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Cloud Expo: Article

The Cloud – Modernize as You Migrate

With cloud, IT can get visibility into the true cost of running an application

Assuming that your organization is well down the road when it comes to adopting the Cloud and in fact, has been utilizing the Cloud for a while, then you are likely a true believer that ultimately all of your applications will be migrated to the Cloud. It is no longer a question of "if" but more a question of "when" and "how."  These days, the majority of test, dev, external websites and mobile apps are already born in the cloud.

Applications make businesses run. Businesses have tons of applications ranging from purchased (commercial off the shelf) to homegrown (bespoke) and likely some customized, purchased apps that now look a lot like the homegrown ones. One of the big problems with apps is that once they are built and deployed they rarely get replaced or decommissioned.   Application sprawl and aging application portfolios are among the root causes for much of the fixed cost in an IT budget and can consume close to 80% of the dollars.

With Cloud, IT can get visibility into the true cost of running an application. There is a bill every month that can be passed onto the application owner. Easy, clear charge- back for much of the fixed operating cost of a business application allows the business to make more informed decisions about how to spend their money. Is XYZ application really worth more than ABC app every month?

Most data centers do not have easy charge-back and monthly billing built into their operating infrastructure.

At AppZero we have seen a few companies who are moving legacy apps to the Cloud in order to be able to send the app owner a bill every month.  We have heard consistently that the visibility provided by a monthly bill accelerates the decommissioning of apps that are no longer necessary. "Trimming the herd" was an expression that caught my ear last week.

There are a lot of reasons to modernize the infrastructure that runs your apps. Operating System end of support like what will soon happen with Windows Server 2003 is one of them.  Harmonizing disparate data centers accumulated over the years via acquisition and adopting cloud with a standardized foundation for automation, scale and visibility, are a couple more.

Adopting the Cloud without modernizing is like going to a tropical island in your winter coat, with no swimsuit and while you are "on the wagon." Sure you are in a great place that will make all of your friends jealous, but you are not really enjoying it to the fullest extent possible. In fact you are sweating your butt off and dying for a margarita. The polar freeze back home actually is looking good to you in your heavy down jacket.

Similarly, to get the most benefit from moving existing applications to the Cloud, modernization is a key requirement. When migrating to the Cloud, separating the application and moving it into a modern environment that is standardized and designed for low-cost operation at scale is a must.

Move apps not machines to the cloud.

Don't use those antiquated machine migration tools to migrate old operating systems and data center-centric infrastructure to the Cloud. When you migrate to an island leave the winter attire behind -- it does not belong there.

"I am always looking for a way to communicate better and cut to the heart of any discussion. So, if you have thoughts on this subject drop me a line at GregO {@} Appzero {dot} com or tweet me at @gregoryjoconnor."

More Stories By Greg O'Connor

Greg O'Connor is President & CEO of AppZero. Pioneering the Virtual Application Appliance approach to simplifying application-lifecycle management, he is responsible for translating Appzero's vision into strategic business objectives and financial results.

O'Connor has over 25 years of management and technical experience in the computer industry. He was founder and president of Sonic Software, acquired in 2005 by Progress Software (PRGS). There he grew the company from concept to over $40 million in revenue.

At Sonic, he evangelized and created the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) product category, which is generally accepted today as the foundation for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Follow him on Twitter @gregoryjoconnor.