Understand 'as is' before you migrate to the cloud

Avoid making some huge errors in your public cloud migration with just a bit more study

James Sutton (CC0)

You’ve migrated 200 workloads to the cloud, along with connected data. Unfortunately, only three months after the migrated applications go live you discover that you’re out of compliance with laws and regulations of your industry. To make matters worse, the cloud provider you picked does not offer the services needed to make you compliant.

You’re faced with the dilemma of moving the workload and data to another public cloud that can meet your compliance requirements, or you revert to on-premises where the workload was originally hosted. The value that you predicted cloud computing would bring is no longer there. Indeed, it has cost more money and disrupted business.

This is a common story now. Enterprises are not taking time to understand existing application workloads and data sets enough to pick the correct cloud computing provider—or to even determine if the best decision is to leave the workload on-premises.

One size does not fit all in the world of cloud migration. This is likely the reason most organizations migrating to public cloud are migrating to multicloud as well. One cloud provides the security needed for a group of applications, another cloud provider has the data analytics required by workloads, and still another provides AI-based systems that meet the requirements of other workloads. You get the idea.

The better approach is to understand all application requirements before selecting a cloud provider, at least in enough detail to ensure that you’re not missing something. In my earlier example, the missing compliance pieces were likely not understood because the application migration team did not get the information needed from the application owners.

Long story short, you need to take the time to understand the “as is” state of all workloads that are migration candidates. This means breaking them down to the functional primitive, developing an understanding that may go beyond the application owners’. Once that occurs, the right platform, cloud or not, will be rather easy to define, and your migration success assured.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.