Migration to Data Centers from Public Clouds and Achieving Data Center Consolidation

The convenience offered by public clouds e.g. AWS from both agility and flexibility perspectives has been a major driving factor for enterprise adoption. In a previous blog post “Enterprise Hybrid Cloud: Strategy and Cost Considerations,” the strategy and cost considerations that enterprises need to take into consideration when determining their cloud adoption approaches was discussed. It is now common for many smaller companies to start as “cloud only” companies with all of their IT applications and services based on public cloud environments.

But it has also become increasingly apparent that, as enterprises scale and their business and IT operations become more complex, migration of workloads from public clouds to privately managed environment becomes a critical topic. There are multiple reasons driving this migration to privately managed IT environments including inflexible (“T-shirt”) instance sizes, security and compliance but, overwhelmingly, the primary reason continues to be cost savings — up to 80% lower TCO can be realized by moving to an on-premise private cloud IT environment. Companies with diverse industry focus e.g. Box, Inc., PubMatic have made the journey from being wholly on public clouds to running their own data centers and reaped benefits with the ensuing consolidation.

Migration to Data Centers from Public Clouds: Enterprise Options

  • Moving from one public cloud to another, e.g. from AWS to GCP
  • Moving to the Enterprise’s own private data center
  • Moving to a colocation facility e.g. Equinix
  • Moving to a bare metal cloud infrastructure-as-a-service like SoftLayer (IBM Cloud) or Packet

This table captures the high-level pros and cons of different type of migrations.

Migration Type:PUBLIC TO PUBLICPUBLIC TO CO-LOCATED PRIVATE
PUBLIC TO BARE METAL PRIVATE
PROSIncentives may include reduced costs and additional featuresLower costs,
Increased security
No hardware, no operating systems to install, no refresh
CONSCost savings are not as significant as migration to a private cloud infrastructureInfrastructure (HW) procurement and lifecycle management needs to be carried out by the enterprise _

Enterprise Data Center Consolidation: Top 5 Considerations

Below are the top five considerations that Platform9 has identified based on our own experience of migrating from AWS to a bare metal as a service option using Packet (we achieved ~80% savings and greater operational flexibility) as well as those of the customers that we have assisted in making this data center migration from AWS and other public cloud environments:

Networking

Public clouds are excellent at providing edge networking and security capabilities with a highly available robust network. Before moving to a private data center or bare metal service provider, it is important to determine how teams will manage edge networking, set up BGP, secure public IPs for services and carry out networking management to ensure that enterprises can achieve same/similar performance as they did with public cloud providers.

Infrastructure Provisioning for Developers

How division of infrastructure resources takes place and is provided to the development teams is another crucial consideration. Creating a shared resources for developers may include creation of an OpenStack or Kubernetes based environment for running virtual machines or containers to reside inside the new infrastructure. Running applications on bare metal services, for example, keep the new private environment API-centric.

Disaster Recovery Strategy

One of the biggest pros for the public cloud environment is in the area of disaster recovery, and it’s why some companies continue to leverage the public cloud by retaining it for its ability to replicate and backup data to other. Developers need a way to keep backup data off site, yet have access to automated ways to restore production at another location or geographic area.

Operationalizing Deployment

No matter the migration destination — another private cloud, private data center, colocation or bare metal service provider — network deployment and configuration management needs to replicate public cloud operations, like automating version control to roll out on a wide basis. Operationalizing workload migration eliminates the need for added resources.

Data Migration

One of the most difficult and challenging tasks in cloud migration is moving data from the public cloud. Whether replication or backup and restore, each situation is unique and should be decided on a case by case basis on how that move occurs to the new production environment.

Conclusion

The above mentioned considerations need to be kept in mind by enterprises looking to migrate their workloads away from public cloud environments and achieve data center consolidation without incurring downtime and disruption in their business and IT operations.

Learn more about Platform9’s Private and Hybrid Cloud solutions

For enterprises looking to migrate workloads from public clouds to a privately managed environment due to cost and lock-in factors, Platform9’s SaaS Managed OpenStack and Managed Kubernetes solutions offer a low cost, open-source path with dramatically reduced operational complexity.

If you’re new to OpenStack – or you want a better way to manage the OpenStack lifecycle – you can try out Platform9’s Managed OpenStack or Kubernetes in the sandbox or sign up for a free 15-day trial. You’ll quickly learn that Platform9 takes care of everything — 24/7 health monitoring, alerting, troubleshooting and upgrades —so you don’t have the hassle of managing infrastructure.

Hear Cody Hill, Cloud Architect, on “Migration from AWS to Enterprise Data Centers : 5 Top Considerations”

 
Rajesh Mani

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