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Busting 5 Cloud Migration Myths

In the Oxford dictionary, the first definition of “myth” involves supernatural beings. We’re not going there. The second definition is “a widely held but false belief or idea.” This is our definition: popular misconceptions about cloud migration that keep businesses from making strategic moves to public clouds like AWS.

5 Major Myths About Cloud Migration

The five major myths about cloud migration hinder organizations from making the move. They are:

  1.     Migrating enterprise workloads is risky and expensive.
  2.     Moving to the cloud threatens user control.
  3.     The cloud starts out cheap but gets really expensive, really fast.
  4.     On-premises storage is more secure than the cloud.
  5.     Cost/performance is too unbalanced for fast analytics in the cloud.

Let’s look at each of these myths, where they came from, and how NetApp Cloud Volumes Service for AWS proves them wrong.

Myth #1: Migrating Enterprise Workloads is Risky and Expensive.

Like most myths, this one is based on a truth: Enterprise workload migrations can be complicated, and poorly planned migrations put applications at risk. Businesses need to plan for a new compute, network, and storage infrastructure; efficiently deploy, quantify, and test cloud systems; ensure data syncing and replication; and oh yes–save money.

This is a tall order. But if businesses get their cloud migration strategy wrong, their outcome will not be what they need or expect.

Get expert help. If you are a NetApp Cloud Volumes service customer, then you will have NetApp’s help to plan and launch your AWS cloud migration. During the migration, NetApp Cloud Volumes Service, using Cloud Sync, supports parallel copy streams that rapidly copy NFS, SMB or object data from multiple sources to AWS. Cloud Sync synchronizes data, so changes made to the source data are automatically updated to the destination.

Once your data is in the cloud, Cloud Volume Service delivers high performance and low latency, multiple NAS protocols, advanced data management, and dynamic scalability.

Myth #2: Moving to the Cloud Threatens User Control.

It’s true that cloud migration changes the role of IT from system and storage administration to service subscribers. IT staff may be expert in on-premises management, but administrating cloud environments is a very different animal.

Additional services and data growth kick customers to an expensive new service level. And without specialized cloud architects on staff, businesses make do with generalist IT or take expensive meetings with cloud consultants. No wonder businesses lose control over their cloud applications; it’s too expensive to keep it.

Not with Cloud Volume Service. CVS is a highly cost-effective, fully managed file service on AWS. Instead of obscuring your settings behind SLAs, NetApp specifically tailors file services to your specifications. You stay in charge of your file data environment. You tell Cloud Volumes Service what you need, and it does it for you.

For example, when you set up a file share on CVS, simply enter information for performance, region, and snapshot frequency. Cloud Volumes Service creates a scalable 100TB cloud volume according to these specifications. You get exactly what you want without spending time and resources to provision storage. And you can adjust performance tiers on-the-go to meet performance and capacity needs. 

Read the Cloud Migration Whitepaper

Myth #3: You’ll Lower Storage Costs at First, but as You Scale, Costs Will Rise.

Businesses are realizing that the cloud can be a very expensive proposition depending on your use cases, performance, retention, replication settings, and service levels.

On top of the growing expenses, costs are rarely predictable. Subscriptions can rise month by month thanks to data growth, data movement between tiers, and restores from cold storage tiers. Additional costs come from choosing cloud tiers that are not optimized for their use case. The basis for calculating the levels of performance you really need is the cost/performance ratio: what is the highest level of performance at the price you want to pay for this specific type of workload?

For example, many businesses need fast performance for high transactional or near-real time analytics, so they house cloud data on a high performance tier. But they do not need high priced performance for most of their workloads, and even the workloads that do may not run 24x7. 

This is why Cloud Volumes Service offers three dynamic service levels: Standard, Premium and Extreme. Customers move freely between the levels weighted for their current needs. For example, if you have a performance-intensive 30TB workload that runs at scheduled times, you need a volume to perform at the Extreme level during those times. If you permanently stayed at this level, you are looking at a steep cost of $9000 per month.  

With CVS, when the workload is complete simply drop back down to Standard, for example at 160MB/s for 10TB, and spend about $1000 per month instead of $6000. Cost savings will vary depending on how long you operate in Extreme or Premium modes. But even running Extreme 20% of the time during a month nets savings of about $6,400 per month. (Let’s breakdown those numbers: $9000 – (($9000*0.2) +($1000*0.8)) = $6,400, which equals savings of more than 70%.)

Myth #4: On Premises is More Secure than the Cloud.

It’s true that the cloud had a rocky security start. The cloud had vulnerabilities that on-premises data centers did not (and vice versa). The pendulum eventually swung from trust to suspicion about the security of the cloud, which delayed strategic cloud migration projects.

However, the pendulum is returning to a balanced middle ground. Cloud providers like AWS have pumped massive resources into improving cloud security to protect customer data and safeguard compliance. 

NetApp Cloud Volumes Service boosts AWS security by protecting against drive failures and disk errors, providing data-at-rest XTS-AES 256-bit encryption and NetApp key management, snapshots, and Cloud Sync.

Myth #5: Cost/Performance is Too Unbalanced for Fast Analytics in the Cloud.  

The AWS platform hosts high performance computing (HPC) and big data analytics applications. But combining the two is a challenge. Popular options include running analytics workloads on EBS for high performance at a high cost, or running them on object-based S3 for low performance at a low low cost. What users want is the option of high performance and low cost, but that’s rare. And that can slow down cloud migration to AWS.

Or it was. This is where NetApp Cloud Volumes Service benefits HPC and big data analytics. Cloud Volumes Service accelerates file throughput speeds up to 460k IOPs.HPC and big data analytics have found their home in the cloud. 


What are the Next Steps for Cloud Migration?

Bust the myths. Test the ease of AWS cloud migration with NetApp Cloud Volumes Service for AWS. (And read our whitepaper on how to reduce risk when migrating to the cloud for tips.)

Read the Cloud Migration Whitepaper


Kristina Brand, Cloud Data Services

Cloud Data Services