Getting to the Cloud Is Only Half the Battle

By: Tom NiklJuly 11, 2017

Migrating workloads and applications to the public cloud is no easy feat. Using the right solution can dramatically reduce things like cost, time, and risk, but at the end of the day a cloud migration project is always going to be a big deal. A lot of time gets spent planning exactly how your application portfolio will make its way into the cloud – and rightfully so!

But, there is an often-overlooked component to cloud migration project planning, too: how do you get back on-prem if you need to? This may seem laughable at first, but here are a few common scenarios that might lead an enterprise to needing a safety net:

  • An application got half way to the cloud but something wasn’t working properly.
  • Testing applications takes place in the cloud but need to return on-prem fast when done.
  • Once an application is migrated into the cloud it doesn’t perform as expected.
  • The cost of running applications in the cloud is more than projected.
  • Response time of application in a certain region needs to be improved.

These are some common reasons that might require an enterprise to return an application on-premises for troubleshooting, additional testing, or optimization before returning it back to the cloud. And, in our experience, customers, on average, had to return at least one of every ten applications back to on-prem for additional testing and tuning. That means that 10% of their applications have required some kind of return to on-prem.

So, given this is clearly an important part of a cloud migration project, why isn’t it always part of the planning? Honestly, it simply might not occur to an IT team that having to return applications on-prem is the rule (not the exception) for a cloud migration project.

In addition to that, many cloud migration tools do not support an easy rollback option which means they’re not talking about it, either. They aren’t keen to advertise that you’ll have to re-migrate back on-prem, and then re-migrate back to the cloud again after you’ve solved the root issue. Unfortunately for enterprises, having to perform multiple re-migrations is going to mean big delays, additional labor, more complexity, increased risk, greater chance of data loss, and ultimately higher cost. Long story short, not having a seamless rollback option can be a major cloud migration albatross.

This is why it is critical to plan for the likelihood that you will have to return applications on-prem during the planning phases. This gives you the opportunity to explore and test cloud migration solutions that provide this capability during your pilot or proof of concept. When you’re performing this rollback testing, we’d suggest considering the following questions (conveniently pre-populated with Velostrata’s answers for you…):

  • Does rollback require any additional installations, deployments, configurations?
    Not with Velostrata, no. You use our standard UI, PowerShell, or REST API to begin a rollback. With the standard UI it takes just a few clicks to begin.
  • How long will it take for my application to rollback to on-prem?
    Just like our migrations, we’ll get the application running back on-prem within 5-10 minutes. The data will synchronize quietly in the background so there is no need to worry about that adding long wait times.

  • Will there be any downtime during the rollback (and if so, how much)?
    There will be 5-10 minutes of down time so performing the rollback during off-hours is recommended but not required. And, this is still vastly superior to hours of downtime that many disaster recovery tools might require.
  • What will happen to any data created in the cloud before (and during) the rollback?
    All of your data will be 100% maintained and synchronized accordingly. There will be no data loss whatsoever, and no complex pre-rollback quiesce to ensure that, either.
  • Are there any special steps I have to take before performing the rollback?
    Nope, just a few clicks via our standard UI is all that is required.

As you can see, Velostrata gives enterprises a fast, easy, seamless way to get the applications they migrated into AWS or Azure back on-prem when they need to. We firmly believe that having an on-prem safety net that IT can use at any time, without complications, with minimal downtime, and without any data loss, is a huge part of a cloud migration project’s success. Learn more about how Velostrata accelerates cloud migration projects, or feel free to drop us a line to speak with one of our cloud migration experts.

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.