Gary Audin
Gary Audin is the President of Delphi, Inc. He has more than 40 years of computer, communications and security...
Read Full Bio >>

Gary Audin | February 16, 2018 |


Cloud Migration Takes Time, Focus

Cloud Migration Takes Time, Focus Cloud migration projects are taking long to complete, with many falling behind schedule and going over budget.

Cloud migration projects are taking long to complete, with many falling behind schedule and going over budget.

Cloud migration continues to be a popular move among enterprises. It is, however, a complicated process. In fact, 75% of participants in a recent survey from Dimensional Research stated that their cloud migration projects take a year or longer, and a majority reported migration projects are running late and over budget -- not what you would like to experience.

But even so, 96% of survey respondents reported migrating at least some applications to the cloud. Once you make the commitment to the cloud, it's relatively hard to reverse it, as I discovered in reading "Crucial Steps for a Successful Cloud Migration," by Issy Ben-Shaul, CEO and cofounder of Velostrata, provider of software solutions for accelerating cloud migrations.

You Still Have Responsibilities
It is nearly impossible to move everything to the cloud. You will be responsible for the network on your premises, the connection to the Internet, the devices that your users employ, application licenses, software updates, and probably security. This means that your IT operations may be modified, but they will not be eliminated. With a cloud migration, some of your IT engineers may now be tasked with contract management since you are working with external systems and services.

Complexity Encountered
In another survey conducted by Morgan Stanley and reviewed in the Velostrata white paper "Overcoming the Challenges of Cloud Migration," over 90% of CIOs reported that the cloud migration did not meet their expectations. Complexity was the primary contributing factor. Application migration is indeed a complicated task that requires careful consideration of multiple elements, the white paper states, including:

  • There are complex system configurations that depend on external systems and services such as databases, file shares, load balancers, and security.
  • Bandwidth to the cloud is a perennial issue. Is the on-premises Internet bandwidth allocated for the migrated applications enough to support the application's requirements?
  • Is the application "chatty" (require a lot of interactions with the user) and latency sensitive?
  • Where is the traffic generated? If users are remote from the region in which the application service is deployed, will they be limited?
  • You need to analyze the billing to ensure that you do not over or undersize your service since it can dramatically impact cloud costs and thereby reduce or eliminate your ROI.
  • Don't forget the operations cost to you as well as the post-migration configuration management. You may have to expand your management tools or buy new ones.
  • You will probably be migrating a large amount of data while still providing live services to users without interrupting their application use.
  • Don't forget that once you choose a cloud provider or providers, you may experience vendor lock-in where you cannot move to another provider or back to your own premises easily.
  • As always, you need to consider the security and compliance requirements that the cloud will or will not deliver.
  • You are managing service-level agreements that may not mirror those that you deliver within your on-premises system.
Approaches to Cloud Migration

How you migrate to the cloud depends a lot on what you have, what you want to move, and what you want to deliver. There are three common approaches to cloud migration:

  • Lift and Shift
    Applications are migrated to cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) "as-is" without modification. This means moving the data center function to an alternate off-site location. IT still controls the operations, management tools, and processes. This is usually the least complex approach.

  • Lift and Shift with Minor Configuration Changes
    This is an advanced variation of the "Lift and Shift" approach. The applications are moved to the cloud, but some of the cloud-native operations and configuration management tools are employed. IT will have to learn how to use the cloud tools and phase in processes and cloud-native tools such as auto-scaling and database as a service. Gartner refers to this approach as "Cloud-Enabled Virtual Automation." This approach increases the complexity.

  • Refactoring
    Refactoring is the process of changing a software system to improve its internal structure in a way so that users do not see any alteration to the external behavior of the code. Applications are re-coded, re-architected, and re-factored to use cloud services. Usually, few applications are migrated. The data is migrated into cloud-native databases. This approach is delivering the least amount of cloud support since most of the functionality resides on premises.

    Cloning in the Cloud

    You will need to move application software to the cloud while still running the on-premises applications. Testing the workload functionally as well as the full traffic load is mandatory. This testing allows you to detect any problems early before you commit to moving to the cloud.

    Once this testing is completed, you can run the application in the cloud. Think about the cutover procedures and how you get your users to migrate to the cloud in such a way that they are not impacted in their work. During this time, you must monitor the performance of the cloud operations to ensure that it at least meets or exceeds what you delivered on premises.

    The final step is to disconnect the on-premises systems and software, and rely on the cloud services and functions. This may be your first application cloud migration project, so any procedures you develop should be documented and refined to ensure that you can use them again in the future and deliver successful cloud migrations every time.

    Learn more about Cloud Communications at Enterprise Connect 2018, March 12 to 15, in Orlando, Fla. Register now using the code NOJITTER to save an additional $200 off the Early Bird Pricing or get a free Expo Plus pass.

    Related content:


    March 7, 2018

    Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

    February 21, 2018

    Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

    February 7, 2018

    Enterprises are starting to grasp the critical importance of security and compliance in their team collaboration deployments. And once the risks are mitigated, your enterprise can integrate these n

    March 12, 2018
    An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
    March 9, 2018
    IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
    March 7, 2018
    In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
    February 28, 2018
    Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
    February 16, 2018
    What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
    February 9, 2018
    Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
    February 2, 2018
    UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
    January 26, 2018
    Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
    December 20, 2017
    Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
    December 20, 2017
    Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
    December 20, 2017
    Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
    November 30, 2017
    With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
    October 23, 2017
    Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
    September 22, 2017
    In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
    September 8, 2017
    Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
    August 25, 2017
    Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
    August 16, 2017
    World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
    August 11, 2017
    Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
    August 4, 2017
    Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
    July 27, 2017
    Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
    July 14, 2017
    Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
    June 28, 2017
    Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
    June 9, 2017
    If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
    June 2, 2017
    Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
    May 24, 2017
    Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
    May 18, 2017
    Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
    April 28, 2017
    Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
    April 20, 2017
    Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
    March 23, 2017
    Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
    March 15, 2017
    Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
    March 9, 2017
    Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
    March 3, 2017
    From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
    February 24, 2017
    UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
    February 17, 2017
    From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
    February 7, 2017
    UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
    February 1, 2017
    Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
    January 26, 2017
    Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
    January 23, 2017
    Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.