Level 3 Communications

Brian Hoekelman

Charting Your Cloud Migration Path the Easy Way

It’s not surprising that cloud is often portrayed as the panacea for the many obstacles enterprises face today. Cloud’s oft-touted value propositions – agility, mobility and cost reduction – are vital to businesses striving to stay competitive in the digital economy. In the cloud, collaboration and productivity tools are easier to scale and manage, often resulting in increased employee productivity and reduced operational costs.

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), for example, is an increasingly common desktop management model that leverages cloud’s capabilities. It’s used by geographically dispersed enterprises, as well as in industries as diverse as healthcare, education and hospitality because it offers cost-effective terminals, greater security and ease of management. Organizations can use VDI to fight the BYOD battle by granting users access to remote desktops that run on server-class hardware in the data center, which is where all the data is safely stored.

Obstacles to Migration

Accessing the cloud doesn’t come without some hurdles. As newcomers making a first foray to the cloud and early adopters now ready to optimize their cloud strategies are coming to realize, cloud migration is a mountain that businesses must ascend to reach their desired goal. To put it simply: migrations to and within the cloud can be downright arduous – and costly. Put aside the often time-consuming vendor selection process and mapping the legacy data storage landscape – troublesome in their own right – and you still have issues of privacy, security, BCDR and interoperability.

A Clearer Path

To address these pain points and more, AWS recently announced a joint promotion with Citrix for a new migration tool for their XenApp and XenDesktop VDI tools, with Level 3 as the launch Direct Connect partner. Effectively, the AWS Accelerator program allows enterprises to migrate existing applications to the cloud while reducing their total costs of ownership and increasing business agility.

The partnership chips away at some of the remaining greatest challenges to public cloud migration, offering to move existing Citrix virtual desktops in the data center or headquarters directly to AWS with little to no effort and no downtime.

The Role of Direct Connectivity

Migrations over the public internet can make sense in the trial phase when you’re looking at moving, say, 25 seats from private network infrastructure to the public cloud.

However, when you’re moving 25,000 seats, or 100,000, it’s another story entirely. For that, organizations need private direct connectivity to the cloud service provider. And here’s why: virtual desktop performance impacts not only your employees, but ultimately your partners, suppliers and customers. If your business applications experience degraded performance once you get to production – for any reason – productivity will stall and your bottom line will suffer.

A private connection, on the other hand, bolsters network performance when leveraging cloud, in addition to delivering enterprise grade security.

Bottom line – the easiest path to the cloud is the direct one.