Migrating to Cloud Services: A Wholesale Switchover or a Step-by-Step Approach?

Summary Bullets:

  • SOHO and SMB users have the opportunity to migrate to cloud services in a single move.
  • Joel Stradling

    Larger enterprises and MNCs tend to adopt more slowly, virtualizing one IT system at a time.

How to make the switch from owning premises-based infrastructure to having all IT hosted in a cloud environment is a tricky question for IT managers to consider.  There are so many ‘cloud’ flavours out there, such as public and private clouds, hybrid VPNs and hybrid cloud solutions.  Whether it happened by intent or by some coincidence, the multi-service converged access rollout by carriers investing in NGN has paved the way for smaller companies to place all of their ICT needs, should they so desire, into the cloud in one quick-fix move.  The capability of running voice, data and video over an Ethernet or IP interface at the customer premises has been around for a while, but telcos have realized that, once the multiservice access is in place, the customer can then be presented with a wide range of cloud add-ons, including all the ‘as-a-service’ possibilities: software, communications, storage, security, cloud computing and so on.  A SOHO or SME has fewer applications to run in most cases; thus, the market is seeing more prospects within this segment entirely embracing cloud services, and at reasonable price points, where infrastructure can be shared and non-critical traffic can run on the public Internet.

However, for larger companies, the move cannot be made all that swiftly due to the sheer numbers of applications that the end users might be using (up to 70 or 80 applications).  There still remains concern over security and placing all eggs in one basket.  In other words, should the network go down, all the hosted applications and databases that contain potentially sensitive data go down, too.  Hence, these segments are more likely to choose dedicated infrastructure, resilience and private cloud platforms to gain more stringent applications guarantees; adoption is a step-by-step phased approach, providing the opportunity to test one application or service running in the cloud at a time before moving to the next.

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