You’ve surely seen the recent press about Cloud onboarding of legacy applications. Some claims have verged on hype. In fact, VMWare CEO Pat Gelsinger claimed in October 2017 that the software giant “is now resurgent thanks to a multi-cloud, alliance-building strategy.” The strategy, essentially, is partner with everybody who has a Cloud: IBM, Azure, and just about everybody else.
Everyone wants to get on the right side of the public Cloud wave. However, little has been written about why moving entire VMs to the Cloud may not be the smartest move for customers who pay Cloud hosting bills. VMWare makes money and the Cloud hosting company makes money – but does the customer who pays the bills save any money? In my opinion, IT organizations that move entire legacy servers in VMs are making a move that is as thick as a brick!
The equivalent of virtual hoarding
Moving entire VMs to the Cloud is bandwidth intensive, consumes expensive Cloud resources during a migration and on a continuous basis, and doesn’t solve any of your legacy operational exposures. Just because you run outdated OS and legacy applications on a Cloud doesn’t mean that the security exposures of legacy systems disappear.
The tool used to move VMs might be free, but you’re not going to save money if you are locked into a Cloud vendor who can increase fees over time and who charges you monthly for VM overhead, legacy OS management, disk storage, as well as log files you don’t need. It’s like moving into a huge apartment, big enough for you and all your extra junk that you haven’t used in years, where the landlord can hike the rent but you can’t move out.
Sure, you can move a VM, the legacy OS, and all your applications to the Cloud. But ask yourself whether that’s really what you want to do or what you should do? Moving entire VMs is slow, raises OS and application licensing issues, and requires an increased amount of Cloud server resources to run all that overhead. Moving the VM sprawl and unnecessary storage is the virtual equivalent of hoarding. You’re paying storage fees for junk and stuff you’ll never use.
It doesn’t make sense to Cloud host VM sprawl when there are too many variations of an OS that need to be maintained. You lose the advantage of using advanced Cloud monitoring and management tools to maintain OS and application instances. Neither does it make sense to pay extra processing charges to Cloud vendors who lock you in with one-way onboarding tools. You pay consultants to move the VM sprawl to the Cloud, and then your IT organization is locked in by a Cloud vendor that charges exorbitantly for processing, storage, and licensing fees for VMs.
There is a better way
You might want to run a VM in the Cloud. But why would you move the VM, the OS, and applications too? You wouldn’t move excess junk into a new apartment; ideally, you’d move and keep only what you use and want. You could think of a more targeted move. For example, how about moving only applications from legacy environments to a less costly Cloud hosted environment? Moving only legacy applications can save significant time and money. Applications can be uplifted to Cloud environments for less than one-quarter of the bandwidth, storage, and processing required to move the combination of VM, OS, and applications.
You also get to take advantage of tools offered by Cloud vendors to monitor and manage application usage and OS instances. Better management tools means that your storage is optimized, performance improves, and you pay only for the resources you need to run your applications and business.
Using advanced Cloud onboarding tools gives you flexibility as well. You avoid Cloud lock in. You can easily move applications from cloud to cloud, as well as from the same OS versions (from WS2008R2 to WS2008R2 for example, or to and from WS2012 or WS2016). You can even move to a Cloud-hosted VM if you like.
Up-leveling an OS lets you move applications from even legacy OS environments like WS2003 to modern OS versions on WS2008, WS2012, and WS2016. Up-leveling lets you close security exposures such as WannaCry and Petya inherent in legacy OS platforms.
With all the advantages and savings that come from moving applications rather than OS and VM instances, I hope I’ve convinced you that moving entire VMs to the Cloud is not what you want or should do.
Perhaps you’ve already moved VMs to a Cloud vendor and are now feeling the pain of increased hosting fees and Cloud lock in. AppZero can help you:
- unlock VMs on the Cloud
- onboard Windows applications to the Cloud
- rehost applications to new Cloud vendors or inhouse servers
All that, without moving entire VMs. Save time and money, and stop virtual hoarding. Give us a call, register for a free demo, or send us an e-mail. We're always delighted to show you what we can do.