Migrating applications to cloud is actually simple

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business team workIn my last blog post, I explained some considerations we need to think about when migrating a workload to cloud. Now I would like to show how it can be fulfilled.

Once we decide to move a workload to cloud, what is next?

  1. Well, first we need to have software that is able to build your application on top of a standard virtualized image. This software must be easy to use but powerful enough to enable configuration and automation capabilities. IBM has a tool called Image Construction and Composition Tool (ICON) that fits very well for this purpose. This article at developerWorks gives a good explanation of it.
  2. The second step is to have a standard OS image that will be used to install the application that will be provisioned in the cloud. It is important to keep in mind the capabilities that a cloud environment can bring such as multitenancy, elasticity and broad network access. So before you start building your workload, ensure that these capabilities will be leveraged from an application point of view. Otherwise you may end up with a workload that would not leverage all the benefits a cloud environment can bring to the company.
  3. The third step is to define the cloud deployment model in which this workload will be deployed, for example, a public, private or hybrid model. This is important because it may drive some specific building requirements such as security, monitoring and performance.
  4. And the last step would be the effective building of the workload. At this point you may also leverage some integration with existing tools such as for authentication. When you build your workload, remember that it is not only building the image that will be provisioned but also the automation that needs to be in place when a user provisions the workload.

At this point, we have finished the development of our workload and are now ready to test it. This is an important phase in which we can ensure that the provisioning and automation are working properly. Once this is completed, our workload is ready to be promoted to the cloud service catalog where regular users can select it for provisioning.

I didn’t mention composite applications here, where you can deploy an application that is composed of multiple servers and components. This is usually called a pattern application, and it is something that can also be easily developed using current cloud technology. But that could be a subject for another blog post!

Do you have experience with workload migrations? Leave a comment below.

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