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cloud migration projectsThe intensity of the competition between managed service providers vying to win cloud migration projects is about to increase by several notches.

At an AWS Summits event in New York this week, Amazon Web Services rolled out a free AWS Migration Hub, a set of dashboards IT leaders can use to discover, track, and manage all the AWS workload migration projects happening across their organization. Via those dashboards Adrian Cockcroft, vice president of cloud architecture for AWS, showed how IT leaders will be able to see how long each project is taking and which MSP is working on them.

Naturally, it won’t be long before IT leaders are applying analytics against that data to determine which MSP has the best track record for managing migrations. In fact, MSPs should expect all the major cloud service providers to give their customers similar insights into cloud migration projects. Rather than making grand marketing statements about their capabilities, MSPs looking to win a cloud migration project will need to provide some hard data that proves their expertise.

Growing cloud migration opportunity

One of the first vendors to provide for AWS Migration Hub in a suite of cloud migration tools is Racemi. Company CEO Steven Horwitz says that in his estimates only about 20 percent of public cloud opportunity has been addressed. Most of that opportunity has been focused on green field applications. The bulk of the remaining opportunity is brown field applications that need to be lifted and shifted from an on-premises IT environment into a public cloud.

Horwitz says Racemi recently changed its business model to so it is now 100-percent lead by channel partners. MSPs, says Horwitz, are picking up the lion’s share of application migration opportunities because customers see them as trusted advisors.

Based on AWS growth rates, the number and size of those opportunities is likely to continue to accelerate. This week, Cockcroft said AWS is now on a $16 billion run rate and that in any given month there are now millions of active customers spanning startups, government agencies, and enterprise IT organizations.

The future of cloud migration projects

Thanks to the rise of technologies such as Docker containers, it has also become simpler than ever to lift and shift an enterprise application into a public cloud. Just as significantly for MSPs, many of the applications currently running on a public cloud might very well need to be shifted back to an on-premises environment for any number of performance and compliance reasons. As hybrid cloud computing continues to evolve, some workloads may even wind up moving back and forth between a public cloud and a local instance of a private cloud.

One thing that is clear is that demand for the expertise needed to manage those migrations is likely to increase. In time, many of those projects may be simpler to achieve employing containers and advances in IT automation. But, as existing enterprise applications increasingly get redeployed in the cloud, the opportunity to manage those projects will be too great for MSPs to ignore.

Photo: Gwoeli/Shutterstock

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Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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