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How to Plan Your Migration to the Cloud

How to Plan Your Migration to the Cloud

Since I have already provided some guidelines for choosing a cloud provider, I would like to further discuss steps to be undertaken when preparing for a cloud migration.

Problems might appear at any moment, and the best thing you can do is take all measures to reduce risks and minimize their potential negative effect. This is why advanced planning for a cloud migration is crucial.

Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when planning for a cloud migration:

  • Perform an analysis of processes and evaluation of business needs. You should keep in mind how much can your IT staff can handle? Should you think about outsourcing your application development to a software provider”? What applications do you need to move? Also, set up clear objectives. How much do you want to save? How much can you actually save? Assessing these basic facts will help you prepare your migration as well as helping you evaluate and negotiate with your cloud provider.

  • After evaluating the cloud provider offering decide the exact terms of the partnership. The first step I described will help you decide exactly what to ask from your cloud provider. Depending on the characteristics of your business, you can choose the cloud provider who offers either a customized offer or comes closer to meeting your business needs.

  • Perform a test of both the cloud provider and how the new technology integrates into your business, by implementing/migrating an application which is not vital to your business. The good news is that most cloud computing vendors offer free trials. This will also give you the opportunity to see if you are comfortable with the way your cloud provider works.

  • Always have an alternate plan – before the actual implementation, decide upon using some alternative solutions to how the migration is made. What if something goes wrong? Having backup in place is vital. And, if you consider point 2, than you probably already have a Service Level Agreement in place.

I hope these guidelines are useful. What other guidelines do you consider important?

By Rick Blaisdell

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One Response to How to Plan Your Migration to the Cloud

  1. If confidence in moving to a cloud provider can not be met, there can be major problems down the road…

    Without determining potential road blocks (and hopefully time to resolve
    those roadblocks) IT will spin wheels unnecessarily on system
    migrations and pay dearly with the time and frustration that results.
    Intensive planning around system buildout in the cloud, migration planning,
    operational maintenance, and disaster recovery plans are all important
    to making such projects a success.

    It would be unfair to any
    organization to simply pick up and move out of the datacenter in its
    entirety — there may be those few legacy applications which are not
    ideal candidates to migrate to cloud infrastructure and need to remain
    on physical machines as-is. The cost to rebuild such solutions to be
    cloud ready may not provide enough benefit in the short term.

    All said, I’m a fan of careful planning and phased migrations. Anything less could set your IT team up for disaster.

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