Contributed by George Teixeira, President & CEO, DataCore Software
Today, it seems like just about everyone wants to jump into the cloud due to the high expectations for cost-savings, agility and efficiency. However, while any migration brings challenges, moving to the cloud requires a lot of up-front planning, and it is important for organizations to work with the right technical experts since these projects span the world of on-premise and cloud infrastructure. Unfortunately, the lack of skilled experts that understand the issues involved with both on-premise IT and the shifting landscape of current cloud offerings needed to simplify, plan and execute the successful and cost-effective migration of production applications is perhaps the biggest challenge with the cloud.
AWS wrote a useful post, “6 Strategies for Migrating Applications to the Cloud,” about the different migration strategies that its customers implement to migrate applications to the cloud which builds on the 5 R’s initially outlined by Gartner (organizations seeking to move applications into the cloud have five options: rehost on infrastructure as a service IaaS, refactor for platform as a service (PaaS), revise for IaaS or PaaS, rebuild on PaaS, or replace with software as a service). AWS’s six strategies go on to include the 6 R’s of: rehosting, replatforming, repurchasing?, refactoring/re-architecting, retire and retain.
Another good resource to review is SearchCloudComputing’s Essential Guide at the Path to Cloud Migrations. It details tips and resources to plan for a cloud migration; perform a cloud migration; and avoiding cloud migration risks.
DataCore customers have learned that software-defined storage (SDS) services can play an integral role in exploiting the operational flexibility and cost-efficiencies of private, public and hybrid clouds. A key advantage they have experienced is that they can exploit cloud capabilities and economics while still taking advantage of existing storage resources and skills. Cloud gateways and OpenStack capabilities are proven ways to integrate with prevailing cloud infrastructures. For a more detailed example of how to use replication technologies, auto-tiering and Amazon’s AWS storage gateway with DataCore to integrate and migrate workloads to the cloud and to do disaster recovery, please see this post: DataCore & AWS DR Strategies.
In any migration, it is important to make sure that your organization has a plan in place and a checklist, but it is also critical to do your research and get a technical advisor if it is your first venture onto the cloud. The best advice is to start with one, or a few simple applications, to get your feet wet and learn/adjust as you move forward.