The marketing is there, and has been for some time. Buzzwords have been coined and your interest is piqued. You sat back long enough to see if this was just vaporware or real, while gaseous. Cloud turns out to be more solid than its nomenclature. You’re ready, in fact you’re all in. Now the bad news: If you want to succeed in the cloud, the long-term relationship you've had with your apps must be broken up.
For decades your apps have been living together, heck many of them are common-law married at this point. That won’t be the same in the world of cloud. In the cloud world, you have to decide which to keep in the house and which to relocate. It's time to divide up the assets. It won’t be easy, but it’s key to the individual success of the apps.
Factors such as compliance, availability, security, customization, support, etc. will dictate which applications go where. Luckily, there are no courts involved. Instead the hard decisions are all yours. Each app has individual characteristics and will be properly nurtured in different environments. Some need the freedom and scale of a public cloud, some need the security and close eye of private cloud. Some can benefit from the possibilities of elasticity and resiliency of PaaS, while others, more rigid, will require IaaS.
Time to look at each application, or more importantly, each service. Some of those services will best be ported off current enterprise applications to public clouds. Some of them are prime targets for being migrated to a local, or hosted, private cloud architecture. Others may need to stay on legacy systems (or refreshed legacy systems) for now. The key is that the same rules won’t apply to all apps. For large, mature data centers, there will be a break up.
You’ll need to start with an assessment of applications you currently use to run your business. From there, analyze which fit into the cloud model(s) you’re looking at. Assess which cloud models work best for each application: public, private, hybrid, and which deployment model fits best: IaaS, PaaS, SaaS.
Some applications traditionally run in-house may lend themselves well to being ported to SaaS. Traditional enterprise apps may be well-suited to public or private IaaS. Lastly, home-grown, custom apps may gain great benefits from being restructured onto PaaS solutions, in-house or with a provider. Not every application has the same requirements or characteristics, therefore they will not all gain the best results in the same deployment model.
Cloud models offer a great deal of benefit in terms of cost, scalability and global delivery, but not all are created equal. In the same way, your applications are not created equal. Taking the time, and engaging the right expertise, to decide which application gets deployed where, up front, is key to success in the cloud.
This post is not intended as an endorsement for any of the vendors/products mentioned. All companies are used for example purposes only.Joe Onisick is the founder of Define the Cloud and a principal engineer for Cisco's INSBU. Onisick has 17 years of IT experience spanning a broad range of disciplines, starting with server and network administration. From 2000-2005, Onisick was a US Marine, where he served in ... View Full Bio