More than a third of enterprises will have at least half of their applications on a cloud platform by the end of 2017, and the ramp-up toward migrating such huge amounts of applications to the hybrid cloud has many implications.
Which applications should be moved? What about those more than a decade old?
Hybrid clouds are desirable because they allow movement of information between public and private cloud platforms. For example, a company’s big data application that requires expensive storage systems may run more cost effectively on a public cloud, while sensitive data may be better to remain on a private cloud.
There are three approaches to re-hosting on a hybrid cloud:
- Lift and shift: Move an application and its data without making substantial changes to the application. If an application is going to run relatively unmodified, it can simply be lifted and shifted to the private cloud components of a hybrid cloud.
- Partition: This involves separating the workloads within an application to simultaneously run on the private and public cloud sides of the hybrid cloud. An example of when this would be used is when an application has one layer that costs less to run on the public cloud, but has a data interface that runs better on the private cloud. Partitioning is for when the cost savings of running on the right cloud outweigh the costs of modifying an application.
- Re-factor: This involves a rewrite of an application to take advantage of the hybrid cloud’s features. Legacy applications may be modified in this way to become better. An application can be “broken apart” and each feature evaluated so that in the rewriting, each component is placed in the correct part of the cloud to get top performance.
Each approach has pros and cons, and cost and efficiency variations one from another. Security and specific configuration and process factors need careful scrutiny in such a migration, but many companies have found the results in performance can be well worth this effort.
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