Virtual Data Technologies Streamline Cloud Migration

The debates over the benefits of cloud computing are over and now the race is on to take advantage of cloud environments.

Written by Charles Moore and Tom Foremski

The debates over the benefits of cloud computing are over, and now the race is on to take advantage of cloud environments as quickly as possible, because the prize for the winners is greater business agility and the chance to out-innovate competitors. In fact, IT has now become a strategic asset especially if it can be accelerated in the cloud.

First mover advantage in creating more agile IT can become a killer competitive move. Because in a digital business world every business will be defined by its abilities to harness technologies, every company is a tech company. The cloud has been accepted as a mainstay in IT. And one of the things the 2010's decade  will be remembered for is starting the era of the global cloud migration.

This rush towards cloud-based IT can be seen in Amazon Web Services' most recent financial quarter, which jumped 70% year over year to $2.4 billion. And it explains why IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and many others are expanding their cloud services with new tools, services and reduced prices to attract enterprises to their cloud offerings.

Pressure to move fast

A survey by CIO magazine published earlier this year, found that 88% of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) reported that their job has grown increasingly challenging.

More than 71% said that they are expected to provide high levels of operational efficiency, integrated security and offer innovative applications and technologies at the same time.

CIOs are facing pressure from their bosses, who are realizing that the cloud could be essential to gaining business agility. And also pressure from line of business groups demanding that IT provide them with cutting edge productivity gains from innovative technologies. The traditionally cautious IT organization is being pushed and shoved from every direction to move faster. It's a big culture shock because IT departments no longer have the luxury of spending years planning a big IT transformation. They have to utilize the cloud - private, public or the more typical hybrid - as quickly as possible.

But speed is dangerous and missteps are easy to make. he result is risk of disrupting your own business during the process and causing already high costs to climb upwards.

Many things can go wrong:

  • The migration fails because of insufficient testing in the cloud environment - including the lack of multiple cutover rehearsals.
  • Interruption of IT services to business groups during the data migration can result in lost revenues during the downtime.
  • Application failures because they were not tested with the freshest datasets leading to unscheduled downtime and lost revenues.
  • Security risks from storing sensitive data in cloud services where there is a less visibility into how that data is stored and copied.
  • Legacy applications are notoriously hard to move to the cloud yet they are core to the business. The cost and difficulty of the move can stall the entire project.
  • Higher than expected costs for database copies and other large datasets in the cloud.
  • Despite all these considerable risks, cloud migrations are seen as future-proofing the entire business, and are no longer optional. They are required.

Virtual data...

Virtual data technologies greatly reduce the challenges and risks of cloud migration. With virtual data, data is lightweight and easier to manage and secure. And virtual data can be kept in sync with the latest datasets which means delivering fresh data to the right teams at the right time, is easier.

Here's how CIOs have used Delphix virtual data technologies to speed up cloud migrations by over 50% and remove major risks:

  • Faster, parallel testing of applications in the cloud environment using the freshest data - including the ability to perform multiple cutover rehearsals with no impact to production.
  • Delphix data masking identifies and removes sensitive data, such as social security numbers or credit card information, with real-looking but fictitious data. Once data is masked, all subsequent copies of the data are secure and pose significantly less data risk than unmasked data. Mask data once and then you can create as many secure copies in the cloud as needed.
  • Virtual data technologies provide a giant "Undo" button for IT staff. If a migration fails at 90% complete, for example, with Delphix it takes just a few minutes and a couple of clicks to roll back the entire system to any point in time and resume operations.
  • No need to make multiple copies of large databases and datasets and pay for their data storage fees. With Delphix there is only need for one copy of data. And disaster recovery is a lot simpler and much faster.

Delphix customers have typically shrunk their migration timetables by more than 50%, and eliminated cutover downtime and huge amounts of data risk. Virtual data technologies are incredibly powerful and could be essential to any company looking to increase business agility.

Find out how Delphix speeds up cloud migration: