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Workload Migration Challenges and Solutions: How to Optimize Your Application Performance and Security

January 22, 2024
Workload Migration Challenges and Solutions

As organisations advance in their digital transformation journeys, they’re creating more applications than ever to meet modern customer and internal demands, that continuously raises the question of workload migration. Whether its cloud-native applications, traditional applications deployed in on-premises datacentres or modern applications deployed at edge locations, the number of apps is skyrocketing. In the 5th Annual Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) study commissioned by Nutanix, nearly all (94%) of the 1,450 respondents surveyed agreed with the statement that “one place to run and manage all applications and data across clouds is ideal for my organisation.” 

Modern organisations are faced with the dual challenge of not only building infrastructure that accommodates their newly developed apps but also ensuring seamless mobility for apps and data across diverse environments and between different clouds and on-premises setups. Workload migration and portability are essential to modernising your applications and fully embracing the benefits of the cloud. 


Migrating applications and data where you want them allows you to capitalise on unique features, prices, or performance capabilities of different cloud providers. Being able to move apps from the cloud back to the on-premises datacentre can also sometimes make sense for a variety of reasons. In our ECI study, we found that the top reasons for moving applications to separate locations were to: 

  • Improve security posture and/or meet regulatory requirements 
  • Integrate with native cloud services, such as AI or machine learning 
  • Improve data access speeds 
  • Gain better control of the application 

Intelligent workload placement is imperative for modern organisations, but making migrations efficient and cost-effective can be transformative for your business. The ECI report found that 99% of surveyed organisations had moved one or more applications to a different IT infrastructure in the past year—and 86% of organisations agreed that moving apps can be complex and costly. 

Today, there are significant operational and technical challenges impeding businesses’ ability to seamlessly move workloads. Let’s take a closer look.  

The Challenges of Migrating Workloads 

One of the biggest challenges of migrating applications and data stems from the fact that an app doesn’t typically reside on a single virtual machine (VM). In reality, an app often spans many VMs horizontally and incorporates multiple layers vertically, including everything from front-end web servers and custom middleware application layers to back-end databases. Additionally, considerations such as data gravity, the ease of moving apps and data in a hybrid multicloud architecture, or simply extending apps from one location to another all must be factored in when considering workload placement. 

While workload migration can be challenging, it is vital for efficient and successful IT operations. According to a Gartner report, 85% of workload placements will be sub-optimal by 2027, underscoring the need for an intelligent approach to moving or placing workloads where they make the most sense business-wise. Workloads positioned in suboptimal locations, due to historical reasons, can substantially affect IT efficiency, reliability, costs, quality of customer service, business value, and more. 

Other cloud migration challenges to consider include: 

  • Licensing costs – Migrating workloads to new cloud locations can require the re-purchase of new cloud platform licenses specific to that cloud provider or location. 
  • Workload sizing – Cloud providers typically use predefined instance type sizes, and when your workload requirements don’t fit exactly, larger sizes are required. This results in micro-waste, the small amounts of waste resources at an individual VM-level that customers pay for but don’t use. The combined micro-waste across numerous instances over the duration of a year creates a significant cost overhead. 
  • Interoperability issues – Some cloud solutions operate as managed services, which can result in different platform software versions or APIs between clouds and on-premises environments. This can lead to applications that might not work together or that might not be certified or compliant for use within the enterprise. 
  • Backup and disaster recovery difficulties – Inconsistency between clouds and on-premises environments can lead to more complex business continuity and disaster recovery in the event of unplanned downtime. 
  • Security issues – Due to variations in security constructs, tools, and processes, migrating an app—especially one that is linked to other app workloads—can potentially increase vulnerabilities. 

What If You Could Automate Workload Placement—Anywhere Across Your Infrastructure? 

With the right cloud platform and tools, workload placement can be greatly simplified, potentially even automated. Seamless migration of applications and data between datacentres, public clouds, and AI-enabled edge locations enables the freedom to deploy existing applications and data based on where they’re needed most—not based on where you’re currently paying for cloud services. It frees IT teams to focus on more important work and run applications and data anywhere. 

With Nutanix Hybrid Multicloud, You Can! 

With Nutanix, you can migrate workloads to the cloud 60% faster than application refactoring. And by enabling ultimate portability for all workloads and data, you’ll be ensuring optimal placement of every workload today and in the future. 

Nutanix license portability eliminates shelfware and enables IT teams to move their Nutanix Cloud Platform™ licenses to new locations, between on-premises and the public cloud, based on where and when you want to run them. 

Only Nutanix makes hybrid multicloud this simple and cost-effective. Automate workload deployment so applications, data, and services go anywhere you want—whether it’s datacentre to datacentre, between two different clouds, or between the datacentre and the public cloud and the edge. 
 

If you have any questions, you can contact one of our Cloud experts to assist you understanding the right approach for your organisation, and if migrating your workload will deliver your organisation cost savings.

Contact us on – asktheexpert@enterprise-solutions.ie

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