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Five Workload-to-Cloud Migration Methods

November 18, 2013

Which is best for you?

Deciding how to migrate workloads to the cloud or between service providers can be just as important as the critical steps that precede it. Once you’ve done your due diligence; run the ROI on hard and soft costs; developed a risk management policy; and assuaged the internal fear, uncertainty, and doubt that comes with workload migrations, then comes actually doing it.

This is the first of a six-part series that explores options for workload migration to the cloud. It’s intended to make your research easier and to help guide you to a more informed choice about which workload migration methodology best suits your particular situation.

We all know that moving applications to a new infrastructure and network is never easy and full of “gotchas.” There are dependencies to be managed, many of which aren’t known until the migration is in process. With more and more applications deemed mission-critical and requiring 24/7 availability, maintenance windows shrink, which adds to the pressure.

Many a lost night and sacrificed weekend have been spent to make sure an application was up and running for users the next business day. Success is often measured in terms of no perceivable change. The closest that IT gets to receiving a pat on the back or accolades is hearing something like, “It seems a bit faster.” It’s no wonder that a 10-20 percent ongoing cost savings isn’t enough to convince an IT decision maker that moving a workload is worth doing.

That said, the promise of the cloud and a reliable service provider can unshackle IT from the restraints imposed by physical and virtualized computing environments. The cloud presents many more options for migrating workloads to and between service providers.

In this series, we will devote a blog each week to one of these migration methods:

  • Manual data migration between old and new operating system and application environments
  • Offline media transfer involving the shipment of portable media
    • Transfer of native format systems to your CSP
    • Conversion of systems to your CSP’s format
  • Internet transfer of virtual disk images
    • Transfer of native format systems to your CSP
    • Conversion of systems to your CSP’s format
  • Software agent-based data replication between old and new operating system and application environments
  • Full server failover from the original operating system environment to the cloud using software agents

I hope you will check back for installment #2 in this series.

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About Peak 10

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Board Member, Peak 10 + ViaWest