3 common mistakes in cloud migrations -- and how to avoid them

Some enterprises make all the right moves with cloud computing, but most are bound to stub their toes

There are companies that succeed with cloud computing strategies and first-generation implementations. They typically have a few core characteristics, including the willingness to spend the necessary time for planning, the use of their best and the brightest, and being unafraid to make mistakes.

The proper use of cloud computing technology is not something you can find in a book. There is a bit of trial and error to the process, and you have to be willing to build this experimentation into your cloud implementation and migration processes.

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However, many enterprises are not doing it that way. Instead, they are driven by forces that could move them to failure. Here are the top three problems I see in companies' current cloud adoption efforts:

1. They jump to the technology too fast
The most common mistake is to drive right to the "Puppet or Chef?" or "Amazon or Rackspace?" discussion before much is known about the core business requirements.

We love technology, and it's much more fun to talk about it than to talk about the business drivers and architectural planning. However, most companies leaping into the technology too quickly are likely to use cloud computing ineffectively.

2. They get involved in the cloud provider drama
We all know that the OpenStack camp doesn't like the Amazon crew, who doesn't like the CloudStack gang. What does this mean to you? Not much. As the blog wars continue, you should focus on the technology in terms of fit, function, and value -- not the hyped industry drama that continues to be a characteristic of the cloud computing market.

3. They focus to the wrong degree on security
Security seems to have two extremes in the world of cloud computing. Some businesses focus too much on cloud security, to the point of being paranoid. Thus, they spend more money than necessary, reducing the value of moving to the cloud and perhaps eliminating that value altogether.

On the other side of the spectrum, some companies spend too little time dealing with cloud computing security. They end up exposed, and their cost of risk rises significantly. You have to start from your requirements to assess right security.

The theme is simple: You should pay attention to your business requirements and use that to drive your technology, security, and other decisions. But the reality is often that business requirements remain disconnected from the "sexier" issues that get all the attention.

This article, "3 common mistakes in cloud migrations -- and how to avoid them," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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