Once the classification of applications is completed, each application needs to be evaluated using the following criteria:
You will need to identify whether an application needs high bandwidth or extremely low latency connection to systems within the network. Such applications are not the best candidates for moving to the cloud unless you move all the dependent applications at the same time.
If an application is used by people outside your organization’s network, then it is most likely a suitable candidate for migration to the cloud. Moving such applications to the cloud will help your organization to isolate and buffer the internal network making it more secure.
Scalability is one of the most attractive benefits of cloud computing. Cloud computing allows for seamless scalability when application demands change suddenly. Applications that need to scale (e.g. seasonal or peak loads) or might need to scale (e.g. analytical or research workloads that are contingent on other applications and, therefore, unpredictable) are good candidates for migration to the cloud.
Cloud is not suitable for all applications particularly those workloads that depend on non-Intel based systems. For example, HP-UX and AIX environments are not readily available on public cloud environments. These applications might be better suited for a private cloud or a hybrid solution. If the application runs on standard, x86 technologies then it is potentially a good fit for migration to the cloud.
When planning for application migration to the cloud you will need to consider the IOPS (input/output operations per second) requirement of your applications. The cloud provides various options from basic to high IOPS. Cloud storage differs in performance characteristics and price, allowing you to tailor the storage performance and cost to the application requirements.
Licensing is another major factor to consider during cloud migration. License portability and rules associated with cloud licensing are not necessarily the same across software vendors. Cloud vendors also provide perpetual licenses in a pay-per-use model which could prove costly over an extended period of time.
Cloud security can be broadly classified into computer security, network security, and information security. Most cloud service providers follow security best practices and are compliant in major security certifications (like SOC 1, PCI, HIPAA, FISMA, etc.) However, these security policies only cover the platform and not the user data. Security within the guest operating system (OS) and the application built on top of that OS is the customer’s responsibility. Designing or redesigning the application architecture for security should be a significant step in your cloud migration roadmap.
In the next post I’ll describe how you can identify target applications and platforms but in the mean time you can read more for yourself in our cloud migration white paper.