One of the challenges of using public cloud resources has consistently been the inability to easily move applications once they’ve been humming away. As Gary Chen, research manager for enterprise virtualization at IDC stated in an interview with Network World, “A lot of public cloud providers build their platforms on VMware but even moving an application from a VMware VM at Amazon to one at Rackspace would be a problem.”
Chen continued that it is possible to relocate the VM but success depends on a range of factors and services, “queuing or database services like the ones Amazon runs or whatever—and it would still rely on those; to move it you’d have to figure out that dependency and add something to fill in the gap.”
Author Kevin Fogarty points to some services that are attempting to eliminate the public cloud lockdown, including Racemi’s DynaCenter image-based provisioning server, which automates certain workload migrations from EC2 over to similar environments at Rackspace.
According to Chen, this ability to switch from one cloud to another “or another vendor’s VM platform to another will be increasingly useful over time but right now it’s a marginal function in both environments.”
Racemi’s CEO Lawrence Guillory notes that not all workloads run well in cloud computing environments or run well when they’re living in the cloud full-time. However, “automating the movement of workloads among hypervisors or between clouds and internal data centers gives customers another set of optimization options.”