Virtualization to cloud: Planning, executing a private cloud migration

Last updated:October 2013

Editor's note

Moving from a virtualized IT environment to a private cloud model means getting all enterprise teams onboard in the planning stages. What tools are needed to deploy an effective private cloud? What are the biggest risks -- and rewards -- that come with a private cloud migration?

arrows pointing into cloud

Without careful planning, private cloud migrations can easily go off track -- starting with enterprises failing to ensure their current IT infrastructure is even compatible with a private cloud.

Having a virtualized IT environment already makes the transition to private cloud simpler, but what should you consider when choosing a cloud vendor, cloud stack and virtual machine (VM) that are right for you?

A lot goes into a private cloud migration. But fear not: This essential guide can made your path easier.

1Considerations for a private cloud migration

The private cloud model offers the benefits of security and control, but without careful planning and a long-term strategy, a private cloud migration can also have drawbacks. Often, an existing investment in virtualization can ease the transition, but enterprises must consider compatibility with their current IT infrastructure. Additionally, planning for management and financing is a crucial step toward making the move to private cloud; if a private cloud doesn't align with enterprise goals, it could be a step in the wrong direction. Recognizing some of these downsides, some companies are looking to virtual private clouds or private cloud in a box.

2Blueprints for moving from virtualization to the private cloud model

Once a company decides to build a private cloud, the hard part starts -- but beginning with an existing virtualized IT environment puts you one step ahead. Selecting a cloud vendor, cloud stack, VM and the right tools will set up enterprises for a smooth transition to private cloud. Along the way, IT pros, CEOs and others involved in the migration should keep in mind their goals for the move and understand how it'll affect the company long-term.

3Management, financial tools in your private cloud arsenal

Once your private cloud is up and running, the right tools will help maintain it and maximize its benefits. Automation and other management tools can ensure your private cloud is running smoothly, and chargeback and return-on-investment (ROI) tools can help make the business case for cloud. However, not all of enterprise IT is happy with the state of the private cloud management tools on the market.