IT Focus Area: cloud
September 25, 2019
How to Conquer EOS Distress and See More Cloud Success
At some point, software, like all other things in this world, reaches its End-of-Life or End-of-Support (EOS) phase. It’s part of a normal product life cycle. It could be because the software is not meeting user needs, or perhaps a competing product has taken over. Either way, you have to take action. So, what do you do when you are notified that your technology is reaching EOS?
One security breach event can cost a company up to $4 million.
—2019 Ponemon Cost of a Data Breach Report, 2019
Uh oh, exposure
First, let’s think about why this matters. Organizations are subject to compliance requirements by the government, and they are legally required to maintain a certain level of security. To stay compliant and secure, companies must keep their operating systems up-to-date and know when they are reaching EOS. If you keep a system that is no longer supported, it becomes exposed. Exposure could mean security vulnerabilities or that the system is subject to compliance violations. We have all seen the headlines surrounding breaches—it can be a world of pain for a company, financially and legally.
Your cloud safety net
After you receive an EOS notice, the cloud is a great next path for some or all of your technology systems. Moving to the cloud―whether through a hybrid move or a total shift―will bring many benefits.
The top three benefits of factoring cloud into your EOS plan include:
- Updates: Cloud services handle updates automatically, so there is no need to check with manufacturers.
- Cost: Cloud services operate on a subscription model, where the cost is based on usage over time, so you won’t spend all of your budget at once.
- Security: Data centers and mature infrastructures are designed with intense security in place. All the systems are monitored. Plus, access to the premises of data centers is heavily secured. Some even say that cloud infrastructures are the most secure.
Cloud prep and steps
If you think that moving to the cloud is right for you, preparation is key to success. There are a few key steps you should include. Consider the following:
1. Run financials upfront
To decide if moving to the cloud is the best next step, you should first run a financial assessment of the project. You can do this yourself or engage managed services (MS) experts to help you understand right away what the spend will be. Financial questions to keep in mind include:
- How much will it cost to move to the cloud?
- Will the cost meet your organization’s budget?
- What kind of resources can help and at what cost?
2. Assess your workloads
Once the project is approved, you can move to the assessment phase. Your goal here is to look at the workloads in the data center and have a plan to modernize systems and/or migrate data and systems to the cloud. When you have your data in the cloud, there is a wide range of new tools and solutions that become available, such as cloud BC/DR or data analytics tools.
Whether you do it yourself or have a managed services team helping, assessment steps should include:
A. Mapping physical and virtual infrastructure
B. Defining workloads:
-Where do they live?
-What are the current resource details?
-How do clients and resources communicate? For example, how does an app talk to its -backend database? Who is talking to whom and why?
-What are the EOS dates?
C. Planning cloud migration and optimization
3. Lift and shift
After the assessment, you will know which of your workloads are candidates for “lift and shift.” This strategy moves an application or IT operational process or workflow from one environment to another without stopping to re-design the app or workflow. It is quick and efficient.
You can realize several benefits from this strategy. Lift and shift:
- Is the quickest way to the cloud
- Replicates physical and virtual machines from on-premise to a cloud service
- Can be done in one week
4. App modernization and hybrid cloud
For workloads that are not good candidates for “lift and shift,” you might consider modernizing the architecture before migration. For example, an application might be “containerized,” before migration.
Part of modernization is breaking an application down into component services. This means that all or part of some systems may stay on-premises, while others move to the cloud. This is referred to as a hybrid cloud.
Benefits of a hybrid cloud strategy can include:
- Hybrid cloud is as secure as staying on-premises, and it can even be more secure because it can leverage cloud capabilities, such as security services with cloud-scale AI.
- A hybrid cloud allows you to start leveraging cloud capabilities in your data center even if it’s not an “all in” cloud plan.
5. Develop DevSecOps
Development security operations (DevSecOps) is about built-in security, not security that functions as a perimeter around apps and data. Threading security into DevOps is effective at lowering the impact of a breach event. Most managed services companies are experts at weaving security development operations into all layers of the development process for added peace of mind.
End your EOS distress with a partnership
Whatever stage you’re in regarding your EOS systems, rest assured that a move to the cloud can be your lifeline.
If you decide to work with a managed services team, keep in mind that they can set up your hybrid data center or a full cloud services arrangement, while your organization continues to focus on day-to-day business. Planning for the cloud with a partner will secure your company’s data and handle the burden of EOS as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.