Addressing Cloud Migration Complexity

07 December 2015 | By John Merryman

Two years ago our industry discussions with several field experts highlighted the fact: There is no industry benchmark for cloud migration pricing. The range of price per workload migrations was ridiculous - 1-20K per workload, and that's just moving operating system instances. This variability creates havoc for customers attempting to rationalize TCO or cost benefit of moving applications to the cloud, when the transition cost and complexity is a complete mystery.

As a step towards rationalizing how we go about cloud transitions, Amazon's recently published 'A Practical Guide to Cloud Migration' whitepaper on cloud migrations illustrates growing industry acceptance of cloud migration complexity. Five years ago Gartner released a mini-guide to the galaxy for cloud migrations, and while logical and highly referenced in the industry, this managed to confuse most in the field. AWS have done a nice job of reapplying the Gartner concept into an overall view of the migration lifecycle to illustrate how these decision points flow in reality:

For most, application portfolio rationalization emerges as a major challenge before moving applications into the cloud. While the detailed the level of decision making and analysis can be complex, the overall concept still holds true: decommission, move to PaaS/SaaS, move the app/workloads as-is, redevelop the application, or adjust the application components to take advantage of cloud architectures.

Amazon's authentic output on a complex topic will only help the overall market move forward into cloud architecture adoption, but also put a frame of reference around non-transformational migrations and associated costing. We like to think outputs like this mark a shift in overall market mentality of embracing/accepting transition complexity, versus cloud providers leading with TCO, while brushing migration/transition costs under the rug. 

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