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Which Of Your Apps Should Move To The Cloud?

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The Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) market is growing and is expected to hit $127 billion by 2018. This growth is being fed by companies that are moving their apps to the cloud. Unfortunately, some of them are moving the wrong apps and for the wrong reasons.

Some companies make the decision to move to the cloud because they’ve read that their competitors are doing it so therefore they need to as well. While this may be true, these businesses tend to skip the decision-making process, which requires research, analysis, and collaboration, and hastily jump to the cloud.

 

Deciding Which Apps Should Move To The Cloud

69% of businesses have migrated at least one application to the cloud and 18% have plans to migrate, according to IDG’s Cloud Computing Survey.

Here is a list of factors you should use to decide which of your apps should move to the cloud:

 

Is It Time For A Hardware Refresh?

Is your old hardware reaching the end of its life and you’re scared that someday soon will be its last? The sad news is that once hardware reaches a certain age, you will no longer have support.

Applications on servers with older hardware can be good candidates for migration to the cloud. This can save you from having to buy new hardware, and future upgrades are handled by the vendor.

 

Are Software Upgrades Still Available?

Does it seem like every time you turn around, another software program on your network needs to be upgraded to the latest version?

What happens when software that you depend on reaches end of life (i.e. Microsoft SQL 2005 that needs to be upgraded to SQL 2014) and no longer has support from the vendor? This can be another great opportunity to move that app to the cloud.

 

What About Apps That Can Be Virtualized?

You can use CPU utilization for existing servers to determine which ones should get priority for being virtualized to the cloud. If a server has high utilization compared to others and handles critical functionality that should never fail, it can be a good candidate for virtualization. It can also help free up existing physical servers for other processes.

Apps that are already being supported in virtual environments are more likely to be the first ones to migrate to cloud.

 

Does Your App Need To Scale?

Scaling up an in-house application can be an elaborate process of purchasing new equipment, getting it configured, and installing software, which can take weeks if not longer.

Consider your recent growth patterns with compute, storage, and data. This will tell you how important scalability is to your app.

Is your business expanding into new markets and you need to expand your presence? Or, perhaps you only have intermittent seasonal needs like a tax app during tax time.

With cloud, scalability can be done in minutes. Scalability in cloud involves changing settings to either increase or decrease a server’s load bearing capacity depending upon your needs at that time. New servers can be brought up within minutes, which allows companies to save both money and time when sudden changes are needed in order to handle additional workflow.

 

How Old Is The Application?

Applications that were built within the last 15 years and use a programming language that is supported by your cloud environment can be good candidates.

How long do you plan to use the app? If the app is “on the way out”, maybe it can be replaced by a software as a service platform.

Older applications that were written with languages like Cobol or Fortran may not be ready for the cloud and will probably need to be rewritten using newer technologies.

 

Options For Migration

There are typically three options for migrating to cloud:

Lift and shift

This is the most popular and cost-effective solution, when applications can be shifted to the cloud with little to no modifications being made. These applications will have no native awareness of the cloud, but will still be able to function.

 

Partial Re-factoring

Using this method, you change as little of the data and code as possible, but you build a native cloud awareness into your application that allows you to improve the application’s effectiveness.

 

Complete Re-factoring

With this method, you rewrite the application to be cloud native. Using this method, you can have your application scale and provision with native APIs. This lets you take advantage of native cloud features that would not be possible otherwise.

 

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many factors to consider before deciding if your application is ready for the cloud. Take the time to evaluate each of these factors to make sure the applications you select are right for your business.
If you have questions about which apps can be migrated to the cloud, contact us at (443) 424-2340.

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