The 5 Cloud Migration Tasks You’re Worried About (But Don’t Have To Be)

By: Tom NiklAugust 8, 2017

Organizations everywhere are looking to migrate their on-premises applications (and their data) into the public cloud. An early part of this process, of course, is planning and preparing all of the steps that will need to take place for the cloud migration to be successful. This likely involves reading the stories of other enterprises who have made the jump. In reading these stories, it isn’t uncommon to uncover specific places where traditional cloud migration tools left gaps in the process. This requires the IT team to try and plan hacks and workarounds to address these gaps. What ends up happening is analysis paralysis – never ending debate and discussion on what will or won’t work – and, ultimately, a cloud migration project that never actually begins.

This analysis paralysis is almost completely unnecessary, however, if the right cloud migration solution is selected. Many of the “mind the gap stories” IT reads online stem from cloud migration tools that were originally built for backup and/or disaster recovery. They weren’t built for cloud migration – hence the gaps.

Thus, by picking a purpose-built cloud migration solution, it’s easy to skip the analysis paralysis entirely because your solution will handle those hurdles seamlessly and automatically. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of five ‘feature gap questions’ that enterprises can avoid outright by deciding to use Velostrata’s cloud migration and mobility solution.

How can we migrate all of our data (even with a slower uplink)?

The bulk of what you migrate will probably be the data supporting your applications. Easily in the realm of terabytes, enterprises need an efficient, optimized way to move it all into the cloud. For enterprises with uplinks on the slower side, bandwidth efficiency becomes an even more important component of their cloud migration.

The best way to move a lot of data through a small pipe is to leverage a cloud migration tool with WAN and storage optimization technologies. De-duplication, for example, makes sure that you only transfer data from on-prem and into the cloud once (after that first transfer, if it’s needed again it’s copied from the cloud- not from on-prem). Additional WAN optimizations (like advanced compression) also aid efforts to migrate all that data to the cloud efficiently. Velostrata, in particular, can reduce migration bandwidth usage by up to 75%.

How can we run applications in cloud fast (even before the data is there)?

As we mentioned above, moving the data is often the biggest part of a cloud migration (in terms of storage size). Many migration tools, unfortunately, make you wait for that data transfer to conclude before you’re able to run an associated application in the cloud. That means potentially waiting days before you can even give an application a test run in the cloud.

Velostrata completely removes this requirement by starting applications in the cloud first and then transferring the rest of the data seamlessly in the background after. Applications begin running in the cloud within a matter of minutes so you can begin testing or using them right away. This accelerated path to the cloud means migration projects can progress significantly faster as it completely eliminates the staggered wait times associated with each application’s data transfer.

How can we adapt our workloads to run in the cloud?

There is more to getting applications running in the cloud than just copying and pasting all the bits up there. Workloads must be adapted to run in the new environment, which requires changing drivers, updating DNS and IP configurations, etc. It’s also critical to avoid application downtime – especially for production applications – and a seamless cutover between on-prem and the cloud is also crucial to avoiding data loss.

No need to worry about any of this with Velostrata – our software will do all of the adaptations for you. As soon as you initiate migration (via the vCenter management console, our REST API, or our Automation Runbook tool), the Velostrata software will install the required drivers, handle the DNS and IP information swap, and more. And, because the actual instance of your application is migrated immediately, we can ensure zero data loss and no complex cutover synchronization. This makes going from on-prem to the cloud seamless for you, your applications, your customers, and your users.

How can we migrate legacy applications to the cloud?

In a perfect world, every server in our datacenter would be running a current and up-to-date operating system. But, sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world. Most datacenters are still going to have at least a few systems running Windows Server 2000 or 2003. Although these operating systems are no longer supported by Microsoft, these systems may still be vital to your business. The typical approach to these legacy systems has just been to leave them on-prem as-is, despite the significant threats that may be looming (ransomware like WannaCry, for example).

Not only does Velostrata recognize the importance of these legacy systems, but we also recognize that simply leaving them as-is isn’t the right solution. That’s why we offer the same versatile migration path for legacy systems as we do any other system. This lets you get these legacy systems into the cloud quickly and easily, and then figure out the most ideal upgrade path. Because while it’s running in the cloud, you’ll benefit from a significantly stronger security apparatus (via the public cloud) which helps buy you the time you need to get it upgraded and optimized.

And, how can we migrate the physical servers, too?

In most organizations, not every system was nicely virtualized, either. It’s likely there are physical servers in your racks running bare metal operating systems (as opposed to VMs) that may also benefit from a move to the cloud.

Rest assured, we haven’t forgotten about these physical systems – we can migrate them into the cloud for you with ease, too. This helps you decommission on-prem hardware faster, and gives you the power to right-size the cloud instance types whenever you need it (instead of being locked into the existing hardware specs).

To quickly recap…

In short, if you survey migration tools available today, there are many which are essentially re-branded backup and/or disaster recovery tools. These re-branded tools leave major gaps in your migration process, which doesn’t just prolong your migration, but it slows down the entire planning phase with IT trying to determine appropriate hacks and workarounds.

Velostrata, on the other hand, helps you avoid these pitfalls altogether by delivering a fast, seamless solution. We turn potential issues into non-issues, allowing you to avoid analysis paralysis altogether. With no hacks or workarounds needed, you’re able to get started on your cloud migration right away. If you’d like to learn more, we’d love for you to drop us a line so we can get in touch.

Tom Nikl
Tom Nikl

Tom has spent twelve years leading product management and product marketing at technology companies large and small who focus on virtualization and cloud technologies. He currently blogs primarily about cloud migration, with an emphasis on overcoming challenges that companies face getting to the cloud and how to solve them. Prior to enterprise, Tom received a B.S. in Computer Science from San Jose State University. Outside of work he is an unabashed fan of Disney Theme Parks and delicious junk food.