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The Cloud Brick Wall, Part 1 of 3

The Cloud Brick Wall is approaching. In this 3-part series of blog articles Konrad Petrusewicz maps out how to break through the brick wall more of us are facing when tackling the heady task of migrating from traditional data centres to the Cloud.

At every cloud conference or webinar I attend, at every Amazon Web Services (AWS) event, at every Cloud Expo, I hear people propose a new digital Cloud world run on DevSecOps principles, where application and infrastructure security is integral from the start. However there’s an overriding impression that the number of workloads in any organisation that can be gracefully migrated onto Cloud is starting to run out. And there’s a brick wall where the Cloud/DevSecOps dream runs into the legacy reality.

It’s hard enough to be able to take a nice shiny new greenfield application – a mobile app here, a new payment gateway there – and build it fully Cloud native with all the microservices you can throw an AWS certification at. Even harder is to take some legacy commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) application and wrangle it into something approaching Cloud friendliness without burning your development budget for the next 5 years or so.

A major component of the upcoming brick wall is that banks and other global enterprises can have a large legacy application set for an organisation that often doesn’t need to move in an agile way. A panel member at the AWS FS:Insight day flagged this, causing a wave of silence to hit his Cloud Evangelist fellow panel members. Why spend a large amount of money if the organisation isn’t going to see a payback on that finite money, over and above the thousand other improvements they need? Developing for agility costs money in the short term and the long-term pay-off is hard to quantify.

In addition, organisations often don’t have a clear vision of their actual estate, meaning that they cannot make a credible business case for Cloud migrations; even a basic view of servers, databases, operating systems, storage (all with their end-of-life characteristics) is often lacking in accuracy or completeness. At a more complex level, interactions between applications and their data are a critical aspect of any planning, yet usually are not tracked at scale or in detail in a configuration management database (CMDB). Gathering these interactions at the planning stage helps to build a solid understanding of what effort will need to be spent migrating to Cloud.

The key to breaking through this part of the Cloud Brick Wall is to understand your estate better, understand what will work well on Cloud and what won’t, and to determine a high-level migration approach that will deliver real value to your organisation.

We have successfully migrated over 250,000 workloads to the Cloud in the last 5 years. We assess legacy estates and model the best migration paths, using criteria you may not have considered, to build a realistic business case that will help you to find the best solutions for your business.

Konrad’s second instalment in this blog series is now live so please check it out to find out how migration planning can help you break through the Cloud Brick Wall. If you’re interested in how we can help your organisation at any point on your cloud journey, please get in touch with us for a discussion or a workshop.