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Cloud adoption brings enterprise-class technologies to small and mid-sized businesses that can help level the playing field when it comes to going after larger market share. However, a cloud migration initially brings on inflated costs due to maintaining two environments at once, your on-prem data center and your cloud environment. This inflated cost can make it difficult to keep long-term cost benefits front of mind, but we assure you that your cloud migration is less expensive in the long run.

Every cloud journey is fundamentally different and is determined by the specific needs of your business. When planning for your migration, you need to keep in mind the most important aspects of your chosen cloud environment that your organization intends to leverage.

On-Prem Data Center Expenses

According to Gartner, 80% of total IT costs occur after the initial purchase of physical hardware. This price increase is primarily due to high maintenance costs imposed on organizations by the OEMs. Prices of OEM maintenance can increase up to 70% each year, making it easy for them to force customers to buy new equipment. Maintenance costs add up quickly, especially when maintaining an on-prem data center critical to business operations. 

For companies moving to the cloud, these inflated on-prem maintenance prices coupled with migration costs create a scenario where companies are paying for two environments at once. While this sounds intimidating, there are several steps you can take to make your cloud migration more cost-effective.

Audit Your Current IT Infrastructure

Before mapping out your cloud journey, it’s imperative that you understand the scale of your operations and all critical infrastructure on which your organization depends. Start by determining how much you pay for hardware, such as physical servers, spare parts, maintenance contracts, software licenses, etc. Your accounting department should have all of these costs documented and accessible for these very instances.

While defining these costs, it would also be wise to find how much storage, network bandwidth, and database capacity your organization’s servers and technologies consume. Additionally, you should note the type of databases, potential storage space, and the number of servers you’ll need to calculate your cloud infrastructure cost. 

Gathering this data will establish a baseline understanding of your current IT environment and assist in creating KPIs after migration to measure the effectiveness of your cloud environment.

Selecting the Right Applications to Migrate First

Some applications don’t initially integrate well into certain cloud environments, but can be redesigned or reconfigured to work better in the cloud environment of your choice. Your team will need to determine how much investment, both time and money, that your organization is willing to spend on certain applications being refitted for the cloud. Some select public cloud platforms, such as AWS, offer services that allow an application to migrate without reconfiguring workloads. In fact, AWS offers a workload migration evaluation tool that within a few clicks will give you tailored results detailing how your applications will improve from moving off-prem into their cloud environment.

As for any cloud migration, it’s best to migrate non-critical applications off-prem first to establish expectations and protocol when transferring data. After managing low-priority applications in the cloud, your team will understand how critical applications will transfer and what to expect from the process. Your team will then have clear expectations when migrating more business-critical applications, avoiding any operational disruptions.

When your desired applications and workloads are now securely in the cloud, your team needs to ensure that post-migration access is granted to the appropriate users.

Reduce Cloud Migration Costs with Third-Party Maintenance

In addition to increasing the price of maintenance year after year, OEMs have an End of Service Life (EOSL) policy that indicates the end of services and updates for data center equipment. Once equipment reaches EOSL, the OEM will no longer sell, provide updates, or renew hardware support on these systems. If your current equipment is EOSL, your OEM maintenance costs can skyrocket to over 100% per year!

OEMs typically have rigid contract terms and do not allow for short-term agreements (3 months, 6 months, etc.), whereas third-party maintenance (TPM) providers offer short-term contracts with monthly and quarterly options. This flexibility gives customers the ability to add items as they fall off expensive OEM contracts. When moving to the cloud, flexible short-term contracts also make it easier to decommission and remove assets from maintenance contracts as needed.

The one-size-fits-all approach of OEM support has quickly become a non-starter for many companies. In addition to the fact that most OEM support contracts are insanely overpriced, the pricing structure is set up to make buying brand new equipment the easiest option when something fails instead of fixing the issue.

All this is to say that when migrating from legacy systems to off-prem, maintaining EOL/EOSL hardware is imperative to keeping your cloud migration costs down while keeping your critical business operations up.

Cloud Migration Checklist

Now that you have more knowledge about cloud migrations, let’s go over a checklist of what you may need to make it all happen:

  • Form your migration team— The migration team that you assemble should include industry experts with extensive experience with cloud migrations. 
  • Assess your IT environment— Categorizing and determining what hardware in your IT environment is critical to business operations is the first step in developing the migration strategy.
  • Determine the order of application migration
  • Determine infrastructure requirements for applications
  • Determine the best migration solution to build a strategy around
  • Form a migration plan for each application
  • Test the plan
  • Execute a phased approach to migration
  • Implement management tools
  • Monitor and optimize performance as needed

How ReluTech Can Help

ReluTech is an IT solutions provider focused on reducing infrastructure data center costs for cloud-committed customers. We provide cost-effective solutions for customers who own physical data center assets, helping them unlock today’s capital value of their equipment to offset the costs of the migration bubble. ReluTech’s solution stack helps reduce the cost of managing, maintaining, and upgrading data center environments for cloud-committed customers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR | DAVID NORMAN

David Norman is an Enterprise Client Executive at ReluTech. His top priority is to maintain relationships with current customers and help reduce costs in the data center so they can continue to innovate in IT. Outside of the office, David enjoys grilling, playing golf, participating in trivia at his brother’s coffee shop, and spending time with his wife and family.

Get in touch with David: dnorman@relutech.com