Many organizations have plans to migrate some or all of their IT environment to a cloud provider. They may be planning to move from an on-premises data center to the public cloud. In some cases, companies already have a cloud presence and want to expand it or transition to a different cloud service provider (CSP).

Multiple potential benefits make migrating to the cloud an attractive option for businesses that rely on their IT environment. Following are some of the most impactful benefits of cloud migration.

  • Cost savings – Eliminating the expense of procuring and maintaining hardware leads to immediate budget savings. Many CSPs offer pay-as-you-go pricing models that only charge companies for the resources they use.
  • Scalability and flexibility – The cloud offers virtually limitless scalability, allowing customers to tune resource usage to reflect evolving business requirements. Flexible pricing and performance options let companies select appropriate solutions to address their objectives.
  • Enhanced performance, resilience, and reliability – Cloud providers typically guarantee that they will meet specific performance and reliability metrics that mesh with customer’s requirements and expectations. Resilience is improved by taking advantage of cloud disaster recovery solutions and spreading infrastructure over multiple geographic regions.
  • Access to cutting-edge technology – Companies can access cutting-edge technology such as machine learning and advanced analytics in the cloud without excessive capital expenditures.
  • Improved security – CSPs typically implement industry-standard security solutions to protect an organization’s valuable data assets and mission-critical systems. Data security is further promoted by cloud backups to guard against data loss.
  • Global accessibility – Cloud infrastructure is accessible from any location with an Internet connection. This accessibility offers excellent support for mobile workforces and promotes collaboration with global team members.

Why It Is Important to Understand Your Existing IT Infrastructure

Regardless of the reason behind the decision to undertake a cloud migration, a successful transition requires a comprehensive understanding of the organization’s existing infrastructure. Companies need to fully understand their current environment to make the most effective use of cloud resources.

Let’s look at why obtaining an in-depth knowledge of the existing IT environment is crucial in the planning and execution of a successful cloud migration.

Initial system discovery and inventory

The first step when planning a cloud migration is to perform a discovery exercise to identify and inventory all existing systems, applications, and data resources. In addition to determining which systems will be in scope for the migration, the discovery provides an opportunity to sunset obsolete or unused systems and applications.

Compatibility assessment

Once the systems that may be migrated have been identified, they can be evaluated for cloud compatibility. Each system and application should be assessed to determine the correct migration strategy. The strategy can vary greatly based on the specific systems in scope. Amazon Web Services (AWS) defines the seven Rs to denote the different types of cloud migrations.

  • Retire – Systems that are found to be obsolete or unused can be retired and removed from migration plans.
  • Retain – Some systems may be retained due to legal requirements or until other systems on which they rely have been moved to the cloud.
  • Rehost – Systems are essentially lifted and shifted from their current infrastructure to the cloud with minimal changes.
  • Relocate – Relocation moves existing workloads to the cloud without disrupting operations.
  • Repurchase – This strategy swaps internally administered systems for third-party solutions from the CSP.
  • Replatform – When utilizing this strategy, systems are enhanced by powering them with cloud-native capabilities.
  • Refactor – This strategy rearchitects the existing environment to take advantage of cloud capabilities. It is the most complex type of migration but can provide the greatest long-term benefits.

Choosing the right strategy is an essential factor in obtaining the expected benefits from cloud migration. You need detailed knowledge about the infrastructure to make an informed choice.

Selecting a cloud delivery model

Understanding the current environment provides insight into the cloud delivery model that best addresses the business objectives driving the cloud transition. In many cases, more than one delivery model is employed to migrate an environment. Making the appropriate choice between SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS solutions is key to success.

Cost analysis

One of the expected benefits of a cloud transition is cost savings. Assessing the current costs versus the costs of cloud services is necessary to evaluate the utility of migrating the environment. Companies should also attempt to calculate the long-term costs of the cloud to facilitate budget management.

Security and compliance

The existing security and compliance posture needs to be fully understood so it can be replicated in the selected cloud solutions. Companies processing regulated data such as health or credit card information need to verify that the cloud services they plan to adopt comply with regulatory standards.

Developing a migration strategy

Understanding the current environment enables an organization to develop a valid migration strategy. The interconnectedness of IT systems needs to be unraveled so processes are not broken by moving integral pieces of the infrastructure before all dependencies are met.

VAST’s Services for a Successful Cloud Transition

VAST has your back and knows that your successful journey to the cloud begins with comprehensive cloud discovery and assessment. Taking the time to perform discovery and assessment is a critical step in a cloud transition. Our extensive experience migrating customers to the cloud puts us in an excellent position to ensure your company’s success.

VAST’s cloud discovery and assessment offering provides organizations with the following deliverables to ensure a smooth migration.

  • Infrastructure and application discovery identifies all workloads in the environment.
  • Inventory analysis addresses performance, dependencies, and profiling workloads for the cloud.
  • Performance metrics are gathered and used to estimate the necessary cloud resources and for comparison after the move.
  • Application inventory scores applications to see if they can be transitioned to PaaS or SaaS solutions.
  • Network dependencies are documented to ensure efficient data transmission after the transition.
  • Cloud readiness identifies the workloads best suited for the cloud and those that will not benefit from a move.
  • Delivery modeling determines how workloads can be best supported by public cloud solutions.
  • Remediation scoring identifies workloads that can be moved immediately and those that require a degree of remediation before transitioning.
  • Software reports are provided for all software running in your environment.
  • Financial analysis compares Cloud TCO versus the cost of a private infrastructure.

Give us a call and let VAST lead the way to a smooth and successful cloud transition.