Busting Myths about Cloud Migration

30 Mar 2021, MOQdigital

Cyber Security, Journey to the Cloud, Microsoft Azure

cloud hubspot sizeCloud adoption and Cloud migration continues to trend upwards in 2021 as organisations look to shift their on-premise services to public clouds like Azure. In our previous blog post, we even explored how much of regional Australia is primed for Cloud adoptionHowever, some organisations continue to resist shifting to Cloud computing. These organisations often base their decisions on the following common misconceptions: 

  1. Migrating enterprise workloads is risky and expensive. 
  2. Moving to the Cloud threatens user control. 
  3. Cloud costs start out cheap but get expensive extremely quickly. 
  4. On-premises storage is more secure than the Cloud. 
  5. Cost/performance is too unbalanced for fast analytics in the Cloud.  

Today, we’d like to address some of these myths and misconceptions that may be keeping you from making the decision to begin your Cloud migration journey.   

Misconception #1: Migrating Enterprise Workloads is Risky and Expensive 

Like most myths, this is based on a truth: a poorly planned and executed migration can make Enterprise Workload Migrations extremely complicated and put your data and applications at risk.  Organisations need to plan for a new compute, network, and storage infrastructure; efficiently deploy, quantify, and test cloud systems; ensure data syncing and replication; and oh yes–save money. This is a tall order. But if businesses get their Cloud migration strategy wrong, their outcome will not be what they need or expect.  

Cloud Migrations are only risky and expensive if done without a proper plan. The simplest way to mitigate the risks and costs is to seek expert help from experts like MOQdigital’s Azure Migration specialists. These specialists are ideally positioned to help you make the process as seamless and stress-free as possible. This is easily done by understanding what business goals can be supported by cloud migration, understanding if current governance and risk models are ready for cloud and planning to execute tasks driven out of these 2 discussions. 

Misconception #2: Moving to the Cloud Threatens User control 

It is true that Cloud migration changes the role of in-house IT from system and storage administration to service subscribers. In-house IT staff may be expert in on-premises management, but administrating cloud environments is a very different animal. Additional services and data growth kick customers to an expensive new service level. Without specialised Cloud architects on staff, businesses make do with generalist IT or take expensive meetings with cloud consultants. No wonder businesses feel like they lose control over their Cloud applications. 

This is simply not the case. Deploying Cloud solutions like Azure as a service does not remove control from the organisation. Instead, it makes it easier for you to maximise your cloud investment. Technology partners like MOQdigital that offer these services and provide support in the form of flexibility and clear lines of ownership when helping you manage your Cloud solutions. Most importantly, using as a service offierings means your IT staff can focus more on the technology’s desired functions and capabilities rather than its upkeep and maintenance.  

Misconception #3: Cloud costs start out cheap but get expensive extremely quickly. 

Organisations are realising that the Cloud can be a very expensive proposition depending on your use cases, performance, retention, replication settings, and service levels. Additionally, costs are rarely predictable. Costs can rise month by month thanks to data growth, data movement between tiers, and restores from cold storage tiers. Additional costs come from choosing Cloud tiers that are not optimised for their use case. The basis for calculating the levels of performance you really need is the cost/performance ratio: what is the highest level of performance at the price you want to pay for this specific type of workload? 

Cloud Migrations can be expensive if it is used simply to retire equivalent compute. Adopting Cloud means organisations need to get comfortable with concepts like short-term life cycling - building and destroying environments repeatedly means that environments only exist when they are needed – if no one is testing on the weekends or at night then the test environment should only exist when test suites or builds are being tested. Applications or websites that have large compute requirements for only 6 weeks of the year (I.e. for large short-term events) should scale up and down based on traffic patterns. Traditional Datacentre thinking would purchase 20 servers to host a web farm that could handle Melbourne Cup Loads, that would only be properly utilised for 5 days of a 5-year system lifecycle.  

The above model simply doesn’t work in cloud, but to make the changes requires to scale up and down may require rearchitecting of the website or application. IT Infrastructure teams alone can’t make that change – business product owners and development teams need to be on board as well 

Partnering with a reputable Cloud partner like MOQdigital can help you optimise your Cloud investment and help you ensure you don’t invest in unnecessary Cloud infrastructure for your environment and helping you control your Cloud costs, even in the long term.  

Misconception #4: On-Premises Servers are More Secure than the Cloud 

This is one of the most persistent myths about Cloud security that simply refuses to die. The notion that an on-premises datacentre and its security is more robust than Cloud security is fundamentally flawed. On the contrary, the cloud can be just as, if not more secure than on-prem. However, this requires following the best practices made for the Cloud, leaving behind the checks and balances we had in the pre-Cloud world. Key to security in any cloud solution is first acknowledging that security and isolation concepts from traditional data centre thinking whilst still relevant are just the tip of iceberg when it comes to security. Migrating to a Cloud service like Microsoft Azure takes advantage of Microsoft’s yearly USD$1 Billion investment in Cloud security.  

Through this investment, Microsoft offers a way for organisations and partners to ensure their services hosted in Azure take advantage of all that is relevant to their use case – the Azure Security Centre. Offerings such as “Secure Score” and “Regulatory Compliance” provide clear guidance on what Azure features to employ to secure a workload. 

Since the Cloud is made up of software, it is much more malleable than the physical infrastructure. It can be updated, audited and secured in a more complete way than was possible with the physical nature of the pre-Cloud environment. Where once, an internal ICT team needed high-end security skills to secure their on-prem servers, organisations now have the option of partnering with a Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) like MOQdigital that can provide those same skills and take some of the burden of security off the internal ICT team 

Misconception #5: Legacy Applications are Incompatible with the Cloud and must be Decommissioned 

Several organisations have apprehensions about the Cloud because of the presence of legacy applications. Since they depend on a host of business apps to carry out day-to-day tasks, they fear that they will have to get rid of all of them before they move to the Cloud, and that can lead to a complete shutdown. 

Although it is true that legacy apps stifle growth and innovation due to their often rigid and siloed nature, it is not necessary to rip them out while they’re still working unless desired. There are ways in which organisations can modernise and integrate them with the Cloud: lift-and-shift, refactor, rebuild and more. Additionally, organisations can move them to the cloud in a phased manner as and when deemed necessary. 

Next Steps for Cloud Migration 

If you and your organisation would like to learn more about Cloud Migration, our blog on MOQdigital and its team of Microsoft Azure Specialists are always ready to assist. Our capabilities in Cloud migration can provide you with the peace of mind that your Migration will be easy and seamless with us. You can read more about Cloud migration, check out our blog on some keys to successful enterprise migration, or contact us here if you would like to begin your journey to the Cloud.