How to choose the right cloud model with a workload analysis

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Let’s look at using a five-step workload assessment to choose the right cloud model, how you can form your own workload hierarchy for cloud suitability, and map workloads to available cloud deployment and service models. In my previous post, I discussed the five-step workload assessment method in detail. Here’s how to apply this method.

You can create your own decision matrix based on considerations that are most important to your enterprise, and use it to rank participants in terms of suitability. The following figure shows a sample workload analysis hierarchy for cloud suitability.

workload heirarchyNotice that an application may receive a positive evaluation in terms of business value and technical characteristics, but it may not be a good candidate for cloud if the risk exposure is higher than the level of risk a particular enterprise is willing to take. Hence the best cloud migration candidate is one that has similar scores across all dimensions.

workload stateOnce you have determined which workload needs to move to cloud, you will want to identify the best cloud service and deployment model. This can be done by comparing the candidate types with the available cloud service and deployment types.

service models

Here you can see that you might not want to take the risk of putting secure, sensitive data on a public cloud; based on your customers’ needs, an appropriate cloud deployment model should be determined for a particular application. In general, it may be better to host applications containing case-sensitive private customer data on private cloud, where the customer can have much more control compared to a public cloud. Once a service is hosted on a cloud, the responsibility for physical security rests with the service provider. For this reason, executives and other decision makers are often skeptical about moving sensitive data to shared services.

Key takeaways
• Detailed assessment for each workload can help you understand what changes to expect at the inception of the migration process.

• You should think from a cloud perspective. Assess the cloud-readiness of applications before migration begins. If they are not cloud ready, have a suitable strategy for getting them ready.

• Keep the client prepared for cloud implementation for the capacity (including cost) it will take to migrate to the cloud.

Before migrating to a cloud system, you need to have a clear understanding of your organization’s current infrastructure. Therefore, first assess the business impact and conduct an application assessment and technical characteristic analysis to identify how data interacts with applications to support core business functions. Next assess the non-functional requirements and evaluate the support and operational cost for given workload. Based on this, you can determine which services are suitable candidate for migrating to a cloud.

One thing remains true through all of this analysis: the benefits of moving the workloads must always be greater than the costs and the risks.

I hope this series of posts has been helpful, and I’d like to hear about your experiences assessing whether to move workloads to the cloud. Please leave a comment below to start the conversation.

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