Is Your Cloud Migration Software Working Against You?

By: Tom NiklSeptember 12, 2017

It seems counter-intuitive, but there are actually a number of areas where a cloud migration solution itself can cause time (and money) overruns. This usually results when software that was originally built for disaster recovery is repurposed for cloud migration. Details that don’t matter within the context of disaster recovery end up causing major hurdles during cloud migration. But, sometimes it’s hard to know this before you’re knee-deep in your cloud migration project! In this blog, we’ll discuss how you can avoid the slowdowns caused by cloud migration software setup, configuration, and troubleshooting.

Starting with deployment, it’s important to ask whether migration software requires a complicated on-prem setup and/or the usage of replication agents on the source or destination servers (or both). For a complicated deployment, migration software might also require additional on-prem hardware to be purchased and deployed, management software that has to be installed, and/or a new management dashboard that has to be learned by IT. All of these tasks potentially add time to your project.

For replication agents, installation can usually take place with standard software deployment tools but this still adds some additional IT overhead. Often times the installation of the agents is straightforward, but the configuration is not. It is common for these agents to require anti-virus disabling, special networking configurations and port openings, and/or communication enabled between agent and cloud. Not only do these tasks add IT overhead, but they also pose potential security risks which the networking team might need to spend time assessing and approving.

To avoid this additional overhead, it is ideal to find a cloud migration solution that both avoids complex on-prem deployments and new management consoles. Instead, find a solution that is SaaS-based or which integrates easily with your existing on-prem systems (like VMware, for example) so that installation is easy and management is familiar. Additionally, once again finding a cloud migration solution that avoids agents altogether is ideal because it eliminates the need for installation and configuration altogether. Customers have estimated that avoiding those steps have saved between 1-2 hours per application.

Because cloud migrations are, of course, non-trivial projects, it is likely that all cloud migrations will require some degree of troubleshooting. But there are a number of areas where the cloud migration solution itself is the main cause of such troubleshooting. Common examples include slow data transfers, errors occurring during transfer or cutover, networking issues when starting applications in the cloud, agents not communicating with the cloud properly, data missing at time of cloud launch, and challenging testing or rollback capabilities.

Which of these occur and to which degree is impossible to estimate, but there is still guidance for how to minimize these issues. First, a cloud migration solution that is both straight forward to use and which automates as many “cloud migration processes” as possible will yield the least amount of troubleshooting. For example, if a cloud migration solution automates the networking changes required to get an application cutover into the cloud, that’s one less manual process that IT has to accomplish and potentially troubleshoot.

Second, find a cloud migration solution that provides built-in support for components beyond just the migration itself. Good examples here are migration solutions that allow fast, easy pre-migration in-cloud testing and seamless on-prem rollback (without data loss) if ever needed. A solution that lacks these (or has subpar implementations) will require additional IT time, additional software, or both. All of which slow down your project.

Lastly, cloud migration solutions that are optimized for usage over a WAN will help alleviate potential troubleshooting that results from slow or volatile uplinks, or data transmission errors. If something goes wrong at the networking level (like a migration stops midway) it can be a major setback. That’s where WAN optimized solutions help keep things migrating smoothly.

Cloud migrations are a complex project, so its paramount that companies ask the right questions during their evaluations. This is crucial because otherwise the cloud migration software itself will end up causing collateral damage on the cloud migration project itself. It’s easy to brush these challenges off as “the cost of a cloud migration”, but with a solution like Velostrata it is easy to avoid these issues altogether. In doing so, cloud migration projects go faster, smoother, and simpler which leads to significant savings in time, labor, cost, and sanity. If you’d like to learn more about Velostrata’s revolutionary approach to cloud migration, check out our website, watch this demo video, or drop us a line.

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.