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What is Cloud Asset Migration?

by Logan Gilbert

April 3, 2018

access_time 7 min read

It bears repeating – the Internet has forever changed the world for individuals and organizations alike. In the case of the latter, every aspect of modern IT is undergoing digital transformation. IT departments everywhere are under pressure to make information highly accessible and at lower cost – all while securing critical data from damage, loss, or theft.

Central to this strategy is the migration of data centers to the cloud. In fact, 19% of business workloads are expected to be in the public cloud by the end of 2019, and 50% over the next decade.1

What is Cloud Asset Migration?

Cloud migration is the process of moving data, applications or other business elements from an organization's on-premise infrastructure to the cloud or moving them from one cloud service to another.

The diagram below illustrates this migration of file-server(s), data, and application(s) from an on-premise server infrastructure to a cloud environment.

Cloud service providers enable companies to migrate some or all IT infrastructure to the cloud for scale, speed, service flexibility, ease of management, and reduced costs. The benefits are nothing short of compelling.

Making use of Cloud Computing is transforming the business landscape. With the technological advancements, people are leaning more towards a virtual office space meaning that you can work from anywhere and anytime making use of cloud computing.

Cloud Asset Migration Considerations

But, as with any significant IT infrastructure change, a move to the cloud requires thoughtful planning and execution for the process to happen within budget and on-time. Moving a server, database, application, or all of the above to the cloud is not without risk. System outages, performance degradation, data loss and more can – and do – occur as a result of misconfigurations, system failures, and security exploits.

Case in point: 43% of those who have gone through a cloud asset migration have experienced a failed or delayed implementation.2 Why? Because each asset migration is a ‘snowflake’ with its own level of complexity.

Let’s look at three areas to consider for successful cloud asset migration.

1. Have a Plan

First, there needs to be a strategic migration plan. That plan should help answer questions like the following:

  • Which IT assets should be migrated in the first place?
  • If you are migrating some, or all, of your infrastructure to the cloud, how will you establish and maintain asset control?
  • How will you inventory what you have – before and after the move?
  • Do you even need to migrate everything?
  • What comes first?

2. Clean Up What’s in Place Today

To answer these strategic questions effectively, you’ll need definitive visibility into each asset under roof today, as well as relevant attributes of each asset. Whether your assets today are running on physical or virtual server infrastructure, you need to understand:

  • What assets are there today? Discover all the connected assets and understand whether they are currently managed and unmanaged.
  • Identify low usage and/or unused systems. Should these systems be eliminated or repurposed prior to migration?
  • Identify low usage and/or unused applications. Are these applications needed at all? Should they be removed prior to migration?
  • Identify and clean up areas of duplication, be it systems and/or applications.
  • Now identify those business-critical systems and applications that will now be migrated as part of your plan. With this detailed asset data in hand, you can sharpen your migration strategy by segmenting what should – and should not be migrated – or at least crisply prioritize based on business importance.

3. Plan for Cloud Visibility Post Migration

Now that you’re armed with comprehensive, accurate current and historic asset data, how will you maintain this level of visibility after your successful cloud asset migration?

While the cost benefits of migrating to the cloud are often extremely compelling, uncontrolled asset / virtual machine proliferation can quickly erode those cost benefits. So, before executing your cloud asset migration, make sure you have a cloud visibility solution in place that:

  • Discovers / monitors all connected assets across your single or multi-cloud environment
  • Inventories, fingerprints, and categorizes discovered assets
  • Alerts on new or unexpected asset discovery and/or behavior within the cloud environment
  • Integrates with existing ticketing, workflow, and/or CMDB systems

Cloud Visibility and Security with Ziften

Ongoing cloud visibility into each device, user, and application means you can administer all parts of your infrastructure more effectively. You’ll avoid wasting resources by preventing VM proliferation, plus you’ll have a detailed body of data to satisfy audit requirements for NIST 800-53, HIPAA, and other compliance regulations.

Follow the above when you migrate to the cloud, and you’ll steer clear of weak security, incomplete compliance, or operational SNAFUs. Ziften’s approach to cloud visibility and security gives you the intelligence you need for cloud asset migration without the headaches.

Learn more about how enterprises can maintain cloud security and visibility: https://ziften.com/cloud-visibility-and-security/.