IT refreshes are full of challenges, even more so today with the emergence and rapid growth of cloud computing. Not only are you considering what is the right solution to meet your business requirements as closely as possible, you’re often looking in to your crystal ball to aim for this to remain aligned 1, 3, 5 years into the future. With businesses now frequently adopting a hybrid cloud strategy, often this can result in a split strategy depending on where applications fit best at that time, whether due to compliance or performance reasons.
The biggest challenge that ultimately arises from this is that of application mobility, how do you get your applications from where they are today to where they need to be tomorrow?
As we all know, with the multitude of vendors out there, this is traditionally not something that is without its tribulations. In fact, even migrating workloads between platforms of the same vendor can have their own difficulties.
With any major transformation a business’s first concern will be how to minimise disruption and ensure that any migration window is kept as short as possible. Any revenue lost, as a result of this window, will absolutely have to be represented in any ROI representation.
The key to any migration ultimately starts with the data move. With traditional tools the data move is directly linked to the migration window, with VMs made available at the end of this move. So how do you accurately predict how long this migration will take? Well you don’t, you hypothesise. The key here is that you don’t have any control over when the VM(s) appear on the new platform, they will appear when they appear.
There are other challenges here too, like how do you ensure all application dependencies are migrated together so that you don’t end up with applications running across multiple platforms. Likely more concerning however is what happens if the copy fails? Starting this again from scratch will drastically alter your migration window. Lastly, with the complexity of migrations, being able to test this, prior to performing it live, would allow you the ability to validate your configuration and migration process. Unfortunately, these tools often lack this basic functionality too.
So, what happens when you want to move between vendors? Well in addition to the above, you also need to convert your workloads into the new vendors format. The good news is most vendors have tools that can assist with this. Great! Well not quite.
These tools often require a fair amount of “manual” intervention, putting a strain on your resources. They are also often designed just to get you onto the vendors platform with no thought about how to get you off, something vendors are obviously not concerned with. Ultimately all of this takes time. Having a hybrid cloud strategy but no capability to easily move workloads between the various platforms quickly and efficiently means it’s very difficult to stay on top of costs and other overheads.
There are potential alternatives here involving in-guest agent based solutions, however these too have challenges. Installing an agent in hundreds of VMs has a significant overhead on resource again, whilst the potential performance impact on the VMs themselves can also be substantial. This method also means each VM is typically protected individually, meaning VM dependencies often arrive on the new site from varying points in time and ultimately out of sync.
Well what if there was a vendor agnostic tool that could bridge this gap? What if there was a tool that could seamlessly provide you the application mobility between these platforms without having lengthy migration windows, the need for in-guest agents and just a four click process instead of the resource heavy alternatives? What if you could test the migration process before the actual live migration? What CIO wouldn’t want this?
Zerto’s IT Resilience Platform removes these shackles that have traditionally made migrations lengthy, challenging and impacting. By presenting an agnostic approach to replication, hardware, hypervisor and cloud, lock-in is removed, enabling true mobility across competing platforms without the need for manual conversions or implementations.
– Steve Blow is the Lead Systems Engineer for Alliances and Strategic Accounts covering the EMEA region for Zerto. Prior to being at Zerto, Steve was a Solutions Architect at Pulsant for 6 years, working primarily with large, high-performance Enterprise architectures, designs, and systems. Steve has over 12 years of experience with designing, implementing, and supporting highly available solutions and prides himself on ensuring he has a comprehensive understanding of all associated business requirements. Over his career Steve has helped many Enterprise companies achieve their goals with his business acumen and technical knowledge.