The cloud. Everybody’s talking about it, but what does it really mean and what does it take to get there? This Cloud Migration Introduction and blog series will help you determine when moving to the cloud is right for your organization.
Cloud Migration Introduction
What is the Cloud?
Let’s start at the beginning. The cloud is hosting services over the Internet. Cloud migration is the process of moving an organization’s applications and databases from an onsite environment to the cloud or transitioning from one cloud platform to another. Cloud hosting services fall into three (3) categories: public, private and hybrid.
- A cloud is called a “public cloud” when the services are rendered over a network that is open for public use. Technically there may be little or no difference between public and private cloud architecture, however, security consideration may be substantially different.
- Private cloud is cloud infrastructure operated solely for a single organization, whether managed internally or by a third-party, and hosted either internally or externally. Undertaking a private cloud project requires a significant level and degree of engagement to virtualize the business environment, and requires the organization to reevaluate decisions about existing resources. When done right, it can improve business, but every step in the project raises security issues that must be addressed to prevent serious vulnerabilities.
- Hybrid cloud is a composition of two or more clouds (private, community or public) that remain distinct entities but are bound together, offering the benefits of multiple deployment models. Hybrid cloud can also mean the ability to connect collocation, managed and/or dedicated services with cloud resources. Gartner defines a hybrid cloud service as a cloud computing service that is composed of some combination of private, public and community cloud services, from different service providers.
Begin with the End in Mind
Now that we’ve taken care of the cloud migration introduction, let’s shift to what matters most. How do you ensure that your mission critical data will remain highly available, optimized, and most importantly, secure in the cloud? The process begins with a subtle mindset change.
To leverage digital infrastructure, select the right cloud solution for your organization and reduce costs, architectural changes are often required. Simply stated, there is a different way of thinking between physical and digital infrastructure. You are close once you start asking, “How can we change our current architecture to reduce costs even further?”
Let’s be clear, the cloud is not right for every situation. But when it does make sense, total costs of ownership can be reduced with digital infrastructure. This is particularly true when capacity can be predicted. The question that often unlocks cost savings associated with the cloud is not how do we migrate to the cloud, but rather what do we migrate to the cloud. Based upon our experience, every organization has predictable systems.
Consider a Pilot Project
An easy pilot project is to identify a predictable system, maybe at end of hardware life, and work with a cloud specialist for one-to-one mapping and proof of concept. The result will be actual capacity required to actual cost. You should know online pricing calculators are not concrete numbers sized to fit your needs.
You will typically need the expertise of a capacity planning expert with deep practical expertise migrating database platforms to the cloud. They will assess your current SQL Server environment along with your business needs to design a cloud architecture that works for you; whether that means a hybrid environment or a fully-hosted cloud solution.
We have verified Microsoft SQL Server’s total cost of ownership can be reduced with digital infrastructure, and so can you.
The cloud has become a viable option to reduce risk, costs and time to deploy. Regardless of private, public or hybrid cloud, a subtle mindset change is required to unlock the value of digital infrastructure. Consider engaging a capacity planning expert to get concrete numbers sized to fit your unique needs.
This blog series continues with a highlight of benefits and real world experiences. At the conclusion of this series, you will have a better understanding of how your organization will benefit from a Cloud Migration.