About the author
Steve Blow is Technology Evangelist at Zerto. Among other things, he is responsible for both helping customers succeed in their digital transformation journeys. Steve has a particular interest in automation, particularly all things API.
Many of us can relate to the headache of moving house. It is often a long, drawn out process, with many obstacles along the way. Finding your dream place, exchanging keys, and packing your belongings into boxes ready for the move can seem exciting. But when it comes to the day of the move, and you suddenly have to move your entire life across town – or even further – it can create chaos in your day-to-day life.
Likewise, this scenario is now becoming present in the world of IT. Many organisations are embracing hybrid cloud, and this can require workloads to be moved across infrastructures. Because of this, it can often feel like IT professionals are packing up and moving to a new house on a regular basis – only to sometimes have to move back again. But with security, integration and protection concerns being front and centre of migrations, the real question is: does it really make sense to take all of your workloads with you?
Finding your dream location
Technology is constantly evolving, and never seems to sit still. So, companies that are beginning on their digital transformation journey should be looking to take advantage of new technologies as quickly as possible. It’s always been a challenge to move away from legacy technologies in favour of new and better options. The trials around migration have now become accepted, if not expected. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Ideally, IT organisations need to be able to shift data and workloads confidently, seamlessly, and quickly. This can mean moving workloads to and from a number of different locations, including server to server, data centre to data centre, test environments to QA, AWS to Azure, or on-premises and back again. No matter where workloads are moving, IT owners should expect it to be seamless and fast, while also ensuring complete protection to the data in transit.
Choosing the right ‘removal service’
Mobility solutions have gone through their own small evolution over the past few years. The traditional method to upgrade systems was the ‘lift-and-shift’ method, where applications were lifted from old servers and placed into new hardware. However, the process is both labour and time intensive, and is usually filled with vulnerabilities.
The biggest problem with approaching upgrades in this way is the substantial amount of downtime that is usually required. Coupled with the large amount of ‘unknowns’ means it is easy to slip up and fail in the initial attempts of major projects.
This becomes even more critical as companies in every sector begin to embrace software and business applications as key business drivers. Workloads need to be moved around without downtime interrupting the customer experience, whether you’re a retailer dependent on online sales, a bank that needs the most up-to-date app to keep customers happy, or a booking agency that relys on its ‘always-available’ website.
As this becomes more of a need in our modern, everyday lives, organisations should start looking towards mobility solutions that are agnostic for hypervisor, storage, and cloud. It needs to be able to perform fail-over, fail back, and regression tests prior to the action.
Getting everything moved in one go
To achieve new levels of operational excellence and agility, every company will need to transform and modernise its IT. More often than not, this means moving workloads which, as already noted, is no easy feat. Many companies have too many technology stacks in their environment, and also want to leverage the cloud, which brings even more complexity with it.
Businesses need to transform with all of this in mind, and still ensure no downtime. Employing a technology that can migrate workloads to the desired location with resilient countermeasures to protect against the impact of these changes is the key.
Using point solutions for migration, protection, and resilience refers back to the ‘lift and shift’ manual movement of workloads that was clunky, complex, and worryingly risky. Trying to combine business continuity and disaster recovery with a separate backup product linked to the cloud infrastructure solution that enables hybrid cloud is also asking for trouble.
Similar to moving into your new house, once you have hired the removal service to come in, take your belongings, load it into the van and take it to your new house, it’s hard to go back to ‘DIY’ moving. The same can be said for moving and protecting workloads to embrace a new infrastructure model – find a tool that does it all.
The best tool will be able to easily move a workload to a new site or to the cloud, no matter what the reason is. And as the business’ IT infrastructure grows to become more flexible, it’s important that IT teams feel assured that all workloads, no matter where they reside, are protected, and can always be moved again with ease.
Although moving house can be a nightmare, it’s simply a fact of life – and IT is no exception here. In the same way you’d research into the mover that would be handling all of your worldly possessions, it’s important that you find the right tool that will pack your workloads safely, in bubble wrap if needed, handle them with care, and get them to their destination on time.
Steve Blow, Technology Evangelist at Zerto