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Google buys Velostrata to take the lead on cloud migrations

The latest Google acquisition is all about the enterprise market, as it aims to fold in Velostrata to ease the transition from private data centers to its public cloud.

Google's latest acquisition is a reminder that cloud migrations still aren't easy.

The vendor has agreed to acquire Velostrata, an Israeli cloud migration company. Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is known for innovative technology to build cloud-native applications, but this deal is focused squarely on moving enterprises' existing workloads from their private data centers to Google's cloud.

Google is smart to make any acquisitions that speed the migration of complex application to its platform, and the Velostrata deal has similarities to Microsoft's acquisition of Cloudyn last year, said Dave Bartoletti, a Forrester analyst. Cloudyn addressed cost management instead of migrations, but the purchase more broadly represented Microsoft buying assets to bolster Azure, rather than wait for deep third-party management support already available to rival AWS.

"Google can wait until the migration vendors offer specific support for migration to Google -- while they also support migration to AWS and Azure -- or buy one and focus the vendor on migrating apps to Google," Bartoletti said.

Google still lags well behind AWS and Azure in enterprise adoption, and its relative lack of third-party support is one reflection of that. Third-party vendors tend to move with market demand, which is why many companies that were solely focused on AWS expanded to Azure over the past three years, as Microsoft emerged as a legitimate competitor. Google hasn't yet built that same momentum, and so it has taken the reins to address enterprise migrations.

Dave Bartoletti, ForresterDave Bartoletti

Velostrata said it has migrated thousands of complex applications and databases to the public cloud, and the vast majority of those presumably went to AWS and Azure. Velostrata only added GCP support a little over a month ago, though GCP customers have been using it independently for migrations prior to that integration. Google declined to comment on whether it learned anything over the past month that made the acquisition more attractive.

Velostrata entered the cloud market in 2014 to establish hybrid deployments for its customers, with storage kept on premises and data streamed to cloud applications to get the new environments up and running immediately. Over time, that strategy shifted more toward total cloud migrations, while still using its streaming technology to hasten a migration and maintain dual environments until the replication is complete.

Google can wait until the migration vendors offer specific support for migration to Google ... or buy one and focus the vendor on migrating apps to Google.
Dave Bartolettianalyst, Forrester

Velostrata has said its agentless architecture can save up to five hours per server during a migration because it eliminates the need to deploy and eventually uninstall agent software. The company also provides recommendations for VM types and sizes to best fit an application's needs to its new environment, which can avoid overprovisioning and save money.

Velostrata also has a tool to test cloud applications with real data, without any affect on on-premises production workloads, as well as options to migrate to GCP from other clouds. It also enables a stateful rollback to a private data center, in case a customer ultimately opts to forgo its cloud plans.

Currently, customers can use a vCenter plug-in to link Velostrata's migration platform with the GCP management console. The result is a familiar interface for VMware and GCP customers, according to Velostrata.

It's unclear how this will impact Velostrata's support for migrations to AWS or Azure. Velostrata is listed as an Advanced Network Partner for AWS, which is the highest tier in a system based on the popularity of a service and its investment on AWS. It also opens the partner to joint go-to-market sales strategies.

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