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Data Center Relocation:

Data center migrations are trending toward a hybrid approach of moving some applications to the cloud and keeping other applications on on-site infrastructure. Several assessments should be made before choosing to do this type of data center migration to ensure that it is successful. 

Are Applications Cloud-Ready?


A hybrid migration is feasible if an application can run in both an on-site environment and a cloud environment. Data centers may already be employing a hybrid model, and there may be some applications that can be simply lifted and shifted from on-site infrastructure to the cloud. 


Be careful not to make assumptions. Vendors may run their applications in a cloud, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's hybrid-cloud ready. It's less complex and less expensive to host applications in a single environment than it is to try to bridge two environments.


Most legacy applications cannot be lifted and shifted to the cloud. In many cases, they have to be completely rewritten to run in a cloud environment. The cost and time required to do this can be prohibitive, so it’s wiser to leave legacy applications in an on-site environment.

Can Some Parts of an On-Site Application Be Moved to the Cloud?


Many applications are comprised of multiple parts, so the first decision is to determine which parts can be rapidly moved to the cloud.


A factor in this decision is on-demand or cloud-bursting capabilities. Automation can spin these workloads up and down quickly. Workloads that need a lot of customization or require a lot of data storage capacity are probably not suitable for a hybrid cloud migration because their costs outweigh their gains.


Another factor in this decision is time. While automation helps to create workloads, ready-to-use resources don't just appear magically. Instead, they must be built. This might take seconds, minutes, or hours. A workload that builds slowly is expensive because the cloud provider bills for the setup time before the workload itself runs.


It’s not advisable to move parts of an application that are rarely used to the cloud. They will still be an expense if they live in the cloud. If parts of an application require additional frameworks to support them, data center operation costs will increase to pay for those extra resources.

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How Much Storage Is Needed?


Cloud storage needs may not be much initially, but they can grow exponentially over time. If a data center manager needs a lot of storage capacity but doesn’t need access to all the data being stored, the most cost-effective strategy is to use cloud storage tiers for archiving.

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What is the Lag Time?


When some of the workloads of an application are in the on-site infrastructure, and the other workloads of the application are in the cloud, lag time may be an issue that detrimentally affects application performance and the customer experience.


The closer a data center is to a fiber optic pipeline, the better network performance will be. This is an important factor in a hybrid migration strategy.

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Are Costs Outweighing Benefits?


Closely monitor application performance statistics and response times. Also, keep track of the cloud services cost versus running the applications on an on-site infrastructure. Small gains in performance and response time won’t make up for the significantly higher cost of running applications in the cloud. 


This evaluation of costs versus benefits won’t be immediately apparent but will be manifested over time. Data centers that are flexible enough to adjust when changes need to be made will be able to do a successful hybrid migration that is both cost-effective and optimized for performance.

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