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Top 5 Tips to Help Firms Navigate Cloud Transition

Migrating to the cloud can be a tedious affair and not always a guaranteed success, so it is important that businesses take the right steps before starting on their transition. These include identifying workloads that should stay on-premises as well as choosing a cloud platform that best fits their needs.

As it is, less than half of organisations in Asia-Pacific have a formal plan in place before embarking on their cloud migration.

Just 46% have a formal strategy for their hybrid cloud implementation, while 10% say they are in the planning stages, the survey reveals.

Establishing a formal roadmap is essential to ensure companies can extract targeted benefits from deploying hybrid cloud, or the lack of proper planning can leave them on shaky ground if unexpected complexities arise.

For instance, some enterprises want to adopt cloud because they do not have a clear view of their IT roadmap or want to quickly relinquish their hardware assets. However, without a proper cost assessment and analysis, they may end up spending more on cloud than they did on their own physical infrastructure.

Jacky Woo, Pre-Sales Manager for Managed Infrastructure at AsiaPac (an M1 company) notes that the on-premise option may not always be more costly. "It really depends on how you use the resources or compute power," he says. "Some companies may end up backtracking to on-premises due to low utilisation and they're unable to justify the cost or investment of moving to the cloud." 

Woo offers five key tips to help organisations navigate their cloud journey:

#1 Know your environment
If they do not already have one, businesses should have an inventory of systems they own and the corresponding IP address. This will enable them to establish an application dependency map, Woo says, adding that this process is part of AsiaPac's jumpstart programme to help customers with their cloud journey.

Application dependency mapping is essential to identify, amongst others, what resources are required by the various applications, the data they need to access, and the systems with which they need to communicate.

Woo explains: "We need to know how and what they're communicating with, so when we move the applications to the cloud, the same ports are still open for the necessary systems to continue talking with each other."

Without this dependency mapping, organisations can suffer costly downtime when applications fail to function properly after moving to the cloud.

#2 What needs to move
Determine what workloads need to stay on-premises and what need to move to the cloud. Then ascertain what needs to be done to move workloads successfully.

Local regulations, for example, may require certain data to be retained in the domestic country, so workloads carrying those data will need to remain on-premises instead of stored on the cloud where the cloud service provider may not have a local data centre.

#3 Platform of choice
Decide whether the organisation should employ a native cloud provider or a platform such as VMware Cloud.

The assessment may be quick, but it is an important one since it will determine how the company designs or architects the solution.

For example, if they want a low-risk and rapid cloud migration, they may want to consider VMC on AWS, especially if they already run VMware in their on-premises environment. This will minimise the time they need to refactor applications as well as retrain their IT staff, since they will be operating in a familiar cloud environment.

Cloud solutions such as VMC on AWS also are available across a wide datacentre footprint that includes Singapore, so data can be securely contained within the country. This is an important consideration for companies that have to comply with regulations related to data sovereignty. So they will need to determine if their cloud platform of choice operates a local data centre or where their data centres reside.

#4 Gain solution buy-in from management & IT staff
Securing buy-in from both the management and IT teams is critical before organisations transition to their hybrid cloud solution, especially if it is an extension of their existing data centre.

Woo says: "The underlying reason is simple: people are generally resistant to change and change brings all sorts of uneasiness. 

"One of AsiaPac's strengths is our ability to help marry the expectations and operational needs of the management and IT staff, so that when the organisation is ready to transition, each team already knows what to expect and any tension will typically be resolved," he says,

#5 Plan for 'Day 2'
This sometimes is overlooked, leading operational staff to pose questions about what comes next after the migration and how potential issues should be addressed. 

While everyone in the organisation is expected to know how things operate, there will be some areas of uncertainty or things that may have been missed out.

For example, administrators could have scripted codes to implement some form of automation in their tasks or some procedures related to running their operations. These need to be evaluated to determine if changes need to be done and the tweaks that need to be implemented.

Clearing up some cloudy misconceptions
According to Woo, customers typically assume cloud services are readily available and can be immediately activated on-the-fly.

While service activation can indeed be quick, and carried out within minutes, hardware systems still need to be provisioned and linked to the customer's cluster or environment.

He notes that some cloud solutions such as VMC on AWS require customers to have 25% of unutilised resources, so if their workloads cross the 75% threshold, a new system can be provisioned and assigned to the customer's cluster. This reduces the time needed to activate the additional capacity when required and ensures key SLAs are fulfilled.

Businesses also commonly overlook the cost of egress traffic, or outgoing network traffic. This may determine whether some workloads or systems should be placed on-premises or on the cloud to mitigate egress traffic charges. 

In addition, organisations should not assume cloud is automatically secured.

Woo notes: "It's secured only if you have the right policies in place and adhere to them diligently.

The AsiaPac Advantage
Armed with multiple partner awards, AsiaPac is a leading ICT solutions provider in managed infrastructure, cloud, and enterprise computing. Together with M1, AsiaPac helps to accelerate intelligent business digital transformation. We focus on end-to-end customer-centric solutions to deliver edge–driven systems to the core data centre and the hybrid multi-cloud with secured connectivity. 

AsiaPac is the first VMware partner in Singapore to achieve the top tier Principal Partner Status for VMware Cloud on AWS & attained its’ Master Services competency. We are also the exclusive launch partner for VMware Cloud on AWS in Singapore and have deep expertise in hybrid cloud consultation. We have implemented multiple successful nationwide projects in Singapore, including a seamless hybrid cloud deployment to extend existing on-premises vSphere environment to AWS.

We can set up VMC on AWS and have it running in just two hours. We can help you start with a minimum of two host configuration for as low as US$11,000/month, using the same VMware management tools you are already familiar with to manage both your on-premise VMware environment and VMs running in AWS.

Contact an AsiaPac representative today for help on how you should start your cloud journey with VMC on AWS.

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