Like every large-scale project, a cloud transformation initiative needs precise goals and a clear action plan. Especially, you must define which benefits you expect from cloud transformation.
In this context, defining a cloud solution architecture is very helpful. A solution architecture helps you define how you will move a specific application from on-premises to the cloud and what you want to achieve through this migration (in terms of cost savings, business value, better security, etc.).
However, given the complexity of large application portfolios, and the overwhelming number of cloud services available, it is not always easy to define the right target architecture.
We will start this article by reminding you what a target architecture is, and then we will give you some tips to quickly find the cloud target architecture that best suits your needs.
For a better understanding of the concept, let’s try a comparison that should resonate with everyone. Imagine you want to go on a holiday trip. So far, you don’t have a specific plan in mind. You just know that you need a break from your work and from the overstimulating city life. You picture an idyllic spot, a fine sandy beach, palm trees, and turquoise water.Tempting, isn’t it?
But just dreaming about it isn't enough to make it happen. It obviously takes some planning and preparation.
First, you should ask yourself what you expect from this holiday. Maybe, for example, you absolutely want a destination by the sea with sunny weather (palm trees are a plus, but not a must).
Of course, you don't have an unlimited budget. You must define the amount you are willing to spend on the trip and during the stay.
From there, you can compare several possible destinations, their respective advantages, and their costs. And once you've set your sights on a specific destination, you still need to plan the trip. How long does it take to get there? What are the most appropriate means of transport?
Finally, if you’re traveling abroad, you should read carefully about the specific procedures and potential risks of the destination country.
In the context of cloud migration, defining a target architecture is (roughly) like planning your dream holiday. The solution architecture describes, for an existing application (or an entire application portfolio):
And, just like a holiday plan, the cloud target architecture should be based on your preferences and requirements. Which benefits are expected from this cloud migration? What is your budget? How much time do you have? What are your security and regulatory requirements? In a word, the target architecture should translate your business goals into a desired cloud infrastructure that will efficiently serve these goals.
By planning your trip in detail, you minimize the risk of disappointment. Of course, you can book your stay on a whim. But you might find out, after the fact, that the flight is incredibly expensive and lasts fifteen hours. And once there, if you haven't researched the destination beforehand, you might find out the hard way that your dream island, in January, looks like this:Not what you expected
Conversely, if you come up with a precise plan, you will generally be safe from unpleasant surprises. You will even be able to convince your best friend, Mark, to join you on the trip, even though at first he was rather reluctant.
In the same way, a clear and precise cloud solution architecture will help you:
Now that we have explained the concept of target architecture and its importance in a cloud transformation project, we will discuss in the following the right method to build a target architecture. Hopefully, this method will help you better plan your journey to the cloud, and save you from ending up on a rainy, remote island in January.
There are many reasons to move to the cloud. Some organizations want to modernize their infrastructure from the ground up and are ready to spend several years on it. Others aim to stop running their hardware environment in the short term. Finally, for others, cost savings will be the decisive criterion.
The right cloud infrastructure highly depends on what your client wants to accomplish through cloud transformation. Which is why, before defining your cloud solution architecture, you should answer the following questions:
Suffice it to say: before wondering how to reach point B, you must know what point A is.
In the context of cloud migration, you must collect all important information about each existing application. This will help you get a better understanding of the application’s technical configuration, and its importance for the business. You should especially assess:
With a clear vision of your client’s “as is” application state, you will be able to determine the best-suited cloud target architecture.
For more detailed explanations on how to assess an application portfolio, have a look at our article about the challenge of data collection in the context of cloud transformation.
You know what your existing application looks like. You defined some migration preferences based on your client’s strategy. You can now consider some cloud offerings that might match your client’s criteria.
Most of the time, the main difficulty comes from the variety of offers and the amount of information to be collected. Indeed, for each option, you should compare:
You should also make sure that the considered option complies with the regulatory and security requirements of your application.
This process can be incredibly time consuming. That is why, at Txture, we created a solution that automatically compares all main cloud services and recommends the best suited options depending on your cloud strategy. Keep reading, we’ll tell you more about it at the end of this article!
If you followed the three previous steps, you should be able to define the cloud target architecture that best fits your client’s needs. Now, how to write a cloud target architecture proposal? What information should be included in it? Here are a few ideas to come up with a detailed description of your application’s final architecture:
As green cloud is a growing concern for a lot of organizations, it could also be insightful to calculate the expected carbon footprint of the target architecture.
Txture enables you to plan your cloud transformation as an all-in-one solution, covering the early phases of data collection and IT landscape discovery, all the way to the definition of a migration roadmap.
Based on the cloud strategy defined with your client, Txture generates, for each application, several possible cloud target architectures. Thanks to its extensive cloud services knowledge base, Txture provides detailed information about the features and costs associated with all consumed services in your planned target architecture. You can identify and compare all relevant options much faster and make your migration decisions with confidence.
Seeing is believing!
Discover how Txture helps you define the right target architecture and speeds up your move to the cloud.
Reach out to our colleagues from Partner Management and have them show you Txture.
Wondering how to build the right cloud target architecture for all your applications? Or how to choose the right cloud services? Have a look at this short demo video to see how Txture supports you in the target architecture generation!