Posted By Industry Perspectives On September 13, 2011 @ 10:09 am In Industry Perspectives | No Comments
Andrew Hillier is CTO and co-founder of CiRBA, Inc.,  a data center intelligence analytics software provider that determines optimal workload placements and resource allocations required to safely maximize the efficiency of cloud, virtual and physical infrastructure.
Many organizations are aggressive in their plans to leverage cloud technologies. The fundamental benefits these technologies bring, as well as the hype surrounding them, often create a call-to-action that is sweeping many IT departments. But taking action before properly thinking through when, how and why these technologies should be used can be dangerous, and can lead to a “ready, shoot, aim” approach to cloud migration.
The key to avoiding this is to think of cloud migrations in terms of policies. IT infrastructure is complex, and the rules of what can and cannot be done may not always be well documented (or even well understood). Combine this with the ever-changing needs of the applications and their data, and it becomes very difficult to properly match application requirements with infrastructure capabilities. To make things worse, one wrong move can cause significant damage, both to the application and the migration project, where a loss of confidence can spell disaster. All this can be avoided, however, if migration policies are formalized and agreed upon ahead of time.
Many find the notion of policy daunting, and don’t want to get embroiled in a lengthy up-front analysis of all the minute details of a migration. Fortunately, this does not need to be the case, as the art of virtualization and cloud migration is becoming more of a science all the time, and there are patterns and best practices that can be applied. There are several major areas of policy that should be thought through. And if these can be embedded in the tools and processes used to plan transformations, then cloud migrations will happen much faster, and more importantly, be much safer. These are:
Giving some thought to these areas ahead of time, and using them to reach a common ground with application owners and other stakeholders, is extremely important to the success of cloud migration initiatives. Better yet, modeling these policies in such a way as to enable the automation of cloud migration decisions can greatly acceleration migration projects, and prevent costly mistakes along the way.
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