5 Ways to Cut Cloud Migration Costs (and Time)
As you prepare to migrate your infrastructure to the public cloud, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of data to consider and worried about whether you've anticipated all the challenges you’ll face along the way. You may also be concerned you’ll encounter surprises that will lead to delays and unexpected costs, forcing you to miss deadlines and go over budget.
While many companies do encounter costly delays when moving to the cloud, much of this can be avoided when you know what factors to consider for a successful cloud migration. The reality is that your cloud optimization really begins before you even leave the ground, which is why it’s important to have a deep understanding of your infrastructure and a thorough migration plan before you begin your move. This will ensure you enjoy a faster, easier migration. Here are 5 ways that you can reduce the time and expense of your cloud migration.
1. Map ALL Dependencies
One of the most common culprits behind painful migrations is a failure to understand how all of your applications are inter-connected across your on-premises and cloud environments. Not accurately knowing this before migration increases the likelihood of application connection breaks after you migrate workloads. Once things are migrated, the only way to identify issues is typically through a time-consuming trial and error process.
To mitigate this risk, map all application dependencies - including multi-tier dependencies - before you begin the migration process to ensure that you simultaneously migrate resources that are communicating to each other. Conducting dependency mapping before you begin your migration will also help you more easily troubleshoot in the event of application performance issues later.
2. Choose the Right Storage
Without a deep understanding of your current storage performance profile and how that translates into available cloud options, you risk over/under-provisioning your cloud storage or choosing the wrong storage altogether. The options can be confusing since you have a choice between 4 storage options on Azure, 5 on AWS, and 3 on Google—and choosing the wrong storage can result in significant performance and cost issues immediately.
A common example of over-provisioning storage happens when organizations with bursty IOPS provision for the highest possible level. For example, AWS offers GP-SSD and Provisioned IOPS storage options. Rather than provision for bursty behavior, you’ll want to get GP-SSD, which allows you to get more IOPS when you need it and to get rid of it when you don’t. With this configuration, you only pay for the storage that you need while still making sure that you have enough. In many cases, the cost difference between GP-SSD and Provisioned IOPS is over 91%.
To avoid over-provisioning, you can take a more detailed approach by conducting a thorough performance analysis that includes measuring IOPS, throughput, and other variables to understand your storage needs and choose an option that is provisioned to get just enough without overpaying.
3. Start Out Easy
Organizations can avoid derailing or delaying a cloud migration by assessing their workloads for application complexity and suitability for migration to the cloud before they begin. You can reduce the likelihood of errors (or manage them on a small, controlled scale) by beginning with applications that have fewer dependencies, those that consume fewer network, compute, and storage resources, and those that are less mission-critical.
Although some trial-and-error is inevitable at the beginning of the migration process, beginning with less complex, less mission-critical applications can help you more effectively control that trial and error process so that it does not have a far-reaching negative impact throughout the organization that results in outages and downtime.
4. Right-Size BEFORE You Migrate
At the beginning of their cloud journey, many companies make the mistake of estimating their cloud needs based on what’s called a "like-to-like" comparison. They look at their current on-premises network, compute, and storage use and then migrate those workloads as is without right-sizing them for the cloud. Unfortunately, if you decide to move the workloads as is or as a ballpark estimate of what you think you might need without identifying your precise right-sized cloud, your initial workloads in the cloud will likely be over/under-provisioned. In some cases, the cost and performance issues may become so burdensome that it will force you to halt the migration process to reassess your cloud configuration.
Many organizations have over-provisioned their cloud workflows based on inaccurate like-to-like comparisons, which means they end up not using everything that they pay for. In fact, a recent Cloudamize industry reportanalyzed over 10,000 machines migrating from on-premises to AWS. The analysis found that 33% of the instances migrating to AWS would be over-provisioned in the cloud if they were provisioned as they were on-premises and 38% would be idle. Additionally, only 19% of the instances would have been optimal if they were moved without being modified for the cloud. For these machines, there could be cost savings of up to 35% if the instances were right-sized so that instance types met actual workload requirements immediately upon migration.
5. Put the Right Technology In Place
Your cloud migration journey begins as soon as you start to plan the process—and it never ends. Over time, cloud options and your IT infrastructure evolve, which means that optimizing for cost is only possible if you continually analyze your cloud service to make sure it’s still right-sized.
By making sure you have certain technology tools in place before you begin your migration, you will be better able to manage your plan and to manage your ongoing cloud needs over time. And by having these technologies in place for your initial workload migrations, you’ll ensure those migrations are managed properly so that you can continue on with your other workload migrations. When initial migrations aren’t planned for and managed properly right away, companies have to stop their migration efforts to focus on fixing those issues.
Technology solutions you should have include:
- Cloud Migration: Cloud migration solutions automate the migration of applications and machines from physical and virtual environments to the cloud.
- Cloud Management: Cloud management platforms provide administrative control over public, private, and hybrid clouds. They allow cloud administrators to access, configure, and manage cloud compute, storage, and network resources, as well as enable metering and billing, workflow automation, and resource management.
- Cloud Performance Monitoring: Performance monitoring tools enable real-time monitoring so that cloud administrators can optimize performance and reliability and quickly identify and resolve issues that causing a poor user experience.
- Cloud Computing Analytics: Cloud computing analytics platforms analyze your infrastructure performance and cloud bills to help you understand, control, reduce, and project your cloud costs and achieve cost-performance optimization.
The More You Know, The Less You Waste
Ultimately, executing a successful, cost-optimized, and efficient cloud migration comes down to having a deep understanding of your workloads and available options in the cloud. When you attempt to gain this understanding through manual processes, you risk overlooking or oversimplifying components of your infrastructure—and that can lead to a painful, expensive, and time-consuming migration. To avoid running over budget, over time, or delivering less value than expected, you should make sure that you avail yourself of solutions that can help you see your full cloud picture clearly before, during, and after your migration.