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Much of the way we think about migrating to the cloud is centered around the applications, dependencies and processes that are the core of our business. While the cloud offers scalability and flexibility, it will be severely limited by an ill-equipped network. The reality is that network architecture is key to successfully migrating to and operating in the cloud. End users rely on connecting to the network to be able to access cloud resources. Furthermore, application performance will only be as good as its underlying network. As businesses expand, they are expected to operate and manage applications regardless of networking challenges, and only a robust network can be expected to meet this challenge.Application Performance
One key network challenge encountered in migrations to the cloud are specifying bandwidth requirements of cloud-hosted applications. Cloud-hosted applications should be able to demonstrate similar or better performance to on-premise deployments. If sufficient network bandwidth is not available for the application to perform, it will result in latency, degraded user experience and potentially unmet business application requirements. Not fully understanding the constraints of bandwidth and latency will eliminate all of the potential advantages of cloud migration. Seriously consider these network constraints prior to initiating your move. Using network modeling tools can help you to evaluate present application performance and identify areas for improvement pre-migration. By examining these areas, you can determine and plan application requirements.
Legacy networks can present issues with cloud scalability. Traditional, router-based enterprise networks are often built on many routers and complex configurations. This would entail months of implementing enterprise-wide network changes, which would make it impractical to meet business demands during migration to the cloud. An additional challenge is controlling the network paths of applications across users and business requirements, which is very difficult considering legacy routing methods and issues with this can impede cloud migrations. Often the full potential of a cloud migration can only be realized with updated network architecture (potentially with the help of software-defined networking) that will ultimately improve agility, improve network management and lower operational costs.
Network Resource Consumption
When launching into a cloud migration, it’s often too late when organizations realize that it cannot be completed as quickly as they had hoped. Migrating legacy applications, such as on-premise email systems, especially individual mailboxes, to Office 365 can consume a massive amount of networking resources. Allocating and optimizing network resources can help you to migrate data faster and provide a reasonable amount of predictability in your migration project, helping you to avoid interrupting critical business traffic.
Unite your Application, Network and Security Teams
An isolated, disparate technical team will only be interested in the success of their own technical domains. Application, networking and security teams should be brought together and guided by an experienced Project Manager. Ensuring a successful cloud migration requires one overall Project Manager to spearhead the project, to ensure all technology teams are effectively communicating and create success criteria that unite their efforts. This will help to maintain both a successful end-user experience as well as business productivity.
Deciding to make a move to the cloud is a big decision with substantial potential advantages that can only be reaped with a reliable, robust network. Align’s expert advisory services and current state assessments provide a comprehensive picture of where your infrastructure and network stands.
Reach out to one of our experts for a free consultation to learn more.
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