Organizations considering migrating workloads to the cloud need to answer a lot of important questions. Decisions have to be made concerning what systems to move, how they should be migrated, and the appropriate cloud model to implement.
Companies that attempt to move to the cloud without performing the necessary planning will often encounter issues during the process that could have easily been avoided. Trying to migrate to the cloud in an ad-hoc manner is likely to fail or at best provide less than optimal results.
The Benefits of Cloud Discovery and Assessment
Performing a thorough cloud discovery and assessment provides an organization with much of the information it needs to answer its migration questions. There are three main objectives in performing a cloud discovery and assessment process.
Inventorying the environment – The first step in preparing for cloud migration is to inventory an organization’s current IT assets. All hardware and software items need to be included. Shadow IT resources that have not been approved by management may be discovered during this inventory. This information is important to an organization even if they decide a cloud migration is not appropriate at this time.
Analyzing the environment – After the assets have been inventoried, a deep analysis of their performance, dependencies, and cloud readiness needs to be performed. It may turn out that what appeared to be an easy target for migration has complex dependencies that impact the viability of the move. Cost analysis comparing the price of running systems using prospective cloud models versus the existing environment can help determine what assets make the most sense to migrate.
Determining the appropriate cloud model – Once the target workloads for migration have been identified, it’s time to select the most suitable cloud model and provider. Ideally, you will select a CSP with extensive SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS offerings that mesh with your migration plans.
Answering Questions with Cloud Discovery and Assessment
Decision-makers are faced with many choices when migrating an on-premises IT environment to a cloud service provider (CSP). A thorough cloud discovery and assessment can help in meeting the objectives outlined above including the selection of cloud models and evaluating the financial ramifications of migrating specific workloads.
An inclusive discovery and assessment process will perform numerous activities to gather the required information that includes:
- Infrastructure and application discovery to identify workloads in the environment that may be candidates for migration;
- Inventory analysis to provide details on hardware and application performance as well as system dependencies;
- Performance and metrics analysis to provide data on environmental aspects such as daily memory and CPU usage;
- Data on network dependencies based on information collected from scanned systems;
- The cloud readiness of specific applications that may be more or less suited to being migrated;
- The cloud delivery model that best fits assets that will be migrated;
- Remediation scoring to illustrate which assets can be moved quickly and those that require pre-migration activities;
- Software reports that inventory all software in the environment;
- Financial analysis that compares cloud costs versus those of a traditional data center.
The data accrued through the discovery and assessment process provides organizations with the information they need to make intelligent choices as they pursue cloud migration.
VAST IT Services offers customers a downloadable comprehensive roadmap for cloud discovery and assessment. It provides additional details regarding the discovery and assessment process. It’s a great resource for companies looking to migrate workloads to the cloud.
What Comes After Discovery and Assessment?
The information gathered by the discovery and assessment process should be seen as providing foundational data for successful cloud migration. The next steps in cloud migration are equally important and should be addressed methodically using the collected data as a guide.
- Planning – Detailed planning should be performed that identifies the correct cloud architecture and addresses capacity and compliance requirements.
- Migration – Once the plans are solidified, the physical migration will occur as workloads move to the cloud. The migrations should be realistically scheduled to allow workloads to be verified after they are moved and before the next target is migrated.
- Optimization – Cloud resources need to be optimized to avoid excessive costs. It’s easy to inadvertently over-provision resources when working with a traditional data center mindset. Automated tools to assist with optimization can save an organization a substantial amount of money.
- Governance – Cloud usage policies need to be defined that address the everyday use of data and any regulatory compliance issues faced by the organization.
- Orchestration – Automated tools and solutions should be implemented to enforce policies and rules to all resources across the environment.
Let VAST Optimize Your Cloud Environment
In addition to the discovery and assessment guide VAST provides, the company offers a consolidated cloud management platform that will help optimize your cloud environment. VAST View collects and consolidates data from cloud providers using open APIs. The tool is compatible with AWS, Microsoft Azure, and the GCP cloud, covering all major public CSPs.
VAST View is powered by the CloudHealth by VMware cloud service management platform. The tool provides the functionality organizations need to optimize their cloud environment from a single pane of glass. VAST View provides customers with the following features.
- Visibility into their cloud environment to facilitate management and proactive address issues before they become disruptions.
- Automated processes that manage and tune your environment to obtain cost and performance optimization.
- Automated data governance that ensures consistent application of business policies across the environment.
VAST View has features that align with the discovery and assessment procedures necessary when planning a cloud migration. The areas where VAST View can be instrumental in making the correct migration choices include:
- Migration planning – VAST View lets you model workloads for migration to the AWS, Azure, and GCP clouds to obtain TCO data and make intelligent decisions.
- Rightsizing – The tool identifies under or over-utilized infrastructure and offers recommendations to ensure the environment is optimized.
- Security – Alerts can be generated to identify assets or accounts that are not dominant with defined policies.
VAST View helps companies get through the discovery, assessment, and planning necessary for cloud migration. Once the workloads have been migrated, VAST View automates the environment’s management and optimization. Contact VAST today and get started with VAST View.