Here you are facing the Cornelian dilemma: cloud or not? However, it’s most probable that the choice has already been made. Cloud it is! Do. Or do not. There is no try. Thus spoke Yoda in the Empire Strikes Back. And Cloud it is. Do! The Cornelian dilemma is therefore not to decide to go, but what to send to the cloud. Which application, workload or virtual machine shall go first. To help you in that choice, let’s answer five simple questions.
1. Is the app accessed through a smartphone/tablet?
Look at how the application/workload/server is accessed. If some users are accessing it from a public internet connection, outside of the office, the cloud could be a serious option. It could deliver better service by freeing resources on your uplink while allowing you to decrease your risk exposures by leveraging security features of your cloud provider.
2. Does the app require scaling?
Scaling means different things for different people, but the idea is all around variable demand in compute powers. Think a payroll system. It’s used mostly at the end of month to process pay slips and then goes almost idle. This means most of the time you need very little power and then extra power. However, if you run your own infrastructure, you need to scale it for the peak. By moving this workload to cloud services, you pay the extra power only when you need it and not as an asset that sits idle in your date center most of the time.
3. Is an upgrade necessary?
You reach a point, you need more CPU, more storage, more memory, more network, or just brand new servers as the ones you are using are coming to end of life. Moving to cloud will allow you to choose exactly what you need and to upgrade at will, being a click away from any extra capacity you need.
4. Is a necessary feature only available in the cloud?
You want to implement a new feature, whether some AI or special security capabilities for instance, and after thorough research, the only viable way is cloud services. However, the application that will be leveraging this feature sits in your data center. By moving this application to cloud services, you shift the bandwidth usage potentially to the end user and not to the app itself.
More and more advanced workloads will be only available through cloud services for obvious elements of scale. Taping into global intelligence can help get the right information on time.
5. Does speed to market an intrinsic requirement?
Business is requiring faster time to market of new solutions. Whether it is to go faster than competition or just answering market needs. Setting up new services on premises requires hardware and software acquisition, development of the solution and setup in the existing infrastructure. By choosing a cloud infrastructure, you can:
- develop and test at will, including scaling up and down to test various configurations;
- go in production faster by choosing the right servers/containers;
- upgrade on a constant basis without having to worry about fitting in the existing infrastructure.
When you look at your current IT landscape, and at each of your application/workload/server, the ones that have a yes at one of the previous questions are candidates to the journey to the cloud. The last point to consider among those apps is the dependencies. Some apps are autonomous, some are dependent to others. The best candidate as the first to go to cloud is the one that has the least dependencies. This sounds like common sense, however, this will considerably ease your task.