A rigorous assessment of the business objectives and a well-defined migration plan are critical to realize the benefits of moving IT activities from your legacy on-premises infrastructure to a public cloud provider. Any technical gap or delay in cloud migration will erode the economics and benefits of the cloud with unexpected expenses and performance issues.
To that point, a recent survey by SunGard Availability Services uncovered the following:
- Over 45% of IT decision-makers indicate they struggle to forecast and understand the costs associated with cloud migration.
- 40% of respondents cited they ‘lack understanding of cloud architecture dependencies and security compliance issues.’
- 45% of enterprises cited a gap of experienced internal resources to plan and execute the migration.
Considering the above, it is not surprising cloud waste will exceed $60B USD in 2023 (infographic on cloud waste).
The scalability, speed, and agility you get from the cloud are key differentiators, especially for companies operating in innovative and changing markets (e.g., finance, healthcare, retail). Cost savings (in the form of variable vs. fixed cost) and the geographical reach (turn on virtual machines in minutes in any region of the globe) are deciding factors for global and high growth companies. Reliable business continuity and enhanced security are often cited as well.
Workloads for the cloud
A cloud workload is an IT-related activity that consumes cloud-based resources (data, computing, memory, networking, storage). From a cloud perspective, workloads are defined by consumption patterns over time:
- Static workloads: steady consumption across periods such as CRMs, ERPs, or email.
- Periodic workloads: consumption characterized by spikes at specific times of the day, week, or month, such as accounting, or analytics tools.
- Unpredictable workloads: consumption with unpredictable, sudden, and high spikes in usage, such as ecommerce, online games, or video streaming sites.
The periodic and unpredictable workloads are usually the ones best suited for the cloud.
Any of the following are common workload migration approaches:
- Lift and shift (rehosting): moving a workload from on-premises to a cloud environment with minimal changes to its architecture and code.
- Extending to the cloud: ‘expanding’ a workload that runs on-premises with the additional use of cloud resources to expand infrastructure capacity (during predictable peak) or to migrate activities (testing, development).
- Cloud optimization: rearchitecting minor or major portions of the app or workload to take advantage of specific cloud services (such as automation or adding new features for better scaling).
- Cloud-native: converting a legacy architecture into an independent microservice.
When choosing a migration approach, one should balance projected short-term vs. long term benefits and consider the overall business objectives.
Examples of Migration Risks
Below are common risks that could occur without a well-planned migration:
- Weak migration strategy and/or business objectives.
- Migration delays that result in overspend and in reduced benefits.
- Prolonged post-migration performance and availability issues.
- Skills gap that limits management abilities to leverage cloud capabilities and could also result in eventual ‘out-of-control’ cloud spend.
- Weak executive sponsorship toward change management
While we highlight the key elements of cloud migration, it should become self-evident that a cloud migration is a critical decision with company-wide impacts if not well executed. Implementing and executing the right cloud migration is just the first step to realize the benefits of the cloud. Performing a thorough analysis of your projected cloud spend and the services that you will consume are paramount to the following step: the negotiation and signing of a multi-year agreement with optimal terms.
As with any strategic technology issue, problem, question, or concern, give NET(net) a call to learn more about our full range of Cloud Optimization Services, to see how we can help you understand the full cloud cycle from the initiation of a cloud migration assessment to negotiation of a multi-year agreement and subsequent cloud spend optimization. Complete the form on the Contact Us page to chat live with Subject Matter Experts. In case you missed it, you can also download our 12 Tips to Save on Cloud eBook.
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