Cloud migrations depend on proven best practices—coupled with the right cloud management platform (CMPs)—in order to implement them successfully.
Blindly shifting workloads to the cloud is one way to do things. And, in fact, this was a “strategy” for a lot of companies racing to take advantage of public cloud services for speed and economics. Ready, fire, aim was a preferred strategy to doing nothing as competitors sprinted to the cloud.
Cloud consumers then started gravitating towards CMPs like CloudHealth because it delivered visibility into cloud spending and provided recommendations for ways to optimize cloud resources, bringing some order to the chaos resulting from the cloud gold rush. Now that customers have better visibility, they can aim first before migrating applications to the public cloud.
Cloud migration best practices
Cloud migrations must rely on proven best practices in order to be successful. Here are 10 best practices for migrating workloads to the cloud:
- Identify the objectives of migrating to the cloud and see what other opportunities exist
- Create a fully supported and solely responsible Cloud Business Office
- Identify on-premises workloads suitable for migration
- Organize training to ensure the right skill sets are in place
- Outline and share a clear cloud governance model
- Develop a timeframe for proof of concept trials
- Adjust the cloud migration strategy as necessary
- Rightsize on-premises workloads before deploying them in the cloud
- Recalculate TCO and model out the migration
- Monitor everything
This is all solid advice, but the challenge lies with how to do these things. What tools are available to facilitate these best practices? CloudHealth Hybrid is one such tool that helps users make better, more informed cloud migration decisions. However, there are some other things to consider when an enterprise has a hybrid cloud environment.
I recently wrote a blog discussing the different management capabilities required for decentralized IT (public cloud) vs. centralized IT (data center).
In a hybrid environment, two distinct management platforms exist; one to centrally manage data center and private cloud resources and one to facilitate management and governance when disparate users and lines of business are provisioning their own cloud services. As hybrid adoption increases, these two management paradigms overlap and the disciplines of decentralized IT such as cost management, optimization, and policy-driven governance suddenly become more relevant to the data center management staff. Specific to cloud migration, the data center administrators, consumers, and managers of public cloud services need to identify what phase of migration planning and assessment they’re in and use the right tools for the job.
There are five primary phases in a successful cloud migration:
It’s pretty straightforward. First, you need to evaluate your current environment and identify potential workloads to migrate and what infrastructure they require. You then move to the planning phase where you plan capacity, build budgets, and perform “what if” analysis to develop a hypothetical picture of cloud costs. In the assessment phase, you create a more detailed assessment of the costs to run a workload in the cloud and compare the costs of different cloud providers. You also assess how to optimize the cloud infrastructure based on cost and performance prior to migrating them. Once deployed, you then optimize on an ongoing basis.
Together, vRealize Operations and CloudHealth are complementary and cover every phase of a cloud migration journey.
vRealize Operations excels at helping enterprise customers with a limited public cloud footprint make more informed cloud migration decisions. Customers can understand hypothetical costs, plan for capacity, and develop the “what if” scenarios that are critical to making good assessments and decisions.
CloudHealth adds value by building an assessment based on actual cloud costs from a customer’s billing statements and other cloud data. In this way, CloudHealth can use this detailed data to optimize the use of reserved instances (RIs) and compare costs across multiple cloud providers, regions, and availability zones. In the CloudHealth Platform, a customer can perform a migration assessment based on either configuration or utilization. When the assessment is based on configuration, it’s a straight lift and shift assessment and provides the cost of a like infrastructure in the cloud. You’re essentially comparing the same configuration in the data center against the same configurations in multiple cloud providers. With a utilization-based assessment, CloudHealth will make recommendations for rightsizing the cloud infrastructure based on the utilization and performance data of your current workloads.
According to multiple industry analysts, about 85% of enterprises have a multicloud strategy and have adopted some hybrid cloud.
As more companies acquiesce to user’s demand for direct access to public cloud services and IT embraces the dual role of IT and cloud service broker, cloud migration assessment becomes a critical function of any cloud management strategy. Whether your company is just starting a journey to public clouds or have a mix of public clouds, private clouds, and traditional data center workloads, CloudHealth and VMware provide the visibility, planning, and optimization capabilities to make better, more informed cloud migration decisions.