Moving to the cloud? Think about IaaS.

There is quite a trend of companies that migrate their activities from on-premise data centers to the cloud. Cloud Service Providers (CSP) have directed their sales strategies towards big enterprises and of course, the Cloud has been a huge buzzword for the last few years and finally big companies realize how to use it.

I realize in practice that this leads to the decision to migrate full existing data centers to the cloud, as an infrastructure as a service approach (IaaS). Drivers for that can be found in the need for high availability, elasticity in regards to computing power, or even for risk reduction when the cloud is being used as a fallback data center. Further, data center migration to the cloud is a very effective strategy for companies that face substantial on-premise hardware investments in the near future.

IaaS is a good starting point for the migration to the cloud, especially for large enterprises. IaaS is the least disruptive option when migrating to the cloud – mainly because you can continue to use the same application stacks and the organization structure will not have to change dramatically. Out of my experience, here are a few major benefits for starting with IaaS:

  • data centers built up in the cloud are likely to be more secure and reliable than most on-premise data centers
  • you can continue to use your current IT processes when you move to the cloud
  • adapt your organization (don’t forget the people!) step-by-step to the new cloud computing paradigms
  • not only new applications but also existing applications can be enabled with cloud benefits

No matter which strategy your company follows for cloud migration, you will need to answer the following questions:

  • What impact is to be expected on existing platforms?
  • What needs to be prepared and established from the perspective of the network?
  • How can you ensure access control responsibilities and working processes such as cost management continue to function?

As IaaS is not the end of the story and many SaaS solutions usually have found their way into the company already, you might want to integrate those current cloud islands into your considerations as well. Portfolio management tools such as LeanIX or even Alfabet are very effective when evaluating the efforts to be expected for your cloud strategy (be it IaaS, SaaS or IaaS). Its technology architecture analysis capabilities, such as the tiers and layers matrix, have the power to display all potential technical components and services for migration to the cloud.