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Why Successful Cloud Migrations Begin, and End, with Visibility

By Ian Waters
| | 9 min read


ThousandEyes presents six ways to use visibility to carry out a successful cloud migration with confidence and speed.

You can't fix what you can't see. And, right now, it's hard to see into the cloud.

In the past 18 months or so, a new enterprise reality has emerged. Businesses are coming to the undeniable realization that they need to adopt new infrastructure strategies if they are to remain viable in our highly competitive and increasingly digital world. Migrating to the cloud is one of these strategies.

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Cloud Trend Accelerates 

As more organizations undergo digital transformation, a majority embrace cloud-first projects to grow more agile, save capital, and improve global service availability. Cloud migration was a trend well underway even before the pandemic. Now, that trend is accelerating at an impressive pace. According to the 2021 Flexera State of the Cloud Report, 90% of all companies plan to increase their usage of cloud-based services.

However, transitioning from a legacy data center approach to a cloud infrastructure is not without its risks.

Cloud migration is a massive undertaking. And with little to no visibility into the inner workings of cloud provider networks, IT teams struggle to assess, maintain, and improve the level of performance that employees and customers expect. Traditional monitoring tools that rely on packet capture or NetFlow flatline beyond the enterprise network perimeter, and create visibility blind spots. And reactive traceroute tests, which are often the only option for IT, are time-consuming and result in teams digging around for root cause after the event, by which time the dynamic paths across the Internet or cloud providers networks have often changed.

Reduce Risk While Migrating 

Because of "cloud blindness," too much remains unknown. And IT cannot determine pre-migration performance baselines, establish key performance indicators (KPIs), or optimize performance both during and after migration.

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Without these essential processes, there are no metrics to ascertain whether your project is succeeding during the migration or whether your deployment is working well for all of your users post-migration. As a result, many migrations can stall or experience lengthy rollouts, as IT teams discover performance variations and address user issues along the way. This increases the project's overall cost and can also rob users and IT teams of some of the agility meant to be delivered by the cloud.

ThousandEyes is changing all that.

Thanks to ThousandEyes, enterprises everywhere can now gain visibility into the ISPs and content provider networks and into public and hybrid cloud environments, so they can measure, visualize, and optimize the performance of applications and networks, no matter who controls them.

With pre-provisioned vantage points in the major public cloud networks, as well as in nearly 200 cities across the globe, ThousandEyes Cloud Agents help businesses get instant visibility into, and draw invaluable insights about, public cloud performance and related third-party infrastructure (such as ISPs) that they rely upon. In simpler terms, ThousandEyes helps you troubleshoot network blind spots beyond your corporate perimeter. 

Six Ways to Enhanced Visibility

So, let's talk for a moment about planning your cloud migration.

Cloud architectures and cloud-hosted applications are growing more complex. And every complexity represents another potential blind spot. With that in mind, we want to share six ways in which better visibility will aid your efforts and bring greater success before, during, and after your migration. 

  1. I'll begin with baselining. Baselining helps you understand your performance levels before migration so that you can better assess performance enhancements after your migration. You'll want to look into the apps hosted in your data center and then set latency, loss, and jitter baselines for each one.

  2. Next, it's time to set your goals. Remember, you can't assume that moving to the cloud will always result in better performance. So, now that you know your baselines, you can establish your KPIs—or determine acceptable performance limits—for latency, loss, and jitter post-migration. That way, you can test your KPIs to see if they meet your goals, rather than simply accepting whatever performance the cloud gives you.

  3. ThousandEyes visibility also enables you to test and compare cloud and service providers. By assessing the performance of AWS, Google Cloud, and other providers, you can discover which partner will offer the most optimal traffic routing and serve as the best fit for your organization, data center, service regions, and end users.

  4. You've got your ducks in a row. Now it's time to start migrating to the cloud. ThousandEyes stays with you, supplying the visibility you need during migration to continually test KPIs, optimize apps, and make the ongoing service changes that help you meet or exceed your performance goals.

  5. Fifth on our list of ways that visibility can help is optimization. Once your migration is complete, you'll want to monitor your performance, ensure that it's hitting defined thresholds, and constantly optimize for improvement. Such improvements could result from switching to better connectivity providers, addressing sub-optimal routing, or evaluating the performance of network services like DNS or CDN providers.

  6. Last but not least is troubleshooting. When you're in the cloud, you're dependent on a host of providers who control the many points between you and your end users. Ultimately, as you undergo ongoing network maintenance, you'll want to address outages and other issues that impact service by reducing your mean time to resolution (MTTR). That starts with letting go of your "find-and-fix" mentality and shifting to an "escalation" approach. With your newfound visibility, you can take a snapshot of the performance issue and escalate it to the appropriate provider for resolution simply by clicking a button that shares the data so that they can act on your behalf.

Better Understand Connectivity and Traffic  

ThousandEyes brings together multiple vantage points to provide true end-to-end network visibility. Our Enterprise Agents monitor network activity from the inside to help you better understand connectivity and traffic from the data center or campus location to the public cloud. Our Cloud Agents give you access to performance data from local transit providers and last-mile ISPs to simulate end user experience. This lets you get an outside-in view of the performance that customers, or employees outside your network, are receiving, whether or not they touch your network at any point. Lastly, our Endpoint Agents, installed on employee laptops and desktops, monitor activity from the end user perspective. That way, you can view the digital experience from their eyes.

It's no secret that Global 2000 companies, Fortune 500 companies, and top SaaS companies worldwide are teaming up with ThousandEyes to make cloud migration more ubiquitous and more successful.

If you'd like to see what end-to-end visibility can do for your cloud migration project, reach out to us and request a demo.

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