Breaking down barriers to migration: Five key learnings from our cloud migration webinar

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Cloud migration is a hot topic in today’s digital landscape—with many businesses hesitant to take the leap and migrate their remaining mission critical workloads and applications to the cloud due to perceived barriers such as complexity, cost, high risks and potential downtimes for many Australian businesses.

Together with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and VMware, we recently hosted a webinar to discuss technology that can help break down these challenges and share best practices in planning and executing a successful migration to the cloud.

We also covered how customers can move to the cloud with confidence and gain full visibility of their on-premises and cloud resources with Telstra Purple’s fully funded, zero cost, no obligation Total Cost of Ownership, Optimisation and Licencing Assessment.

See the recording of The anatomy of a well-designed cloud environment webinar here.

Here are our top five key learnings from the webinar.

1. Migrating to the cloud is actually cost-efficient and sustainable.

When it comes to total cost of ownership, customers save more by moving their applications and workloads to the cloud compared to traditional distributed on-premise environments—thanks to efficient modern infrastructure, operations, modern resource utilisation, and on-demand consumption models.

Offerings such as VMware Cloud on AWS make migration not only cost-efficient, but also low-risk and sustainable for businesses.

“[Our] cloud economists at VMware run assessments for customers, and we’ve kept all the stats from the last 1,300 or so assessments. And over a three-year period, we’ve seen on average 26% savings over on-premise costs—and that’s on average. We’ve seen that get up to 57 to 59% as well. Another big benefit is the savings in migration time; around 22 months on average time saving.”

Amanda Spencer, Solutions Engineering Manager, VMware

AWS uses world-class facilities that reduce hardware and power wastage. Traditional on-premise data centres only use about 40% of the available installed capacity; AWS uses 88% as they operate on a larger scale across more customers.

“We’re also one of the world’s largest buyers of renewable energy, so there are sustainability aspects to running in AWS. That’s high on the [C-suite’s] agenda.”

Nathan Wheat, Business Development Specialist, VMware Cloud on AWS – APJ, AWS

2. Think service vs. hardware.

More and more businesses are realising the benefit of switching over to a cloud service from hardware in a customer owned or leased data centre — and VMware Cloud on AWS makes it easy for them to transition from the traditional set-up.

“With a cloud service, you don’t have to manage the infrastructure lifecycle of the environment—so you can think of that in terms of hardware (data centres, cooling, hardware purchasing, racking/stacking) and software lifecycle (upgrading, patching, configuring)—as VMware manages all these components as part of the service.”

Amanda Spencer, Solutions Engineering Manager, VMware

A cloud service also helps you ensure operational consistency with your on-premise environment. Most businesses wouldn’t need to invest in additional in-house expertise or new processes and tools to get complete, seamless workload portability.

3. Working with a trusted technology services partner can help make the cloud migration process smoother.

Cloud migration is frequently seen as complex—mostly because of the lack of in-house knowledge and skill to help develop architecture, roadmaps and processes and individuals who understand the vital link between cloud, network and security.

Many customers opt for a cloud partner to advise them. During the webinar we heard an example of a council in South East Queensland who worked with Telstra Purple. The customer was initially looking to upgrade their existing security and network capability. However from understanding the customers key business needs, Telstra Purple was able to ascertain that the customer would be able to greatly reduce operational costs, modernise applications and manage disaster recovery better via the VMware Cloud on AWS solution.

“We ran a current state assessment of their environment, helped map out business and technical requirements. We then engaged our business consultant to go in and have a look at running costs and compare them with what the possible running costs would be if we migrate them to the cloud. And off the back of that, we created a high-level architecture of what [their desired state] might look like, what the processes are around the migration planning… and that was essentially how the project kicked off.”

Michael Huynh, Principal Cloud Consultant, Telstra Purple

The project is currently around 95% complete and the proposed solution met the customer’s objectives while future-proofing their organisation.

4. Network and security are still factors to consider in migration.

Virtual machines, according to Michael, can be deployed by automation to engineering standards within a couple of hours, but “it’s actually the networking and security elements that can be difficult and need to be considered.”

Connectivity to the cloud remains critical in ensuring resiliency, especially when moving critical applications from a data centre to the cloud. Security, too, is vital in protecting your workloads and data as they make the journey to and reside in the public cloud.

“You want to make sure that every single layer of your environment is resilient enough to support these super critical apps,” Michael added.

Many consulting firms offer cloud skill sets. But cloud interconnects with everything. So a partner like Telstra Purple with expertise spanning cloud, networks and security together is more likely to identify and assess all the critical factors involved in your journey.

5. Make the complex simple with the right tools.

There’s plenty of tech tools to help businesses with ensuring the smooth flow of the migration process, as well as managing a cloud platform once deployed.

“VMware has a phenomenal suite of performance and operations management solutions, as well as automation capabilities and visibility into infrastructure and application performance,” Amanda shared.

VMware Cloud on AWS users also get cost management, security, and monitoring tools for all their native cloud workloads and environments. When it comes to ensuring resiliency and reliability, users can have the option of VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery to protect their data without paying for additional compute.