Cloud Migration Isn’t Going Away: 4 Warning Signs a Change is Needed

Cloud migration can be a complex process filled with risk.  Virtana’s Amit Rathi, vice president of engineering, shares four key considerations for single cloud or multiple cloud projects. 

Tags: Cloud, migration, Virtana,

Amit Rathi, Virtana
Amit Rathi
vp engineering

"With more organizations adopting multiple clouds, IT teams have struggled to optimize cloud spend and capacity planning."

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Over the course of my time in the cloud industry, one thing has been clear: the multi-cloud adoption journey has just begun. Often organizations seek migration because it cuts costs and streamlines business operations, and cloud cost management can give companies the upper hand—but only if executed properly.


Cloud migration is a complex process, and the more up-front planning you put into it, the better your chances are of avoiding challenges and setbacks during execution. Yet many companies still experience challenges, forcing them to move migrated applications back on-premises or work quickly to try to remedy them post-move.


Additionally, with more organizations adopting multiple clouds to meet different business needs, IT teams have struggled to optimize cloud spend and capacity planning across clouds.

As a result, companies have turned to compute storage to help cut costs.


With economic uncertainty still hovering, companies are looking for detailed insights into their cloud spend and the ability to control that spend and optimize current resources accordingly. And that all starts by properly planning for a cloud migration and expanding cost cutting measures where necessary.

Consider These 4 Key ‘Warning Signs' Before Starting Cloud Migration Projects 

In talking with customers, we’ve found that companies plan to move to hybrid cloud to cut costs in the next 12 months. This move to hybrid cloud needs increased visibility across clouds and optimized costs. However, companies must plan for their cloud migration properly.


The following four (4) warning signs could indicate a need to change your planning process.


#1: You’re unsure about the outcome of your cloud migration
Given the pivotal role of the cloud in digital transformation, it’s important to understand your purpose of migrating to the cloud and what your goals are once fully migrated. Furthermore, for most enterprises, cloud migration isn’t a one-and-done event but an ongoing process.


So, you might start by migrating priority resources to the cloud and then slowly moving the rest after you’ve had a chance to track progress and outcomes against your goals. Lastly, having full visibility into your process workflows is a necessity when it comes to cloud migration, otherwise, you won’t have control over your planning process, which can lead to poor management and unwelcome outcomes.


#2: You’re not sure which applications to migrate – or in what order
Your organization must prioritize certain applications for migration based on business requirements. Without this, you’ll be migrating your workloads blindly to the cloud, which will end up costing unnecessary time, money, and resources.


Further, it’s important to ensure the workloads you slate for cloud migration are truly fit for cloud deployment. Users can often find out too late that some applications, after all, work better on-premises.


In other words: When it comes to cloud migration, don’t force it! The cloud is not one-size-fits-all. Sometimes a hybrid approach to cloud management is the right choice for your organization. In fact, Virtana commissioned a study from IDC which found 84% of IT professionals prefer a hybrid cloud approach to their IT environment.


One final point here: Be sure you understand all the dependencies of the apps and workloads you’re aiming to move to the cloud. These days, enterprise infrastructures have grown more complex – and the number of shared components and services throughout that infrastructure has exploded. Understanding application interdependencies is crucial to you creating and prioritizing “move groups” of workloads that should be migrated together to avoid disruptions.

#3: Your workloads are constantly changing, and you’re concerned about overspending on unused cloud capacity
There are a lot of factors to consider when sizing your cloud instances. This makes it difficult to find the right balance between ensuring sufficient capacity and controlling costs.


Some factors include: sizing your workloads based on redundancy to minimize outages, your future needs, and expected growth plans. But the ‘pay-for-what-you-use’ model in the cloud puts you in control of the capacity you need to use now, while being mindful of what you might need as you grow.


Our recommendation is to collect various data and metrics before migrating. The right data will reveal your on-premises workload behavior – both over time and during peak business hours. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll know what resources and how much capacity you’ll need once in the cloud. Additional data will also allow you to compare right-sized costs across clouds to find the most efficient configurations based on risk, performance, and consumption.


So, it’s important to gather data and model various scenarios before making commitments and moving the workloads, so you’re fully prepared for migration.


#4: Your team was not set up for success, so your digital transformation initiative has ground to a halt
There can be a lot of risk in cloud migration planning – most notably in your timelines, budgets, and in the transition itself. But with the proper planning to de-risk cloud migration, you can start your transformation initiative off on the strongest possible footing. Here are some suggestions for getting on track.


First, start by forming the right team and assigning clear roles and objectives to each team member. Next, build a solid roadmap with goals for each step of the process. Ask yourself some of the questions we’ve walked through:

  • Which applications need to migrate and why?
  • Do any need to move together?

Then set priority levels for the order in which your applications need to migrate. This helps your team stay organized and in control of the process. It also provides clear visibility into your digital transformation, giving you the best chance of a successful cloud migration.

Conclusion: Best Ways To Plan for Cloud Migration

Planning a cloud migration for your organization can be a tall task – but stepping back and understanding the “why” behind your migration and then creating a detailed plan for how to get there can make all the difference. Of course, there are challenges that organizations can’t plan for before migrating to the cloud, but with a solid plan and roadmap in place, you’ll have more control over your reaction to those challenges and feel empowered to make the best decision for your organization.


After all, transferring data back on-prem can amount to a surprisingly hefty cost, so it’s worth putting the time in up front to avoid re-evaluating your cloud presence after the fact.


Amit Rathi is VP of Engineering at Virtana. He has more than 20 years of product development experience, including with Symantec and BMC. Of late, Amit has focused on designing cloud, hybrid and SaaS solutions, and product features that help companies succeed with legacy transformation projects.