Chances are, you’ve heard a lot of good things about migrating to the cloud. Indeed, you may even think that you would benefit by moving all your on-prem workloads to the cloud! That’s not always the case. In fact, in 2020, an IDC study noted a new trend: migration from the cloud back to on-prem infrastructure. That’s because while cloud workloads are by their nature more efficient, cost-effective, secure and flexible than their on-premise counterparts, not every workload is perfectly suited to the cloud – and cloud migration is not a walk in the park.
In essence, a workload is any action that a computer performs. When a computer processes input and delivers output, that action is a workload. Some workloads are better suited to on-prem hosting, while others need the cloud.
So which workloads should I move to the cloud?
According to Gartner, organizations should prioritize migrating certain mission-critical workloads to the public cloud. These include mobile solutions, which would benefit from an adaptive cloud model on the backend, as well as remote working and collaboration tools. The organization’s most critical data should also be hosted on the cloud, since cloud-based disaster recovery is secure and cost-effective.
Projects that have tight timelines for delivery or a short lifecycle can also leverage the flexibility and speed of development that the cloud provides.
Which workloads are most commonly moved to the cloud by businesses of all sizes? Nutanix’s analysis makes it clear.
However, not all workloads are suitable for the cloud. Depending on compliance, you may not be able to host certain workloads outside your own geography. Distance from the data being processed can slow down processing, so some critical workloads should be hosted on-premises to avoid latency. Before getting started on a cloud migration exercise, it’s important to do a comprehensive analysis including a study of long-term costs to determine the suitability of the workload for migration.
Why migrate to AWS?
Organizations that migrated their on-prem workloads to AWS saw as much as 51% reduction in operation costs and 94% reduction in downtime.
They also gained:
- 31% average infrastructure cost savings
- 62% more efficient IT infrastructure management
- 3x more features delivered per year
- 69% reduction in unplanned downtime
- 43% fewer security incidents per year
- 37% decrease in time-to-market
- 343% increase in new code deployments
- 39% decrease in mean time-to-restore for critical incidents for SME customers
Since AWS is the market leader in the cloud computing sector, they are able to leverage economies of scale to deliver better results – greater availability, heightened security, faster deployment – at lower prices. There are five major reasons to move to AWS, as below.
With AWS, capital expenses and operating expenses (CapEx and OpEx) are both reduced. That’s because initial investment in your on-prem data center is replaced by infrastructure setup on AWS, which can be completed in just a few minutes. At the same time, while infrastructure becomes a monthly cost, recurring OpEx usually falls since requirements for manpower, training and maintenance reduce.
If you are using on-prem Windows-based workloads, another head of expense is the high Microsoft licensing and Windows compute costs. This applies to unused provisioned resources as well. A study found that AWS users reduced costs on Windows workloads by 56% over the period of five years after migration.
It’s easier to manage Infrastructure-as-a-Service than traditional infrastructure, since the elastic AWS infrastructure scales to provide more or less capacity as required. Computing capacity, storage and other resources are charged on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ model, meaning that advance capacity planning is not required and wastage is reduced.
One survey found that “AWS reduces unplanned application outages by more than $18,000 per 100 users, per year”. AWS guarantees uptime of over 99.9%, which means that businesses need not plan separately for data availability or dedicated in-house talent to maintain the server. AWS’ cloud disaster recovery strategy helps keep critical web assets up and running without investment in redundant physical storage for disaster recovery.
Older legacy on-prem Windows workloads offer less availability, durability and scalability. You can make your application more robust by moving these workloads to the AWS cloud, clearing up time for your engineering teams to manage higher-value work.
AWS offers a range of services to deliver greater value and functionality, including BI and AI/ML tools. AWS also provides cost optimization tools to manage cloud infrastructure costs, which support your team in setting budgets, gaining usage visibility and creating custom analytics dashboards.
To comply with HIPAA and other industry-specific acts and laws, certain industry applications and data centers need to meet tight security and privacy norms. Unlike on-prem workloads, the AWS environment provides automated tools to process, maintain and store such data, including protected health information.
AWS tools relating to data security compliance include:
- AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) – tool to manage and audit the encryption and key management of the protected data
- Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) – set of network security features to architect for HIPAA compliance
- Amazon Redshift – cluster database encryption to protect data at rest using hardware-accelerated Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)-256 symmetric keys
AWS also provides a range of tools for cloud monitoring, security, detection and prevention.
- AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) – management of application access rights at a granular level
- Amazon Inspector – automated infrastructure assessments with an actionable list of security best practices
- AWS Trusted Advisor – regular security checks against hacking, DDoS attacks, data theft
Frequently asked questions
AWS takes care of a number of the major maintenance responsibilities, including uptime, scaling, security, upgrades and data storage compliance. This makes deployment faster and easier. In addition, with AWS cloud workloads, you have lower upfront and operational costs, which vary based on actual consumption.
AWS helps you optimize your workloads, resulting in less energy consumption. In addition, AWS is on moving towards using only green energy in all their data centers. AWS also offers a number of tools to help you track your carbon and energy consumption and identify areas for further improvement/optimization.
Organizations of all sizes have migrated their workloads to the AWS cloud. This includes major names like GE, Coca-Cola, BP, Samsung and NewsCorp. There are over 9 million live websites using AWS.
While not every workload is suitable for cloud migration, AWS is likely to suit you if your process needs to be moved to the cloud. You can simplify and accelerate your deployments, increase time available for innovation, reach wider markets and deliver greater customer satisfaction, while saving costs, optimizing resource usage and leveraging exclusive AWS tools.
At the same time, migration of your legacy systems to AWS is not easy, especially if you’re doing it yourself. Reach out to the experts. Contact Ziffity to get started on your migration project today.