In the SourceFuse “Talking Out Cloud” leadership chat series, we were joined by special guest, Neerad Dwivedi from Amazon Web Services (AWS), to discuss the drivers, challenges, and benefits of migrating Windows workloads to AWS with SourceFuse.

#1 For on-premise workloads, what are the biggest drivers for cloud migration?

I started with cloud technology way back in 2005 when it was really difficult to explain what cloud is. Today, we have come to a stage of maturity where the cloud is something which is well understood by organizations, irrespective of the industry, sector (public or private), or company size. In my 17 years’ experience, the biggest trigger I see that leads to cloud adoption is addressing reliability and upcoming software/hardware refresh in an organization’s current ecosystem, 

The second is performance, where organizations look at their current workload and what’s needed in order to grow the business. In these cases, they have to adopt new technology and aggressively scout for cloud services.

The third trigger is security, especially where a customer has an on-premise data center and physical security is becoming a really big problem. To counter that, a cloud environment becomes their first choice, providing a highly secure environment. COVID took everyone by surprise and during that time I saw innovation using cloud technology increase to a whole new level. Once organizations have their infrastructure and services sorted, the easiest way to explore further technologies and services is via the cloud.

And last but not least, organizations are looking at reducing total cost of ownership, where expenses are associated not only with infrastructure services but also with the ecosystem that supports the complete landscape.

#2 What are the biggest roadblocks or challenges for customers looking to migrate or modernize their workloads to AWS? 

The triggers I mentioned were also the blockers! Many organizations who had moved their data center were facing issues of the infrastructure going down for some reason or other. The failure may have occurred while going to some flavor of cloud; for example, initial cloud flavors, or private cloud set-ups, were thought to be much better than staying on-premise, but there were still some limitations because the environment was shared. 

Secondly, for those early types of cloud environment, cost played a big role. In spite of a private cloud being a shared setup, the cost still used to be high because not everything was in a shared environment. 

Then thirdly, security was an important blocker because people felt that being in a shared environment might increase the risk of data breaches. So even by adapting and improving uptime, the security was still a concern. AWS helps overcome these challenges, as it has been providing cloud services longer than any other provider, and is now one of the largest and most experienced cloud services providers. For more than a decade, Gartner has chosen us as leaders in its magic quadrant, based on not only the current services and quality adoption, but also recognizing how we create short-term and long-term cloud roadmaps. We are further ahead than any other service provider because of our cloud capabilities, reliability, ease of usage, and integration into other technologies. And that is how we have removed the majority of obstacles or hurdles which organizations face, enabling them to adapt.


#3 What AWS programs support migrations and modernizations?

AWS has learnt that organizations today are looking at cloud migration for their current workloads, and that many of those workloads are on end-of-life software. So, they’re exploring using the cloud in a very different way, not only migration but also modernizing workloads. This could mean taking them out of a Windows ecosystem, removing the need for licenses which then makes them cheaper to operate and consume. Going cloud native makes scalability much easier, as well as the ability to incorporate other cloud native technology and services.

With the help of SourceFuse, AWS has created multiple programs that can be used not only for migration but also modernizing workloads wherever needed. And with modernization, organizations gain from our combined experience as we incorporate industry best practices within existing systems, platforms, or applications. This helps customers harness the cloud better and also better compete in their own field.

The AWS programs support SourceFuse customers by not only providing the funding, but also by providing additional tools for whatever applications and packages are being developed. Working with an advanced AWS Consulting Partner like SourceFuse is a combination which works really well.

#4 How do customers benefit from working with AWS Consulting Partners?

For a customer looking at either migrating or modernizing workloads, they may be faced with the roadblocks mentioned earlier. An AWS Consulting Partner can help them understand how and what the migration or modernization process will be, and also describe how other similar organizations experienced the process. This adds reassurance for an organization, making the decision for cloud adoption much easier.

Then the second step comes, where they are looking at not only adopting cloud, but also adding new capabilities and industry best practices. Partners that can demonstrate industry-proven applications help ease the journey to cloud and empower organizations to be more competitive in their segment.

Thirdly, customers should be focusing on their own services, core operations or processes, rather than getting too deep into what technologies are available. Our Consulting Partners are very strong in not only migrating, but also providing ongoing managed services. New or updated regulatory compliances can be deployed to ensure continuous improvements for existing customers or to help new customers seamlessly adapt cloud services and technologies. 

#5 What trends were seen in the Microsoft workloads vertical in 2021?

COVID changed how organizations looked at technology. What I realized is that organizations were certainly cornered into utilizing the cloud, to provide employees with work-from-home technology, bringing a new normal of new tech adoption. Prior to this, it was certainly thought about but without the inclination to implement – COVID changed everything for them. They suddenly realized that in order to enable employees to work from home they needed to go an extra mile, and the easiest way was starting with an ‘out-of-the-box’ cloud solution with minimum strings.

New goals were being set: the ability to connect both regional and global employees across a single region, while enabling new operations and enhancing security at the backend. That raised the bar for organizations, rolling out a new set of tools to improve efficiency while working remotely. The last two years have accelerated the adoption of cloud by at least five years. All in all, migration and also modernization of current workloads has been the top priority for the majority of customers, quickly turning thoughts into action. 

#6 What’s your 2022 prediction for Microsoft workloads and AWS?

The majority of organizations have started adopting cloud, and are now considering modernizing their workloads. This is because even after migrating their workloads away from a legacy environment, they might not be able to leverage new and advanced cloud native technologies. Therefore, they will have to modernize their workloads, in a microservices or serverless type of architecture, in order to leverage more cloud native services within their applications, not just now but also long into the future. So, that is one change in Microsoft workloads which I foresee in 2022, where not only migrating but also monetizing their workload is going to be important.

A second important usage or application which I foresee is consolidation of cloud platforms. There are organizations who are currently using multiple clouds, and consolidation into a single cloud enables complete data analytics, using AI and ML, to provide real-time actionable insights.

And finally, adoption of new technologies and ‘failing fast’ is going to be the mantra for many organizations, who previously were not very deep into technologies. COVID has taught them that in order to grow, explore and reach new markets, or to reinvent themselves, they need to adapt.

Discover the business value of migrating and modernizing your Windows workloads on AWS.