Cloud Migration – Making the Big Decisions

Statistics indicate that more and more businesses are moving workloads to the cloud – 95 percent of respondents, according to the RightScale 2017 State of the Cloud Report.

They find that their legacy data centers can’t cope with the growing demands of mobility, big data and the IoT. Costs are rising and IT staff are spending too much time just firefighting and maintaining the status quo, with no time for innovation.

With business leaders recognizing the benefits of digital transformation, the pressure is on IT to deliver more services faster, and to ensure the highest levels of availability and performance.

Speed, scale and performance are key to success in this changing environment, but is a complete migration to the cloud the only response? What should you move, where should the workloads go, and how should you handle the move? These are big decisions and they’re critical to the future of the business.

Which Workloads?

Cloud migration is both a strategic and technical decision. From a strategic perspective, businesses look to cloud to increase flexibility and mobility. But technical considerations of infrastructure, interoperability and dependency also come into play.

Not every workload is suitable for the cloud. Data that includes private or confidential information, or is subject to regulatory compliance may have to remain on premise. Security risks are too high.

Services and applications that support mobile workers are definite candidates for cloud migration. And, with more employees enjoying flexible home working or remote working, the mobile population is growing. Moving collaboration tools, email, business applications and storage to the cloud gives those employees access anywhere via the Internet.

Workloads with variable demand, such as application testing and development platforms benefit from the scalability of the cloud. Opinion is divided over mission critical systems like ERP or CRM, where IT teams must maintain the highest levels of availability. For some businesses, that means keeping it close to home.

Go Public or Private?

For businesses that are undecided about cloud workloads, commentators recommend starting small. Take a non-critical application and monitor  performance, security and availability compared to the on-premise version. A small migration is easier to manage and provides valuable information for planning future moves.

The next decision is public or private cloud. With a public cloud, you share resources with other users and the workloads can be stored anywhere in the world. Visibility into your workloads is limited to the information available from the service provider.

The upside is that the service provider takes care of the management of the service, freeing your IT team for more strategic tasks.

With a private cloud, the management task shifts back to the IT team. Private cloud provides greater control and security, although costs are generally higher than the public equivalent.

In-house or Hosted?

The management challenge can be a major barrier to private cloud deployment. Your IT team may not have the cloud skills or knowledge to manage a private solution, particularly if your business is new to the cloud.

An alternative is to move workloads to a hosted private cloud where a service provider takes responsibility for operations and management, but your business enjoys the security, visibility and control of a private cloud.

These are big decisions, but with advice from migration experts like VTG, you can you’re your move to the cloud with confidence.

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