I spend a considerable amount of time in front of customers and prospects. Over the last few months, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about hybrid cloud. What’s the right approach? How long does migration take? What needs to be done in preparation? What benefits can our organization expect to receive? After fielding these questions across the country for lots of different size companies in a variety of industries, I thought it might be valuable to share some answers.
Check out the full recording of the webinar “Migrating Traditional Apps from On-Premises to the Hybrid Cloud.”
Hybrid cloud is an ideal solution for businesses because it enables IT teams to find the right combination of cloud and existing resources to do the job. At Rackspace, we call it the evolved enterprise cloud of the future. It’s a holistic way to combine public cloud, private cloud and dedicated servers into a single working platform to minimize tradeoffs and maximize the effectiveness of each component of a workload.
So how does a business begin to adopt hybrid cloud? The way I see it, enterprises have two choices when it comes to migrating traditional apps from on-premises to the hybrid cloud: they can re-architect their apps for the cloud or they can follow an incremental path to cloud computing via hybrid cloud. If your business doesn’t have budget, time or compliance restrictions, re-architecting may be a viable option for you. But most companies do and they want to test performance before rollout, which is why they are heading toward the hybrid approach.
In many cases, migrating an on-premises application to a hybrid cloud environment is less time consuming, less costly and less risky than re-factoring an application for a pure cloud environment because you are able to split application components between a dedicated environment and public cloud environments. For internal data centers running VMware and EMC technologies, migrating a three-tier application with separate web, application and database components can be done in five easy steps:
- Step 1: Profile your application – This step includes creating a data flow model of components and processes to give you insight into dependencies, complexity and risk.
- Step 2: Examine key application characteristics – You will understand the nature and dependencies of each process and all interactions, as well as latencies and tolerances in this step.
- Step 3: Build out the hybrid environment – As you build, you should baseline app resource requirements first, and then use those baselines to compare total allotment to resource utilization trends. You will also need to choose methods for image porting and data migration.
- Step 4: Perform a proof of concept – During this step, load testing to measure performance and verifying scalability are critical.
- Step 5: Cut over to the hybrid environment – Best practices during this step include incrementally migrating users so you can be sure to address any issues that might arise.
There is no question businesses benefit from engaging a managed service provider as they move to hybrid cloud. That’s because the service provider focuses on IT architecture and on-going support, leaving your resources free to focus on driving more value to your business.