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July 1, 2016updated 21 Oct 2016 4:35pm

How to ensure successful application migration to the cloud

Grant Caley, chief technologist at storage fabric firm NetApp answers our questions on cloud migration strategies

By Sam

CBR spoke with NetApp chief technologist about how to ensure sucessful cloud migration.

CBR: What are the key considerations from NetApp’s view for migrating apps to the cloud?
Grant Caley, Chief Technologist, NetApp:
"The first thing is to understand what you want to migrate to the cloud. Some companies are on a strategy to move everything to the cloud and that’s a bold strategy. Because if you are going to do that you have to consider those applications which are cloud ready and those which are legacy and which may not be."

"Among the considerations are which are going to be cost effective to move to the cloud. Which applications may have security and risk issues associated with them. Are there compliance considerations for example in the finance industry. These are just some and there are many different aspects to consider when moving to the cloud."

CBR: Are we talking about application complexity, age, use?
"You can pretty much define that any legacy app in use today is probably not cloud ready in some aspect. There may be profiling you have to do for that application and consider how to look at performance of that app in the cloud.

"Because cloud based services are basically utility models you may be are paying on that basis. So you have to make sure that whichever app you are moving is not going to be a ‘bully’ workload in terms of how much of that resource you are going to consume. You’ll end up paying for that."

CBR: Once the due diligence is done on those types of considerations what are the pitfalls and strategies for avoiding them
"The first thing is to have a proper methodical approach. Conduct a proper profiling exercise. Look at your providers, are they able to provide the right type of cloud with, for example, the required security levels for your business. Then profile the apps themselves."

CBR: Is moving the cloud a one way journey?
"It depends. It used to be thought that it was a one way street. IDC did a survey on how many enterprise apps were moved into the cloud and came back out. Something like 50% came back out of the cloud for security, compliance or other change reasons."
"When you move something into the cloud you have to ask what happens if I have to move it out of the cloud. And that’s something where NetApp has a core capability. It is not just storage in the cloud but is a network fabric to allow the ease of workloads onto from out of the cloud. With the rise of hybrid models and the idea to move apps between clouds is an area where NetApp is very strong and it is a growing requirement of the market."
"A lot of people think the cloud is a one way journey but of course people who put apps into the cloud can take them out again further down the road for a variety of reasons."

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CBR: Who are the trend setters when it comes to moving enterprise apps to the cloud
"I’ve spoken with finance firms, with energy companies who are on a whole hearted mission to move to the cloud. It is as much about the organisational capability they have from a CIO and board level in terms of how rapidly they will make that change."
"What I tend to find is that where a CIO has come in from an organisation that is cloud ready or moving to the cloud that then accelerates that decision to move. So often it is really a lot led by individuals rather than the companies."

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