3 Steps You Need to Take for Seamless Cloud Migrations

Everyone hates to move. It’s always a massive job that leaves you physically and emotionally drained. You never seem to finish packing, schlepping furniture and boxes, coordinating with movers (if you’re lucky enough not to DIY), unpacking, and rearranging furniture. And all this activity is usually done in your “free time” because you have a regular life and a day job happening in the meantime.

Migrating applications to the cloud can be a similarly harrowing experience. For many organizations, this is done by a team that has another day job. But there are ways to make the process easier.

Here are 3 steps you can take for more seamless cloud migrations:

#1 – Marie Kondo your apps first

Everyone hates goodbyes. But like that ratty old sofa or the clothes you’re hoarding for a fashion resurgence, sometimes you just have to let go. Marie Kondo, the popular decluttering guru, says to “imagine yourself living in a space that contains only things that spark joy.” Why go to the time and expense of moving something you don’t need or you’ll hate in the new place? The same is true for your applications. Most enterprises have a number of applications that are unused, no longer strategic, or are redundant to newer applications. The clutter of legacy applications complicates cloud migrations.

The problem is that often these low-priority applications are unknown, forgotten, or hidden from IT. There might be a fear factor associated with these applications as well. Who is the application owner? Are there any remaining users that may be disrupted? How do you prove the lack of use or low ROI to management? You need to find and classify all those applications and understand who is using them, and fast. But there are no easy ways to do this at scale, so many enterprises turn to teams of consultants with spreadsheets to do this manuallya costly and time consuming task.

Automated tools that discover and visualize the applications, users and interconnections can make this process much easier, because the view, or “observed reality,” is always current. Once you have a clear picture of the application portfolio, the process of prioritizing and decommissioning applications becomes much simpler. Migrating fewer applications is migrating smarter and faster.

#2 – Coordinate your move with other “like” applications

The last thing you want is a disorganized move where half your kitchenware ends up in the kitchen as planned, but the pots and pans are buried in storageand you have to make dinner right away because the kids are “hangry.” Once you’ve moved, you want the household to be up and running as soon as possible. The same thing is true for applications. You want to coordinate migrations to the cloud so that applications that depend on or interconnect with each other are positioned in the same “move group,” to reduce the likelihood of service outages or other issues along the way. You may be able to organize this yourself, but you will likely make mistakes and run out of time.

This is increasingly likely for applications being moved because understanding the application relationships and interconnections in your environment is nearly impossible if you try to inventory them manually. The number of dependencies is large, complex, and continually changing, so dynamic discovery and reporting are critical. Equally important is identifying any shared services for functions that will remain on-premises indefinitely, requiring validation of continued connectivity between cloud and on-premises resources. This is again an opportunity to leverage an automated observability solution that maps dependencies among all enterprise applications in a dynamic and continuous fashion.

#3 – Make sure you protect your valuables before, during, and after the move

You’re not going to forget to bubble-wrap your breakables, just like you’re not going to forget to protect your most critical applications. But in the rush to get everything ready for the big move day, sometimes you can rationalize the need for protecting everything. You didn’t have time to wrap the nice chairs or coffee mugs, and all of a sudden something’s chipped or broken. The same is true with applications. Many IT managers sacrifice security for speed in the rush to meet their objectives or mandates from business owners, hoping that everything will be OK. Or they’ll think they can go back and patch the gaps after the move deadline, even though other priorities refocus attention.

Before you know it, your applications lack the right security policies and policies are applied inconsistently. Or hidden dependencies lurking below the surface can expose vectors for attackers to find sensitive data or move laterally within the new cloud environment. Having a solution that can identify the applications, understand and baseline the interconnections to other applications and users, and be able to compute and orchestrate least-privilege security can ensure cloud migrations are secure and free of incidents.

But, unlike moving your residence, moving applications to the cloud is not a one-time event but rather a continual process that repeats itself over the course of years. In other words, mistakes can be compounded and amplified over time.

Takeaway: Successful migrations at scale can be done

With our industry-leading observability and security solutions, vArmour has helped enterprises to execute seamless migrations of applications to the cloud at scale, without unplanned outages or security incidents. In fact, one global Telco just completed a 4-year project to move more than 5,800 applications and 400,000 workloads to Microsoft Azure public cloud in 18 months. (Somebody drop a mic.)

In fact, the project executive told us, “We moved over 400,000 workloads and 5,800 applications in just over 18 months with ZERO incidents. We couldn’t have done it without vArmour.”

We are happy to have helped this customer with this seamless cloud migration.

Learn more on how vArmour was able to cut time, costs and security risks for this global telco here.

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Timothy Eades

Chief Executive Officer