Migrating Apps to the Cloud – An Insider’s View

Now that cloud has proved itself in the market and is a key strategic imperative for IT, the focus for savvy cloud architects is increasingly how to optimize private and public cloud use within their organization. A key part of that is taking a strategic & planned approach to migration of applications, both existing and new, to a cloud environment.

 

Often customers have a pool of applications running in their environment and they want to move some of them to a private or public cloud offering leading to important questions:

 

  • How can I determine which applications are good candidates for cloud?
  • How do I prioritize which applications to move to cloud first?

 

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Alan Chhabra, AVP of Cloud and Automation Sales Specialists at BMC, talks to customers about these issues a lot and has seen firsthand what works, what doesn’t and what to watch out for when migrating applications to the cloud. In a previous life as head of Cloud Global Services at BMC, Alan helped enterprises plan, build and run hybrid cloud management platforms.

 

In terms of prioritizing which applications to move first, Alan advises the following:


I would not start with a very static and unique / custom environment that has less than 5 servers deployed as there is no immediate gain here. Brownfield (existing) and greenfield (new) applications should be approached differently in the way that you prioritize migrating them to a cloud environment.


Brownfield Applications:

For brownfield applications already running, I would focus on 2 key areas to determine priority for migration:


1.       Standardization

Prioritize moving the most common applications that can be grouped into pools to drive standardization and reduce VM sprawl.  For example, if 500 slightly variant weblogic servers can be migrated under the BMC cloud management platform, it forces standardization of that environment and drives more efficient devops. If those 500 servers were the same post standardization, it would be easier to patch, keep compliant, manage change, and deploy configuration changes at once. Subsequently, the ongoing administration task is easier and this drives significant increases in devops efficiencies and agility.


2.       Capacity Management and Dynamic Agility

With the intelligent capacity management functionality in BMC Cloud Management, the cloud becomes your best means of optimizing capacity utilization. Therefore, you should prioritize moving application pools that are having either over or under capacity issues. For example:

 

  • Dynamic Applications like a retail website that need more horsepower towards the Holiday season but have idle capacity during the summer would be good candidates to move over.
  • Static applications that never change and have servers that are well utilized would take a lower priority.

 

3.      Greenfield Applications

 

New applications that are popular, requested daily and lend themselves well to self-service should be prioritized for the move to cloud. This will drive the best ROI for the business through decreases in time to deployment ,higher service levels, and willingness for developers to decommission after usage. 

 

For BMC Cloud customers, we’ve introduced pre-packaged content for cloud and automation use cases –BMC ZipKits – to help drive your decisions around app cloud migration. These ZipKits, provided free on our cloud communities’ site and released on an ongoing basis, are out-of-the-box service blueprints for common services which drive faster time to value for cloud and automation solutions.

 

In an upcoming blog, we’ll explore the private vs public cloud question and how to determine where to place what apps so stay tuned!

 

For more information on BMC Cloud Management, go to www.bmc.com/cloud

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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Monica Brink

Monica Brink

Monica Brink is Lead Solutions Marketing Manager for BMC Cloud Management. In her role, Monica has responsibility for solution launches, positioning, messaging, go-to-market strategies and sales enablement for BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management.