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Guide to Moving Critical Workloads to the Cloud

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Migrating workloads to the cloud is increasingly important for businesses. Not only does the cloud allow unparalleled flexibility in terms of how and where you work (which can come in handy during global health crises, for example), but the cloud also gives you a way to take advantage of industry-specific workflows and tools that make your life easier. 

Despite the many advantages, however, people are still hesitant to go through the cloud migration process. For many a lack of experience can make the cloud seem complex. When you consider that roughly 50% of organizations report that a lack of experience is preventing cloud adoption, this makes sense. On top of that, when you already have a legacy system in place, spending money to do the exact same thing seems like a waste (even though you’re improving almost everything about the way you work in the process). 

On-Prem to Cloud Migration

Cloud migration is the act of moving workloads, processes, and tools to the cloud. You’re moving away from legacy systems that exist largely on-prem to a system that effectively exists on the internet. It gives you a way to work from anywhere that you can access the system and opens up the ability to scale as needed (both up and down).

Cloud Cost Efficiency

Moving to the cloud doesn’t have to be an expensive, complex process. Sure, it’s going to be time-consuming, but if you deliberately move slowly and come up with a plan for your migration, it can be a relatively easy(ish) experience. 

These tips can help remove both the complexity and help reduce the costs of moving to the cloud.

Workflow Plan in Cloud Migration

This might seem like an obvious thing, but it still needs to be said out loud – having a plan with 100% save your butt when you’re moving workloads to the cloud. If you go in and start moving things around, there’s a solid chance you’re either going to break something or spend way too much time and money on the process.

Instead, take stock of everything you have and come up with a plan that helps you ease into the cloud. The best place to start is by only moving one or two workloads to the cloud. Choose platforms that you can basically “lift and shift”, which means you can move them from on-prem to the cloud without having to do much with the platform. You save money and time because if you have to refactor or even rebuild your applications to run on the cloud, it’s going to get expensive, fast. 

This lets you test the waters to see what the process is like, what the associated costs are going to look like, and to learn the pros and cons of working on the cloud as it applies to your organization. 

On-prem and cloud deployments can be all-flash or hybrid to meet your specific performance needs

If you don’t think going all-in on the cloud is a good idea (or you can’t for security and compliance reasons), a hybrid cloud approach might be perfect for your business. A hybrid cloud is a mix of on-prem and public/private clouds. It gives you a lot of the flexibility of a full cloud migration, without the expense because you’re still able to use legacy infrastructure. You’re also avoiding the complexity that can come with moving some applications to the cloud.

Hybrid clouds give you a way to move slowly when going through the cloud migration process, as well. You can create a setup where you’re working on the clouds for unpredictable workloads that may need to scale up and down constantly, while stable workloads stay on-prem. You can explore whether each workload does best on the cloud or if it should stay where it is at a more relaxed pace.

Avoid vendor lock-in

This one is all about the money. Vendor lock-in happens when you’ve got everything with a single cloud provider and it’s too tightly intertwined to be easily broken up (and very expensive). The problem here is that the cloud provider can stop providing a top-tier service, for example, but you can’t easily switch providers. 

This is where a hybrid or multi-cloud approach helps a lot. With multi-cloud, you’re using one cloud provider (say AWS) for one workload and another provider (Azure) for a different workload. If one provider stops suiting your needs, you don’t have to move everything over to move away from it. It’s easier and cheaper to move a single workload. 

Perform regular cost optimization 

Once you’re on the cloud, you need to look at your usage on a fairly regular basis to make sure that you’re not overspending. With a cost optimization process, you’re not looking for ways to save money, per se. What you’re looking for are any places where you’re spending more than you need to. Maybe you scaled up during a busy season and forgot to scale down again. Or you’re still provisioning like you’re running entirely on-prem, which can get expensive quickly. Companies don’t care if you’re using something or not, if it’s active, you’re paying for it. 

Create a habit around regularly exploring your costs and you can keep your cloud costs from getting out of control. 

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If now feels like the best time to move your workloads to the cloud, let’s talk. We work with companies around the world to help with their unstructured data needs. 


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