Moving to the cloud is not a simple three-step process that it is made out to be. If you have very little data, you may follow the steps and get on to the cloud. But, most organisations have voluminous data and there is a lot of work to be done with the data before you can take the first step towards the cloud. Your systems must be integrated if you are moving to the cloud.
What does integration mean? Integrated systems are pre-configurations of data, storage, networks, applications and their management, to deliver optimal performance in the cloud. The process involves understanding the different system components and how they work together before configuring them. Workloads may be identified, optimised for each application, and a broad range of infrastructures may be requisitioned for obtaining a specific pre-defined, level of performance. Capabilities for managing the application and the workload will have to be clearly set out. Thereafter, different application requirements may be fine tuned, balanced, until realistic performance measures are obtainable and available.
The pre-configured data centre exported to the cloud then creates the environment for speedy delivery of applications and resources. Flexibility and scalability are automatic, allowing the business to expand infinitely, bringing in more customers, and adding more information to their digital repositories. Multiple operating systems can be hosted and applications can be shared among a large number of users, wherever they are located, and these applications can be deployed on a variety of devices that may be used to connect to the enterprise account.
Service portfolios can be expanded to include a wide range of business services that induce confidence in the company. These benefits alone are enough to validate the need for pre-integration and fine-tuning of enterprise applications and systems before cloud migrations. Add to this the cost savings that occur and all arguments against pre-integration activities must cease to be voiced. Of course, the success of integration will be in direct proportion to the willingness of the organisation to spend the time and effort required for the process and the level of standardisation that they are eager to implement. A healthy services centric view and a felt need for effective Service Level Agreement (SLA) management will act as catalysts that help transform legacy data centres into efficient cloud data centre, humming with activity and delivering performance.