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Four Key Considerations for Enterprises Migrating into a Cloud Environment

CloudNews
by Bryan Doerr
, 19 Oct 2010News

The clouds used by many tech start-ups and small businesses do not look nearly as graceful and agile when needed at an enterprise scale. A new set of requirements is needed to guarantee application security and user privacy and to deliver large-scale performance.

With the arrival of enterprise-ready cloud offerings that address these issues, it is now possible to migrate large scale business-critical applications to cloud platforms.

So if you want to switch to a cloud, whether for expansion or to cut the cost of keeping legacy applications running, what do you need to take into account in your planning?

1. Security – Ensure that security is maintained or enhanced by your transition to the cloud. There is no reason that a shift to the cloud should require a compromise in security levels. Consider how you will secure data in transit between systems as you migrate.

2. Service levels – Look at the service level guarantees available and determine what you need for each element of your application mix. Finding the right mix of compute, connectivity, storage and cost is central to getting the best value for your performance requirement.

3. Hybrid solutions – Evaluate whether you should move your application into the cloud all at once or schedule a more gradual migration. Oftentimes, organizations are tied by contract to legacy IT systems or can only expand their traditional IT infrastructure in large increments. Staged migration to cloud can potentially be cost effective. Hybrids between cloud and conventional systems, and of public and private clouds, can offer the flexibility you need.

4. Pricing – Dig into the numbers and carefully compare options when choosing a cloud vendor and making decisions about whether to purchase cloud or build your own. Ensure you identify the true costs associated with your legacy or conventional systems and each cloud option you consider.

Most importantly, remember that not all clouds are created equal. Enterprises need more, whether they are moving critical applications to a cloud environment, looking for bursting capabilities to support seasonal campaigns, or considering a converged cloud that blends with traditional infrastructure such as colocation and managed services.

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