The cloud represents a new dimension in enterprise strategy. It gives shape to vaguely conceptualized dreams of “global presence” by projecting the enterprise into a virtual universe that is infinitely scalable, extensible and abundantly redundant. The deployment harnesses a wealth of resources just waiting to be exploited and filled with enterprise data that can be accessed from anywhere, anytime or all the time.
Unfortunately, migrating to the cloud is not easy. Technical know how continues to be the foundation of every migration strategy.
Unfortunately, traditional hardware system deployment experiences pale into insignificance as IT Administrators struggle to come to grips with the implications of the cloud. The vast cyberspace daunts and data seems to be swallowed up into a black hole every time data feeds are initiated. Fears loom large as CEOs refuse to consider the possibility of launching mission critical applications into the vast unknown. Moreover, all migrations are not equal and a migration process can range from simple re-hosting solutions to complex re-factoring solutions depending on the kind of legacy applications and goals of the organization. A typical migration will produce n-number of decision points that are not available in any migration manual. Since neither the cloud, nor the organization is static, migrating to the cloud requires a sophisticated level of automation. Discovery and mapping of resources must take place in a dynamically changing environment.
The transition to the cloud is being made simpler, easier and less complex for the end user. The emerging pre-validated and tested reference architecture is designed to advantage the enterprise and help smooth migration to private clouds. Unlike early cloud deployments the newer tools and facilitate the provisioning of deeper levels of integration; automation and orchestrates the self service capabilities of mixed workload applications. Cloud strategists have learnt to ride on the expertise available with cloud vendors in ensuring that migration happens smoothly and surely.
But, despite all this, migration is not going to be a pleasurable task for the IT Administrator or the enterprise strategist sometime soon. The issues surrounding each migration are unique and will vary with variations in infrastructure and data environments. The challenges are many and will continue to daunt the enterprise. The migration approach that is adopted must minimize risk and guard against the possibility of errors of migration. Strategists and Administrators must evaluate technology, methodology and end to end migration services provided by the selected cloud vendor before jumping into the migration bandwagon.