New report lays out how best to migrate your existing applications to the cloud

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The Cloud Standards Customer Council (CSCC) has published a new document assessing best practice for migrating applications to the cloud, including data transfer requirements and application performance management (APM).

The latest 16 page release is a supplementary document to the 28 page behemoth (pdf) released in December 2013 outlining a migration roadmap for businesses in six easy steps; assess applications and workloads; build a business case; develop a technical approach; adopt a flexible integration model; address security and privacy requirements; and manage the migration.

This paper, however, is more concerned with assessing performance and response time requirements, and offers up some interesting pitfalls for would-be adopters.  “Generally speaking, some applications and workloads are more suitable for cloud computing than others,” the researchers note.

The report assesses a series of data transfer requirements for each workload, be they high, moderate or low latency, yet questions the usage of data discovery tools or questionnaires in assessing each workload – “they do not assess the business requirements and end-to-end transaction flow.”

As a result, the researchers come up with a new three step routine to migrate existing applications to cloud computing:

  • Identify business transactions and document their end-to-end application data flow: Understanding specific business transactions, in terms of their throughput and data usage, is much better than questionnaires and discovery tools, the researchers argue. The report cites an eCommerce application which may have both ‘Add to cart’ and ‘Go to checkout’ options. To assess whether it’s right to move to cloud, each facet has to be examined, from preparing the warehouse, to analysing customer behaviour.
  • Perform a response time impact risk assessment: There are several factors at play here, according to the researchers: each transaction needs to be assessed based on sensitivity to delay and business importance. Transactions which score highly on both are worthy of being response time tested – again, this goes far deeper than the average questionnaire or discovery tool.
  • Perform response time impact testing: Once it’s possible to assess each application’s response on a timed basis, the researchers split the services into two; tier 1 services which become remote, on a wide area network (WAN), from the end users when they were local area before; and application to application or shared services, which become separated across a WAN.

The report also gives advice on application management, with several ways developers can use APM. The researchers recommend end-user experience monitoring, deep dive performance monitoring, analysis of multi-step transactions and transaction based troubleshooting, among others.

You can read the full report here.

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