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Editor's note: Read Part I of this feature here.

Workload migration: starting with the low hanging fruit

Figuring out what applications and data to move to the cloud is a balancing exercise between the acceptable risk and the value obtained from the migration.

Risk factors include ensuring that the security level -- level of confidentiality, integrity, and availability -- of the data and applications is maintained. It also includes having confidence that all applicable privacy related laws will be followed (for example, laws related to trans-border information flow) as well as protection of all intellectual property (IP) rights.

There are a few technology related issues as well. For example, every enterprise has a unique multi-layered network infrastructure for accessing servers and allowing applications to securely communicate between components. The infrastructure includes specific addressing (sub-nets), address services like DHCP/DNS, identity and directory services like LDAP, and firewalls and routing rules -- all reflecting the specific requirements and evolution of the given enterprise.

The same discussion applies to a cloud as well. It too has unique networking infrastructures that support complex and flexible multi-tenant environments. A significant impedance mismatch between your networking infrastructure and that of your cloud could lead to integration issues as you embark on moving more complex workloads to the cloud that need to interact with in-house applications and data.

The effort involved in effectively managing your cloud infrastructure should not be underestimated either. Integrating with your cloud might require programming the cloud APIs for configuring IP addresses, subnets and firewalls, as well as data service functions for your storage.

This may necessitate changes to your internal processes and control systems to integrate with the cloud infrastructure management. There may be mismatches to deal with your enterprise-specific platform and the platform provided by your cloud in the form of templates. Patch management and other maintenance activities may also be a challenge as techniques that work internally might not work in your cloud.


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