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Prepare and manage enterprise apps for an IaaS model

Last updated:February 2018

Editor's note

Enterprises continue to recognize the benefits of infrastructure as a service, such as increased scalability and the option to access a range of services for big data, serverless computing and more. But an application migration to the public cloud is not a process you want to rush; there are a number of steps an enterprise must take -- both before and after it moves an application off premises.

IT and development teams, for example, have to evaluate how much applications will cost on a public IaaS platform and whether they will continue to meet performance expectations. In some cases, enterprises need to refactor or redesign an application to take advantage of cloud-native features, and in other cases, they might determine that certain compliance requirements or dependencies justify leaving an app in the data center.

And the work doesn't stop there. After an organization decides on an IaaS model, chooses a specific provider and completes an app migration, it still needs to carefully monitor and manage cloud workloads. Fortunately, various tools are available to help teams track costs, monitor performance and enforce security policies.

Use this end-to-end guide to walk through the process of an application migration to IaaS. You'll learn how to decide which applications to move, how to choose a migration approach and how to manage applications once they run in the public cloud.

1Evolve your app management practices for public IaaS

So, you've successfully migrated applications to the public cloud -- now what?

Management and monitoring tools are a must to gain visibility into workflows, optimize application performance and track costs in an IaaS model. Admins can also use these tools to ensure they right-size their cloud computing instances to avoid paying for resources their applications and users don't need. But keep in mind that not all tools are created equal; be sure to weighs the pros and cons of using a native tool from your IaaS provider vs. a third-party option. If you plan to have a multi-cloud deployment, for example, it's generally best to avoid vendor-native tools, as they won't work across different platforms.

2Explore options for cloud app security and testing

Security should play a big role in every public cloud strategy. But since some traditional on-premises practices might not translate well to cloud, many enterprises will need to evolve their application security models. Fortunately, there are various tools enterprises can use to manage user identities, set up multi-factor authentication and prevent malicious attacks. Pay special attention to any custom applications that run on an IaaS platform, as they might not respond to some cloud-native security tools. And remember that your security model must extend beyond your applications; APIs are a common target for hackers as well. As always, be sure to regularly test your applications for any vulnerabilities.

3Review common cloud computing and application terms

For a successful migration to a public IaaS model -- and to properly manage workloads after the move -- familiarize yourself with these common terms.

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