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By Michael Bacon

How network performance monitoring can lead to cloud migration success

Cloud migration has been under way for some time, but businesses are still in the process of moving applications to the cloud. Gartner research estimates that while 30% of new digital workloads were cloud-native in 2021, that number is expected to reach 95% by 2025. Separately, O’Reilly Media and SOC Magazine have each shown that 48% of companies plan to migrate at least half of their applications to the cloud by the end of 2022.

So despite all the talk, businesses are still largely in the middle of cloud migration.

Cloud migration is not smooth

Despite the prevalence of cloud migration, moving applications from on-premise to the cloud is often not as smooth as businesses would like. Roughly 75% of cloud projects are over budget, an almost equal percentage of firms are forced to back out applications, and about 38% of application migration to the cloud suffers from missed project deadlines.

A global pharmaceutical company tried to move nearly all of its workloads to the cloud in the past few years, according to McKinsey. But after 12 months of work, it had shifted only 40% of its first-year target.

Even if a business successfully moves an application to the cloud, there is still a high probability of complications down the line. Three quarters of IT organizations suffer from degrading business applications according to IDC research, 70% of the time IT learns about a performance problem after users have complained according to Gartner, and 30% of performance issues take more than a month to resolve, according toForrester research.

These are not positive outcomes.

The reason for cloud application headaches largely comes down to a lack of visibility. Businesses need performance visibility across their network infrastructure in order to baseline application performance before and after migration. This helps to determine where migration makes sense, and discover issues with applications or infrastructure as they arise both during migration and afterwards on an ongoing basis. An application that works as intended during migration will not necessarily keep working later on.

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Network performance monitoring helps with each step of application migration

There are several steps for the typical migration of an application to the cloud. First a business defines its goals, qualifies which applications to move, and designs the migration. Then the business tests the setup, does the actual migration, and monitors its performance after the migration on an ongoing basis. Network performance monitoring helps with each of these steps.

Goals and discovery. In the goals and discovery stages when a business is determining the why and which applications to move, network performance monitoring can help identify and screen each application for the potential move to the cloud by baselining network performance and needs, uncovering dependencies, and establishing the user profile. The needs and the role of the applications within the organization can be better understood before moving forward with a migration.

Design. In the design stage, network performance monitoring helps with the decisions around rehosting, replatforming, and whether rearchitecting or retirement of the application makes sense. Businesses can use an NPM tool to baseline how an application performs before migration, and what will be needed to make it work in the cloud.

Testing. The value of NPM during the testing stage is even more clear. Prior to migration, an NPM solution can validate the proposed cloud solution and ensure that it meets or exceeds what an organization has before. NPM can also ensure that the migration will have the necessary network and performance resources it needs. NPM can help businesses test multiple possible implementation options as well, and help the migration team uncover the precise network dynamics that could impact performance.

Migration. During the application migration stage, NPM can ensure that the expected results of the migration are met by assisting with spotting any needs or performance issues that were missed during planning and testing. NPM can make sure that the new setup meets or exceeds what came before, avoiding cloud application migration issues early in the migration.

Continuous monitoring. Once an application is moved to the cloud, NPM plays a critical role in ensuring that applications continue running as intended. NPM can monitor peak performance of applications to make sure they are getting the network resources they need, spot emerging performance issues before they impact users, and keep vendors honest by watching to make sure all SLA metrics are actually met on an ongoing basis.

See how Accedian Skylight can help with cloud application migration

Accedian’s cloud-based, real-time network and performance monitoring solution, Skylight, is built specifically for assisting with migration of applications to the cloud. Skylight can identify applications in use within an organization automatically, help qualify which should be migrated, visually show how these applications are being used and their dependencies, and both baseline pre-migration conditions and ensure that cloud applications run as expected during and after migration.

For more on the challenges of application migration to the cloud, and for a quick demo of how Skylight can help with migration, watch our short webinar, The catastrophically high failure rates of cloud migrations.