By Jeffrey Burt
Companies big and small are migrating at least some of their businesses to the cloud as part of their larger digital-transformation efforts. The cloud offers greater agility and scalability, as well as reductions in capital and operation costs. But moving workloads – and deciding which ones to move – is not easy, and making mistakes can prove costly.
Mor Cohen, CTO of Turbonomic, which offers workload automation capabilities for hybrid clouds, will discuss which workloads should go to the cloud and which should stay on premises during her April 11 presentation, “My Customer Said, ‘Get Us to the Cloud!’ But Which Workloads Stay On-Prem?”, part of the cloud and colo conference track, sponsored by Nextiva, at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.
Cohen took time to answer some questions about her talk. The answers were edited for length.
Channel Partners: What issues do companies need to weigh when deciding which workloads to migrate to the cloud and which to keep on premises?
Mor Cohen: Before anything, you must answer this question: Why are you looking into cloud in the first place? Most organizations move for increased agility and better elasticity; however, some also want to stop managing data centers. So, while on an application-by-application basis some applications make more sense to remain on premises, the overhead of managing this estate isn’t worth it. For these organizations, a colo might be a better solution for the subset of applications that aren’t a good fit for cloud.
For most enterprises maintaining a hybrid cloud estate long-term, the considerations are different. The question to be asked is this: Which applications would be able to leverage the increase in agility and elasticity that the cloud provides and the access to value-added managed services? Applications that are actively being improved, innovated on and developed will likely benefit from the increased agility. Applications that are seasonal, as well as non-production environments that do not need to run [around the clock], are good candidates to leverage elasticity. The challenge is that answering this question on a holistic application may be hard because organizations often have an important and seasonal application that is core to the business, supported and constantly improved. But a component of that application, the [database] for example, is antiquated and still runs on physical hardware, making it hard and expensive to port to the cloud.
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CP: How can the wrong decision on which workloads to migrate impact an organization?
MC: Wrong decisions on what – and most importantly how – to migrate workloads to the cloud often result in a combination of both performance issues and expensive cloud bills. The result is a mistrust of the application teams and the initiative driving the cloud journey, which often causes “cloud recoil” — returning the applications on premises and negatively impacting any chance of a cloud strategy for years to come. In less extreme cases, it results in a halt to the migration process while it’s reviewed and assessed. Most importantly, it results in a lot of time spent within the organization trying to correct the mistakes that could have been prevented.
CP: What is the role of channel partners in helping customers move workloads into the cloud?
MC: There are different skills required to successfully build and execute a hybrid cloud strategy. A partner must understand …