SQL? Keep reading to learn what the process entails, who should use it, and how you will benefit.

What Does Migrating to the Cloud with Azure SQL Look Like?

Migrating to the cloud, regardless of what path you take to get there is a great idea. But using Azure SQL ensures you the cloud database options to fit your needs. Maintaining your systems with ease, Azure helps you seamlessly migrate to the cloud. Another aspect to note, expanded on in more detail later, is that SQL has the option to provide both a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). And if you’re already using SQL, Azure SQL is built on the same Server technology that you are already familiar with, meaning there’s no need to relearn SQL skills when making the transition.

Who Does This Apply To?

dat-amigration-benefits 5 Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud using the Azure SQL Database

This service is perfect for anyone who needs to migrate their SQL workload and modernize their applications. It keeps applications updated without the tiresome upkeep that can be so grueling.

The 5 Big Benefits:

benefits-of-migrating-to-the-cloud 5 Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud using the Azure SQL Database

1. Competitive Pricing

Using SQL managed instance, you can gain up to a 238% return on investment. This means you spend a fraction of the money that your competition does and boost performance at the same time. Want to know how much you could gain? Try out the Azure Hybrid Benefit calculator to view simulations of monthly and annual savings using the SQL server.

2. License Free Development and QA Environments 

Visual Studio users with subscriptions pay only for compute charges and can save up to 55% on dev and QA workloads. This allows for greater flexibility for customers who have dev teams. 

3. Modernizes Apps and Keeps You Up to Date

Azure services allows for the highest service level agreement (SLA) and an industry new SLA on RPO and RTO. Azure provides a wide range of choices depending on your needs. For more details on how to leverage this benefit, click here.

4. Consolidates Dozens of Data Centres Into One Place

Utilising Azure Managed Services is one of the best ways to maintain all your data centres in one accessible location. Instead of monitoring your workload across dozens of different interfaces, use just one portal to keep tabs on all your SQL databases, pools, instances and more. 

5. Provides both IaaS and PaaS

As previously mentioned, Azure SQL has three different options, providing both IaaS and PaaS, making it incredibly versatile. The first is Azure SQL Database, a PaaS, and it builds up-to-date cloud applications on the newest SQL server. The second is Azure SQL Managed Instance, another PaaS. Modernizing and migrating your SQL applications to the newest server version, it does so with minimal code changes meaning no patching or maintenance is required. And finally, the SQL Server on Azure VMs is an IaaS that rehosts SQL apps to the new server while also rehosting sunset applications. One of the biggest benefits with the SQL Server on Azure VMs is full SSRS, SSIS, and SSAS support. 



If you want to take advantage of the benefits of migrating data to the cloud and all the profits that come along with it, contact us at: info@optimusinfo.com


Microsoft Tools to Grow Your SaaS Business

MS-SaaS-Business Microsoft Tools to Grow Your SaaS Business

Microsoft provides specific tools and programs that help SaaS businesses elevate their products, reach their customers, and develop their solutions into a profitable business. Below are the top 5 Microsoft tools to grow your SaaS business. 


Azure Cloud

Adopting the cloud comes with incredible advantages. SaaS businesses, in particular, can use the cloud to scale quickly and increase availability without investing in expensive hardware. In addition, since Azure cloud’s security is pre-baked, you have even less overhead to worry about. And, finally, if you have an existing Windows Server and SQL Server license with Software Assurance, then you can pay a reduced rate when you move to Azure.

Get started with 12 months of free service


Solution Workplace

If you are building a new solution, it’s tough to know what your precise needs will be. Yet, Microsoft’s Solution Workplace will guide you through this new territory and help you build your solution, take it to market, and grow your sales. After answering a few questions about your needs, the Solution Workplace provides personalized checklists and resources. Now, you have step-by-step guidance through the tasks you need to complete along the lifecycle of your new solution.

You can even collaborate in the Solution Workplace with your entire team. For example, members of your marketing or engineering team can work simultaneously on separate steps but still have visibility about the whole project as you check off completed steps.

View this tutorial for a step-by-step guide on how to use Solution Workspace.


Access to Training

Microsoft understands how important it is to build your team’s skills on Microsoft products and to stay up-to-date on the latest tools and technology. That’s why they provide several resources that can help you access training for your team.

Training Center provides role-specific learning paths that help develop your team’s talent and skill on Microsoft products and solutions. There are a variety of learning paths provided, everything from marketer to Architect.

Microsoft Virtual Training Days also provides accelerated remote training, covering a range of technical topics for Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Microsoft Docs has quick starts, tutorials, API reference, and code examples for end users, developers and IT professionals.


Commercial Marketplace

One of the major benefits of working with Microsoft is being able to extend your reach to potential customers. When you are a part of the Microsoft Partner Network, you can list your solutions on Microsoft’s Commercial Marketplace, which consists of two online stores: Azure Marketplace and Microsoft AppSource. By publishing your offer on the commercial marketplace, you are able to showcase your product to 4 million active users across 140+ geographies and tap into new audiences and unlock scale.

Partners who list on the commercial marketplace are also eligible for a set of free technical, marketing, and sales benefits to help grow their business.

Here’s an example of an offer listing page in Azure Marketplace:

MS-SaaS Microsoft Tools to Grow Your SaaS Business

Source: Microsoft


Access to Marketing Resources

Leverage effective marketing tactics no matter the size or experience of your team. Smart Partner Marketing provides various resources to help you differentiate your solution, provide customizable assets, and access to their digital marketing content on demand platform. 

As a partner, you also have access to Microsoft’s Go-to-Market services to reach more customers. Resources and tools — such as personalized consultation to guidance for marketing assets — are provided as you prepare to introduce your solutions to the right customers. 

Growing your SaaS business can be challenging but leveraging these Microsoft tools can help elevate your product, skill up your team, and extend your reach to potential customers. If you need additional support, Optimus can provide support for cloud migration, cloud management, DevOps, and QA and Testing. Contact us at: info@optimusinfo.com

Just getting started? Download Microsoft’s SaaS Playbook that provides strategies for building your SaaS business, technical details about deploying your solutions, and best practices. They also include a calculator that helps discover your app’s financial potential.

SaaS Playbook and App Potential Calculator


Website Performance Testing

website-testing Website Performance Testing

Website Performance Testing

Like any software product, your website or web application requires thorough testing before it goes live to ensure a quality user experience. Web users are accustomed to a high level of functionality, responsiveness and usability. Increasingly, they lack patience for web sites that do not provide a fulfilling experience. Thus, testing the performance aspects of your website is critical.

Types of Performance Testing

Performance testing assesses your site’s efficiency compared to its specifications. Its main focus is overall responsiveness under average loads. This category of testing should be performed early and often in order to uncover imbalances in the software architecture or its implementation. Monopolization of resources, processing bottlenecks and unexpected latency are likely suspects, which are easier to correct early on rather than at later stages in development or testing.

The end result of these performance tests and subsequent software changes is a set of baseline measurements you apply whenever the web site is changed to ensure that responsiveness and processing efficiency are stable and improving.

Let us look at two specific types of website performance testing: Load Testing and Stress Testing.

Load Testing

After early performance test results stabilizes, load tests that simulate thousands or even millions of users over long time periods are appropriate for measuring software endurance and volume capacity. These take you one step closer to real-world conditions. These tests uncover buffer overflows, memory leaks, and responsiveness degradation.

Stress Testing

Stress tests apply maximum burden on the website in order to uncover its breaking points. Equally important, these tests measure how gracefully your site crashes and recovers. Success is declared when the site can fail without losing data, does not create security risks and recovers quickly with minimal disruption to users.

Website Performance Testing Approach

When designing your web performance testing, use a logical approach that gradually narrows down on defects in design, development and deployment. Start with a clear set of objectives and measurable criteria for what your performance tests are to accomplish. Otherwise, you can waste effort testing the wrong things in the wrong places plus be unaware when the test effort is losing effectiveness.

Plan to start performance testing as early as possible in your development cycle to harvest the low-hanging fruit such as major imbalances in the software’s implementation. If possible, engage developers in the early stages of testing. Get them into the habit of examining performance, load and stress results as soon as they become available, so code changes are not delayed and subsequent testing is tweaked effectively with developer input.

To quick-start your testing effort, it helps to focus your testing and optimization efforts on the most-used or high-impact pages based on the percentage of traffic they receive, which you can determine using analysis tools or examining logs. This enables more efficient use of testing resources while deferring changes for rarely visited pages with minor impact on the customer experience.

Finally, regularly review the following do’s and don’ts of website performance testing, especially with regard to cloud-based testing. This will help ensure you are receiving the full benefits of the cloud and that your testing aligns more closely to the conditions of your site when it goes live.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Website Performance Testing

When it is time to implement the test plan, avoid common strategic and tactical pitfalls:

  • Do keep your in-house test infrastructure up-to-date even if you use cloud-based testing. It is your baseline environment for isolating cloud-based testing side-effects, which will drastically reduce the time for root cause analysis for many defects.
  • Do use your live site, if one exists, to guide load and stress testing parameters on the developing site. For example, an initial test load might be the number of actual peak-hours orders multiplied by your expected growth rate plus 20 percent overhead.
  • Do track both client and server-side traffic during non-peak and peak performance testing to determine ratios between traffic and processing activities, which often discovers imbalances.
  • Do test as many pages and combinations of page traversals as possible. Measure single page and page combination load times down to the component level.
  • Do pay attention to which pages or activities are consuming an inordinate amount of time relative to other areas of the website. This helps optimize use of your test and repair resources.
  • Do distribute generated loads geographically and by network segment.
  • Don’t ignore the dependency between page load times and user volume capacity. Measure both aspects at each stage of testing.
  • Don’t forget to process live web traffic logs to collect statistics on the types and volume of requests coming into your site so you can optimize load testing to reflect that reality.
  • Don’t run your load generation on the same cloud as your website to avoid contamination of test metrics.
  • Don’t assume that cloud testing is intrinsically less expensive than running on in-house infrastructure. In other words, keep your eye on the “meter.”
  • Don’t rely on a single cloud vendor as vendors’ distinctive functional and operational characteristics may affect test results.


Why Use the Cloud for Website Performance Testing

Website performance testing utilizing cloud-based tools and infrastructure offers many of the same advantages as cloud-based enterprise apps, such as cost reduction, faster test deployment and dynamic scaling:

  • Minimizes capital expense for on-site hardware and infrastructure while reducing ongoing costs for maintenance.
  • Eliminates long hardware acquisition lead times.
  • Offers choice in selecting vendor features most important to your website testing.
  • Provides immediate scalability to meet your performance testing scenarios.
  • Eliminates disruptions due to equipment failure or power outages.

Additionally, the cloud provides specific benefits that increase the accuracy and efficiency for website performance testing.

Cloud Benefits for Website Performance Testing

Realistic Performance Evaluation

Cloud-based performance testing supplies more realistic conditions beyond the corporate intra-net including those out of your control. Such conditions include unpredictable peak or event loading, network congestion or a varying device and browser mix. It also offers opportunities to performance test across global regions and time zones.

For example, your testing can take advantage of virtual infrastructure over specific or multiple regions, which might uncover issues with local network infrastructure, regional user conventions, translations or issues with large content delivery. The latter might, for instance, be alleviated by the use of a cloud-based CDN on a per-region basis.

Instant Swap of Test and Deployment Versions

Cloud-based testing has process advantages as well. The use of virtual server infrastructure plus state-of-the-art deployment tools offered by the best cloud providers enables testing different software versions by swapping instances within seconds.

For instance, instrumented test versions of your website could be exchanged almost immediately with the deployed version by redirecting your site address to the test version via saved infrastructure configurations. These are stored in version control along with the site and test code.

Website Performance Testing Tools

Many seasoned tools for testing websites exist on the market today. From simple page-load tools to advanced script-capable tool suites that test both client and server endpoints, there is something for everyone.

Successful site testing also requires highly experienced testers who know these tools inside and out including specific techniques for load and stress tests that web testing software may not cover.


RedBot is one example of a class of online test tools that measure load times, find bottlenecks or suggest optimizations for HTTP traffic generated by your site. While it does not provide exhaustive performance analysis, it is useful for initial website analysis to find obvious pain points and for ongoing spot-check sanity checks as testing proceeds.

Apache JMeter

This open-source downloadable tool is popular for website load and performance tests. It uses Java to simulate single and multiple servers. Many load test types are supported including HTTP/HTTPS, FTP, JDBC, LDAP, Java and JUnit. Other tools utilize JMeter, such as BlazeMeter which enables using JMeter in the cloud.

SmartBear LoadComplete

This is another desktop tool used for load, stress and scalability testing for websites based on .NET or Java. It tests traditional HTML sites as well as those utilizing advanced web technologies such as AJAX, ASP.NET, FLASH, Flex and Silverlight. Tests are created quickly without advanced programming skills. Loads can be generated in-house or in the cloud.

Selenium WebDriver

This free, open-source tool provides native browser testing remotely or locally using Selenium Server. The API may be accessed with Ruby, Java, PHP, Perl, Python, C# or Groovy scripts. Coupled with WebLOAD, multiple virtual web servers can be employed for realistic load and stress testing.


Locust is an open-source server-side tool that runs headless, which means user-driven performance tests can be automated via scripts. Virtual users, referred to as “locusts”, may number in the millions and be distributed over as many machines as desired to replicate realistic deployment conditions.

SOASTA CloudTest

This well-known cloud-based tool supports web-based functional and performance testing. It enables realistic load and stress test simulating millions of virtual users across multiple geographic regions with cloud infrastructure.


This cloud-based tool allows you to simulate user behaviors without knowing a scripting language. It scales up to 150,000 virtual users with geographic load distribution. Their Pro version can perform complete validation of your site, which is useful when developing your performance test plan.


Flood.io enables website performance testing with virtual users over hundreds of servers. It has exceptional real-time monitoring and results presentation, which enables early termination of tests as performance problems are discovered. Flood.io supports Selenium, Apache JMeter or Gatling test tools.


NeoLoad simulates realistic user loads while revealing bottlenecks in website performance. Test generation and maintenance is via a highly automated, no-code, drag-n-drop interface, though Javascript is supported. This design lets testers create, update and monitor website performance tests faster than other tools.

Engaging with a Testing Partner

Your company spends a great deal of resources on the design, development and deployment of your web site, app or service based on your unique technical and market expertise. Software testing, however, may not be your forte especially when it comes to understanding the nuances of performance, load and stress testing.

You want the most realistic testing scenarios possible, but may not be keen on spinning up on all the testing technologies and tools available. You definitely do not want testing to become a bottleneck to your on-time release.

That is why it often pays to engage with a trusted, experienced QA partner such as Optimus Information.

At Optimus, we provide end-to-end testing services from development to production. Our performance testing scope includes load, stress, spike, configuration and cloud-based testing. We work with you hand-in-hand to clear the obstacles, take on the challenges and remove the risks of testing so you can focus on what you do best.


It is a well-known truism that if your website fails to respond within a few seconds that half of your visitors leave, perhaps never to return. Responsiveness is the gateway feature to keep your customers engaged with your web presence.

Despite the ready availability of website performance testing tools, there are a multitude of factors involved in delivering world-class responsiveness that require a high-level of performance testing expertise. These include app and library performance, platform capabilities, network load and so on.

Taking a step-by-step performance testing approach that ramps up demand on your site or service is overall the best strategy. This requires a thorough performance testing regimen that is realistic and replicates the highly variable conditions of the Internet. Often, a cloud-based, geographically dispersed test platform with the ability to handle millions of concurrent users is essential to that effort.

Attention to detail, diligence and understanding the nuances of performance testing will finally lead you to successful performance testing by your team or QA partner.