Phased migrations to private cloud help large enterprises curb complexity

How to streamline migrations and minimize impact to network infrastructure

By | 2 minute read | November 7, 2019

Large enterprises with complex networking and security environments are migrating thousands of servers and workloads to the private cloud. They need a way to help reduce source design changes and production environment risk.

Weighing resources and risks

Network design changes to environments are a major cloud migration challenge and introduce more post-migration work and operational risk. Big bang approaches — moving entire workloads from legacy to new systems in a weekend — can also open the door to risk and may not be appropriate for large enterprises. In fact, according to a recent study, only about 33% of workloads have moved to the cloud, indicating significant challenges remain.

New migration technology

Vendor operational support is one way to add efficiency and cut down on risk; another is using a platform such as VMware HCX, which allows enterprises to carry out phased migrations with fewer modifications to existing networks.

“Clients are looking for a less intrusive migration solution and optimal network planning and implementation,” said SDN Architect for IBM Cloud Migration Factory Gururajan Sundaramurthy. “Large migrations necessitate keeping the server IP addresses. You need a networking solution that connects the source and the target to help ensure that the migrated service will work seamlessly.”

5 ways to streamline cloud migration

Here are steps you can take now using VMware HCX and vendor services:

  • Develop a migration strategy that includes the VMware platform. The solution automates configuration and deployment so you can limit changes to the network source design. For additional support, operations teams can consult with providers on source requirements, discovery and documentation, timeline and strategy.

Sundaramurthy underscores the value of planning early. “Network tasks and dependencies are typically underestimated during the migration solution or delivery phases, “he said. “Then a migration team discovers application performance issues due to the network design.”

  • Extend the network efficiently without adding complicated changes to your operations.

“Stretching the VLAN from the source network to the target cloud environment is required for retaining the server address post-migration, but this is challenging to plan and maintain in large enterprise networks,” Sundaramurthy said. “VMware HCX offers a simple, efficient way to extend the network.”

  • Migrate the network in phases for large migrations instead of a big bang approach, which can introduce outages and risk. You can use the VMware HCX platform to achieve a phased network migration applying the layer 2 connectivity stretches deployed by the platform.
  • Avoid using production networks and firewalls, which are designed for different capacities and sizing. Instead, use the platform’s Multi-site Service Mesh feature to bypass the server’s default gateway and production networks and move the data over migration links.

“Many legacy environments and firewalls can’t handle terabytes of migration data, which can choke the network. A network design using this feature helps remove risk,” Sundaramurthy said.

  • Engage migration experts if you don’t have the resources in-house to configure network environments end-to-end or deploy and use the VMware platform.