January 17, 2020 By IBM Cloud Team 3 min read

Potential cloud providers should be able to meet the highest levels of “enterprise grade” deliverables and SLAs.

The concept of “enterprise grade” infrastructure is subject to some level of interpretation. What you may consider to be enterprise grade for your web applications may differ from what you would demand for your ERP, CRM, OLTP, finance, or other business critical applications.

Understanding what “enterprise grade” means for your critical applications in the cloud era is essential. In today’s environment, many IT and business leaders are striving to modernize their mission critical applications and move them to the cloud.

This cloud migration can bring huge business advantages—lower costs, an OpEx pricing model, improved agility, simpler scalability, self-service capabilities, accelerated development cycles, enhanced customer experiences, and many more.

But those advantages shouldn’t come at the expense of the characteristics and capabilities that business leaders and customers expect and demand from their enterprise applications. A single data breach or downtime event can have a devastating impact on the overall business.

Therefore, in migrating mission critical applications to the cloud, IT teams must make sure that potential cloud providers are able to meet the highest levels of “enterprise grade” deliverables and SLAs for reliability, security, performance, consistency, user experience, and high availability.

Where do you start in evaluating what you need from your mission critical cloud provider? One obvious starting point is in migrating your VMware environment to the cloud. VMware hosts a large percentage of on-premises mission critical workloads as the primary virtualization platform for SAP, Oracle, and other enterprise applications.

How and where you migrate VMware to the cloud is critical in maintaining enterprise grade capabilities. Not all cloud providers can deliver on the true promise of enterprise grade for VMware-hosted applications, including a high degree of availability or zero data loss in the event of a full site failure.

Key capabilities to seek from your cloud provider for mission critical VMware environments

1. Hardened design and enterprise grade performance.

This should be based on the requirements of global enterprises. Global enterprises have specific needs for performance, security, data sovereignty, reliability, and geo-fencing wherever they do business. You want a cloud provider that offers isolation from the public internet as well as data centers across the globe running on trusted servers and infrastructure.

2. Visibility, control, and operational consistency.

You should demand the same levels of capabilities and confidence in the cloud as you would expect from your on-premises VMware environment. As you migrate to the cloud, you want to be able to use and access the same tools and technologies you use on-premises, including root-level access at the hypervisor level for maximum control and visibility.

3. High availability and business continuity.

Your cloud provider should provide a high degree of uptime availability at the VM level, plus the ability to use stretched vSAN clusters to ensure that data loss is reduced to zero in the event of a full site failure. You should also seek site resiliency across multiple locations, including automated failover at a secondary site.

4. Security leadership.

In addition to a hardened, enterprise grade design, you should look for critical security features to prevent breaches, whether malicious or unintentional. For example, encryption is critical, so you want the highest level of key management encryption with FIPS 140-2 Level 4 and bring-your-own keys. You also want role-based access control to prevent accidental or malicious IT configuration changes.

5. Modernization capabilities.

You want to bring cloud native capabilities to your enterprise applications; otherwise, why go through the time and expense of migrating them to the cloud? With the right solution, you should be able to leverage VMs as well as containers and microservices to accelerate development cycles in building new applications or modernizing mission critical legacy applications.

6. Seamless integration, automation, and management.

You want to use the same tools, technologies, knowledge, and experience in the cloud as you have in your on-premises environment. You’ve no doubt heard the expression “cloud changes everything.” But, in reality, that does not have to be the case. When you are talking about enterprise grade capabilities, you don’t necessarily want to change everything—you want to leverage what you have without sacrificing security, resiliency, availability, or anything else in migrating to the cloud.


In some ways, there has always been some level of compromise between the goals of the overall business and IT. But, when it comes to certain capabilities, there can be no compromise, particularly in today’s environment wherein digital transformation, speed, big data, intelligence, and other factors are driving competitive differentiation and disruption.

As you begin or continue migrating your VM environments and mission critical applications to the cloud, you must ensure that the enterprise grade capabilities you have built through the years are enhanced and improved. This means choosing a cloud provider that truly understands the enterprise and has built a cloud that is hardened, secure, flexible, and designed to meet the specific needs of enterprise grade VMware migrations.

Learn more about IBM solutions, backed by requirements of global enterprises, to support your VMware migration needs.

Was this article helpful?

More from Cloud

Enhance your data security posture with a no-code approach to application-level encryption

4 min read - Data is the lifeblood of every organization. As your organization’s data footprint expands across the clouds and between your own business lines to drive value, it is essential to secure data at all stages of the cloud adoption and throughout the data lifecycle. While there are different mechanisms available to encrypt data throughout its lifecycle (in transit, at rest and in use), application-level encryption (ALE) provides an additional layer of protection by encrypting data at its source. ALE can enhance…

Attention new clients: exciting financial incentives for VMware Cloud Foundation on IBM Cloud

4 min read - New client specials: Get up to 50% off when you commit to a 1- or 3-year term contract on new VCF-as-a-Service offerings, plus an additional value of up to USD 200K in credits through 30 June 2025 when you migrate your VMware workloads to IBM Cloud®.1 Low starting prices: On-demand VCF-as-a-Service deployments begin under USD 200 per month.2 The IBM Cloud benefit: See the potential for a 201%3 return on investment (ROI) over 3 years with reduced downtime, cost and…

The history of the central processing unit (CPU)

10 min read - The central processing unit (CPU) is the computer’s brain. It handles the assignment and processing of tasks, in addition to functions that make a computer run. There’s no way to overstate the importance of the CPU to computing. Virtually all computer systems contain, at the least, some type of basic CPU. Regardless of whether they’re used in personal computers (PCs), laptops, tablets, smartphones or even in supercomputers whose output is so strong it must be measured in floating-point operations per…

IBM Newsletters

Get our newsletters and topic updates that deliver the latest thought leadership and insights on emerging trends.
Subscribe now More newsletters