One Key Change You Should Make to Your Cloud Adoption Plan to Optimize Brownfield Migration

19 Jun 2024

Legacy to Cloud Migration: Part I

Brownfield Cloud Migration

The need for business leaders to meet changing consumer expectations, optimize enterprise resources and leverage AI capabilities has led to a single conclusion: they need to reimagine their IT digitally, and in the cloud.

While this is a clear target, there are two cloud migration routes each with its own goals and hurdles.

  1. The Brownfield Cloud Route
  2. The Greenfield Cloud Route

The Brownfield Cloud Route

What is it?

When business and IT leaders' cloud adoption plan involves migrating core and/or legacy applications to the cloud environment.

What are their expectations for the cloud?

They intend to migrate their current core and/or legacy systems/applications to a cloud environment in order to make their modernization process more streamlined, with less time spent retraining employees in new systems. By operating in the cloud environment they expect that they will be able to run a leaner and more optimized operation and build out new features and innovations in the cloud.

What’s holding them back?
  1. Anticipated cloud migration and hosting costs for entire application data history
  2. The cost and time to refactor non-COTS applications for the cloud

According to a recent Software One* report, 90% of IT leaders will be forced to expand their IT budgets due to cloud spending. While some of this is due to inflation, end-of-discount on renewal, and other predictable factors, 34% of respondents place blame on the lack of visibility and management of cloud costs, overprovisioning of compute or storage resources, and the repercussions of an initial ‘lift and shift’ approach.

Cloud migration has become so pervasive that it’s easy to forget that the cloud is still a fairly modern technology and our understanding of its best processes and uses is still developing.

The perception of the cloud as all-encompassing and all-powerful convinces business leaders that their entire enterprise must shift to the cloud in order to achieve their operational goals.

This is not the best strategy for achieving best performance in the cloud. David Linthicum, one of the top thought leaders and technology innovators in cloud computing strongly advocates for businesses to rethink their whole cloud migration strategy and mindset.

*“The reality is that we’ve not done migrations correctly, for the most part. The cloud providers sold the cloud as something that needed to be leveraged ASAP, so massive workloads and data sets were lifted and shifted to this new “miracle platform.”***

CEOs don’t realize how much of their costs are not included in the original quote and appear further down the road when it’s too late. They do not foresee the massive hosting and workload cost of using the cloud to store decades of data history; and if the applications and databases that they lift and shift over are not optimized or compatible for the cloud environment, they are prevented from going live while they invest in application modernization/optimization. This increases costs before any cloud benefits can be realized.

The data from Software One supports this. They report that: “Almost a third (31%) of IT leaders say they’re not getting the best results from cloud because they didn’t optimize workloads before migrating . . . Today, 55% of IT leaders are dealing with issues caused by a lack of preparation in moving to the cloud, including 38% who admit they are dealing with issues caused by rushed migration to the cloud and a further 17% who say they moved applications and services to the cloud without full budget planning, meaning they overspent and now need to recalibrate.”

David cautions leaders who aim to get to the cloud first and optimize later. “There is no magical tool. Leveraging cloud-native approaches for most applications will be counterproductive. Success will require great attention to planning and understanding where things are now, where they need to be, and steps 1 through 100 to get there. This is often too complex, scary, and expensive for enterprises to consider in 2024.”

What is the winning strategy for brownfield cloud migration?

There may be no magical tool, but DataNovata aims to help companies reduce the payload for brownfield migrations.

DataNovata enables your business to rationalize your migration load by separating inactive data history from the mix. Data history generated by the many years your on-premise applications have been running is a massive drag on cloud migration and operational effectiveness. Besides for the time it would take, the data would have to be refactored in order to get meaningful access. Moreover, that data history has little to no value to add within the cloud environment. In fact, the cost of storage and consumption would bring the ROI of cloud adoption crashing down.

Why diminish your cloud capabilities and spike costs by bringing all that data into the cloud when other, better retention options are available? DataNovata is a cloud-compatible, web-based application that retains meaningful access to all of your data history, independent of the original application. This can allow for a seamless experience between the live cloud environment and the archived data without the inflated migration and hosting costs.

  1. Separating the active systems from the data history addresses both brownfield cloud migration pain points.
  2. There is no need to pay to host masses of data history in the cloud

While active systems may still require refactoring, the data history is no longer included in that project, saving time and resources.

There is also the added benefit of creating a better environment for AI tools to yield efficient and accurate results.

Overall, DataNovata helps business to:

  • Cut migration costs
  • Cut cloud licensing costs
  • Accelerate cloud migration projects
  • Maintain access to data history alongside cloud
  • Build out a more optimized and successful cloud environment

What about companies who don’t intend to migrate everything to the cloud? Read part two of this article to learn how the Greenfield Cloud Migrator also benefits from the DataNovata approach.

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**all quotations by David Linthicum are sourced from “Cloud migration is still a pain”, InfoWorld, Feb 02, 2024 with cooperation from the author.