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Considerations for a VMware Cloud on AWS workload migration

Before moving a workload to VMware Cloud on AWS, think over your priorities regarding that workload's importance as well as technical considerations such as whether it makes sense in the cloud.

Some workloads aren't right for the cloud. If you're considering moving applications to VMware Cloud on AWS, evaluate the workloads you might migrate based on key factors such as their importance to the organization, how well they can run in the cloud, and what skills IT staff need to support cloud-based apps. Such considerations enable you to take an honest look at your internal applications and to make informed, data-driven decisions regarding what should move into VMware Cloud on AWS and what should stay on premises.

The modern data center needs a way to shift workloads from on premises to the cloud without reconfiguration. Although it's a little pricey, VMware Cloud on AWS has the right technology and features to create a transparent cloud environment compared to your on-premises data center. Still, some workloads are not suited to run in the cloud because of their size or importance to the business.

VMware Cloud on AWS is an operational cost, not fixed or depreciating in price like on-premises hardware. Using a technology with an operational cost changes the rules regarding what workloads make sense to deploy and where to deploy them.  

Pricing for VMware Cloud on AWS

VMware Cloud on AWS has three pricing models: The vendor offers three-year subscriptions, one-year subscriptions and hourly on-demand pricing. Whichever pricing model you pick comes down to whether you'd rather pay now or pay later because all three function as pay-per-usage, but using VMware Cloud on AWS costs more than using on-premises hardware.

The feature set of tools and applications might differ slightly between your on-premises environment and the cloud, but assuming the features are generally similar, moving from a local, lower-cost environment to a higher-cost environment with more flexibility, scalability and stability means you should ensure the workloads you move are ideal for that higher-tier environment. That means evaluating workloads carefully before switching them over.

Prioritizing movement in a VMware Cloud on AWS workload migration

Knowing the overall importance, effect and scale should inform your decision about whether to push an application out to the cloud, but it can't tell you whether it's the right fit from a technical standpoint.

Start by looking at an application with an eye on its importance to the business, effect on operations and scale of the application. This means asking how important the application or server is overall. Are you looking at an email server or a single department server?

Knowing the overall importance, effect and scale should inform your decision about whether to push an application out to the cloud, but it can't tell you whether it's the right fit from a technical standpoint. You should consider not only whether an application can run in the cloud, but also whether it makes sense to run it there.

Running applications in the cloud

Corporate file servers can service thousands of end clients and act as the lifeblood of a modern business. On the surface, this might seem like an ideal choice for moving to the cloud, because it has a high importance level and affects a large user base. However, a file server with terabytes of data most likely contains stale data. It's common for larger file servers to have more than 90% of their data be obsolete. Do you really want to move those spreadsheets from 2003 into the cloud and chew up your valuable cloud-based resources? 

The application stack itself presents a similar issue. Older applications not designed for the cloud have thick client front ends and more single monolithic installations, which makes them not ideal for cloud environments until you optimize them for it.

You might prioritize each value differently, but you still have to consider them all as you look at premium cloud-based resources. You also must account for the labor to support it all. Just because something goes to the cloud doesn't mean you can remove your support.

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