From both a business and an IT perspective, migrating to the cloud can be a good option for many businesses. But, it’s not something that can be done without the right research and preparation. If you want to be successful when migrating to the cloud, you need open communication with both your own team and hosting provider, as well as a clearly defined cloud migration strategy that is connected to your business needs. What follow are 5 tips to help you get started.
- Share your roadmap
Setting goals is everything. Your goals for migrating to the cloud should be closely connected to your business goals. How fast do you want to grow (i.e. how scalable does your technology need to be)? Who in your organization needs what functionality in order to reach which goal?
Select a cloud partner who is open to discussion about your roadmap and its implementation. Together you can create a technology roadmap that best supports your ambitions. Ideally, your cloud partner is a trusted advisor who shares his expertise with you. Keeping in close contact with your partner and sharing the load will also enable you to divide tasks between you: while your cloud provider focuses on hosting a cloud platform and making sure your servers are up-and-running, you will be able to concentrate on creating more value for your customers.
The value of leveraging a third party can only be achieved when both sides understand their responsibilities and expectations. This means communication between you and your partner should be one of your top priorities.
Over the course of the past few years I have had an increasing number of discussions with customers and prospects, who already have hosting infrastructure but are considering moving to a real IaaS solution based on a monthly subscription fee. In most cases these customers, who are often in the SaaS industry or offer professional IT services, are interested in moving from on premise or colocation to cloud (virtualized cloud solutions), usually a private cloud due to legal, security, or performance restrictions. The intention of this change is to reduce costs and free up time to focus on their core business.
Customers looking to make the move to the cloud usually either still have racks in the basement of their office, or infrastructure hosted in a data center where the customer rents one or more colocation racks. In both cases, it is possible to make a solid business case for the shift, even it means that the infrastructure needs to be moved from the office to a data center, or from one data center to another that offers hosted services.
To make a strategic move from colocation to cloud, it’s important to have a solid business case. What always surprises me is that the first version of the business case, often only accounts for the CAPEX of the hardware, the cost for rack space, and the cost for internet traffic. As I have learned from working with hundreds of companies, this isn’t enough. To draw up a fully developed business case you need to consider the following points:
Noted cloud analyst David Linthicum recently predicted that 2017 will be the year of the “great migration”. Enterprises will begin to migrate significantly more on-premise workloads than in previous years as they search for the right infrastructure solution to fit their business needs. We at LeaseWeb and WSM International agree with this prediction, having seen for ourselves a significant increase in inquiries about cloud migration, as well as the accompanying questions which arise when businesses begin to consider what it would actually take to make the switch.
While we recognize that migration can seem daunting, we have developed a comprehensive, and proven, approach to cloud migration based on 5 distinct phases.
Rebalancing is something that many of us are familiar with in terms of our personal finances. We regularly keep track of our accounts and spend time considering the right investment mix – stocks, bonds, mutual funds – based on economic conditions, past performance, and current needs. While we rightly attend to rebalancing our finances on a regular basis, it is important to think about it in other areas as well. One of these is Cloud Workloads.
As you gain insight into actual versus planned spending and a better understanding of your upcoming capacity plans and performance needs, it is important to look at your current needs and set about rebalancing your workloads in order to optimize both cost and performance.
While AWS has grown rapidly and occupies a dominant place in the market, many organizations have found that they need to rebalance their workloads to fit their evolving requirements. This rebalancing often means moving workloads from AWS back to either an on-premise computing (hybrid IT) environment or to a new hosting provider. Key reasons this occurs include:
Customers who are looking for a hosting solution, particularly those who currently have an on premise hosted IT environment and are considering colocation, often face a range of questions with regard to their infrastructure choices. We’ve put together a list of some of the common issues companies face when deciding between colocation and on premise hosting to help make it easier to choose between the two solutions.
In many cases, colocation offers several advantages in terms of IT management and business continuity. A hosted solution provides the benefit of the experience, knowledge and resources of the hosting provider. Additionally, the costs of running a datacenter on premises are usually high, and often will not show a return on investment unless a company can reach the necessary scale. Because of these factors, colocation is often an attractive option for many businesses.
Let’s look at some of the advantages of colocation in more detail:
In a hosted environment, the hosting provider takes the necessary precautions to ensure your data is available at all times. There are emergency services available in case of a power outage, such as power supplies, batteries, and generators (plus fuel, a supplier contract for fuel, and an SLA for refuelling). Fall-back scenarios are tested regularly to make sure these measures do not fail at crucial moments.
Hosting providers also have additional arrangements in place with an energy supplier for redundant energy connections that enter the building at different locations. Redundant Internet connections (that also enter the premise at different locations) and an agreement with the local authorities for possible excavation work (that could damage cables) are also standard.
We are happy to announce that LeaseWeb joined the Microsoft Cloud partner network as a top-level, Tier 1 provider. This enables us to elevate our existing relationship with Microsoft and increase collaboratively to define, evolve and grow the market for hybrid cloud-based services.
As part of the Microsoft Cloud partner network, LeaseWeb is joining a select group of strategic service providers that can deliver differentiated, value-added services to end customers based on the Microsoft Hybrid Cloud vision.
Achieving this status is a major milestone and the result of a lot of hard work by our product and operational teams.
By becoming part of Microsoft’s Cloud partner network, LeaseWeb can better help customers running a Microsoft stack to consume services in a datacenter that blend well with their existing environments.
Get in touch with us if you want to learn more about our vision of the hybrid cloud, and how we can help you optimize your infrastructure.