“I thought cloud migration was going to be easy,” you say. “The development and QA teams used to just create an account with a cloud provider like AWS or Azure, whip out a credit card and bang! they were in the cloud. What’s taking so long for us to get there?”

True enough. If cloud migration consisted of nothing more than entering a credit card number and moving a few workloads into AWS and Azure, on-premises data centers would be obsolete by now.

But as IT teams have looked to the cloud to shoulder different kinds of applications, more factors have come into play. That’s why our Chris Jones, product manager for Foglight, and Tim Warner, Microsoft MVP and Pluralsight author, put together an on-demand webcast called Leave Nothing Behind: Cloud Migration Done Right. I’ll go over some of their main points in this post.

The cloud migration questions are different now

Successful cloud migration of enterprise applications involves more than tactics; it calls for strategy. That means an assessment (according to no less an authority on the matter than Microsoft) in which the business and IT together work out the answers to several questions:

  • Who will be affected by the migration?
  • How much will migration cost us in the short, medium and long haul? How much will we save?
  • Which applications shall we move? How will they behave once we’ve moved them?

Also part of the strategy is the choice of tools for making the cloud migration.

Which tools to use for the migration?

When you know you’re going to have to track data and perform some simple arithmetic on it, the spreadsheet is the logical choice for a tool. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long in a cloud migration to exceed the usefulness of a spreadsheet. If you’re planning to migrate 25 apps, you’ll end up with 25 tabs or, worse yet, 25 spreadsheets.

You’re going to want more than rows and columns to visualize how your cloud infrastructure interoperates. Why does your application performance rise and fall throughout the day? Are your virtual machines running at the service levels you agreed to, or are you overpaying? Only by accurately modeling and visualizing your cloud infrastructure can you determine which VMs are where, and how they depend on one another.

Plus, there’s another question that has begun popping up, and whose answer requires more visualization than spreadsheets can deliver: How much will a reverse migration (or “repatriation”) cost your business? You may have to consider and be prepared for reversing the migration if you run into cost, security or other unforeseen issues with your cloud vendor.

Listen to the on-demand webcast

Chris and Tim cap off the webcast with a walkthrough of Foglight Evolve Cloud, emphasizing cost management, capacity management and optimization, both on premises and in the cloud.

In short, cloud migration doesn’t get easier just because you want it to. But approaching it with the right tools can go a long way toward ensuring that you have a firm handle on the kind of cost and performance you can expect.

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