Applications touch nearly every aspect of the modern company. And the dependency on using applications to streamline business processes and drive new revenue sources is only growing stronger. Thanks to new tools and platforms, more developers, agile development methods, and lots of code reuse, IDC predicts that from 2018 to 2023, 500 million new logical apps will be created, equal to the number built over the past 40 years. Organizations must decide how to optimize, manage, and support this expanding portfolio of applications.
The range of new application architecture options is driving more complex infrastructure and workload placement decisions to enable those applications. As businesses migrate applications from traditional on-premises data centers to the cloud, they need confidence in their ability to deliver quality application services wherever workloads are deployed.
But what does this transition look like? How do you guarantee the successful migration of an application before you invest?
This paper outlines the six pathways organizations should consider as part of their application strategy, and offers insight into the situation in which each pathway is recommended.
What is a hybrid cloud?
The industry defines a hybrid cloud as the combination of private cloud, public cloud and edge environments unified with consistent infrastructure and consistent operations. All layers of the stack—compute, storage, networking—are defined in software, with integrated management, governance and security.
Consider six possible pathways when making decisions about the evolution of your infrastructure, including your cloud strategy. You may require one or several of these paths depending on your unique investments and challenges. No matter your plan or application portfolio, your cloud strategy will be bespoke to the needs of your business.
1. Maintain in the Data Center
Situation: Your team is pursuing a hybrid cloud approach, but there’s an application in your data center that can’t be moved due to security concerns or performance requirements.
Businesses often choose to maintain applications in the data center to support data protection regulations, deliver on security or performance requirements, or in the case of highly complex apps, provide access to unique services. But even highly virtualized data centers have opportunities for enhanced performance, capacity, and efficiency in order to support the needs of the app today and in the future. While maintaining an app in the data center, consider Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) as the method for achieving this. HCI enables your team to leverage consistent infrastructure and consistent operations in a hybrid cloud environment without moving critical on-premises systems.
2. Replatform to the Cloud
Situation: Your application is already in the cloud or a highly virtualized environment and you need to move it to a different cloud platform.
Every organization has a goal or target to move a certain percentage of applications to the cloud. Replatforming is the process of keeping the application unchanged, while moving it from a highly virtualized environment to a cloud. Consider hybrid cloud solutions that support cloud migration for bi-directional application migration with consistent policies and unified visibility and monitoring. This path is ideal for unalterable apps that require moving without expensive refactoring.
3. Deploy Hybrid
Situation: An application requires resources from multiple locations within a private or public cloud environment and it is unclear where to deploy it.
Hybrid apps have some portion continuing to run in the data center, while other parts run in the cloud. In other uses, applications may remain in their current environment while consuming services from a variety of clouds. Consider this design when you need a unified management platform that provisions applications to a number of cloud endpoints, and you want a single operational view that helps optimize network performance.
Situation: An app is outdated or needs rewriting before it can be migrated to newer architectures.
Refactoring an app means changing or rewriting an existing application code so it is optimized to fit modern cloud architecture, container environments, microservices, and cloud services. The cost of this method depends primarily on the development time rewriting code for the app. Choose this path when no other option exists to migrate it or when it is strategic (cost-justified) to update the application to take advantage of modern hyper-scale cloud services.