The road to the cloud has certainly been a bumpy one, but we’re at a crossroads where information technology departments have to balance the pace at which they adopt the cloud with maturing their controls and processes. Administrators aren’t asking themselves “Should we move to the cloud?” anymore but, instead, are wondering – “What applications and data make the most sense in the cloud?”
In the push to meet “cloud first” mandates from senior executives, IT pros often create a host of headaches for themselves, resulting in a subpar cloud strategy. Control is now the name of the game in the cloud space. Smart organizations are deploying practices and tools that allow them to take a policy-centric approach to controlling what goes to the cloud, when and, most importantly, how resources are provisioned, used and managed.
Potential mistakes and cloud roadblocks
Needless to say, headaches abound for the unprepared when moving to the cloud. Below are a few mistakes to watch out for:
- Rushing – a fast migration doesn’t always equal a quality migration. Take time to consider every aspect from cost to access implications.
- Not picking the right cloud – depending on your workload, some cloud environments are better than others. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.
- Trusting security to the wrong group – keeping security and access of your business’ applications and data should be an internal priority.
These mistakes can significantly contribute to a failed cloud strategy. This is becoming a real pain for many; according to IDG, 45 percent of customers brought one or more applications back out of the cloud due to these challenges.
Further, current solutions in the market either do a good job of moving large quantities of data up to or between clouds, or they do a good job at virtual machine management and orchestration – but not both. Which leads to these and many other problems.
What to focus on
Starting with the right approach can help make cloud adoption smooth and relatively painless. Here are a few things to consider:
- Scope your projects to specific use cases. This will help you quickly define your parameters and assist in picking the right cloud for what you want to accomplish.
- Start with extending your enterprise controls to the public and hybrid cloud, which not only includes the obvious such as your security and access control policies, but also resource consumption by workload or application type.
- Pick tools that allow you to move between clouds – not only public cloud vendors, but also between your own private cloud as well as the public cloud. The reality is your requirements will change over time. You need to have the flexibility to pick the right infrastructure for your needs.
There are some really strong and compelling use cases to start with, too, for example:
- Disaster recovery in the cloud –Implementing a disaster recovery strategy can allow production workloads to be recovered and automated in the cloud, should a disaster strike and affect your critical data.
- Test and development in the cloud – A topic that’s often overlooked, testing and development in the cloud will help optimize environments to be most effective and beneficial to your business.
What strategies does your business use to control cloud migrations?
Sabrinath Rao is the senior director and head of the cloud business unit for CommVault. Prior to joining CommVault, he held various cloud data protection, management and recovery product leadership roles at companies like Connected, Iron Mountain and, most recently, Microsoft. Follow him on Twitter.