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One size does not fit all cloud migrations

The importance of being able to deliver specialised customer support has been highlighted by a report from Virtustream

Those customers hoping that working with a single vendor for a cloud migration are finding out the hard way that a multi-cloud approach is required to ensure a smooth transition.

Resellers are fully aware of the need to deliver a broad solution that can cover on-prem, hybrid and public cloud as well as the importance of being able to provide choices and combinations of vendor offerings.

Dell business Virtustream has released research carried out by Forrester Consulting that looked into what made cloud migration a success.

The main conclusion is that a one-size-fits-all approach is failing to cope with the specialised needs that customers have.

“Cloud migration is distinctly harder than cloud adoption,” according to Forrester principal analyst, Lauren Nelson. “Mega-cloud environments are not built optimally for all applications. New apps can be designed to run on these horizontally scaling environments in micro service-based architectures, but existing workloads have structural incompatibilities with these platforms."

"Force fitting a ‘lift and shift’ approach to migrating some apps, particularly mission critical ones, often results in firms choosing between cost and performance,” she added.

Most customers are taking an app by app approach to migration but a third were relying on a single 'megacloud' vendor to deliver results.

Despite the problems the movement towards the cloud continues with the Forrester study unearthing facts about the progress of current migration efforts, with those carrying out projects having already moved 44% of their apps into a hosted environment. That level should hit 62% by 2019.

When it comes to selecting a provider, 62% of those IT director quizzed put performance as the main consideration, with security then compliance requirements coming next.

“This study highlights how different applications have different use-case characteristics,” said Simon Walsh, COO, Virtustream.

He added that taken an approach that gave customers the chance to get customised support, "shortens time-to-value for our customers without compromising on security, application performance and cost efficiency”.

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Most clients tend to think in terms of Retire, Rehost, Refactor or Remediate when it comes to their Cloud migration and the app-by-app approach fits well with this thinking. But really understanding your current IT landscape, application/server dependencies and utilization is crucial in planning an effective migration. In most cases those servers/applications in line for rehosting, remediating or refactoring could be moved to the cloud, so clients can start realising the benefits, and then post migration decisions can be made about how to remodel the infrastructure to benefit from SaaS and PaaS and a plan built to get there.