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Just about every IT organization these days is wrestling, to one degree or another, with trying to figure out what existing application workloads might actually be able to run in the cloud.

With new applications, the decision is relatively straightforward. But most existing applications were not designed to run in the cloud. As such, there is a fair amount of work that needs to go into making them “cloud-ready.”

This week, Cloud Technology Partners released an update to PaaSLane, a static code analysis tool that solution providers can use to help customers assess what existing applications might be able to run in a cloud computing environment.

Although Cloud Technology Partners is a solution provider in its own right, Ben Grubin, director of product management, said the company decided to make PaaSLane available to other solution providers and end users because Cloud Technology Partners simply doesn’t have enough consultants of its own to address the total available market.

Most customers have applications that are rarely used. As such, they don’t need dedicated IT infrastructure.

In other instances, the customer would simply prefer to treat more of their IT investments as an operating expense. Some customers are just sick of paying maintenance fees for on-premise software. Whatever the motivation, every application workload running on-premise either needs to be tweaked, or completely rewritten in some cases, to run in the cloud.

PaaSLane 2.5 helps simplify that process by adding support for Microsoft.Net applications alongside Java. In addition, PaaSLane is now available in two formats. One is an assessment tool, while the other is designed to automate many of the processes associated with actually migrating an application to the cloud.

There’s a lot of nuance when it comes to migrating existing applications to the cloud. Not only is each cloud computing platform different, the nature of the code base between applications developed using different programming languages can vary widely. The good news is that, in terms of making the migration to the cloud, it’s still relatively early days.

The challenge, of course, is finding a way not only to allow that migration to occur as fast as possible, but also in a way that results in the best experience possible once that application actually begins to run in the cloud.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.