Managing Complex Cloud Migration With Observability

Orinal source post by Rohit Raveendran

Digital transformation is accelerating across organizations of all sizes around the world, and a survey by Mckinsey reveals COVID-19 accelerated the speed of adoption of digital technologies by several years[1]. The investments the companies make in digital and digitally enabled products and solutions will only increase as they see more benefits. One of the key investments the companies are making is the migration of their workloads to the cloud for maximum benefits with minimal effort and costs. According to Gartner, cloud spending is expected to reach nearly $600 billion by 2023[2]. But migration to the cloud is not a one-size-fits-all solution; if not done correctly, it can lead to a lot of waste. Flexera notes that self-estimated waste during cloud spending has increased from 30% in 2020 to 32% in 2021[3]. And according to McKinsey, approximately $100 billion of wasted migration spend is expected over the next three years.[4]

Cloud migration is challenging and complex

Migrating your applications, data, or other business elements to the cloud can prove challenging and complex if not planned, monitored, and executed well. Uncertainty about data security, costs, latency, business continuity, and lack of visibility are just a few of the major concerns and challenges organizations must consider before they embark on cloud migration.

According to the recent Flexera 2022 State of the Cloud Report[2], organizations face cloud migration challenges in:

  • Understanding application dependencies and interoperability
  • Assessing technical feasibility
  • Assessing on-premises vs. cloud performance, cost
  • Right-sizing capacity
  • Prioritizing applications
  • Optimizing post-migration costs
  • Hiring and training the right resources
  • Compliance and regulations

Visibility to observability

To ensure successful cloud migration, it’s essential to have complete visibility into your infrastructure, database, and apps before and after the move. You need to ensure you can monitor the entire infrastructure during the following phases of the migration process:

  • Plan and assess
  • Migrate and validate
  • Run and observe

During the initial plan and assess phase, it’s crucial to understand the state of every workload on-premises. Additionally, it’s critical to understand and establish the baseline of your workloads while on-prem, as this is the key to maintaining the health of the workload during and post-migration. This also helps you understand and calculate the benefits of the migration once the migration is complete. Proper observability solutions make it easier to identify the root cause of any issues occurring during and after migration and quickly resolve them.

Plan and assess

As you prepare for your cloud migration, you must plan and prioritize your workloads to be moved to the cloud. You need to understand and document workload utilization, usage metrics, seasonal data metrics, performance, and the feasibility of moving it to the cloud. You also need to understand whether workloads can be converted into microservices using cloud-native technologies or moved as-is, load time, response time, network bandwidth utilization, and more. Based on the gathered baseline information, the migration process can be smoother, and you can save costs and better manage resources. An observability solution can help you get the complete mapping and capture the baseline details of your environment. It can also help you visualize all instances’ dependencies and utilization details.

Migrate and validate

After establishing the baseline of your existing on-premises workloads in the planning and assessing phase, we move to the migration and validation phase. During this phase, monitoring and comparing the performance of the databases, infrastructure, applications, and other services against the baseline numbers you established during the premigration phase is essential. Identify discrepancies as you migrate and take the appropriate actions to resolve any issues. Proactively monitor and validate the data and take remedial measures as needed. Observability solutions will help you minimize disruption during the migration, alert you on any discrepancies or evolving threats, and prevent delays. It will also help you stay compliant with any strict regulatory and compliance requirements that are essential in today’s business environment.

Run and observe

One of the most significant advantages of leveraging observability solutions during cloud migration is that it can help proactively identify risks and deviations. This enables you to contain and manage the risks at the right time, thereby saving costs and resources that would have otherwise gone into identifying the root cause of the problems. And in the run-and-observe phase post-migrating, you’ll be able to validate the performance, service levels, and other critical aspects of your infrastructure, databases, and applications to ensure you can provide the best service and experience to your customers. It helps you right-size and scale up or down your new cloud infrastructure based on new requirements, quickly identify the root cause of issues like crashes or latency, and optimize your applications, thus avoiding any downtimes.

SolarWinds Hybrid Cloud Observability

Early movers into the cloud have been reaping the full benefits of a hybrid multi-cloud strategy. Companies are running their workloads in multiple locations, including on-premises environments and public and private clouds, while ensuring interoperability and workload portability are consistent between them. SolarWinds® Hybrid Cloud Observability® enables you to work toward seamless performance for your business applications and services. With cost savings and improved efficiency and scalability, you can reap multiple benefits with full-stack visibility into your entire IT estate as you migrate to the cloud. SolarWinds Hybrid Cloud Observability is a proven solution for your cloud migrations projects. With built-in AIOps, machine learning (ML), and automation, it provides enhanced visibility, troubleshooting across apps and services, and data-driven insights to help you make the right and informed decisions throughout your migration process. Learn more about SolarWinds Hybrid Cloud Observability here.

    1. McKinsey, How COVID-19 has pushed companies over the technology tipping point—and transformed business forever, October 5, 2020
    2.  Gartner, Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud End-User Spending to Reach Nearly $500 Billion in 2022, April 19, 2022
    3.  Flexera, Cloud Computing Trends: Flexera 2022 State of the Cloud Report, March 21, 2022
    4. McKinsey, Cloud-migration opportunity: Business value grows, but missteps abound, October 12, 2021

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