Re-assess your cloud strategy

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A successful strategy begins with the setting of technical and business objectives. Many enterprises are moving to the cloud, yet their cloud strategies are still a work in progress.  
What are the application requirements for a cloud migration?
Are my applications cloud ready?
What are the infrastructure considerations?

As a starting point, investments in infrastructure are something to consider very strongly as  hardware, network architecture,  storage and application portfolios all play a role in efficiency and cost implications.  If you’re evaluating the benefits of a migration, the current utilization and costs associated with your existing datacenter investments will play a role in feature comparison across other public and hosted cloud platforms.  But let’s be honest, there’s a significant investment associated with an on-premises server beyond licensing costs such as power, cooling, physical capacity and human management resources. On the other hand, outsourcing a server’s data and/or functionality to the cloud may mean abandoning your on-premises investment unless an on-premises server can be repurposed.

We know for sure that no matter how good it is, any server hardware eventually becomes obsolete as support agreements and amortization spans beyond the 3-5 year window. Some organizations deal with this by adopting a hardware lifecycle policy, and the same could be done for cloud migration, if an organization can integrate a cloud services roadmap into its IT policy.

When it comes to migrating applications, hardware scalability is key when moving application servers to the cloud. Cloud services are ideal for hosting hardware-intensive workloads as they generally offer high (and almost unlimited)  scalability. Even when a service provider can scale its offerings to meet even the most demanding workloads, this scalability comes at a price.

As an organization contemplates the risks and benefits of cloud migration, it is important to keep in mind that cloud migrations is not an all-or-nothing proposition. In most cases, it will make sense to move certain services to the cloud while continuing to operate others on-premises.

RightScale recently ran their annual “State of the Cloud” survey to identify where enterprises are in their journey to the cloud. The survey covered technical professionals across a broad cross-section of organizations about their adoption of cloud infrastructure. The 1,060 respondents range from technical executives to managers and practitioners and represent organizations of varying sizes across many industries.  Some highlights:

More enterprise workloads move to public cloud while private cloud increases
17 percent of enterprises now have more than 1,000 VMs in public cloud, up from 13 percent in 2015. Private cloud showed even stronger growth with 31 percent of enterprises running more than 1,000 VMs, up from 22 percent in 2015.

Hybrid cloud adoption grew significantly
Private cloud adoption increased from 63 percent to 77 percent, driving hybrid cloud adoption up from 58 percent to 71 percent year-over-year. In addition, 82 percent of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy, holding steady from 2015.

Cloud users leverage 6 clouds on average
Cloud users are running applications in an average of 1.5 public clouds and 1.7 private clouds. They are experimenting with an additional 1.5 public clouds and 1.3 private clouds.

AWS leads public cloud adoption while Azure Iaas and PaaS gain ground
Overall, AWS is used by 57 percent of respondents, flat from last year. Enterprise adoption of AWS grew from 50 percent to 56 percent while adoption by smaller businesses fell slightly from 61 percent to 58 percent.

Azure IaaS grows strongly from 12 percent to 17 percent adoption, while Azure PaaS grows from 9 percent to 13 percent. Combined, 20 percent of respondents use Azure (IaaS, PaaS, or both) as compared to 57 percent for AWS.

Here at ElasticBox we’ve talked to hundreds of enterprise customers and we’re seeing high adoption of hybrid cloud implementations as companies tune their cloud strategy. ElasticBox provides this capability natively to enable companies to efficiently run applications across multiple clouds. As you continue on your cloud journey, check us out.

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