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Cloud Transition vs Cloud Transformation

Decision matrix for cloud enablement

Transition vs Transformation:
Organizations want to start their path toward the cloud. However, almost  all large enterprises have their existing data center applications in place. The move to cloud is generally achieved through two complementary paths:

Transition: The transition of existing data center applications to Cloud involves moving the internal IT applications to a  private cloud or a public cloud infrastructure  as it is,  without changing the architecture, design or delivery model.  This will mainly involve:

  • Choosing a private cloud or public cloud Infrastructure
  • Choosing the virtualization platform to host the application
  • Setting up the catalog for provisioning of the Application as a Service
  • Setting up automation and monitoring options for the application to scale up and down within the private cloud platform

Transformation: Either after the transition is done or instead of transition, some times  it is better  do a   transformation of the existing applications  to the  Cloud platform.  Typically transformation from a cloud perspective involves:

  • Redesigning the application to support Multi Tenancy
  • Migrating the application platform to a Cloud Enabled PaaS platform like Windows Azure
  • Migrating the Relational Databases to Cloud Databases like Sql Azure or to Big Table - ‘NO SQL' Databases
  • Enhance the Compute needs of the applications to utilize High Performance Computing like Map Reduce

Organizations may choose the following  sequence of operations between transition and transformation:

  • Only Transition and No Transformation
  • Complete The Transition And Start Transformation
  • Transformation in Parallel with Transition
  • Transformation Straight Away

The following  Chart gives  the  scenarios where  Transition  and / or  Transformation are applicable  in migration to data center to Cloud for enterprise applications.  YES/YES in both signifies that   transition happens  first followed by transformation.

Application Characteristics

Transition

Transformation

Intellectual  Property  related  and  organization's core knowledge related applications.

NO

NO

Application  is  Already a Global application within an enterprise and there is no duplication of functionality of this application with other applications

YES

NO

Application  satisfies  a common business functionality like  federal compliant reporting , address cleansing or validation. (migration to SaaS is considered more transformational as the existing  application will be de-commissioned)

NO

YES

Application currently running on a unsupported legacy platform

NO

YES

Application functionality  is duplicated across multiple  business units and / or regions  mainly due to the mergers and acquisitions over the period

NO

YES

Application is not satisfying the QoS ( Quality Of Service) of the current user base in terms of Scalability, Availability, Security and Performance

NO

YES

Application tightly coupled with   ‘On Premise' legacy applications and is prone to break if changes happen in  legacy applications

NO

YES

Data Duplication and Redundancy  of the application with the rest of the enterprise

NO

YES

Application has security vulnerabilities

NO

YES

Application needs transformation,  but  the availability is a high concern and the application cannot afford to have down time.   This may  lead to transitioning the application first ‘As Is' and then  doing the transformation in parallel and perform parallel run  till stabilization

YES

YES

Application functionality  can be  achieved by   orchestration of several  SaaS based services

NO

YES

Application  runs on PaaS friendly  platforms like  Microsoft  .net

YES

NO

Application likely to be retired soon

NO

NO

Summary
An optimal  combination  of  enterprise applications is possible ,  with certain  components

  • Sourced From Public Clouds
  • Certain Applications Moved to Private Clouds
  • Certain Applications crafted with a combination of in house, private and public cloud applications

This  optimal mix, will only be arrived  when the correct applications are moved to public or private clouds. While moving these applications,  the decision to move them as it is  ( Transition) and  redesign them ( Transform)  will  play a key role in success of the Cloud Model for the enterprises.

The above mentioned decision criteria will help the enterprises towards such decision.

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Highly passionate about utilizing Digital Technologies to enable next generation enterprise. Believes in enterprise transformation through the Natives (Cloud Native & Mobile Native).

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