Posted on December 6, 2017 by Maya Cieszynska
The public cloud is no longer a blip on your IT radar. Powered by Category 5 winds of change, it now covers every corner of the IT horizon. In 2017 alone, the cloud grew by almost 40% – a phenomenal growth rate for any technology. By 2020, 60% of IT infrastructure and 70% of software and IT services spending will be in the cloud.
This means you must prioritize your move to the cloud to maintain your competitive edge. Our webinar poll revealed that three-quarters of participants were strategizing cloud adoption. A quarter had plans to make investments in one to three years.
But migrating to the cloud is not a small undertaking, and spending on innovation is not cheap. Research shows that for every $1 you earmark for innovation, you will spend another $7 on execution. This is because your data centers are not modernized for cloud adoption, which means you must invest in new technologies. You must also train your teams to operate new systems.
In our webinar, we explain how you can solve these problems and move your IT infrastructure to the cloud with minimal expenditure. We break down the entire migration process into five easy stages that you can implement right now to begin cloud adoption.
Watch our “Five Stages of Cloud Adoption” webinar.
Your journey towards successful cloud adoption begins with a Gap Analysis of your current IT systems. This will give you a detailed inventory of the applications, or production workloads, in your data centers. This information is crucial for generating a cost estimate and a preliminary budget for cloud adoption. A poll conducted during our webinar showed that more than 70% of participants had no idea how to create a cost estimate.
A Gap Analysis will also help you project the performance of your assets in the cloud. It will provide technology recommendations to you about functions that can only be executed in the cloud. This will help you discover new channels of productivity for your cross-functional teams.
This is where you take your first test flight in the cloud and experience its functionality first-hand. You do this by replicating a single production workload to the cloud and deploying it via a best practices approach. This means you must build scripts, use management interfaces, and utilize Infrastructure as Code.
Your IT and cross-functional teams must monitor your workload continuously to understand its performance in the cloud. Your cross-functional teams should be made up of Security, Support, Financing, and Lines of Business. This gives your entire company the perspective it needs for cloud adoption.
After deployment, you must conduct an introspective review of the entire test flight. You should take note of the processes you used for deployment. You should also highlight the skill sets and tools you need for larger migrations. These steps will give your company a clear picture of the functions, elements, and tools required for success in the cloud.
In this stage, you need to build a profile of all the applications running in your current environment. Make notes of the servers they’re running on, their system and support requirements, and their stakeholders. This process will allow you to map out the exact resources that your applications need to run.
This application profile is vital for successful cloud adoption, but a majority of companies do not maintain this list. A poll conducted during our webinar revealed that 67% of people did not know about their applications’ requirements. Another 17% had no catalog of their applications and users.
The profile will reveal how much of your data center’s resources are actually being used by your applications. In most cases, you will find your workloads are only utilizing 20% of available resources. It is only during brief periods that your servers operate at 100% capacity. This means you’re paying large amounts for unused resources.
You can correct this by provisioning applications in the cloud for nominal usage. You can then set up the cloud so that it allows for 100% demand during peak periods. This means you only pay for 100% performance when needed, resulting in great cost savings.
You should also analyze your applications for cloud compatibility during this stage. Find out if your application vendors support cloud adoption, and highlight any roadblocks. Identify applications that will not function in the cloud, and chalk out a plan to migrate with minimal disruption.
The first step in this stage is to build an application support infrastructure in the cloud. You must ensure that the cloud’s servers are configured to run your workloads, and that storage is available for your data. The network must also be set up to make the cloud an extension of your physical database.
You’re now all set for launch. The easiest way to begin migration is to automate deployment through scripts and templates. Scripts initiate a pre-programmed compute instance in the cloud. This configures workloads for deployment in line with your application profile. Templates, on the other hand, allow you to use the existing software in the cloud itself. This significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to deploy solutions.
This process is called Infrastructure as Code and will allow your IT team to deploy hundreds of applications in minutes. It will dramatically simplify cloud migration for your IT team and will enable all of your departments to seamlessly move to the cloud.
Now that your workloads have migrated to the cloud, you must begin constant optimization to ensure peak performance. Your applications will need to be monitored for efficiency, and resource usage will need to be adjusted for maximum productivity.
You must also keep your cloud spend in check. Over 75% of companies report exceeding their budget by at least 50% within one year of moving to the cloud. You can avoid such expenses by rightsizing your applications on a constant basis.
Rightsizing entails provisioning resources in line with the changing requirements of your applications. During peak periods, you should adjust your settings to provide more resources to applications. But as soon as your workloads return to original benchmarks, you should throttle back for maximum savings. This process can be entirely automated via Infrastructure as Code.
Optimization will also help you modernize your applications. The cloud grants you access to new updates that might not have been available to you otherwise. This will significantly help your business maintain its competitive edge.
These five stages will help your company move to the cloud seamlessly and within budget.