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Linking Cloud Computing to Your Legacy Infrastructure

Editorial Team
by Atlantic.Net (219posts) under HIPAA Compliant Database Hosting

Almost four out of every five IT decision-makers feel hemmed in by traditional computing systems, according to a recent survey.  Companies that want to move confidently into the future – at least for now – must figure out how best to integrate their legacy architectures with the cloud.

  • Survey: 80% of IT Leaders Call Legacy Infrastructure an Obstacle
  • Migration – Are We Making Mny Progress?
  • Fast-Forward to 2015

Survey: 80% of IT Leaders Call Legacy Infrastructure an Obstacle

CIOs and IT directors say it’s difficult for them to meet business goals because of legacy servers, reductions in spending on computing, and a dearth of professionals who have the specialized knowledge and experience they need. That fact was revealed by a 2014 poll of 250 IT decision-makers.

The study, designed and performed in conjunction by ControlCircle and Vanson Bourne, shows how substantially the legacy infrastructures of yesterday are making it difficult to expand and adapt today. 70% of survey participants said that they were being held back by existing machines.

“With so much effort going into ‘keeping the lights on’, and almost all businesses experiencing regular availability issues,” explained ControlCircle managing director Carmen Carey, “it is hardly surprising that IT leaders are often unable to fulfill their ambitions.”

53% of CIOs and IT executives said that the diversification of infrastructures and software tracking systems to manage them is decreasing the consistency of service quality and making high-availability more elusive. Three in ten said that this current challenge will become increasingly intense as the third platform (cloud/mobile/social/big data) gradually becomes the standard for the IT landscape.

The authors of this report wanted to get a sense of the market as a whole. To that end, the executives’ opinions came from a broad spectrum of industrial types:

  • Banks
  • Consultancies
  • Healthcare providers
  • Manufacturing organizations
  • Public utilities
  • Tech companies
  • Telecommunications firms

As Carey sees it, the findings suggest that CIOs are dealing with numerous obstacles that prevent them from maintaining service quality and gearing their attention toward development. The bigger a company is, she says, the more susceptible it is to problems with service quality since the legacy infrastructure is broader.

However, “with enterprises also more focused on the reduction of capex,” Carey adds, “they need to identify specific areas for discrete IT projects that use innovative commercials and tools to help them achieve their strategic goals.”

Migration – Are We Making Any Progress?

Unfortunately, transitioning to the cloud is often more challenging than it first appears –hence the necessity of strong and transparent support. For a plethora of reasons, companies struggle. If all you had to do was grab the data and move it, hybrid cloud would be the obvious model already, argued Arthur Cole in IT Business Edge in 2013.

In 2015, progress has been made, but the ongoing transition is still tricky. Let’s look at Cole’s comments and others before fast-forwarding to a 2015 survey to find out if the problem is solved.

“[M]any organizations are afraid to pull the plug until they are assured that this new paradigm is secure, reliable and resilient enough to entrust with critical data and applications,” Cole suggested.

One major problem was lack of clarity upfront about how much cloud would cost. Organizations sometimes didn’t factor in the expenses of migrating data and connecting systems, said Gregory Ness of CloudVelox. They may have assumed those costs were included, but they standardly aren’t.

Everyone wants the cloud to be fully accessible and to work intelligently with the legacy system for the greatest efficiency, remarked Cole, but that requires sophisticated management.

Since the issues of migration and integration can be so vexing to IT decision-makers, everything should be built into the general system upgrade, according to blogger Rick Blaisdell. Ordinarily, companies think of those essential transition elements as tasks to complete in order to get to the cloud, while they should really be thought of as a major part of what it means to use cloud servers. Now, keep in mind, migration is becoming easier and more seamless all the time, partially because you get a better support expertise than you did in the past. Migration tools are also becoming stronger and more full-featured.

“Integrating [your cloud environment] with other cloud instances and legacy IT infrastructure … will be the single most challenging aspect of IT in the new millennium,” argued Cole. “Without that, the cloud will be too unwieldy, and too ephemeral, to provide any real productivity gains for the knowledge workforce.”

Fast-Forward to 2015

Although this warning bell about migration was sounded as far back as a couple of years ago, the industry has clearly not done enough to help businesses migrate as simply and efficiently as possible.

Based on the perspectives of 1600 IT leaders in Europe and United States, the NTT Communications report Cloud Reality Check 2015 revealed that 41% of tech decision-makers think that switching systems over to cloud is “more trouble than it’s worth.”

The respondents to that survey have clearly not worked with Atlantic.Net and our cloud hosting or HIPAA compliant database hosting, where we believe that our business thrives on the support we provide to our customers.

By Moazzam Adnan

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