Resistance, cost, and uncertainty are themes associated with large-scale technical cloud migration strategies and execution. Not only can these projects have the potential to make or break careers, but they also involve cooperation and buy-in across your organization. And that requires leadership endorsement, adequate funding, time, and the right tools to be successful.

To answer some of the challenges companies are facing around cloud migration, New Relic has teamed up with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build a live migration, planning, and tracking app called Nimbus. The goal is to help accelerate migration while reducing risk. Before diving  further into Nimbus capabilities, let’s review some of the cloud migration obstacles organizations are dealing with right now.

Biggest cloud migration challenges

In a recent poll New Relic conducted, respondents shared information about their:

  1. Readiness to unlock the true potential of cloud native
  2. Confidence levels in being an author of a migration business case and migration project owner with the tools currently at their disposal
  3. Ability to quickly and accurately report on the migration process to maintain executive buy-in

The poll found:

[click to enlarge] New Relic poll conducted during the “How to Accelerate and De-risk your Cloud Migration” webinar

Upskilling across tech organizations and significant lag time in progress reporting are key hurdles that businesses need to overcome. However, it’s positive to note that there is a level of confidence (albeit conservative confidence) when it comes to engineers putting their name to a migration project with the tools already in their bucket.

This finding tells us there’s a strong appetite to migrate, but planning, execution, and transparent reporting are key to making this type of foundational change a success. It’s  important to have the best-in-class teams and technology, and the confidence and buy-in across the organization. Otherwise, these cloud adoption journeys tend to slow down and may fail.

Something I’ve noticed when I’ve spoken to customers across varied industries is that no matter how advanced their cloud usage, the vast majority of enterprise workloads are still running on virtualized, on-premises environments. Cloud adoption tends to be more of a project-based approach involving either the piecemeal movement (referred to as rehosting or replatforming) of applications starting with low-hanging fruit, or the building of an application from the ground up (refactoring) on cloud infrastructure.

That said, there are many benefits of moving to the cloud, from digital disruption to technological innovation and improved agility. So if that’s the case, why do the vast majority of workloads still exist in these legacy environments, and how can you make a move to the cloud more seamless, timely, and with significantly reduced risk?

Steps to overcome cloud migration challenges

1. Unblock common challenges

The first step to realizing the benefits of migrating to the cloud is to unblock common challenges. A recent study by Flexera showed the top five challenges in migrating and moving workloads, with 63% of commercial and enterprise respondents saying that understanding an application’s dependencies slows down any critical or core application service. Furthermore, 41% found that assessing on-premises versus cloud costs were difficult to estimate accurately. The financial risk and inability to forecast accurately weakens your business case and makes it tough to put your name against it.

In the planning stage of a migration, you want to look at the actual on-premises usage in terms of resources for these applications and then properly architect and right-size machines as you move. Real-time data and the tracking and understanding of that resource usage is critical.

2. Understand app dependencies and assessing costs

Defining the work involved in moving applications to the cloud is paramount for success. You need complete visibility into your applications because there’s a lot at risk if you don’t truly understand how these applications interrelate.

And another complexity is cost. You need to understand the ecosystem first and whether your tech is something that needs to be sized up for peak, or whether it’s something that can scale and deal with that growth and reduction on demand.

Picking the best path requires analyzing all of that data and ensuring you don’t get a cost blowout when you expect one thing, but cater for another.

3. Leverage your cloud and tech providers

How do you accelerate cloud migrations while maintaining momentum and confidence from the business? By leveraging your cloud providers, migration partners, and technology providers like New Relic as one unified migration team. Migration speeds up, risk becomes controlled, and pesky dependencies bubble to the surface.

Throughout the migration, make sure that your team—together with your cloud provider partners and migration team—have access to your environment’s real-time telemetry data via New Relic. This means that everyone’s looking at the same data and making actionable decisions from it. By establishing a true strategic advisory partnership, you receive the best possible outcome.

Stages of a successful cloud migration

The Plan: Cloud migration starts with a rock-solid plan. This involves defining what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it, identifying the technologies you have, understanding if you can leverage automation, and crucially, how long the project will take. All this requires understanding your target, your treatments, the tool sets you can use, and getting access to the right data.

The Migration: As you execute the migration, you want to keep building each iteration off some experience from the previous one. And you want that to ultimately compress the whole program and drive down costs for the best result. Also, you want to optimize the work environments, to reduce the time and cost in getting there.

The Run: As soon as you’re running, whether in transition or in the final stage, you can begin to optimize in real time. You can see if you’re hitting resource limits, costs are optimized, and that information can feed straight back into the migration process.

Nimbus: a cloud migration app built on New Relic One

Nimbus is hosted within your New Relic account and feeds off the telemetry data that’s getting pulled from your system into New Relic. Nimbus provides an actionable, real-time user interface to answer all of the relevant questions and track workloads through the key stages of planning, migration, and finally running in the cloud.

Combining New Relic’s telemetry database with the Nimbus application when organizations are in the business case creation and discovery phases is exceptionally powerful. This provides businesses with valuable insights during the various stages of the cloud adoption journey, enabling them to visualize the same telemetry data in different ways.

By harnessing Nimbus and the New Relic platform in your cloud adoption strategy, you’ll be able to accelerate the migration, mitigate risk, and optimize your costs.

To learn more about how Nimbus can accelerate and de-risk your cloud optimization journey, get in contact with us today.

Max Bausher is a Senior Solutions Consultant at New Relic, specializing in cloud migrations. He has helped large enterprises across Australia successfully migrate workloads to the cloud and significantly reduce costs through optimization efforts. View posts by .

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