At its simplest, a data center is a physical facility that organizations use to house their critical applications and data. A data center’s design is based on a network of computing and storage resources that enable the delivery of shared applications and data. The key components of a data center design include routers, switches, firewalls, storage systems, servers, and application-delivery controllers.
Cloud Migration is simply the adoption of cloud computing. It is the process of transferring data, from an on-premise or legacy infrastructure to the cloud environment. However, moving data to the cloud requires preparation and planning in deciding on an approach. As businesses grow and their process technologies improve, there is a growing trend towards companies migrating Data Center to Public Cloud IaaS and PaaS. In this article, we will introduce how leaders can decide for migrating their Data Centres to the Public Cloud.
Primary Decision Point
To address whether the organization needs to migrate an entire data center to public cloud IaaS and PaaS, the following primary assessments are followed:
- Architects must determine whether the infrastructure and applications in the on-premise data center can and should be migrated “to the cloud” — typically some combination of IaaS and PaaS — and if a migration is indicated, when this migration should take place.
- A rapid assessment of general viability should be made prior to the decision to develop a detailed business case and determine whether there are business or technical factors that indicate that a substantial percentage of workloads, are not suitable for migration.
- Decision Point is focused on migrating an entire data center, not just specific applications – thus all applications are analysed, some of which are mission-critical, Tier 1 systems of record — and they may contain significant legacy infrastructure such as mainframe systems.
These assessments typically have four possible outcomes:
- Move forward with migration planning – select a migration service provider.
- Delay – delay initiating the migration for some period.
- Stay with the status quo – do not migrate.
- Seek alternatives – utilize some form of data center modernization.
Decision will be influenced by three key principles that are aspects of IT and business strategy:
- The overall cloud strategy
- The importance of IT agility within the business’ s strategy
- The organization’s cost optimization preferences
The following requirements and constraints are considered:
- Technical feasibility
- Location constraints
- Financial constraints and benefits
- Business agility requirements
Overall cloud strategy can often be summarized with one of the following four stances for new application projects:
- Cloud first: New projects should use cloud services unless there are strong reasons not to do so.
- Lean cloud: Find the best fit for the application, but all other things being equal, it should go to cloud services.
- Lean against cloud: Find the best fit for the application, but all other things being equal, it should remain on-premises.
- Cloud last: Only use the cloud for applications that require capabilities that are exclusive to cloud services
A cloud architect should determine the organization’s stance toward cloud migration. This will generally be in one of the following categories:
- Migrate everything: favoured for all workloads that are technically feasible, although the timing of that migration will be dependent on business factors.
- Lean toward migration: favoured for workloads that are technically feasible and where the level of migration effort is reasonable, and where the business case is strong.
- Lean against migration: when there is a strong business case and no significant technical challenges.
- Limit migration: only if there is a time-sensitive impetus, a highly attractive business case, no significant technical challenges, and strong support from executive management.
Importance of IT Agility to the Business
The more important IT agility is to the success of the business, the greater the likelihood that the organization will lean toward cloud services whenever possible.
A cloud architect should consider the following:
- Agile application dependencies
- Application modernization
- Reduced infrastructure due to SaaS
Cost Optimization Strategy
Because cloud migration is often motivated by a desire for cost savings, it is typically prioritized against other cost optimization initiatives. Furthermore, the nature of the migration impacts both immediate and future costs, and potentially top- line revenue as well.
There are three primary ways to migrate an existing data center to cloud services:
- Lift and shift: Rehost the workloads, treating the cloud IaaS offering like “rented virtualization.”
- Lift and optimize: Do not change the application code but use a combination of IaaS and PaaS to maximize automation and leverage cloud capabilities.
- Transformation: Start with lift and optimize, and then transform toward a DevOps approach and agile application life cycle with continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD).
Requirements and Constraints
The following physical constraints can make it difficult to migrate to public cloud IaaS:
- The business has key geographic locale requirements that cannot be served by a major cloud IaaS provider.
- Most users are in locations with poor WAN connectivity to public cloud IaaS providers.
- Many of the applications have on-premises location requirements.
If you have any of the following technical issues, they are likely to pose significant challenges to cloud migration:
- You have critical applications that are hosted on a mainframe or a midrange system.
- Many of your applications are hosted on non-x86-based infrastructure.
- Many of your applications rely on operating systems other than Linux and Microsoft Windows.
The following security constraints significantly impact the feasibility of a public cloud migration:
- Many of your applications have isolation requirements that cannot be met in a multitenant environment.
- Many of your applications have security requirements that cannot be met by a public cloud IaaS provider, even when additional third-party controls are used.
- Many of your applications have regulatory compliance requirements that cannot be met by a public cloud IaaS provider.
For midmarket organizations, cloud migrations typically take two or more years. Many midmarket organizations have completed cloud migrations that have allowed them to eliminate most or all of their data centers — whether on-premises, colocation or otherwise outsourced. In large enterprises, a cloud migration may take five or more years, although it is possible to accomplish the bulk of the work within three years.
The global hyperscale cloud providers are constantly introducing new capabilities. Even other cloud IaaS providers that are still actively improving their offerings introduce some new capabilities at least once a quarter, to assist you in the migration process. The cost of migrating to cloud IaaS has been declining over the past several years and is likely to continue to decline.
COVID-19 has created a new inflection point that requires every company to dramatically accelerate their cloud migration to create a foundation for end-to-end digital transformation, requiring that every business become a cloud business. Kanoo Elite with its years of experience providing consultation for enterprises to move to Cloud Computing, lets you decide if Cloud Migration is an option for your organization and analyse which migration model to adopt, and how to plan the migration process.
Kanoo Elite helps you navigate the complexities. We work with you to determine the right cloud strategy, operating model, roadmap, and ecosystem partnerships, combining our deep industry and business acumen with technology insights. We then help you execute a seamless migration and modernization to Cloud that is secure, cost-effective, and agile.