With demand for IT capacity and features outpacing budgets, cloud services offer a helpful alternative to expanding the on-premise data centre. As such, almost every business will be moving at least some of their workload into the cloud in the near future.
Although vendors expend a lot of time and effort to simplify this process, you will still encounter challenges along the journey to the cloud. Here are five to be aware of.
1. Realising new performance gains
Not all cloud services are the same – as evidenced by the increasingly complex platform choices and pricing structures. This means that you need to carefully define workload requirements and specify a cloud platform that is capable of delivering maximum performance – otherwise you will never realise the true value of your investment.
For workload specific operations, like Oracle databases, it makes sense to choose a platform provided by the software vendor wherever possible. Not only will you benefit from maximum compatibility, but the platform will have already been optimised for your workload to deliver maximum performance.
2. Controlling costs
For many organisations, initial migration involves little more than replicating their existing environment in the cloud. But there are two problems with the ‘lift n shift’ approach.
First, all of the existing limitations, bottlenecks and failures of your on-premise applications will be replicated in the cloud. You gain almost nothing tangible from the move.
Second, your systems are not optimised for the pay-as-you use billing model employed by cloud providers. Every CPU cycle and gigabyte of storage and RAM is billable, so you need to ensure you do not use more than you need. Otherwise you pay for resources you are not ‘using’, limiting the cost-saving potential of your cloud deployment.
To avoid over-paying, you may need to re-architect applications and services to adapt to the new cloud operating model.
3. Public, Private or Hybrid?
Cloud providers are keen to stress the security of their multi-tenant environments – but they may still be inappropriate for your most sensitive workloads. In some cases, this may mean moving towards a private cloud solution that offers the same resource flexibility as a public cloud platform.
Most commonly, businesses choose to split workload between their on-premise data centre and the cloud to build a hybrid solution. This offers the greatest control over sensitive data while allowing them to tap into the power and flexibility of the cloud for other workloads.
4. Legacy technologies
Mature businesses may be heavily reliant on legacy systems that were designed and deployed before the cloud was even a concept. As a result, they cannot easily be migrated to a cloud platform – if at all.
Rather than trying to force these old systems onto a hosted platform – and undertaking the required re-engineering work – businesses may be better advised to invest in building new APIs to interface with other cloud-based applications.
5. Compliance and sovereignty
Another issue to consider is the physical location where your data is being stored while hosted in the cloud. Industry regulations or legal requirements (like GDPR) may prohibit data being transferred to certain jurisdictions.
Because cloud services often rely on a global network of data centres to maintain performance and availability, it may be that your data is transferred automatically to an unauthorised location. As such you must confirm where a provider’s data centres are located and whether you may run into issues of sovereignty by using their service.
Like any major IT project, cloud adoption can be extremely complicated. The five issues outlined here are just some of the challenges you face in your journey to the cloud, so you should speak to a cloud expert before proceeding.
To learn more about how best to manage your Oracle databases and for help in your journey to the cloud, please give us a call.