Simplifying the Movement of Legacy Applications to the Cloud

Michael Vizard

Conventional wisdom holds that moving legacy applications to the cloud is not the best idea. After all, the applications were not designed to cope with a lot of network latency or run all that particularly well in a virtual environment in the cloud.

But a new startup company called CliQr Technologies wants to challenge that conventional wisdom with the release today at the Google I/O Developer conference of CloudCenter, a cloud application management tool that seamlessly shifts an application onto any cloud of an IT organization's choosing.

According to CliQr CEO Gaurav Manglik, CloudCenter consists of CloudCenter Orchestrator software and technology called CloudBlade that allows an application to run different instances of cloud computing without having to be modified or tuned for cloud-specific virtual machine images.

CliQr CloudBlade

Manglik says the fundamental difference between CloudCenter and other cloud migration tools is that CliQr took an application-centric approach to a problem that adds a layer of abstraction to mask all the complexities of the underlying cloud environment from the application. CliQr was able to accomplish that with no additional overhead being added to the application except for a security framework that CliQr includes to address widespread concerns about cloud security.

Most cloud computing resources are underutilized today, says Manglik, because it’s simply too difficult to move existing applications to the cloud. As a result, IT organizations tend to look to the cloud for new application development while continuing to run over-provisioned data centers.

Whether IT organizations decide to move an entire application to the cloud or just use CloudCenter to manage spikes in processing requirements using cloudbursting technologies, Manglik says the time to start rightsizing data centers running legacy applications in the age of the cloud has arrived.

There’s no doubt that there’s a major economic shift getting under way in enterprise IT thanks to cloud computing. But rather than waiting for that shift to evolve over time, Manglik argues that once it becomes easier to manage cloud applications at a higher level of abstraction, shifting legacy applications into the cloud becomes a whole lot easier to manage.

Just as importantly, Manglik says that an independent layer of software makes it much simpler to play one cloud service provider against another because there is no way for the cloud service provider to lock a customer into a particular service. To that end, CloudCenter includes tools for benchmarking cloud service provider performance.

As cloud computing continues to evolve, it’s clear that the focus of power is rapidly starting to shift towards the customer if for no other reason than the amount of compute capacity in the cloud currently far exceeds demand. The challenge with exercising that power up until now has been finding the tools that IT organizations need to apply that new-found leverage.

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