The cloud represents an entirely new form of infrastructure for today’s enterprise. It is more flexible, scalable and costs much less to operate than traditional data environments.
But that doesn’t change the fact that it is infrastructure nonetheless, and that means you’ll have to migrate data and applications to the cloud just like you would to any other set of newly provisioned resources.
This is one of the thornier issues for cloud providers, given that any snags encountered during the provisioning of new services make it that much more difficult to sign up new customers. So solutions aimed at easing the migration process are likely to be popular indeed.
Alcatel-Lucent, for example, has added cloud migration tools as a means to enhance the ability to move Unified Communications services to both the cloud and new mobile infrastructure. The OpenTouch Suite For Cloud offers much of the same functionality of the on-premise version of the software that provides UC features like multi-party conferencing, document sharing and instant messaging. The package is available in either an all-cloud version or as an adjunct to existing enterprise deployments.
Meanwhile, Piston Cloud Computing has issued an open beta release of the Piston Enterprise OpenStack platform that allows the enterprise to avoid much of the provisioning and management complexity involved in building Ceph-based storage resources. The system offers a function called “Virtual Memory Streaming,” which provides live migration capabilities and multi-server memory oversubscription through a commercial extension to the KVM protocol. At the same time, users can rapidly scale resources to suit their needs through a new instant cloning feature.
One challenge when migrating to the cloud, however, is the need to rewrite application code to accommodate the new infrastructure. CliQr Technologies says it has a fix for this problem in the new CloudCenter 2.0 platform, upgraded with features like a configurable user interface, an application marketplace and new license, account and billing management tools. The platform also contains an extensive collection of application profiles that enable deployment on a variety of cloud formats while maintaining coordinated burst capabilities and performance-based policy management for disaster recovery and workload management.
Most migrations, whether to the cloud or traditional infrastructure, produce surplus hardware that must be disposed of. And according to business2community.com’s Cindy Miller, there are right ways and wrong ways to do this. One of the first issues to confront is whether devices are to be redeployed or removed entirely. If it’s the latter, will it simply be junked or does it have value on the resale market? How will data be either retained or destroyed so as to protect company assets? More often than not, issues like these are an afterthought during the migration itself. IT executives are understandably busy during the process, but failure to plan for the final stages could place the enterprise at risk.
For those who have worked in IT since the pre-virtual era, there is no question that migrations are a lot easier than they used to be. But that doesn’t mean they can be left to rote processes and methods. Each move will present its own set of challenges that will require some high-order thinking to minimize the impact on both the migration itself and broader data operations.
The cloud may make it easier to provision new resources, but populating them with data quickly and efficiently still requires a little creativity.