Manual Processes for Cloud Migration Limits Success to a Pyrrhic Victory at Best

October 19, 2016 James Kessinger

NetworkWorld Interview Exposes Cloud Migration Chasm: Image Conversion and/or Server Replication is Not Enough for Complex Apps; VMware becomes an Airbnb for IaaS

Yesterday NetworkWorld published a notable interview discussing one of the core challenges faced by IT as we enter the cloud and digital age: What to do with the existing, core apps residing in owned/leased data centers?

John Gallant asked CloudVelox CEO Raj Dhingra about the importance of cloud automation to the success of "brownfield" apps and the role of IT in becoming cloud-enabled.

With AWS, Azure, Google and a host of other service providers hovering around looking for an angle of attack on the bulk of enterprise IT spend, Gallant shines a light on the great cloud migration irony:  The leading providers have been slow to address the cloud migration challenge with anything more than manual processes and image conversion tools re-branded as cloud migration tools, which aren't feasible for enterprise apps with robust networking, management and security requirements.

Image conversion and server replication for complex apps is a Pyrrhic Victory at best, fraught with excessive risks, costs and manual processes.

They have not addressed the risks and costs required to migrate complex brownfield environments into their cloud. This issue came to light earlier with a groundbreaking Forrester survey: Labor costs can make up 50% of public cloud migration.

While the cloud providers grow quickly with new apps created in their clouds, they leave the bulk of IT spending on the table for competitors. They also leave traditional IT types stranded between cloud experts, extensive risks and processes, AMIs and complex, critical applications. It's the essential recipe for a pyrrhic victory at a time of increasing budgetary scrutiny combined with rising security and digitalization pressures.

When the great cloud gap closes (because of automation) the real cloud battle will begin. Those who break the process lock-in with automation will be the real winners.

VMware Now Relevant

This is what makes the recent VMware and AWS partnership strategically interesting. It positions VMware as a kind of Airbnb for IaaS.  They get to monetize traffic into AWS from VMware customers without having to make massive capital or lease investments in data centers.  Obviously more companies will enter the "Airbnb for the cloud" space, yet this gives VMware a head start with its own base, which may not be troubled by being locked-in to VMware's virtualization platform. Whether this is enough to combat rapidly growing Azure remains to be seen, but it is a brilliant move.

Read more cloud-related interviews and developments at the free Clouds monthly.

 

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