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Virtualization and Beyond: Transitioning Workloads from the Data Center to the Cloud

Welcome to Virtualization and Beyond

Transitioning Workloads from the Data Center to the Cloud

By Steven Hunt, Sr. Product Manager and Strategist, SolarWinds

Nowadays, there is a wealth of analyst data regarding the forecast and growth of cloud computing. My favorite breakdown of this information for 2015 is by Forbes and can be found here.

In that article, you will find some very interesting and notable statistics. One of the most telling is, "A Goldman Sachs study published this month projects that spending on cloud computing infrastructure and platforms will grow at a 30 percent CAGR from 2013 through 2018 compared with 5 percent growth for the overall enterprise IT."

This shows a definitive shift from traditional data center solutions to the growing cloud trend. There is, however, one detail you will likely not find in all of the available analyst data, and that is how to go from running your application workloads in your data center to running them in the cloud.

Picking the Right Cloud

There are many questions you must ask yourself when deciding how to transition your application workloads to the public cloud. For example:

  • "Can I adopt an existing software as a service (SaaS) solution in place of our current on premise solution?
  • Can I migrate our existing workloads to the cloud and host it via an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provider?
  • Do I need to develop an in-house application solution utilizing platform as a service (PaaS)?
  • Which cloud provider has the right solution for the right cost?

These questions and others will help you understand the most optimal path to take when transitioning to the cloud.

Although it does happen occasionally, most companies will not write, or re-write, their custom applications for the cloud using a PaaS provider. Instead, many will look to adopt an existing SaaS solution that meets, or exceeds, their needs currently fulfilled by their existing on-premises applications. That said, there is a growing trend of companies migrating their existing workloads to an IaaS provider. This approach allows companies to take their already understood process of installing, configuring and maintaining their applications, and replace the on-premises infrastructure with "the cloud."

IaaS is ideal for many companies as it allows you to utilize existing application expertise with a very small learning curve for deploying virtual instances in the cloud-the learning curve being mostly mitigated by the fact that there is less on-premises infrastructure to maintain moving forward. Also, companies will then have a simple monthly expense to maintain for their infrastructure costs, as opposed to the traditional amortized costs of the on-premises infrastructure.

The Right Tools for the Job

As I mentioned in a previous post, companies need to have the right tools to ensure the success of these application workloads in their new off-premises location. For any who venture down this path, it will be important to understand the availability, performance and cost associated with cloud-hosted applications. And because not all applications will be migrated to the cloud at once, it will be critical to have a solution that provides insight into both the on-premises data center as well as the cloud.

Ideally companies should adopt a solution that gives the right information and helps transition application workloads that have been identified for the migration to the cloud.

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About the Author

Steven has been involved in the IT industry for more than 10 years, focusing on server-based computing, desktop virtualization, end user computing and server virtualization solutions for SMB to enterprise environments. Currently, he is responsible for product strategy for server and application monitoring and virtualization management at SolarWinds

Published Thursday, December 17, 2015 9:36 AM by David Marshall
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