Your Guide to Cloud Migration for Digital Transformation

By Andy Kicklighter, Sr. Director, Product Marketing

If your organization is a typical large enterprise, you’ll use hundreds to thousands of applications – from the most straightforward internal file-sharing tool to your most mission-mission critical internal and customer-facing applications.  And, the chances are that your organization is already in the cloud.  Perhaps your business units are already using an online tool like Google Office or Microsoft’s Office 365 for collaboration and productivity.  Or your sales organization is built around a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering like SalesForce CRM, your developers using hosted confluence or Jira.  Or some of your newest applications are delivered on Pivotal Platform as a Service (PaaS) or using a cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) infrastructure.

But now it’s time for the heavy lifting – Your organization is no longer opportunistically adding cloud applications and infrastructure for new projects and services. Now your organization is in the midst of a serious digital transformation effort that will alter and renew your organizational model as well as your operations, services, and product delivery. 

It’s a make or break proposition even for the most traditional industries.  If you don’t transform your business with digital technology, you risk permanent loss of market to your traditional competitors who have made the transition, or to new organizations with disruptive business models based around digital technology.  One crucial element in these transitions – making the best use of cloud resources for the delivery of your traditional internal and mission-critical applications.

The average enterprise with 100,000 employees has between 1500 and 3000 applications – which means that cloud migration is going to be a process that takes place over more than a single year’s time frame, and that has to be staged, planned, and managed.

But how do you evaluate what you should keep? What should you pick up and move to the cloud? When should you replace a service with a SaaS application? When should you rewrite completely to use cloud services?  And when should you extend a mission-critical application to use cloud resources? And is Private Cloud and element that makes sense for your applications and organization?

Keep reading and we’ll walk you through the basics.  Including the benefits of cloud migration, setting your cloud migration strategy, the process of migrating critical applications to cloud or hybrid environments, and the services and tools that can help you through the process as well as the top 10 challenges that most organizations encounter with cloud migration.

Let’s also keep in mind that “the cloud” isn’t the solution for every element of your digital transformation problem.  Cloud migration can make sense when used to:

  • Provide critical infrastructure to underpin applications moved directly from your existing physical or virtual environments to the cloud or extended to cloud environments with hybrid technology.
  • When replacing an existing non-business critical application with cloud-based services results in lower costs, better service levels, or the ability to use precious technical resources on key business value add and transformation.
  • When digital transformation calls for migration of critical applications from legacy architectures to new architectures that make use of technologies best implemented in cloud environments such as containers, big data environments or Platform as a Service (PaaS) delivery.

When these situations don’t apply, you may want to leave legacy in-house applications in place until it’s time for a complete replacement.

Below, you’ll find eight essential topics that can help you get your cloud migration underway, and keep it on track and performing once deployed.

1 – What Are The Benefits to Migrating?

For most organizations, the reason for cloud migration is to get access to the benefits that it brings to organizations.  Key benefits include cost savings, business flexibility, improved customer experiences, and enabling new business models.  Find out the details of cloud migration benefits here.

2 – The Migration Process

The cloud migration process begins with getting a clear understanding of the reasons, goals, and priorities that your organization wants to achieve with migration.  Assessing your current applications is the next step, followed by setting your cloud migration strategy.  Click through here to learn about the rest of the cloud migration process.

3 – How to Set Cloud Migration Goals

One key to success is clearly understanding the business goals and priorities for your cloud migration.  Failure to clearly understand what’s needed, time frames, and cost or service level goals can be a barrier to the success of your efforts.  Read more about setting your goals for cloud migration here. 

4 – Workload Assessment for Cloud Migration

It’s crucial to understand cloud migration options, what characteristics make applications suitable to a cloud migration type, and to assess critical characteristics of application workloads that will decide which options are best.  Find out the details by clicking through to our page on Workload Assessment for Cloud Migration here.

5 – Migration Strategy

Now that you’ve set strategy, identified goals and timeframes as well as assessed your top priority workloads for cloud migration, it’s time to build out your plan.  Read the details here. <link “here” to Sub-page 5 – Cloud Migration Strategy>

6 – Preparing for Deployment

Next up is to prepare for your cloud migration deployment.  Here are the steps you’ll need to perform for each application deployment. <link “here” to Sub-page 6 – Preparing for Cloud Migration Deployment>

7 – 12 Critical Elements for Monitoring and Managing a Cloud Migrated Application

Now that your applications are in cloud or hybrid environments, here are 12 critical elements of keeping those applications healthy, performant, and operating with optimal costs.  Find out what these critical items are here.

8 – Top 10 Cloud Migration Challenges

When moving applications into cloud or hybrid environments, there are common challenges across almost all cloud deployment models.  Click through to find out these top challenges and how to deal with them.

About Virtana

We’re the critical link that can help make your cloud migration go smoothly, and keep the migrated infrastructure that underlies your applications working with optimal cost, performance, and uptime – For public, private or hybrid clouds.

  • Cloud Migration Readiness: Learn about our Cloud Migration Readiness offerings that can help make the process of migrating applications to the cloud fast, efficient, and effective.
  • Capture and playback workloads before deployment: Our VirtualWisdom and WorkloadWisdom products work in tandem to first optimize and capture your existing application workloads, and them play then back in the cloud to simulate operation.  The result, you know it will work before throwing the switch
  • AIOPs driven, application-centric infrastructure management and monitoring – anywhere: Our CloudWisdom and VirtualWisdom products combine to give you AIOps driven cloud and on-premises application-centric problem resolution, performance management/monitoring, workload automation, as well as capacity and cost management.

Click here to try our products for free.