As I listen to customers talk about migrating application workloads to the cloud, I notice that they’re on board with cloud migration and application migration, but they’re still concerned about risk.
“I think there’s more to this than meets the eye,” they say. “I like the idea of migrating application workloads from our data center to the cloud, but what if things go sideways? We’re talking about the performance and availability of our business-critical applications.”
I don’t blame them for being concerned.
Mind you, it’s reassuring for them to hear Oracle’s Senior VP for Cloud, Steve Daheb, talking about all the momentum toward cloud computing: “You’ve got to look at how customers buy. They’re buying on-prem license options. Some of those are lifting and shifting, and moving to the cloud. There’s a lot of cloud that’s bridged with on-prem.” It reinforces the push from the C-suite toward the cloud.
But who’s responsible for figuring out how to turn the battleship onto that new heading? The folks in IT, of course.
That’s why we put together a webinar called Migrating Workloads to the Cloud: It's More than Lifting and Shifting. It examines the questions to ask as you’re preparing your migration to the cloud. In this post I’ll highlight some of the fibs that make application migration to the cloud seem easier than it really is.
“You have 47 VMs in your data center, so that means you’ll have 47 VMs running in the cloud. Easy-peasy.”
In the webinar, we emphasize the value in knowing what’s in your data center before you start trying to move things to the cloud. Why? Because you’re about to undergo a change from data center architecture to cloud architecture, and not everything will run the same in both places.
To start, you’ll want to select the right applications best suited for the cloud and be able to quickly and easily compare fully-burdened data center costs to cloud costs. You’ll want to choose the optimal yet cost-effective cloud resources to maximize budgets. You’ll consider the dependencies among applications and whether your data in the cloud is moving across regions. Will you face ingress/egress charges as your employees access data every day? Who is responsible for protecting the data: you or your cloud provider?
You know how things run when they’re on your premises, but the last thing you want to do is migrate inefficient infrastructure to the cloud and waste money.
“You’d better get with the program. Cloud migration is not that hard.”
The first part is true; the second part is the fib because it ignores the risk involved.
The cloud may be unlimited, but your budget is not. If you make the wrong choice when migrating a workload to the cloud, your application may still work and your users may still be able to connect to it, but it will cost your organization a great deal more money – especially if you over-allocate resources.
Or, you may make a wrong choice that results in worse performance. You try throwing more cloud compute power, then storage, then networking at the problem, but it doesn’t go away. You ran the risk of migrating to the cloud without making necessary architectural changes, and now it’s affecting your business.
But at least you got the application out of your data center. That part wasn’t hard, was it? Too bad about the risk, though.
“Move to the cloud. Everybody’s doing it.”
It may be true that (almost) everybody is moving to the cloud, but that’s no guarantee that it’s easy or risk-free for them, or that it will be for you. Migration for the sake of migration is short-sighted. Remember how your parents used to needle you about jumping off a cliff if all of your friends did? Yeah. That.
Sometimes “everybody’s doing it” because the organization is trying to build a cloud-first culture where Development and IT have to implement new initiatives and projects in the cloud first. But it’s not always true that moving applications to the cloud will improve their performance, availability and agility.
Besides, there’s a difference between that cloud-first policy and a cloud migration strategy. The strategy is the plan you follow on your way to the cloud. It takes into account your architecture, your workloads and your requirements for storage, compute and networking.
And by the time they’ve evaluated security and compliance issues, many companies see the wisdom in going hybrid to keep some data on premises anyway. They try the cloud first and figure out it’s not better.
Watch our on-demand webinar called Migrating Workloads to the Cloud: It's More than Lifting and Shifting. My colleague Chris Jones of Quest® and Nick Cavalancia of Techvangelism take you through a presentation geared to IT architects, directors and managers who are planning their path to the cloud, including a demo of Foglight for Virtualization and other cloud migration tools.
Photo credit: Carmella Fernando