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Steps You Must Take to Move to the Cloud from a Colocation Environment

There is no denying the fact that large numbers of businesses which own infrastructure for hosting purposes are making a move to the cloud. They are eager to choose a cloud solution in exchange for a monthly fee. The key reasons behind this move from on-site or colocation hosting settings to the cloud seem to be legal, performance-related or security factors. So, the basic idea is to cut down on the operational costs and also get more time for focusing on core business activities.  Businesses which are moving to the cloud typically retain racks in their offices or have their infrastructures in data centers where they lease rack spaces. However, in both these types of situations, one can move the infrastructure to the cloud even if it must be shifted from a data center or an office to a new data center.

What are the things you need for a successful transition from colocation hosting to a cloud?

To start with, you will need to have a really strong case to justify this migration to the cloud. It is not enough to only take into consideration the capital costs, colocation hosting costs or data traffic costs. To have a comprehensive business plan, you must consider multiple aspects:

• You need to take into account the total costs for buying the hardware and equipment’s.

• You must also consider the support costs for the technical support your hardware vendor will give you.

• You will also need to spend for maintaining spare equipment’s which mean you must have extra equipment for all networking hardware. Else, you should sign up for a costly contract with your hardware vendors to ensure rapid replacement for any malfunctioning components.

• You must also consider license costs for software.

• Finally, you have to consider the expenses of maintaining staff that will monitor and look after the equipment’s. In case you manage the platform by yourself, you must have a round-the-clock team which is ready to assist you whenever there is an emergency. You will also have to include the costs of training such staff about different hosting technologies.

When you have all these different costs in hand you must compare these to monthly cloud hosting fees. You should typically consider a three-year period because a longer write-off period means you are actually trying to use outdated hardware to get maximum security and reliability. You can then compare these aforementioned costs with monthly fees which take into account all such costs and even extra one-time fees. The additional fees can be customer-specific like changing ERP systems to make them compatible in private clouds or buying new monitoring tools etc. It may also include migration costs to the new private cloud. Understanding these costs is more of a challenging task.

When you need to move specific services to other data centers you will have to consider two different ways to do it:

– You may virtualize all the servers and then move these one by one to a private cloud. You may have to change the IP addresses and this may turn out to be problematic. The problem here is that the write-off period for the current hardware may not expire simultaneously. So, you will need to either extend the support agreements which you have on some outdated hardware or write-off some other hardware faster.

– Another alternative that can help you eliminate this problem is to shift the complete infrastructure to a new data center. This is a huge change and you may get it done within a couple of days. Some data centers will even let you connect the existing colocation racks to the new private clouds. So, here the transition from the colocation environment to a cloud environment is not rushed and you may even get to retain the existing IP address.

These considerations reveal that any successful shift from one infrastructure to another is not going to take place hurriedly. The process should involve elaborate planning and preparation. It has become quite clear that the cloud solution is here to stay and that is has “won”. Cloud hosting is affordable and scalable; it lets businesses look after their business matters instead of focusing on maintaining their IT infrastructure. Colocation is at best an interim solution for businesses. it lets you rent spaces which is less than handling an entire data center but which will still give you access control and you get to keep your own hardware. When you are not obsesses about outfitting your data center you can choose the private cloud. Here, the host gives the hardware. So, it offers the best features of both worlds, between locked-down access to resources and dedicated resources, between colocation and multi-tenant cloud solutions.

About Anees Malik (12 Posts)

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