When it comes to migrating server workloads to the cloud, not all applications are created equal. Mission-critical applications and workloads are typically the hardest to virtualize, and therefore they're the ones you need to be the most cautious about when making changes to the way they are run. They’re often the most complex and most critical to a business and questions around stakeholder buy-in, architecture, and ISV support and licensing must be addressed before making a move to the cloud. Unlike secondary applications, which can usually be virtualized in a self-contained manner, your mission-critical applications touch a wider range of people, processes and technologies.
Horizontally scalable web and application servers are well-suited for the cloud. Information, social and mobile applications, featuring scalable transient workloads, are tailor-made for a move to cloud. Applications with static databases, such as Oracle or Cassandra, can be readily migrated without impacting the state of the application.
No Silver Lining for Non-Static Applications
Some functions are not suited for migration to cloud, such as non-static applications with large data sets that run on legacy platforms. Applications that rely on unrestricted access to processors will likely experience severe performance issues, making them less attractive for migration. Bottlenecks can occur with I/O-bound applications as multiple requests overwhelm network resources.
Porting Legacy Applications to Linux-friendly Distribution
Unix platforms are a prime example of applications that are not cloud-capable. For organizations that are utilizing these types of applications, it may make sense to first port them to a cloud-friendly operating system, such as Linux, before migration to cloud. By porting legacy applications to a Linux-friendly distribution, you can test the code locally and ensure everything is running correctly before migration. This approach is highly efficient and delivers significant cost savings by eliminating Legacy hardware, licensing, support and the need for domain knowledge. In moving to a modern platform, you are able to leverage common services to support all applications, instead of having separate teams.
It’s vitally important to thoroughly assess your mission-critical applications to determine the feasibility of migrating your server workloads to the cloud. Understanding that not all workloads are created equal is key to developing an efficient and cost-effective roadmap for cloud success.