When migrating workloads from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2, should you deploy them locally as VMs on a virtualization host that you manage, or should you host them in the public cloud?
The quick answer to this question is “it depends”.
Many organizations already have servers hosted on a rack in someone else’s datacenter. If that’s where your Windows Server 2003 servers are sitting, migrating the workloads to the public cloud and running them as IaaS VMs isn’t that much of a leap. You’ve just gone from physically hosting them in someone else’s facility to virtually hosting them in someone else’s facility.
It’s also important to realize that the cloud isn’t an “all or nothing” proposition. You can migrate some workloads so that they are hosted virtually as IaaS VMs, or even on a public cloud provider’s PaaS resources whilst retaining others “on premises”.
There are two types of workloads that you shouldn’t migrate to the cloud:
- Workloads that you can’t run in the cloud for existential reasons, such as organizational policies, compliance, or regulatory issues.
- Workloads that aren’t supported in the cloud. There are some workloads that simply are not supported in cloud environments. Many organizations can only run workloads in a vendor supported way.
The cloud has benefits, but it won’t suit every organization. If you’re unsure about whether a workload should be migrated to the cloud, perform a trial to see how well a cloud deployment suits the workload. If it doesn’t work, you can always find another way of deploying the updated workload.