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Better than what? Why Data Center Baselines Matter in Cloud Migrations.

data center

researchHQ’s Key Takeaways:

  • Before migrating to the cloud, companies should determine which legacy applications to maintain and assess how they will run in a cloud environment.
  • Carefully planning and setting company-specific baselines will help ease the process of migrating mass volumes of data to the cloud. 
  • Companies can conduct baseline assessments of their data centres to build a greater understanding of on-premises infrastructure, identify issues demanding attention pre-migration and offer a reference point for comparison post-migration.


For most organizations, the cloud is a promise for better outcomes. Let’s be honest, why would you go through all that effort otherwise? This is especially true for all those applications and workloads that are currently running in data center environments but need to be moved to the cloud to support digital transformation efforts. And yet, in several studies, McKinsey has found that:

  • 60% of organizations have migrated less than 10% of their workloads. 
  • Only 16% of digital transformation efforts have successfully improved performance and equipped the organizations to sustain changes in the long term.

In short, businesses are struggling to migrate to the cloud, and when they get there, they’re struggling to achieve the desired outcomes. This state of affairs is unsustainable. So, what’s the problem?

Let’s consider the migration paths—and there are several. Two approaches scrap everything you have on-premises and start fresh:

  • Rebuild by rewriting the application from scratch to be cloud-native.
  • Replace it with a new cloud-native application.

And there are three methods which retain some level of the existing software:

  • Rehost the application by simply moving the entire thing as is to the cloud (also called “lift and shift”).
  • Refactor it by rearchitecting parts of the application so it better supports the cloud environment.
  • Replatform it by moving it with minimal upgrades to take advantage of cloud benefits.

A study by 451 Research found that 56% of organizations are focusing on these last three options (rehost, refactor, replatform)—far more than the 31% taking a cloud-first approach and the 13% who aren’t deploying any workloads off-premises (perhaps we should call that option remain).

Whether they’re rehosting, refactoring, or replatforming, over half of enterprises are literally moving workloads from the data center to the cloud. The difference between their migrations is simply how much, if any, of those applications are modified in the process. This could mean that unless workload performance and dependencies are taken into account, how those applications operate on-premises will affect how they run in the cloud.

What happens in the data center doesn’t stay in the data center

Long gone are the days of siloed applications. Data and services are shared, often extensively, creating a complex web of interdependencies. What you have in the data center, including compute, networking, and storage elements—and how they are all interconnected—is critical information you need to understand before you can even begin to think about moving anything into the cloud.


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