Optimizing Your Cloud Migration for the Best Possible Outcome and ROI

Bill Young


As this week’s AWS re:Invent 2016 in Las Vegas opens, many attendees will be looking for different cloud migration and optimization strategies, depending on their assessments of their specific cloud integration needs. “Lift and shift” may be the fastest way to migrate IT services and workloads to the cloud without any modifications to applications, while greenfield strategies can mean complete customization, the use of latest technologies and application updates. In both cases, greater cloud IT services and application performance and cost optimization are hard-and-fast enterprise requirements.


Lift and shift cloud migration

Many enterprises have portable IT services or native cloud applications that can be migrated to the cloud on an “as-is” basis. Scenarios that are ideal for this approach include:

  • Data center retirement or consolidation
  • Company divestiture or merger and acquisition
  • Disaster recovery (DR) or high availability site relocation

Greenfield migration

If you are starting a cloud infrastructure architecture from scratch that is isolated from existing legacy IT, then a greenfield approach allows you to maximize cloud capabilities, while factoring in other objectives like security, performance and cost. This approach is ideal for:

  • Deploying newer applications
  • Adding new sites or businesses
  • Establishing new DR sites

Regardless of the approach your company takes toward cloud migration, here are some critical steps that we at Equinix Professional Services (EPS) for Cloud can help you with:

  • Develop a detailed and customized migration roadmap, including timeline, required resources and actionable items.
  • Ensure that seamless and secure connectivity is established with on-premises data and applications, including leveraging proprietary tools and partner technologies to move your workloads to the target cloud platform.
  • Identify costs and define deliverables to minimize risk and maximize your return.
  • Systematically test cloud applications and services.
  • Produce project documentation, training and knowledge transfer for your environment.

Optimizing your cloud infrastructure

Once you have implemented your cloud migration strategy, you’ll want to ensure that you are successfully taking advantage of the cloud’s performance, scalability and cost-saving benefits. This will enable you to only pay for the services and resources you use, achieve a greater return on investment (ROI) and receive additional savings from leveraging the latest cloud capabilities.

We recommend working with us at EPS to develop a three-phase approach to hybrid cloud optimization:

Phase 1 – Dynamic Uptime, Scaling and Scheduling

To ensure that back-end systems are being fully utilized, we recommend the following:

  • Categorization: Analyze and organize systems by uptime needs, such as “24/7” and “weekdays only,” as well as regular batch functions.
  • Scaling: Scale systems based on load or other metrics to ensure system capacity meets real needs.
  • Scheduling: Automate system uptime, based on categorization of your workloads and requirements.

Phase 2 – Leveraging Purchase Commitments

Learn how to maximize cloud provider large discounts for spending commitments-that is, a minimum usage amount over a period of time. Understanding these models can be the difference between cloud-spend spiraling out of control and ensuring a greater ROI. We recommend that you take the following steps:

  • Analyze your uptime schedules from Phase 1 to identify appropriate usage models.
  • Map system usage to available cloud platform discount models.
  • Configure the reserved systems that provide the best discount models with cloud platform provider(s).

Phase 3 – Right-Sizing and Feature Evolution

Lift and shift deployments can result in oversized and ineffective systems. Even if an infrastructure is perfectly sized at initial setup, cloud platform providers are constantly updating features and offering performance enhancements that can extend capabilities. We recommend that your organization:

  • Right-size each system instance and feature according to true application and workload performance needs.
  • Identify opportunities to consolidate resources, whether it’s spreading large application servers to purpose-built smaller instances or consolidating similar processes into shared resource pools.
  • Map out the latest cloud enhancements so you can replace any existing, high-spend premium features. For example, systems that once required an IaaS platform may now be replaced by more cost-effective PaaS offerings.

The approach you take with your cloud migration and optimization can determine the short- and long-term success of your private, public, hybrid or multi-cloud strategies. EPS for Cloud can help you design, develop and implement cloud deployments that create real, lasting value.

Come see us at AWS re:Invent at booth #510, or check out our high-impact, two-day cloud workshop.

Related blog: Where to Begin Your Cloud Migration for the Greatest Possible Success