Easing the transition to the cloud

Easing the transition to the cloud

Using workload migration automation software, Dimension Data is working to remove the pain often associated with cloud migrations.

Moving to the cloud can deliver a host of technology and business benefits, but according to industry experts, the journey is not without obstacles.

“Cloud migrations typically require a substantial amount of manual intervention,” says Michael Ritchken, principal consultant for cloud services at Dimension Data. “That can slow things down and create the potential for human errors.”

Manually migrating workloads necessitates planning and setup, he explains. Templates must be created and software agents must be installed on each origin server prior to the transition. When dozens or hundreds of servers are involved, it’s a lengthy process that increases the possibility of mistakes. What’s more, the servers often have to be rebooted after the agents have been installed, taking the applications down and potentially impacting business-critical services.

For a cloud provider like Dimension Data, protracted migrations that take applications offline are not good for business.  

“We need to remove roadblocks wherever and whenever we can,” Ritchken explains. “Moving to the cloud should not be a painful or risky process.”

Faster migrations without downtime

Dimension Data is in the process of deploying RiverMeadow software-as-a-service (SaaS) to ease cloud transitions. Fast, secure, and automated, the solution leverages application programming interfaces (APIs) to mirror server environments and move them into Dimension Data’s Cisco Powered™ cloud—without interrupting workload function or performance.

“It’s a more direct transfer,” says Scott Colgan, vice president of marketing at RiverMeadow. “Our SaaS solution acts as an intermediary between the origin servers and cloud platforms, so the origin servers don’t need to be affected. In fact, they don’t even know it’s happening.”

“Through a series of mouse clicks, you identify the servers you want to migrate, you identify the destination, and off you go,” Ritchken adds. “It’s less intrusive, automated, and much faster.”

Less risk, less downtime

This means less upfront planning, less manual intervention, less time, and less risk for Dimension Data customers moving to the cloud. And zero downtime for the applications and workloads being transferred.

“It takes about 30 minutes on average to deploy a software agent on a server,” Ritchken says. “If you’re moving 100 servers to the cloud, that represents 50 hours of manual work. And that’s just setup. You haven’t moved anything yet.”

Using traditional methods, it could take as many as 17 days to move those 100 workloads. Dimension Data anticipates it will take as little as three days using RiverMeadow software.

“Some organizations avoid the cloud because of the time, cost, and complexity involved,” says Ritchken. “We’re removing those barriers.”

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