Through our conversations at Ascend Cloud, a common theme we see is that customers have already chosen a Cloud Provider and reverted to us to assist with the migration. This is great for us as a company, we are after all a Migration MSP, Managed Migrations with VMware HCX is our area of expertise, but what if that conversation was flipped on its head?
I would argue that the first step in any Migration, whether that be to public Cloud, private Cloud, or a switch to HCI, should be to truly understand what’s running in your current estate. A clear and concise picture of your current networking, storage, backup setup, and requirements along with any physical asset dependencies at this stage is a must. Understanding this at a micro-level gives you the confidence to enter discussions with providers armed with the knowledge needed to avoid unforeseen costs or potential threats, blockers, or delays to any potential move. I believe this puts you as a customer in a much stronger position to find the right provider for your use case and future strategy.
Once a provider is chosen that best suits your needs, you can begin the process of planning the actual migration. Categorizing your workloads into buckets determined by complexity and criticality comes first. From there it is vital to get a picture of all network, security, and application dependencies to be able to start piecing together the migration move groups that will be least disruptive to your core business. Final adjustments can be made to make the most efficient use of the migration pipe when overall bandwidth, latency, and availability are also considered. A thorough knowledge of your migration tool of choice and its capabilities adds tremendous value and time savings to this. The need to balance business requirements against overall project efficiency means having the granular knowledge to determine the choice of cold, warm, or hot migration for any given virtual machine is a must.
Now you are in a position to choose the correct path forward for your business. Many of the Cloud Providers offer proof of concept and short-term pilot programs, look to use them to confirm with no obligation that you have indeed chosen the correct provider and fine-tune your planned migration processes. Create a test subset of your estate(which you now fully understand) and base your POC or pilot on your new provider, test the metrics that are key to your success.
I remain convinced that interoperability and multi-cloud will play a large part in the future IT infrastructure and services. The ever-growing consumer demand for choice and value is why I believe true multi and hybrid cloud is only going to grow. As we move forward customers will expect the ability to spin up and down workloads and services across multiple providers in many regions in a manner that is seamless to their core business. Network and application mobility tooling are key to this movement, and choosing the right one and will lead to a significant return on investment on your journey to hybrid IT. I believe that it will become easier to move in and out of cloud providers as the need arises, technology development will enable this. Cloud providers will stand and fall based on the service that they provide and vendor lock in will become a thing of the past.
“Accelerate your journey to any VMware based cloud, public or private with our tailored and proven approach to Migrations”
I sometimes like to use a telecom analogy, let’s say that you are looking to do a mobile/cell phone upgrade. You visit the store and first and foremost on your mind is getting the latest and greatest mobile phone(Cloud Provider), the store assistant asks you what plan you are on and you hesitate, most people I know don’t know this (Understanding of your estate). The conversation is driven by the new model of phone but depending on your usage the greatest return on investment to will almost certainly be in obtaining the correct usage plan.
Substitute the mobile phone for the (Cloud Provider)
Substitute the mobile phone plan for( understanding your IT estate)
I do understand that customers will choose a cloud provider based on a number of factors, it could be cost, geographic location, existing relationship with that provider etc. With regard to VMware based clouds, Ascend Cloud are provider agnostic and technology-specific, and by this I mean that we have no preference for any cloud type or cloud provider running VMware, we are bound by our significant experience with VMware HCX allowing us to be a truly independent Migration partner
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