Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, John Katrick, Liz McMillan, Don MacVittie

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

A Roadmap to High-Value Cloud Infrastructure: Application and Data Mobility

In the journey toward cloud, we find two kinds of companies

In its first phase, the “Roadmap to High-Value Cloud Infrastructure” focused on Data Storage Expansion. In the second, when talking about disaster recovery and data protection, we discussed not only data recovery, but application recovery in the cloud as well. In this installment, we'll address the third phase: Application and Data Mobility.

In the journey toward cloud, we find two kinds of companies - those that consider themselves "born in the cloud" and have built their entire IT infrastructure in the cloud from the ground up. These folks don't need a roadmap to high-value cloud infrastructure because they built their infrastructure with the cloud in mind. There's nothing to migrate, no conversion gotchas to account for.

The second group, however, comprises organizations who start with traditional on-premises IT infrastructure and often don't have the luxury - or in many cases, even the desire - to forklift their operations into the cloud. What they seek instead is a phased roadmap to cloud infrastructure services starting with data storage expansion followed by data protection/disaster recovery. The advantage of a phased approach is that businesses can enjoy cost and administrative efficiencies of the cloud without radically altering the processes and applications they are currently using. Today's installment focuses on data and application mobility, the 3rd phase of our roadmap.

While related, the two elements of this phase are distinctly different, so we'll tackle each separately.

Data Mobility
For organizations accustomed to virtualized environments already, data mobility is a critical consideration. In many respects, using the cloud is the ultimate in data mobility - once stored in the cloud, data mobility becomes a "given," meaning data can be accessed in the cloud, on-premise or virtually anywhere via cloud-integrated storage or cloud storage gateways. This divorce between the data itself and the servers becomes critical for organizations as they seek to migrate applications to the cloud. At this stage in the game, we're doing more than just using the cloud for overflow as with the capacity expansion we discussed in the first phase. The cloud has become the repository for all (or perhaps nearly all) our data in some form or fashion, including the active, live data, not just the passive data. Latency and performance concerns for highly active data are addressed through the dynamic, on-site caches delivered by cloud-integrated storage, which provide local performance while simultaneously replicating to the cloud.

By taking this step to ensuring data mobility, we're providing the groundwork required to begin migrating certain applications to the cloud.

Application Migration to the Cloud
To date, our roadmap has primarily addressed data storage in the cloud, and we've only touched applications in the cloud as it relates to a disaster recovery situation. But the reality is that organizations can gain the same efficiencies out of cloud server infrastructure as they do out of cloud storage. In many ways, application migration to the cloud is simply taking what we did in Phase 2 (application recovery in the cloud during a disaster) a step further, except that the application never fails back to the on-premise environment, but resides permanently in the cloud. This is particular true in virtual server environments which have become commonplace in IT organizations.

In data storage, we've seen in Phase 1 that there is quite a lot of data that no longer justifies on-premise management and maintenance - either because the data is passive, changes infrequently or is simply less valuable. Similarly, there are likely many on-premise applications that can be migrated to the cloud, thereby offloading the management and maintenance of the hardware and server infrastructure that application requires. Classic examples here are file servers, seldom-used databases or even an email server that occupies server hardware in your data center, requiring maintenance, upgrades, power and cooling. Moving these applications into the cloud can greatly reduce your financial and administrative burden.

So why does application migration come at a relatively late stage (phase 3) of our cloud adoption roadmap? After all, companies "born in the cloud" are apparently running application in the cloud on day one. The truth is that running applications in the cloud has very little to do with whether it's possible. The questions for organizations accustomed to traditional on-premises infrastructure are:

  • "How many (and which) of my applications should I move to the cloud?"
  • "How painful will that migration be?" and
  • "Can applications in the cloud be as reliable as on-premise?"

Some in this group strive toward an ambitious and immediate vision that rivals those "born in the cloud" - to migrate their entire IT infrastructure in the cloud as quickly as possible, while others have neither the interest nor the will to do so and seek a hybrid on-premises/cloud model that will serve their needs long-term - and potentially even indefinitely.

Regardless of the end goal, phases 1 and 2 create a seamless migration path and a critical foundation for data protection and disaster recovery that extends to applications deployed in the cloud. In fact, cloud storage becomes an essential element of data protection and disaster protection for applications running in the cloud. You may have heard about recent cloud outages that have taken down applications and even resulted in data loss due to cloud provider regional failures. Such situations can be prevented through appropriate data protection and disaster protection measures - enabling the availability characteristics of a well-managed on-premises environment. Maintaining backups or replicas of application data in cloud storage provides the same level of disaster tolerance found in enterprise environments, thanks to the robust geo-replication and disaster tolerance of cloud storage. In the case of a regional outages, cloud storage enables recovering applications in a different region. For even higher levels of disaster tolerance, replicating data to an external cloud provider allows recovery even from the outage of an entire cloud provider.

Beyond building a robust environment, it would be unfair to oversimplify some of the orchestration subtleties involved in moving applications to the cloud. Moving virtual machine applications between identical hypervisors is a best case migration to cloud scenario. Moving applications between heterogeneous hypervisors or from physical environments to cloud involves additional configuration and possibly conversion processes. In all cases, there are also networking considerations in ensuring application migration is seamless.

Bottom line? With the right foundation in place, migrating selected applications to cloud can be a relatively painless process. More importantly, applications in a cloud environment can still maintain the same availability and robustness as applications in your local environment - these are the advantages of a phased roadmap to cloud infrastructure.

Next up: taking advantage of compute infrastructure in the cloud to optimize your business.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Nicos Vekiarides

Nicos Vekiarides is the Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of TwinStrata. He has spent over 20 years in enterprise data storage, both as a business manager and as an entrepreneur and founder in startup companies.

Prior to TwinStrata, he served as VP of Product Strategy and Technology at Incipient, Inc., where he helped deliver the industry's first storage virtualization solution embedded in a switch. Prior to Incipient, he was General Manager of the storage virtualization business at Hewlett-Packard. Vekiarides came to HP with the acquisition of StorageApps where he was the founding VP of Engineering. At StorageApps, he built a team that brought to market the industry's first storage virtualization appliance. Prior to StorageApps, he spent a number of years in the data storage industry working at Sun Microsystems and Encore Computer. At Encore, he architected and delivered Encore Computer's SP data replication products that were a key factor in the acquisition of Encore's storage division by Sun Microsystems.

@CloudExpo Stories
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone in...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, described how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launching ...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, discussed how given the magnitude of today's application ...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: imple...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...