Why Right-Sizing is Essential to Your Cloud Migration Planning

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For many organizations, completing a cloud migration isn’t an opportunity to pop the champagne. Instead of celebrating the completion of a successful project, organizations that haven’t identified their right-sized cloud before migration often discover they have over- or under-provisioned their resources-and experiencing poor cost-performance issues as a result.

Right-sizing - identifying the optimal compute and storage resources in the cloud for each of your workloads - enables you to achieve your maximum performance requirements at the lowest possible cost. With right-sizing, the provisioning of your compute, storage, and network resources is accurate in that they match their real-world usage, as opposed to traditional on-premises infrastructure that is over-provisioned. Although many organizations are beginning to understand the role that right-sizing plays in ongoing cloud management, many still fail to realize that right-sizing is also key component of your cloud migration planning.

At Cloudamize we’ve seen many companies put off the work of accurately sizing their cloud until they’re already migrated, and they’re not happy with the results. Understanding how to accurately right-size your workloads is critical throughout your cloud journey, including when calculating the TCO of a move to the cloud, planning migration of workloads, and optimizing in-cloud deployments. Here is why it’s important to right-size at each of the 3 key stages of your cloud journey.

Stage 1: Calculating Your Cloud TCO Estimate

Many companies compare the TCO of moving to AWS, Azure, and GCP by calculating what it would cost to forklift their existing infrastructure into the cloud. This "like-to-like" comparison, however, doesn’t account for the lower capacity companies need once they migrate to the cloud. That’s why basing your cloud TCO calculation on your current on-premises infrastructure without modifying it for the cloud will likely result in over-estimating TCO calculations.

In fact, a Cloudamize industry report analyzed over 10,000 machines and found that 33% of the instances would be over-provisioned in the cloud if they were provisioned as they were on-premises, 38% would be idle, and only 19% of the instances would have been optimal - leading to an average 35% higher TCO estimate.

Instead of performing a like-to-like comparison, you should form your cloud TCO calculation based on your workload-optimized (right-sized) cloud. When the provisioning of your compute, storage, and network resources matches your real-world usage, you can avoid making an inaccurate estimate that may vastly overstate the costs of migrating your on-premises workloads to the cloud.

Stage 2: Building Your Cloud Migration Plan

Maximizing your cloud ROI really begins when developing your cloud migration strategy, and a critical part of that strategy is the process of identifying the best compute and storage options to migrate each of your workloads to. This will enable you to:

  • Determine which applications should remain on-premises: Right-sizing may inform you that there are not very suitable options in the cloud for particular workloads, and therefore cost-performance optimization will be better achieved by keeping those ones on-premises.
  • Ensure cost-performance optimization immediately upon migration: 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.
  • Stay within your migration budget: Just as right-sizing enables you to calculate the overall TCO of a move to the cloud, it also enables you to precisely calculate the TCO of moving a specific workload. If you have a small budget to begin with, then you can migrate less expensive workloads early on, and save the pricey ones for later phases.

Stage 3: Ongoing Management of Your Cloud

Once you’re in the cloud, right-sizing is never over. In addition to changes within your IT infrastructure, public cloud providers also offer new compute and storage options, as well as change pricing for current resources. This means that you need to continually right-size your cloud to ensure you’re always achieving cost-performance optimization. Taking a passive approach to this can lead to performance issues and surprise cloud bills.

The Outcome of Right-Sizing Throughout Your Cloud Journey

Organizations that take on any project without accurate financial projections or a precise roadmap are at risk of going over budget and over time-planning your cloud migration strategy is no different. Right-sizing can help you build a migration plan that enables you to enjoy maximum cost-performance optimization immediately upon migration-and to continue to adapt to changes in the cloud and at your organization after your migration is complete.

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