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The 7 R’s: Why infrastructure is critical to your application cloud migration

Ronen Schwartz
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infrastructure is critical to your application cloud migrationThere has been a lot written about application migration and strategies for success. But I’d like to focus on an element that I notice is frequently neglected: the importance of infrastructure to application migration. With an appreciative nod to the well-written “The 6R’s: 6 Application Migration Strategies,” let’s explore the role of infrastructure as you travel along your migration journey.

1. Re-host (“lift and shift”)

The fastest way to move an enterprise workload to the cloud, and therefore commonly chosen for migrating legacy applications, is the re-host option. Lift and shift can be automated to maximize the speed of your migration, or it can be handled manually to enable work in parallel. But, in either case, re-hosting simply moves your existing application into the cloud without making any changes.

On the plus side, this is fast and simple, and it allows you to make changes after your application is in the cloud, where they are simpler to execute. On the minus side, nothing gets modernized or optimized to run in the cloud.

However, the right infrastructure can set you up for success. For example, NetApp’s Cloud Volumes ONTAP (CVO) offers you the same capabilities you are used to on-premises in situations when your application needs to run as is in the cloud. Customers benefit from our Snapshot technology, which provides the fast, effective, and incremental transfer of data to cloud storage. In this way, you can ensure migration success by running your application in the cloud in parallel with on-premises. This method is both fast and secure, eliminating the risk of downtime caused by a failure during cutover.

2. Re-platform (“lift, tinker, and shift”)

While similar to re-hosting, re-platforming includes a moderate amount of “tinkering” or optimization, without changing the core architecture of your application. Not needing to re-architect is a significant benefit. This option enables you to benefit from the implementation speed of the re-host option, combined with important cloud optimization.

Looking into Infrastructure, and specifically into storage, users will benefit from storage as a service. NetApp offers Azure NetApp Files (ANF) in the Azure cloud and Cloud Volumes Service (CVS) in GCS and AWS. These cloud-native services provide the unparalleled high performance and ultra-low latency required to run even the most demanding applications in the cloud – applications such as SAP, HPC, VDI, Oracle, and other operationally intense databases.

In addition, these services provide performance tiers enabling you to scale up and down quickly and easily to meet the demands of your workloads. No need to over-provision VMs to meet your peak performance requirements.

With Spot Elastigroup, NetApp offers a fast and easy way to optimize your compute instances, using AI, ML, and automation to provide the most available and scalable cloud infrastructure for big data applications. Using Spot, you can meet your application’s performance needs exactly with the most efficient blend of instances and pricing models to eliminate over-provisioning and waste.

3. Re-factor/Re-architect

This option is typically the most expensive migration path, but it has enabled modernization of outdated legacy applications not suited to a cloud environment. Traditionally, enterprises chose this option only when there were compelling business reasons to make significant changes – such as adding features, increasing performance, or enabling scalability – that were difficult to achieve without entirely re-architecting the application.

Fortunately, NetApp can provide all these benefits through our ANF and CVS solutions, without the need for re-architecting. In addition, these services provide risk reduction, disaster recovery, and business continuity with features such as cross-region replication (CRR). CRR enables a seamless switchover from your primary region to a secondary region, providing beneficial redundancy in case of a primary data center event or regional disaster, and enabling customers to meet their recovery point objectives (RPO).

If you are adopting Kubernetes for your modernization, see Astra and Ocean in #7 below.

4. Re-purchase

There is a very strong movement to use SaaS instead of purchasing replacement on-premises systems and being locked into perpetual licenses. In this situation, you are counting on the SaaS vendors to make the best infrastructure choice for you, as infrastructure choices are out of your hands. Many of the leading SaaS vendors have been building modern applications on a solid, trusted foundation of NetApp storage technology. We’ve got your back.

5. Retire

In many cases, discovery identifies a significant number of applications in the migrating environment are no longer required for one reason or another, and the time has come to retire them. If you decide to retire an on-premises application based on NetApp technology, you can easily extract the data and archive it into lower-cost archive storage, leveraging NetApp storage efficiency. We can also support moving your data into object format to further reduce costs.

6. Retain

Retain is basically a point-in-time strategy – you’ve decided to retain certain applications in place on-premises for the time being. Perhaps they are earmarked for retirement soon. Or perhaps they will require a great deal of re-architecting before you are able to migrate them later. In the meantime, your backup strategy may well be a public cloud or hybrid cloud. Cloud Volumes ONTAP supports data tiering in AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. The automated storage tiering feature lets you cut costs for infrequently used data, such as snapshots and disaster recovery environments. Instead of storing infrequently accessed active data on expensive high-performance block storage, data tiering lets you store it in a capacity tier on inexpensive block storage. When it is needed, Cloud Volumes ONTAP automatically retrieves the data and returns it to the high-performance tier. Data tiering can reduce costs to as little as $0.03-0.01 per GB per month.

7. (W)rite a modern cloud application

This brings us to the seventh R: writing applications from scratch for serverless and Kubernetes environments. Increasingly, you are depending on applications and data to deliver rich, personalized, digital experiences for your customers. To deliver modern, cloud-native applications with speed, flexibility, and agility, businesses are increasingly turning to Kubernetes, and we continually seek ways to help reduce complexity, manage costs, and unlock the best of cloud.

Take advantage of automation to continually optimize and monitor your cloud infrastructure on any Kubernetes service, on-premises or in any cloud.

Astra is a fully managed application-aware data management service built for Kubernetes workloads. Astra lets you protect, recover, and move applications deployed on Kubernetes, with no software to install, manage, or upgrade. Astra helps Kubernetes deliver on the promise of simplicity.

Ocean is Spot’s serverless container engine that automates cloud infrastructure for containers in general and K8s specifically, automatically scaling compute resources to maximize availability and optimize cost by using the optimal blend of on-demand, reserved, and spot instances. Properly applied, this can reduce costs by up to 90 percent. For analytics and Spark based on Ocean you can leverage further optimizations by Spot Wave.

Ocean, the foundation of Spot Wave, supports:
  • Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)
  • AWS Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)
  • Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)
We can support you wherever you are on your Kubernetes journey, no matter which container platform or cloud. We provide automated optimization and serious data management for Kubernetes.

If you’re building applications for the cloud, you need to take advantage of continuous resource optimization. Choose NetApp to meet all your needs. We are constantly innovating to support you on every step of your journey. We deliver all the benefits of trusted NetApp data management and storage technology everywhere you need it, and we can support you no matter which container, platform, or cloud you choose.

Automated optimization and serious data management for Kubernetes. With reduced cost and complexity. The infrastructure you need today.

Ready to unlock the best of cloud? Get started with NetApp right now.

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Ronen Schwartz

Ronen Schwartz is senior vice president and general manager of NetApp’s Cloud Volumes business. He is responsible for accelerating the Cloud Volumes business, building the robust Cloud Volumes platform across hybrid clouds and multiclouds, and expanding NetApp cloud data management services.

Before joining NetApp, Schwartz was executive vice president in charge of technology and ecosystem, operations, and strategy at Informatica, and senior vice president and general manager of Informatica Cloud. In those roles, Schwartz led product strategy, product management, and go-to-market strategy. During his 14 years at Informatica, he helped lead the company through its own transformation from on premises to the public cloud, from license revenue to recurring revenue.

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