Cloud migration: critical lessons to be learnt from moving houses
June 14, 2017
By Ashwin Krishnan
The other day a close friend of ours decided to move from their sprawling (and inefficient) 5-bedroom house to a modern neo-urban 3-bedroom apartment which spelled efficiency and hipness.
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Sounds good, right?
Well, not quite. They had a big decision to make – should they pack up all the stuff they had accumulated over several decades and move in with garbage and valuables alike? It felt more convenient! Or should they dump everything and start afresh in the new place?
Or was there a middle ground?
Ideally what they wanted was a service that knew the intricacies of the new place well AND had the knowledge of what a typical suburban family in a large home would be accustomed to and would could come in and monitor how they currently live and make suggestions on what to keep, what to modify and what to dump. Unfortunately, no such service existed and they had to make do with choices some of which they feared would turn out to be suboptimal but they were left with no alternative.
Well, I am sure you have the drift of where I am going with this. If you replace my friend with today’s enterprise infrastructure, the sprawling 5-bedroom house analogous to the private data center of today and the neo-urban apartment with the public cloud, and the parallels are striking.
There is no denying that all enterprises are looking to migrate to the public cloud (the extent may vary) but much like my friend, don’t have much of a clue as to what pieces to migrate and how. The choices faced by enterprises are a lot like the house migration project. Cloud-native offerings from vendors don’t know or care much about the enterprises’ use of infrastructure and software on their private data center today and the only choice there is is to dump everything and start anew.
This may seem like a tall order and not very supportive of the knowledge and assets accumulated over the years. Legacy vendors, on the other hand, who have been serving enterprises faithfully with on-prem offerings favour a ‘treat the public cloud like your own enterprise and we will take care of you’ approach. This is much like the ‘pack up all the accumulated stuff good and move in as is’.
Clearly sub-optimal, right?
Realising that ‘blow up everything and come over approach’ does not resonate with many enterprises, most of the largest public cloud vendors are also offering ‘lift and shift’ like the ‘legacy vendors’ but the same subtext applies here – ‘lift and shift garbage and valuable alike’. So, there must be a better way.
One that allows enterprises to leverage what they have learned over years, dump antiquated practices and build anew where it makes sense. Yes, the largest System Integrators offer such practices – but it is usually very expensive and it drives the ROI for the movement to cloud way up and out. And make the CIO susceptible to questioning by the board and the CEO about the mushrooming cost to move to the cloud which was supposedly done to drive costs down! So, what is the solution then? Glad you asked. It must be a set of tools that is economical, intuitive and customizable. This makes it accessible to medium and large enterprises alike and makes the journey to the cloud so much more pleasurable. Does such a solution exist? Watch this space for the next installment of this article.
Now if only my friend could find such a service for the house move to make that journey equally easy!
-Krishnan is Senior Vice President of Product Management, Strategy, Technical Marketing at HyTrust