Many companies are dealing with the challenges that come with an on premises to cloud migration. While these companies are aware of the benefits of shifting from the CapEx model of on-premises data infrastructure into the OpEx model of the cloud, many of them fail to fully think this transition through. As a result, they end up overspending or not optimizing performance. 

This casual outlook can give your company a headache in the future. Our advice: Take the guesswork out of cloud migration. Here are three aspects you should pay attention to during your cloud migration:

1. Cloud Migration: Divide and Conquer

The first thing you need to decide on during your cloud migration process is what you should keep on-premises and what you’ll move to the cloud.

If you’re a large enterprise, you probably have a whole set of complicated applications running in a variety of data centers. Maybe you have a long-term lease on one data center, or maybe you have some particular members of your team insisting on moving a certain application or system to the cloud. In any case, you should know which ones make sense to move and which ones are best kept on-prem.

Once you’ve decided, as the foundation for your on premises to cloud migration, you can go for a lift-and-shift, or you can do a full rewrite of your architecture to make it cloud-native (which would require a lot of engineering work). You’ll need to leverage certain services your cloud vendor offers. You might even need to resort to a hybrid of both.

2. Cloud Services and Vendor Lock-In

Second, you’ll need to decide which services you’re going to use from your cloud vendor of choice. Cloud vendors offer a lot of services, and while it can be tempting to reap the benefits of each and every one, we advise you to pick only what’s necessary. Using way more than you need will likely become a long-term nightmare for maintenance support.

If you’re not careful during your cloud migration, you could unknowingly give up your freedom to choose between various services and providers. Vendor lock-in is where you get stuck in a specific vendor’s entire stack, services, and functionality, and it’s easy to slip into if you don’t take measures to avoid it. To steer clear of this, you’ll have to be careful and deliberate about choosing your cloud providers or their services because it does restrict what you’re able to do later on. Often, companies opt for a multi-cloud approach to try and escape this pitfall.

3. Pricing and Your Bills

Pricing and bills, once they come in, are what surprise people the most the first time they conduct an on premises to cloud migration. There are two parts to this problem: (1) the costs of the existing applications, and (2) the CapEx-to-OpEx shift.

When it comes to the costs of your existing applications, they can be extremely hard to calculate. Hard, but not impossible. The key is to figure out what your on-prem applications currently use–how much memory? CPU? Amount of data transfers? This is where the right monitoring applications, such as Pepperdata Platform Spotlight and Pepperdata Application Spotlight, really add value and give you insight on what you’re running today.

With regards to the CapEx-OpEx shift: Before, in the CapEx model, only certain people in certain parts of organizations knew what the costs really were. But now, almost everyone within a company can easily see where their money’s going in a single spreadsheet and bill.

While the CapEx model frustrates engineers due to the limits it places on their capabilities, it’s also a good limiter of cost. After the completion of the cloud migration phases, in the OpEx model, instead of constraints that allow your engineers to be resourceful, they go off and scale with no limit in mind. So they scale out to large numbers of machines and run all the tests they can think of. Next thing you know, the bill for that single flexibility arrives, and it is massive. 

All in all, it’s important to remember that the flexibility that OpEx affords you is a double-edged sword. When you’re moving to the cloud, setting up control systems and visibility is crucial. This is where Pepperdata can help.