For the question: "Should my cloud migration strategy focus on cloud-based services or a lift and shift to cloud infrastructure as a service?" I'm answering with a question: "Well, how much of a hurry are you in?"
This is a key question in cloud strategy for many organizations, as both traditional Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and advanced cloud-native services gain market traction.
Public cloud adoption continues to grow in the enterprise (and among midsized organizations), but a public cloud service like Amazon or Azure is not just IaaS. Most offer a broader range of higher-level services such as:
RightScale also notes that use of these “extended cloud services” is growing at a significant clip. In fact, “A significant number of public cloud users are now leveraging services beyond just the basic compute, storage, and network services. Among the most popular extended services, relational DBaaS, push notifications, and caching continue to hold the top three positions in 2018.”
Consuming cloud based services will be more efficient, flexible, and ultimately cheaper than traditional IaaS. But cloud-native demands more time and effort up front, especially if you have no experience here. This is akin to the difference between moving servers to a different hosting facility and re-platforming your applications and data.
Another way of putting it:
Another survey report, from Cloudfoundry, (where PaaS, containers and serverless stand in a multi-platform world) says that use of services beyond traditional IaaS continues to grow with:
The report also notes that the robust growth of PaaS is bolstered by cost savings results, with “62 percent of IT Decision Makers report[ing] their companies save over $100,000 by using a PaaS, an increase of eight percentage points (from 54 percent) since late 2017.”
If there is less value in IaaS, why use it at all? Here are three examples of migration in a hurry where lift and shift tends to make sense.
When one thinks “public cloud” the typical image is Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS has been offering pay-per-use IaaS since 2006. But though elastic compute cloud has been a flagship, Amazon has always wanted customers to use its cloud-native services.
Interestingly, when Amazon’s rival Microsoft debuted its Azure cloud service in 2010 the focus was on PaaS. IaaS was prioritized soon after as Amazon’s IaaS business was taking off and Microsoft didn’t want to miss the train as it was leaving the station. IaaS gave Azure a foothold, but today Microsoft is building a lot of its business on cloud-native services such as SQL data services, PaaS, containers, and serverless functions.
The term “hybrid” gets used a lot in relation to the future of cloud, but here I go using it again. Where higher-level abstraction of cloud services (beyond IaaS) is the future, we are likely to see hybrid portfolios of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS in the intermediate timeframe.
An example of a hybrid approach is VMware cloud on AWS. In this service VMware offers its virtual infrastructure stack running on Amazon servers. This provides a frictionless target for lift and shift migration of a VMware virtual infrastructure environment to the cloud. But some have wondered what Amazon is getting out of the deal (other than rental fees on its servers).
The answer is that VMware is playing the short game while AWS is playing the long game. Subscribers to VMware on AWS have access to a wide range of AWS cloud-native services. So a company can get off-premises to meet a short-term requirement but then continue to develop its capabilities which will in turn mean more usage of AWS services.
Cloud IaaS is only one option for cloud migration. Your cloud strategy should be asking what type of cloud service – IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS – is the best fit for a given application. IaaS might be the most attractive in the short term but longer term will likely lay in a higher form of abstraction.
COVID-19 has forced software companies and their suppliers to refocus efforts around prioritizing systems and workflows that are nearly 100% digital in nature. As a result, Info-Tech has observed the quick emergence of six market themes that are highly relevant post COVID-19. This note series will profile key vendors and how they fit into the post-COVID-19 world.
COVID-19 has forced software companies and their suppliers to refocus efforts around prioritizing systems and workflows that are nearly 100% digital in nature. As a result, Info-Tech has observed the quick emergence of six market themes that are highly relevant after COVID-19. This note series will profile key vendors and how they fit into the post-COVID-19 world.
Oracle has announced the general availability of Exadata Cloud@Customer, a managed service that enables enterprises to unlock the previously cloud-first features of Oracle's Autonomous Database for on-premises data centers. This offering is ideal for enterprises that must conform with regulatory and/or technical challenges that force on-premises database residency.
Experiencing issues when using Microsoft online services? You are not alone. Capacity constraints were being hit, pre-COVID-19, and usage has surged in regions with enforced social distancing.
Google has announced a premium support plan for its cloud customers, promising a 15-minute response to the highest severity tickets. Google’s cloud has long struggled with enterprise customers – especially when compared to giants Microsoft and AWS – and this announcement is the latest incarnation of Google’s push to better serve a critical constituency.
In January, Microsoft announced what it’s calling “the largest expansion of its Canadian-based cloud computing infrastructure” since 2016. Additional availability zones and services will increase capacity for cloud-hungry Canadians, and the addition of an Azure ExpressRoute site in Vancouver will guarantee security and performance in a regulated jurisdiction.
Microsoft’s announcement that server-side encryption with customer managed keys for Azure Managed Disks is now available is welcome news for security-minded public cloud customers. Managing one’s own keys in a cloud environment can be an important step in complying with regulatory requirements, and this new feature should open Azure Managed Disks to a wider group of customers who may have held back for this reason.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has provided its customers with better options for Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) ingress routing. Customers will have to consider which works best for their needs.
AWS VPC Traffic Mirroring gives customers more visibility for out-of-band traffic inspection. This feature is another useful tool for monitoring in the AWS cloud.