As applications, architectures, and business processes become more complex, understanding how all those moving parts are performing is absolutely critical. This blog post series is about Application Modernization and cloud migration, and how observability can help organizations can keep their products running optimally for their customers. In part one we defined Application Modernization and explained how it became the lever for user experience. Part two discussed Application Modernization Options and the CI/CD Pipeline. In part three, we identified key steps in the process of migrating applications to the cloud. This blog post explains the role of Enterprise Observability in migrating applications to the cloud.
A key cloud migration component that is often overlooked is Enterprise Observability – and how vigorous it needs to be. Legacy APM and other monitoring tools don’t work well or at all in the cloud. In fact, that’s why Enterprise Observability technology was invented. Clearly, organizations needed a new way to view, aggregate, and contextualize Metrics, Events, Traces, and Latency in rapidly evolving environments to assist successful application migrations. Application Migration and Enterprise Observability go hand in hand.
For cloud migrations, observability needs to be continuous throughout the entire migration process – before, during, and after. Enterprises that observe performance only after the migration – or even before and after – are often surprised that 1) performance in the cloud isn’t what it was on-premise and 2) the source of problems are unknown and will require significant effort to uncover.
During the migration, Enterprise Observability lets you see how the service migrations are progressing and if they meet performance expectations as they’re deployed. If there are any little surprises at any stage, you’ll know immediately so you can address them well before they become big surprises.
But Enterprise Observability isn’t just about monitoring. It’s comprised of:
- Automatic and continuous discovery & mapping
- Precise high-fidelity visibility
- Cloud, container and microservice native components
- Real-time full stack application data model
- AI-assisted monitoring and troubleshooting
- Shift-Left Observability in Dev and CI/CD pipelines
Enterprise Observability’s automated visibility ensures that every new service, endpoint, container, etc. is automatically discovered and monitored, and all transactions are traced from end to end. Granularity is also very important and should be no more than at one second intervals in order to ensure that no potential problems are missed. It includes applying contextual data about dependencies so it can provide meaningful insight about any issue.
Where Enterprise Observability assists application migrations
Enterprise Observability helps in the operational steps associated with moving an application from on-premise to the cloud. In the list below, which I introduced in my previous post, the steps that Enterprise Observability supports are highlighted with the Instana logo.
1. Define your business goals
- Identify business goals for the migration
- Map business goals with IT capabilities & constraints, such as compliance
- Involve all stakeholders in the process
2. Discover, catalog and select applications
- Identify all applications in use
- Qualify applications for cloud readiness
- Baseline app performance & networks
- Map dependencies
3. Specify the migration type
- Retain – no migration
- Re-host – re-host application in cloud
- Re-platform – host application in cloud & make minor infrastructure changes
- Refactor – recode parts of the app and/or deploy new application architecture
- Retire – replace app with another app
4. Migrate, test, and refine
- Migrate the application workload
- Compare on premise & cloud app behavior
- Test cloud implementation
- Observe & resolve problems & fine-tune
- Repeat as needed
- Drive performance optimization
- Keep MTTR under control
- Manage cloud performance & costs
Enterprise Observability provides the critical feedback information to make sure the migration is succeeding and provide you with immediate and continuous feedback throughout. It can also tell you if you’ve achieved the overall goal with end-to-end traces from an Application Perspective and show more granular detailed information that you can use to make improvements throughout the migration process. Before you start a migration project, benchmark the performance of your existing systems. As you proceed, be sure to record the same measurements at each stage to compare to your benchmarks.
Application Migration and Enterprise Observability combine to enable an agile process. That’s where you structure and then progressively achieve benchmark results so that there are no surprises at the end. And like agile has done for software development, it allows for a smoother, more iterative migration process that delivers the desired outcome.