Posted By Industry Perspectives On February 22, 2013 @ 8:24 am In Industry Perspectives | No Comments
Jake Robinson is a Solutions Architect at Bluelock . He is a VCP and former CISSP and a VMware vExpert. Jake’s specialties are in infrastructure automation, virtualization, cloud computing, and security.
Working at an Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider, I see a lot of IaaS application migration. Migration occurs in both directions–from physical servers to cloud, from private cloud to public cloud (and back), and to private cloud from public cloud.
Though it occurs often, migration shouldn’t be rushed. A poor migration strategy can be responsible for costly time delays, data loss and other roadblocks on your way to successfully modernizing your infrastructure.
Each scenario is different based on your application, where you’re starting from, and where you’re going.
Now, let’s say you have identified the best vehicle and path to migrate your application. Before you actually get to work there is still quite a bit of information to evaluate and incorporate.
When moving Tier 1 applications from a physical data center to a private or public cloud, we have to take data gravity into account, and the data itself will be the weightiest part.
There’s no easy way to shrink down the data, so you need to evaluate the weight of the data in the app you’re considering migrating. Especially if you’re a high transaction company, or if it’s a high transaction application, there would be a lot of data to replicate. The data of the app constitutes 99 percent of the data gravity of the application.
Another aspect that you should evaluate as part of your pre-migration plan is to determine how connected your VM or vApp is to other apps. If you have a lot of applications tightly coupled to the application you want to migrate, the cloud might not be an option for that application, or at least only that application.
Does your application have data that other applications need to access quickly? If so, an “all or nothing” philosophy of migration is your best option. If you have an application that is tightly coupled to two or three others, you may be able to move them all to the cloud together. Because they are still tightly coupled, you won’t experience the latency that would occur if your cloud-hosted application needed to access a physical server to get the data it needs to run.
A step beyond identifying how many apps are tied to the application you wish to migrate, work next to identify which of those applications will be sensitive to latency problems. How sensitive it can be should be a consideration of whether you migrate the app or not.
To be able to check this best practice off your list, be very sure you understand everything your application touches so you won’t be surprised later, post-migration.
Each application, and migration strategy, is unique, so there is no detailed instruction manual that works for everyone.
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