Briefing Note: RiverMeadow’s Cloud Mobility Platform Automates Cloud Migration Process

As cloud adoption grows in corporate data centers, companies are migrating existing workloads into the cloud, a complex, manual process that can take several hours for each server. This may be OK if you’ve moving a dozen or so, but totally inadequate if you need to move tens or hundreds of servers. RiverMeadow’s Cloud Mobility Platform makes mass migration doable, even in heterogeneous environments with mixed platforms, combinations of physical and virtual servers or servers from other clouds.

Cloud Mobility Platform

RiverMeadow orchestrates the entire process, providing automated workload migration from essentially any platform to any other platform, physical, virtual or cloud – public and private. According to RiverMeadow, most of the other vendors in this space are really selling cloud-enabled adaptations of another technology. As an example, some products began life as data replication solutions, “data movers” that were designed to synchronize remote servers. Other products were originally designed as physical-to-virtual conversion tools or container apps.

The RiverMeadow solution was purpose-built as a SaaS cloud mobility platform that automates the process of recreating the source server environment and moves that image into the target cloud, ready to run. They support VMware, Oracle, AWS, OpenStack, KVM, HP Helion and Cisco in a software-as-a-service model so there are no agents to install and no dedicated hardware to buy. This means data center managers can easily perform large and complex migrations, involving multiple platforms and multiple clouds without special expertise and with very little human intervention.

How it Works

First, RiverMeadow’s Cloud Appliance deploys into the target cloud data center as a virtual machine and collects the source server system meta-data and attributes required to build what they call a “TargetWorker”; specifics about system OS, memory, storage, CPU, etc. Then, it pushes them up to the RiverMeadow cloud where the TargetWorker is actually created. Finally, the TargetWorker is pushed into the target cloud data center where it collects data from the source server, customizes that data for the target cloud and reboots the new target server. At that point the migration is complete and the source and target servers can be tested and switched over.

Their “Secure Direct Migration” method separates the SaaS control plane from the data plane and allows RiverMeadow to get behind the firewall to conduct the migration. And again, this entire process is automated so that hundreds or thousands of servers can be migrated simultaneously.

Where it’s Used

Currently, most cloud migrations are into a public cloud from an enterprise data center, as companies move more and more applications into the cloud. This job falls on the cloud providers themselves, as they strive to make a complex implementation easier for their customers. For this reason, RiverMeadow currently sells through partners, like Cisco and HP Helion, that bring them into large cloud and telco data centers to facilitate the onboarding of new customers.

In large enterprises platform consolidation is essentially an ongoing process, as they deal with mergers and acquisitions or just the management of their existing disparate infrastructures. RiverMeadow is seeing their business expand in these enterprise environments as well, as IT organizations look for ways to handle this consolidation and what’s often a continual refresh and upgrade cycle.

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) that deal with server migration jobs are also interested in RiverMeadow as a way to improve a process that’s typically been heavy in professional services (PS). Using RiverMeadow’s automation they can lower their costs, reduce their requirements for PS talent (often hard to find) and successfully take on much larger migration jobs.

StorageSwiss Take

Moving to the cloud originally meant hosting mostly new applications or services with a provider like Amazon or a large telco’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service operation. But now, as companies use the cloud for more existing, legacy applications, moving into the cloud starts to look very different than these ‘greenfield’ migrations – and much more difficult.

This is the heavy-lifting side of cloud implementation, one that requires a different set of tools. These ‘brownfield’ use cases are much more complicated because they have to deal with multiple hypervisors, multiple server platforms, even multiple clouds that existing applications are running in.

RiverMeadow’s SaaS-based Cloud Mobility Platform offers a solution for cloud providers to on-board new customers easily, even with hundreds of servers. This technology can also greatly simplify the ongoing migration activity that enterprises face with mergers, consolidation and constant platform upgrades. Finally, MSPs can leverage RiverMeadow’s platform to lower the PS content of their operations and handle larger migrations.

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Eric is an Analyst with Storage Switzerland and has over 25 years experience in high-technology industries. He’s held technical, management and marketing positions in the computer storage, instrumentation, digital imaging and test equipment fields. He has spent the past 15 years in the data storage field, with storage hardware manufacturers and as a national storage integrator, designing and implementing open systems storage solutions for companies in the Western United States.  Eric earned degrees in electrical/computer engineering from the University of Colorado and marketing from California State University, Humboldt.  He and his wife live in Colorado and have twins in college.

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