In “A Practical Guide to Cloud Migration” Amazon Web Services defines the term “Cloud Migration Bubble”. It is one name for a bump in IT costs when an organization starts migrating resources to the cloud. AWS lists a variety of factors that lead to this inevitable cloud migration bubble. In this article, we will take a look at the characteristics of this bubble and how to reduce it’s size and spread.

I am going to describe a few circumstances here and use some diagrams to characterize this migration bubble. I will also try to make a case for FastUp to shrink this bubble and also enhance gains from cloud migration. These are surely very simplified and not a true representation of the variable nature of IT costs, however, these should serve very well as discussion props. Let’s look at this very first picture. It is a line graph showing IT costs on the y axis and a time scale on the x axis. Assuming that IT costs grow year on year with growing business, the line slopes upwards along the time scale.

At some point, the organization decides to migrate all-in to the cloud. In order to do so, the organization goes through an assessment phase, lines up its application portfolios, personnel skills and hires external consultants. As it starts migrating workloads from their on premise datacenters to the cloud, the organization starts re-negotiating licenses, leases and possibly enters into a few short term licenses to hold till migration. Pretty soon, the organization has test workloads in the cloud and may also have some workloads duplicated in the cloud. All of this costs money and the resulting change in costs may look somewhat like the next picture.

At this point, the organization has started to meet some of it’s business requirements in the cloud and is getting ready to shut down some assets in the data center. The organization becomes mature and starts utilizing cloud native products instead of simply lifting and shifting all workloads. Workloads that are not needed 24/7 are stopped on schedule and started on demand. Instead of capacity planning for peak anticipated load, architects start designing for maximum utilization. At some point, the cloud migration is complete and all data centers are shut down. All these efforts pay off and costs drop and find a new normal. Now, the cost line may looks somewhat like the next picture.

To recap, first, the organization spends money on new initiatives migrating to the cloud and then the cost structures change such that it spends fewer $s on an ongoing basis. It goes through the bubble and is followed by a sustained trough because of operational excellence in the cloud. The red area in the next picture shows the bubble and the green area shows the gains made after migrating to the cloud.

Here is where FastUp really shines. FastUp can accelerate certain types of workload migration projects by packaging all of AWS’ architecture best practices in templatized infrastructure. This eliminates the design and architecture of new solutions and also automates most operational aspects. FastUp promotes standardized cloud infrastructure architecture and cloud native operational procedures. This results in quicker migrations and easier operational choices. Using FastUp’s frameworks, the organization can deflate the bubble a bit – resulting in a new, smaller bubble on the cost graph such as the one shown here.

Further, because all best practices are already baked into FastUp, organizations reap benefits in terms of a lower cost structure after migration is complete. FastUp provides training and managed services to manage any incidents at a low cost and industry standard SLAs. This means that after all migration is done, the final cost structure may lead to something like the next picture.

That, in a simplified nutshell, is the migration bubble and how it can be shrinked. Do you know how big is your cloud migration bubble? Every organization should make a list of cloud migration initiatives and find ways to reduce the size of the bubble. Ask questions such as “How can we standardize our architecture, automate our deployments and run operations at a low cost”? Many a times, the answer will be to develop a framework that channels all initiatives on one track that can be managed speedily and easily.