The Next Step in Moving Legacy Workloads to the Cloud in Scale

In previous blogs, we covered many of the problems inherent in using Physical to Virtual (P2V) and V2V tools to move legacy servers to new OS instances running under Cloud Hypervisors. A short list of P2V problems include:

  • Excessive bandwidth use
  • Excessive and ongoing consumption of cloud resources (especially for storage)
  • Legacy OS instances, which mean security exposures and the need for ongoing management
  • Inability to perform workload consolidation or re-allocation
  • Significant target server reconfiguration and therefore challenges with cutting over on time

Migration Intelligence (MI) is the better way

Be smart about what you move and how you move it.

At VirtaMove, we’ve been thinking for some time about the problem of large scale movement of Windows Server workloads to the Cloud or to modern datacenter servers. We’ve learned a thing or two, because we’ve automated the migration of thousands of applications and workloads for hundreds of customers (including some of the biggest companies in the world). All that experience has taught us that how you approach the problem of migration is vitally important.

Migration Intelligence is key to solving the scale problem in moving workloads. What do we mean by Migration Intelligence? At the simplest level, MI means: Be smart about what you move and how you move it. For example, don’t use the block-level clone approach promoted by P2V vendors because it will never get you to where you want to go. Figure out what you need to move before you move it, then be smart about how you move it.

The first step: automatically shed light on everything

The first step in MI is to use smart, automated application monitoring, before migration, on current servers to dynamically discover application usage, server and workload capacity requirements, application dependencies, and migration readiness. Intelligent monitoring tells you which applications are still used, establishes the priorities for migration, reveals application and storage clutter, and helps you plan and size target server requirements.

By the way, we’ve learned though experience in many customer environments that installing new monitoring tools on production servers can be viewed by customers as a possible security concern. To address such concerns, VirtaMove has developed innovative approaches to building migration templates by monitoring test server environments as well, so you don’t need to touch your production environment.

The second step: automatically move only what you need

Once an application is “green-lighted” for migration (all application dependencies are discovered), you can move on to the automated migration step.

So, what do we mean by automated migration? We mean move the application via smart, encrypted communication to a container on the target system. The container encapsulates the application and its dependencies and separates it from the underlying OS. The target container gives you a secure environment on the target server to do final acceptance testing and cut-over from the production server. Once the application has passed acceptance testing, you can simply remove the container and install the application on the target system. The automated migration is now completed. More technical details on exactly how we do this MI magic is available in our whitepapers.

So many MI advantages…

…like OS up-leveling

There are many advantages to using a container approach to the automated migration of legacy applications. OS up-leveling is one such advantage. Not only can you migrate and declutter applications from the same OS level – you can also move applications to more modern OS instances. OS up-leveling lets you move older applications from legacy OS environments like WS2003 to modern Cloud or server-hosted OS versions on WS2008, WS2012, and WS2016.

Up-leveling OS versions also closes security exposures inherent in legacy OS instances.

…and workload consolidation

Intelligently moving applications also lets you consolidate multiple workloads to a single virtual server or split application stacks across multiple virtual servers.

…not to mention reduced costs

Automated migration helps you save time and effort by avoiding extensive and complex reconfiguration work. You can reconfigure applications on-the-fly, remap IP addresses, and perform other critical application setup steps.

Migration Intelligence lets you monitor application usage in advance and move only the applications you need from legacy servers to a preconfigured, modern-hosted OS instance. Intelligently automating the movement of applications you need saves you significant time and money on bandwidth, processing, ongoing storage, and management. MI reduces hosting storage and processing fees, month in and month out.

Plus, you can take advantage of advanced tools to monitor and manage application usage and OS instances. Better OS and application management means that your storage use will be optimized, performance will improve, and you will pay only for the resources you need to run your applications and business.


If you’d like to learn more about how VirtaMove’s Migration Intelligence can improve application migration productivity and help you move legacy workloads at scale, give us a call, register for a free demo, or send us an e-mail. We’re always delighted to show you what we can do.