Old Apps, New Apps and Non-Virtualized Apps: What to Expect When You’re In the Cloud; First-Year Tips, Tricks & Tutorials

May 13, 2013 by Diana Nolting

what to expect when you're in the cloud

This is a series of posts appearing weekly that highlights the unique experiences, questions and successes individuals have their first year in the cloud. Posts are based on clients and non-clients alike. To submit your question, or story, tweet @Bluelock.

Today's question focuses on a strategic topic that is dealt with even before beginning a first-year cloud implementation.

"Does it make a difference if you are migrating an old app or starting with a new app in the cloud? What about if the app isn't virtualized yet?"

According to Bluelock CTO Pat O'Day there is a lot of differentiation between each category, and there will be a lot of learning that may be different with each instance.

New Applications vs. Migrating Existing Applications

"One of the easiest ways to join the cloud is to start with a brand new application," O'Day explains. "Everything in that application can be built initially to be cloud-friendly and scale and work in the cloud."

"Where we see more challenges," O'Day continues," is when people migrate an existing application to the cloud that wasn't built for cloud, or hasn't been virtualized before."

Entering the Cloud is About Learning

O'Day explains that if your application is already virtualized, there's not a lot of change that would need to happen to move it out to a public cloud. Entering the cloud is a lot about learning. You'll learn about your application and how it consumes resources but you'll also learn a lot about the way cloud works.

"The first question to address is whether you need the same level of virtual resources in the cloud," explains O'Day. "You're also going to need to learn about pay-as-you-go use and self-service as well as automation."

"By working with a public cloud provider, you're also learning about a form of outsourcing," says O'Day. "You'll learn a lot about SLAs, uptime and promises as you understand what the provider needs to deliver its service and how that meshes with what you can do well in the cloud as a consumer."

If your application hasn't been virtualized, there are even more learning curves you will need to adjust to as you walk through the virtualization process and see how your application consumes virtual resources. However, if it hasn't been virtualized there are major learning curves that you will need to prepare for.

Segment your Cloud Strategy

"Success, in the end, is best achieved by eating the elephant one piece at a time," says O'Day. "By stretching out your strategy into learning steps you'll be more likely to have success and less likely to be overwhelmed." 

Sometimes new applications are the best way to learn cloud as you begin and work through the new service model cloud provides.

When migrating an application to the cloud, it's best if you virtualize in a separate step so you can learn about how that application works in a virtualized state, before adding cloud to the mix.

Slow and steady will win the race as you begin your journey in the cloud your first year.

Learn More Cloud Basics:

What is a Virtual Datacenter? »

Common uses for Virtual Datacenters »