Critical Success Factors for Application Onboarding: Part One - Workload Analysis

By: Jelle Frank van der Zwet

No IT department wants to start a cloud migration project without feeling confident that it can deliver a smooth, trouble-free switchover to a cloud environment. And while the benefits of cloud computing are widely understood, complexities surrounding the actual onboarding of application workloads are often overlooked.

There are three activities in preparing for onboarding that are critical to the ultimate success of the process.

  • Workload analysis
  • Getting the application cloud-ready
  • Choosing a cloud provider

In this post, I’ll explain more fully the Workload analysis phase and why it is critical to the success of the onboarding process.

To minimise challenges that come with migrating part of the application workload it is important to begin with a comprehensive planning period, including performing a workload analysis.

An application workload comprises all of the components required for the proper performance of an application. It includes the processing power used directly by the application, the storage being read from and written to, the network connectivity being used, and the application's interactions with monitoring and management tools, security services, authentication services such as Active Directory (AD), and other relevant services.

As such, no two enterprise workloads are alike and it’s critical that businesses understand their current impact to operations before deciding whether they are appropriate candidates for migration. For instance, applications that are easy to migrate to the cloud might not add any benefit in the cloud for the particular organization. Similarly, the cost benefits that come from migrating complex workloads might outweigh the risks involved.

Enterprises should also use the workload analysis phase to determine the most appropriate cloud migration path – whether it be to re-host on IaaS, refactor for PaaS, revise for IaaS or PaaS, etc. They can also determine what the most appropriate cloud environment for their applications will be (public, private, hybrid).

Workload analysis is absolutely critical for application onboarding because it will impact, either positively or negatively, the outcome of the migration process. In the table below , you’ll see a comprehensive workload assessment checklist that helps enterprises conduct their analysis. For more information on workload analysis, you can read my whitepaper: A Practical Guide to Cloud Onboarding.

Check back for my blog next week in which I’ll explore the second critical success factor in application onboarding, getting the application cloud-ready.

Cloud Onboarding Considerations