Planning for Migration into the Cloud?

One of my readers sent me this question:

Have you written something about assessment and planning for migration of traditional in-premise data center network to private or public cloud? There would be hundreds of things to check during assessment and then plan accordingly.

Academically, that’s a wrong way of approaching the problem. Ideally you’d automate application deployments – describe application requirements in manifests/recipes/playbooks/whatever, and use a tool that could deploy the application stack in your traditional data center (using vSphere and vCenter), in a private cloud (using vRealize and VMware NSX), or in a public cloud, creating all the necessary infrastructure (VMs, disks, virtual networks, security rules…) as part of the process.

I would usually mention Cloudify or Terraform when talking about such a magic tool. I know you could do the same thing (with a lot of legwork) in Ansible, Puppet, Chef, or any other automation or configuration management tool. Anything else I could recommend?

Unfortunately, trying to create deployment manifests for traditional enterprise applications usually turns into a Mission Impossible. Is there something else you could do to automate the migration into the cloud? Is there a tool that would help you with needs assessment and planning?

Please don’t mention kludges that emulate vSphere environment in public clouds (see also RFC 1925 rules 6 and 6a).


  1. There is the old economic tradeoff between labour and capital, there is probably an optimal mix for each company. But my rules of thumb is, if an application can be started by a command line then it can be automated. Anything that requires a GUI or has licenses tied to specific IPs or MAC addresses well no sense wasting resources automating that. For tools, I suppose like programming languages anyone will do, one of the oldest that no one mentions anymore is cfengine.
  2. vmWare seems to have just made this kludge-dream come true :)

    vSphere Cloud Foundation.
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