A Step-By-Step Process to Matching Your Workload to a Cloud

October 11, 2012 by Diana Nolting

Matching your workload or application to the right fit Virtual Datacenter can be harder to do than finding the right place to live when you move to a new city.  You can make assumptions about your own requirements and what you’ll need in the near future, but you likely won’t find a “forever” home right away.  When moving to a new city, you need to find the right place to live for the foreseeable future to meet all your needs, with an eye on being able to grow and move in the far future, when you’re ready. 

Workload placement is very much the same.  Your workload goes through a lifecycle just like you do.  It has an uncertain, emerging phase, a core/strategic main-use phase and a declining/end-of-life phase.  There likely isn’t going to be a single correct home, or VDC, for the entire lifecycle of your application.  It needs to be able to move to maximize efficiency and available resources.

With the application lifecycle in mind, you should assess where your applications and workloads are placed multiple times throughout their lifespan.  Here are four easy steps to help you make that assessment:

Step One: Assess your risk profile

There are different risk profiles for different applications, so you should consider what your application’s requirements are for: security, performance, flexibility, contractual commitment and IT governance. 

You should ensure that you get the appropriate level of value from the Virtual Datacenter based on what you identify during your risk profile assessment.


Step Two: Assess resource predictability

Identify your flexibility needs based on how predictable your workload is. You need different degrees of flexibility for production vs. pre-production workloads.

Identify how much capacity you will need to be able to quickly access. For top-tier workloads, you want the right amount of capacity available when you need it.

Step Three: Assess service and resource management needs

Analyze how you will need to be able to distribute capacity. You may need the ability to distribute capacity across teams, departments, applications or projects.

Self-service or managed service? For some business units and projects, you need self-service cloud management capabilities white for others you may need managed services to achieve optimal ROI.

Step Four: Assess cost sensitivity

What services are you willing to pay for vs. do yourself? You need to be able to quickly make some changes yourself, while others might be better handled by the cloud provider. Identify a balance to prevent too much service for the business need and budget.

You should establish how much you are willing to pay for security, performance, flexibility and contractual commitment levels.

To optimize your IT budget, it is important to have the flexibility to change your mind and move workloads around, out to the cloud to the appropriate platform and back if needed. Understand what types of changes and movements you can make with your resources once they are in a Virtual Datacenter.

To find out more about how to place your application in the right Virtual Datacenter, download the free whitepaper “How To Choose the Right Virtual Datacenter for Your Needs” here: http://www.bluelock.com/form/whitepaper-choosing-the-right-virtual-datacenter/

Number images courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/.