September 27, 2014 | Written by: Nicolas Torcasio
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One of the main concerns for companies that are moving to the cloud is how they can reuse their hardware assets. Sometimes, this worry is so big that it stops the project in its tracks. What can we do about this?
First, I think it is important to remember that cloud transformation never happens in the blink of an eye. It could take weeks or maybe months to complete a successful migration to the cloud. Therefore, the best way to efficiently reuse existing hardware is to include all the devices in the planning stage. In my opinion, the chief architect or the engagement architect has the responsibility to include the company’s existing hardware in the infrastructure design of the new solution.
Usually the devices that currently support the information technology (IT) infrastructure can be used as pivot elements during the transition period. You might also be able to use your existing devices as a bench test to help the migration team select the first candidates that will be moved to the cloud. In my experience, some of the existing hardware can be used as a kind of proof of concept for the new environment. If you’re looking at moving to a private cloud, you can try to replicate the platform at a smaller scale before the migration stage to find a full compatibility between systems.
Another interesting thing to note is that a cloud transformation never covers the total amount of assets on your servers. For that reason, you can use the latest hardware that you have already purchased to host any heritage images or applications that are not eligible to be moved to the new cloud platform. To use your existing hardware in a smarter way and avoid a misuse of these assets, you can also consolidate a couple of these aged environments to a single box.
An improvement in your backup and recovery infrastructure could be an alternate use for the hardware assets that you still have not found a new home for. Sometimes, your backup and recovery infrastructure doesn’t have all the resources it needs to work in an optimal state. The reuse of servers is a great excuse to optimize this important piece of your IT infrastructure. Just imagine added reliability for your backup server, increased disk space available to perform temporary backups and decreased restore times. These are only a couple of the benefits you can gain by refreshing your backup system using components from the systems that you will be migrating.
Of course, you won’t be able to reuse all of your hardware assets because moving to a cloud platform involves a paradigm shift in how your assets are being handled. But moving to the cloud is a big investment and any equipment that you reuse will count as additional benefits!
Have you experienced some of the concerns mentioned above regarding the implementation of cloud?
From my perspective, it’s time to take a leap of faith and recognize that cloud technologies are now a part of our daily lives. Do you have suggestions of other ways to reuse your existing equipment? Please share them with me on Twitter @nikotorcasio.