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Before You Move Data to the Cloud, Know This About Tools and Visibility

To support business growth and manage workload infrastructures, you must have detailed insight into your on-premises applications before you make a move to the cloud.

When was the last time you moved? Think about that storage unit or moving truck that you fit your entire home into. I’m sure you took stock of every item in your home so you knew how big the unit or truck needed to be. How many pieces of furniture, appliances, and boxes did you have? How often would you need to access items within a certain box? You wouldn’t want to pack up all pots and pans and leave them in storage if you still needed to cook throughout the remainder of the move. Similar considerations and planning apply to cloud migration.

For Further Reading:

The Importance of Seeing Cloud Costs in Business Context

How Heavily Regulated Industries Can Migrate Sensitive Data Workloads to the Cloud

Distributed Cloud: The Latest Innovation Accelerator

Before moving a large amount of data to the cloud, it’s imperative to have a full view of everything within your existing on-premises workloads. It’s also critical to know and understand how to use the available cloud tools to your advantage. In this article we’ll walk through how to have a clear, concise view into all things cloud and know which tools are essential to add to your portfolio before migrating.

Three Types of Insights

To support business growth and effectively manage workload infrastructures, you must have detailed insights into your on-premises applications. Seek out insights that can help you improve capacity planning, accelerate cloud adoption, and identify application performance, availability, and scalability needs.

Capacity planning fosters a proactive approach to infrastructure needs. For example, you may see that with the growth your company is experiencing, suddenly your customer relationship management (CRM) application is growing more than 100 percent over the last year. To support this growth, you may need to identify which geographical region is driving the growth and whether you have enough resources in that region to support it. If you don’t, one option would be to repurpose existing resources that are allocated but not used. Another option would be to invest in more resources. Without detailed insights, you cannot make such informed decisions. 

Cloud adoption. It’s vital to understand an application’s mapping, its dependencies, and the resources it needs to decide whether the application is an appropriate candidate to move. If an application is not growing and has too many dependencies on other applications, moving it to the cloud may negatively impact its performance. However, an application that grows dynamically based on seasonal needs and has fewer dependencies on other applications will perform well in the cloud. Once in the cloud, you can scale resources dynamically. These insights help reduce the chances of cloud migration failure and accelerate your move.

Application performance, availability, and scalability are crucial factors in achieving a positive user experience. Having this information enables you to proactively plan and fix any issues before they happen. For example, we’ve seen a switch shared between the mission-critical application and the internal facing application. A faulty communication from an internal-facing application started to load the switch port dramatically and stopped it from serving the needs of the application. This led to a huge outage that could have been easily avoided by having full visibility into these application factors.

A complete view across your cloud dashboard provides multiple benefits, so how do you constantly maintain this real-time look into applications? Tools. With more companies adopting a multicloud strategy, tool sprawl has become a big challenge. A recent survey shows that the majority of CIOs and IT leaders are using five or more tools for migration, cloud cost optimization, IPM, APM, and cloud infrastructure monitoring.

Tools to Drive Digital Transformation and Cloud Migration

A unified data platform, cloud governance, and FinOps are the three most important tools necessary to drive digital transformation and cloud migration in any organization.

Unified data platform. It’s difficult to succeed in capacity planning, cloud adoption, or even application performance if you do not have end-to-end visibility across your entire cloud infrastructure. Segregated data makes decision-making a manual process and extremely time-consuming. Setting up a unified data platform allows you to have everything in one place and can be a building block for success. 

Cloud governance. Without defined standards or a set of best practices in place, you can end up making suboptimal cloud moves from an overall organizational perspective. With decentralized decision-making, every application owner may be using different cloud providers to serve specific needs. Although these decisions can help specific applications, they can hurt others. If you don’t evaluate decisions against the broader objectives of your organization, this can quickly lead to unplanned complexity. Cloud governance provides a set of policies and guidelines that enable faster decision-making without compromising your organization's larger objectives. It also helps you catch deviations early and provides a framework to mitigate risks.

FinOps. Using a dedicated FinOps model is essential if your organization has a large budget for cloud services. Cloud costs can skyrocket out of control very quickly due to the flexibility and resources that cloud providers offer end users. Those who request additional resources or move applications around may not have visibility into what those resources or movements cost and, as a result, can deplete your budget quickly. Having a dedicated practice can help you avoid surprise cloud bills.

These tools can give you optimization recommendations on idle or underutilized resources to help you stay in control of your cloud spending. Properly planning and managing these aspects will empower your organization to make smart decisions about application deployments and their management and optimization in the cloud.

About the Author

Amit Rathi is vice president of engineering at Virtana. He leads all aspects of development, testing, DevOps, support, and cloud operations for Virtana's products. Amit brings a strong software engineering, customer-centric background and over 20 years of experience in Virtana’s specific Information Technology Operations Management (ITOM) domain. Amit recently spent 12 years at BMC Software, building enterprise on-premises and SaaS projects, delivering customer-centric product experiences and developing high-quality products. You can contact the author via LinkedIn.

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