Expect Disruptions, Outages When Migrating To The Cloud


The length of time a project takes to complete runs the gamut, said Pete Zarras, president and CEO of Cedar Knolls, N.J.-based Cloud Strategies, a solution provider that is involved in hosted email deployments and migration to SaaS applications. The service-level agreement (SLA) is a big factor in how a cloud provider will respond to a client, Zarras said.

"You have to define your business objective, the scope of the app and audiences, and define your tolerances around risk and outages and interruptions, and you have to plan around all of those things," Zarras said.

The bulk of Cloud Strategies business is with Microsoft Office 365 deployments, but larger firms are increasingly turning to private cloud hosting for mission critical applications, even enterprise resource planning software, Zarras said.

High-profile outages and disruptions, like the HealthCare.Gov site, don't reflect positively on the cloud, but the cost savings and efficiencies gained by leveraging cloud services minimizes the impact of high-profile problems, Zarras said. Businesses are tired of capital expenditures every four or five years and are attracted to paying a monthly fee for continuity of services and technology upgrades, he said. If those firms are contracting out to maintain the data center, they typically have strong SLAs, vetted by legal teams, to define how strong security, network monitoring and incident response procedures are to be carried out, he said.

Any delays in migrating to the cloud are the result of previous application migration problems, according to the AlgoSec survey. One in five survey respondents said they are expecting to have more than 40 percent of their business in the cloud with one-third planning to migrate at least 20 percent of their applications in the next 12 months.

"Depending on what the availability requirements are for the client, everything can be planned for and anticipated," Zarras said.

PUBLISHED OCT. 29, 2013