Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Strategies for Migrating to the Cloud - Eyes on Enterprise

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STEPHANIE WONG: Hey, everyone.

Welcome to "Eyes on Enterprise," where

I'm bringing on Googlers to talk about the technology

landscapes that are helping enterprises scale,

adapt, and modernize.

My name is Stephanie Wong, and today I

have Sona Oakley, Solution Architect here at Google Cloud.

Very important topic that we're covering today--

we're talking about migration to the Cloud

and diving into strategies and the tools

to help you get there.

There's a lot that we're going to cover today,

so I want to thank you so much for being on the show.

SONA OAKLEY: Absolutely.

Thank you so much for having me.

I'm really excited to come on the show

and talk about migrations.

STEPHANIE WONG: Great, so huge topic.

First off, migration is something

that people often consider for a long period of time

because they have rightful concerns over moving

their workloads to the Cloud.

And then, on top of that, small companies

versus large companies have different needs and migration


So how do you start to dissect that process?

SONA OAKLEY: Yes, absolutely.

I would say that the first thing that you want to start with,

because migrations is such a heavy topic,

is, you want to start with the why.

Ask yourself the question, why are we going down

this path, what is going to be the business goal that I'm

accomplishing, or even the technical goal that I'm


And once you kind of frame that and keep that in mind,

it really makes it clear how we can

get from where your company is today to where

it is that you want to be.

And whether that's being able to develop faster, whether that's

being able to take advantage of all of the efficiencies

and scale that moving to the Cloud can bring,

it'll really vary based on your business

and how big your business is, what your business goals are.

STEPHANIE WONG: So there are a lot

of ways to move to the Cloud and along with it

many considerations when you're picking a strategy.

You know, some companies want to decommission some workloads.

They want to consolidate.

Others want to move their VM to the Cloud.

And others want to modernize by transforming

into the containers.

So how do you start in that decision-making process?

SONA OAKLEY: Essentially, the way

that you would want to think about it

is that once we have that North Star that we want

to accomplish, we want to go back to square one

and really start to build a catalog of all

of the applications that you have, the workloads

that you're thinking about moving,

what your networking and security requirements are.

And once we've categorized and built out that list,

we can start to think about what our migration strategy is

moving forward.

Now, when I say that, a lot of people think in their minds

that they need a very complicated system

diagram, where there's all these connections taking place--

you know, where we have the exact schematics of the way

that our applications work.

For larger enterprises and businesses

that have grown organically, sometimes that's not feasible.

So I would say that coming to the table

with anything, even if it's just a napkin, which

has happened to me--

a customer showed up with a napkin

of just all their applications and workloads written down

that they wrote down on the flight

to come up to Mountain View.

So I would say that even something that simple

gives us a good starting point and gives us

an idea of at least what is top-of-mind for you.

And then we can go through and dig through

with the other various groups and lines of business

that you have to figure out what are other applications, what

are other resources that are being used.

STEPHANIE WONG: So going back to the first part

of the workflow-- collecting inventory-- it can include

a lot of things like dependencies on your app stack,

including your database and message brokers.

And then you have your infrastructure underlying it,

firewall rules, security policies.

Am I missing anything there?

SONA OAKLEY: I mean, that really covers the meat of it.

And then things like source code repositories--

oftentimes, the gotchas happen when

a business grows organically.

And we see people coming out of the woodwork

as this migration process is happening.

Hey, actually I'm keeping my source code over here and not

in the official repository.


SONA OAKLEY: Or if I've got this machine that I'm

using 2% of CPU on for, you know, my own workloads-- things

like that.

STEPHANIE WONG: Comprehensive evaluation ahead of time

is going to save you in the long run.


STEPHANIE WONG: So I know that there

are a lot of cases where moving to the Cloud

may not be practical, or it's just not

technically feasible in the near-term.

So you know, like, for example, you

have licenses that you can't move to the Cloud

or your tech stack may not be virtualizable in some cases

or you have third-party frameworks and languages being


So what do you do in those cases?

SONA OAKLEY: Yeah, I would say that in those cases,

it's OK to say no.

And sometimes, no is the right answer.

For example, you know, mainframes are not going away.

We've predicted that they will be for the past 40 years.

And they're here to stay.

So if you have legacy applications that

are running in those kinds of environments,

it's totally fine to leave them where they are

and then to focus on what we can accomplish

because the last thing we want to do

is kind of get into a situation where we're trying to force

a square peg into round hole.

And we can also do something that's

a close approximation to moving to Cloud.

So for example, I was working with a company

that was getting close to a data center shut down.

And so instead of having them move over

completely to the Cloud, what we did was,

we moved them to a co-location facility.

And what that allowed them to do was,

it allowed them to still reap some of the benefits

because they're still located close to a Cloud entry point

and are able to get that high throughput,

low latency that they were looking for without doing

the official Cloud migration.

STEPHANIE WONG: So just jumping off what you just said,

there are a lot of ways to approach this.

And you have to meet customers where they are.

And you know, some may want to do an all-in-one Lift

and Shift, while others prefer to do a hybrid approach--

private and public Cloud.

So how do you advise your customers on that?

SONA OAKLEY: Absolutely.

I would say that it, again, comes back

to what the customer wants.

You know, if most of your business

is on legacy applications and hardware,

we'll have to consider a very different migration path

than if you're already Cloud-native and looking

to scale.

So for example, we actually worked

with a customer who had very aggressive timelines

to shut down their data center.

Again, this is a very familiar story.

And what we did was, we advised them to kind of Lift

and Shift their current applications as-is

and then modernize later because they

were facing a really imminent time

crunch that we wanted to make sure that we could adhere to.

And then we can always modernize those applications

and advise on a containerization strategy

at a later point in time.

Don't feel like you have to do everything at the same time.

STEPHANIE WONG: On the topic of containerization,

people often ask, OK, how do I know if my application is

a good candidate for containerizing and pushing up

to the Cloud.

Things like Dev-Test applications,

multi-tier stacks, LAMP applications,

or perhaps you have a Java app running on Premise web apps--

how do you know?

SONA OAKLEY: Google can absolutely

help you in that effort-- you know,

especially once we've done that categorization of applications.

But generally, the ones that you mentioned

are good for containerization.

I would also include in there are things like training labs--

you know, thinking, also, about your application.

If it's resilient to restarts, then that

is a good one, as well, to be moving over.

And you know, again, it just goes back

to making sure that you're not trying to force

a containerization strategy.

I was working with a large-scale manufacturing

company who really wanted to go all-in on containers.

But due to their kind of technical requirements,

it wasn't the right fit for them.

So instead, we moved them onto system containers,

which still gives them a little bit of that flexibility

but isn't that full-container portfolio that we

were originally thinking about.

STEPHANIE WONG: So this still begs

the question, what do you do with monolithic applications

because, I mean, a lot of enterprises

are still running off that.

How do you migrate to a microservice environment?

SONA OAKLEY: The way that I think

about that is, if you're thinking about scaling

a building or scaling a mountain,

you don't try to jump all the way up to the top at one time.

You know, you take it step-by-step and really

go incrementally.

As your team learns more about Google Cloud and Kubernetes

and containerization, we can break down that application

and move toward more of a microservices strategy.

One of the things that Google has

done that's a little bit of a nice middle ground

there is using application containers.

So instead of thinking about containerization

in the normal context, an application container

allows you to put the application--

entire application-- into a container.

And so, that way, you can still take advantage of the higher

fault tolerance and portability that containerization provides

without necessarily moving or breaking down

that monolithic application all at once.

STEPHANIE WONG: Right, because I think that what's intimidating

is a full rearchitecture of these applications.

SONA OAKLEY: Yes, absolutely.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yeah, I love this idea of middle ground

and moving in parts because it lowers the risk and the barrier

to entry to Cloud migration.

And you can still take advantage of, like,

the software-defined networking, live migration, fast reboots.

But I do want to talk about specifics a little bit--

about the tools that exist to help you migrate, like,

for example, moving Compute workloads to the Cloud.

Do we have anything there?

SONA OAKLEY: Absolutely.

So we have Migrate for Compute Engine.

And essentially, what that allows you to do,

whether you're moving one workload or thousands,

it provides you a unified way to move all of these componentries

over to Google Compute Engine, which is GCE.

It also provides cloud testing and validation.

We have a plug-in that makes it really simple

to kind of find those workloads and move them over.

And then lastly, which I think is the most critical part--

and you touched on this at the beginning--

is that we have a stateful rollback.

So if, at any point, you feel like you

need to hit the ejector button and really just get out

of the migration, we have that capability,

where you can roll back to your on-premise environment.

We can pause, take a timeout, and see what's happening.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yes, and that's very important

because, once again, you want to make

sure you have compatibility towards the Cloud first

and you're not creating disruption for your user base.

So being able to roll back is a key, I think.

SONA OAKLEY: Yes, absolutely.

One of the customer examples that I always like to use

is that we had a Fortune 500 company who was using SAP,


Implement a-- they were originally

considering a Multicloud strategy,

and then they moved over to GCP.

And what we helped them do was, we

helped them run SAP on Google Cloud Platform, which

was really important because they were part of the pharma


And that was important for their pharma and healthcare


We, all-in-all, I believe covered something

like 7,000 systems across 30 different applications

with 12 terabytes of data moving on to GCP.

And all of that was done with Migrate for Compute Engine.


Another great example of a very common use case

is VMware migration to the cloud.

Do we have a tool that exists for that, as well?

SONA OAKLEY: If you've decided that retaining

use of a VMware-based control plane

is what's appropriate for your business,

we can actually support that.

And we have support for VMware vSphere workloads

that we can move over onto Google Cloud Platform.


So what about the applications that do

need to stay on-premise, yet they

want to take advantage of the Cloud native capabilities?

What do we recommend in those cases?

SONA OAKLEY: Earlier in 2019, Google Cloud

came out with a new product called Anthos.

And essentially, that platform does exactly what you asked.

We have seen that customers are running their applications

on-premise in Google Cloud as well as other cloud providers.

And the management of that becomes very ornery.

Now you're looking at separate config managements,

separate monitoring platforms, separate logging platforms.

And Anthos seeks to unify all of that.

We pull all of the underlying hardware together and allow you

to manage your on-premise and your hybrid cloud--

Multicloud environments in one place.

If we do have a little bit deeper,

the way that we do it on-premise is that we have a tool

called GKE On-Premise, which allows

you to implement a containerization

strategy in your on-premise environments.

STEPHANIE WONG: Do you have an example

of a customer that is leveraging Anthos and using on-premise

and Cloud together?


Actually, we have a very big banking customer

who's using Cisco HyperFlex as well as Anthos today

to really do exactly that.

They've found that it's been able to simplify

their monitoring, logging, and config management.

And they're still able to get access

to all the benefits of Cloud.

And it's as if they were deployed cloud-native,

but their underlying hardware is still on-premise.

STEPHANIE WONG: And that just reminded

me-- another exciting announcement was Migrate

for Anthos, which I know actually

lets customers move their VM-based workloads to the cloud

and convert them into containers,

which is amazing because you can support edge deployments.

You can actually migrate from Compute Engine,

on-premise, other clouds.

So I think this is going to be very exciting for the future,

as well.

SONA OAKLEY: Absolutely.

And that's actually why we're seeing

a lot of financial institutions have interest in Anthos--

is because they're running these data-driven applications, which

really hits that sweet spot for containerization because, you

know, instead of having a monolithic application,

you can really break it down into

its appropriate components.

And anything that you need to put a web or mobile front-end

on top of really lends itself to that use case very well.

STEPHANIE WONG: So for those that are wondering,

how can I get started in that decision-making process, what

is there to recommend?

SONA OAKLEY: Oh my gosh, there's a number of resources.

I would say that my favorite is probably--

we have a set of reference guides

available on, which

I think will be linked below, that are a great Getting

Started guide and help you to think through what it actually

means to migrate your business.

Also, we have a variety of professional services,

resources, and-- internally, that organization

is called PSO.

And so, we can absolutely leverage workshops

that they have to help you out, as well.


Well, thank you so much for being on the show.

We went over a ton of information.

So thanks again.

SONA OAKLEY: Absolutely.

This was a lot of fun.

So thank you so much for having me.

STEPHANIE WONG: Everyone, I encourage you all to check out

the resources below.

And check out our other series, "Stack Chat," where

we go into actual examples and bring on customers

to talk about how they're implementing our technology

and migration patterns.

Let us know what you think of migration.

Are you doing Lift and Shift, Multicloud?

What tools are you using?

Comment below, and join us next time for Eyes on Enterprise.


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