Why Velostrata is (Way) Ahead of the Replication-Based Cloud Migration Pack, Part I: Pre-Migration Testing

By: Tom NiklMarch 7, 2017

Cloud migration is becoming a hotter and hotter topic with each passing day, as enterprises race to take advantage of the benefits offered by the public cloud. Whether it’s creating a hybrid cloud (that combines on-premises systems with public cloud) or migrating apps entirely to the public cloud (and then detaching them from on-premises systems), enterprises are looking for solutions that can accelerate their migration – without additional risk or complexity, of course.

Unfortunately for enterprises, almost all the solutions within the cloud migration market today rely on replication-based technology. Essentially, software which was built for disaster recovery (whereby exact replicas are slowly copied over to alternate locations) has been re-purposed to try and meet cloud migration needs. And while replication-based solutions can sometimes get the job done, there are some serious potential downsides to relying on a re-purposed technology. We’re going to look at some of those drawbacks specifically across several blogs.

One of the biggest drawbacks for replication-based solutions is that they don’t easily support the ability to test before you migrate. Testing is a crucial part of any cloud project, because enterprises need to pick the right cloud(s), evaluate the actual costs of running in the cloud, make sure applications work properly, fine tune performance, and essentially verify that applications in the cloud can properly serve their customers and end users.

Unfortunately, replication-based solutions do not make cloud testing easy or seamless. For example, before you can test in-cloud performance, you’ll have to migrate everything into the cloud first. Essentially, you invest the duration of an entire data migration before you can even see if the cloud is a good fit. This becomes a huge drawback, because it takes up a tremendous amount of time and energy. In comparison, Velostrata’s unique streaming-based approach solves these challenges by delivering complete cloud workload mobility.

Velostrata’s solution gets workloads up and running in the cloud within minutes, while streaming the remaining data into the cloud quietly in the background. Velostrata’s unique approach also empowers IT to choose between two testing strategies: sequential testing or pipelining, which gives IT additional flexibility in their cloud migration project.

The former, sequential testing, means creating a dedicated cloud instance to perform key tests like performance tuning and cost analysis. With Velostrata, IT does this using our test-clone capability, which creates a replica of the application and its data directly in the cloud, but while the production workload (and data) remain on-prem and untouched. This gives IT the power to run real tests in the cloud with actual data, but without interrupting production systems or end users at all. When you’re done with testing, just delete the test clone with a few clicks. We’ve got a great video of this test-clone capability in action, below:

(note: we have the same video using Amazon AWS, too, if that’s your preferred cloud)

The second approach to cloud testing, often referred to as pipelining, is where the production app begins running in the cloud while data remains synchronized on-prem. With the application running in the cloud, you can see exactly how it performs with actual end user loads and exactly how much it costs. Depending on those results, you can also use Velostrata to shift the size or type of that application’s cloud instance to meet your performance or cost requirements. Plus, with Velostrata, there’s always the option to rollback on-premises while maintaining all the data changes that have already taken place.

No matter what testing approach you prefer, replication-based technology will require a significantly longer time and larger effort investment. And, making changes because of your testing might require going back to square one for re-testing, for as many iterations that end up being required to properly tune your cloud instances. That’s a lot of time wasted doing basically the same thing over and over again.

Velostrata’s streaming-based solution, on the other hand, gets you testing in minutes and with just a few clicks no matter which approach you prefer (sequential or pipelining). This helps shave a significant amount of time (and energy) off any cloud migration project, and gives IT the capabilities they need to properly architect their ideal cloud from day one. These are the foundations needed for a successful cloud migration project.

We’d love to tell you more about Velostrata’s streaming-based solution: we’ve got this quick 3-minute video on what we do as well as this more detailed white paper on how our technology works. Or, if you’d like to talk to us, be sure to 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 various junk food. Find Tom on Twitter, too: @Tom_Nikl