This post is part 3 in a 4-part series on how companies use the hybrid cloud to solve real-world problems. Part 1 covers using hybrid clouds to add data center capacity; Part 2 addresses leveraging hybrid clouds to incorporate cloud-based functionality; and Part 4 details the many paths enterprises take to the hybrid cloud.

For many companies, the goal isn’t to share their applications across both their own data center and the public cloud. Rather, they want to move some of their applications lock, stock, and barrel to the cloud. If some of the company’s apps live in the cloud while others remain in the on-premise data center, then intentionally or not, these companies also have hybrid clouds.

The process of migrating entire apps to the cloud, virtually unchanged, is sometimes called “Lift and Shift.” In some cases, companies lift and shift entire applications to the cloud pretty much as they are, while others may re-architect those applications to make them better cloud citizens, or to make greater use of cloud features.

hybrid cloud iconApp migration is often part of the process of outsourcing as much of a company’s data center infrastructure as possible. Many of these migrations are in process at companies of all sizes, and most companies choose to migrate some applications but not others. Typically, “internal only” apps are migrated first, while the big, clunky mainframe apps are the last to be moved—and often they never make the transition.

In fact, many companies stop their app-migration process after moving only some of their applications to the cloud, usually for some business or technical reason. They may find that the cost/benefit ratio for moving some applications, such as older or “problematic” applications, is not worth the effort. This creates an ongoing hybrid cloud architecture.

Monitoring challenges for app migration

You need a solid monitoring story to understand how your application works both before and after an app migration. That’s because you need to compare your application’s performance before the migration and after the migration. Variations in performance between the two could indicate a problem, or a need for further tuning and refinement in order for the application to function successfully in the cloud.

In order to monitor the results before and after migration, you need to use the same monitoring tools in both environments or the comparison may not be meaningful. This implies using a monitoring tool that works in the cloud and on-premise.

Even if you plan on completing the “lift and shift” maneuver and move 100% to the cloud, it is important that your monitoring solution work with your entire infrastructure, including both on-premise and cloud infrastructure components, during the migration itself. Depending on the size, complexity, and number of applications in question, that process could take months or even years.

Read the other post in this series: 
Using Hybrid Clouds: Adding Data Center Capacity
Using Hybrid Clouds: Adding Cloud-Based Capabilities
Enterprises Take Many Paths to the Hybrid Cloud

Be sure to also read our informative ebook: The Many Paths to the Hybrid Cloud

Want the opportunity to learn more about the hybrid cloud? Be sure to check out this recording of Lee’s super-informative webinar on Monitoring the Hybrid Cloud: How do you measure and make decisions across on-premises data centers, dynamic clouds, and hybrid clouds?


Cloud image courtesy of

Lee Atchison is the Senior Director, Cloud Architecture at New Relic. For the last eight years he has helped design and build a solid service-based product architecture that scaled from startup to high traffic public enterprise. Lee has 32 years of industry experience, including seven years as a Senior Manager at, and has consulted with leading organizations on how to modernize their application architectures and transform their organizations at scale. He is the author of the O’Reilly book Architecting for Scale and author of the blog Lee@Scale. View posts by .

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