Every cloud migration needs a project plan – whether it’s large enterprise or a small to mid-sized business. As part of the discovery and planning phase of a migration, conducting a thorough assessment of the source and destination environment is inevitable.
Creating a plan of what workloads from the data center need to be migrated to the cloud, is an important step in the planning phase. For that, companies need to:
- Review their existing physical or hybrid architecture
- Create a comprehensive inventory of the applications, websites, workloads, databases, and other services
- Identify outdated applications and redundant data early in the process. Having the practice of data deduplication in the first place would have eliminated redundant data and unnecessary allocation of storage space, thereby handling the ever-increasing workloads to some extent
Virtual Capacity planning
As organizations scale, the planning for a greater application-workload demand is critical. Capacity planning in virtual environments considers how much processing computer power your current applications require, how much processing you have available to you and how to distribute that load in a virtual environment.
Effective virtual environment capacity planning requires taking inventory of applications, allocating computing power and organizing disaster recovery resources.
Determining workload/server interdependencies is essential to the pre-migration planning process. Understanding the contours of the web, data, and application services landscape is a pre-requisite for determining how a migration project will flow.
Documenting these service relationships during your pre-migration assessment helps identify tasks that can be performed concurrently to conserve project time and capital, and also ensures post-migration functionality while streamlining the testing process.
Speaking of the testing process, there must be an emphasis put on migration testing before the go-live. Most cloud migrations, currently underway or in planning stages will involve some magnitude of difference from source to destination. Changes range from server OS version upgrades, adding or consolidating servers, implementing new cloud services like load balancing, DR/failover, auto-scaling, all of which impact the migrated applications or workloads in some way. Thorough testing is the only way to discover and resolve any adverse impact these differences have on the digital assets of any organization.
One of the most important parts of the planning process is preparing a rollback strategy to reduce the risk in case of running into problems during the go-live. Establishing reliable backup services in the new environment if needed, and designing and implementing comprehensive DR plans and fail-over environments when your business requires it, should also be duly undertaken.
While it does represent more effort on the front end, a thorough discovery, assessment, and planning phase prior to executing the migration itself will pay dividends in helping to ensure a smooth and seamless transition to the cloud.
Using Automated Migration Tools
“Like-to-Like” server migrations that do not require an OS upgrade may be accomplished using some of the automated migration tools that are available. A hybrid approach that automates part of the process can significantly reduce the cost, complexity, and overall project lifetime of the migration.
Deciding what to share and what to safeguard
A company will need new policies for how to simultaneously share and safeguard sensitive data.
Example: If you share a file with a client on Google Drive, it is imperative that you give them access just to the files you want them to read, rather than all your files that contain classified information.
Cataloging files and raising awareness of the need to keep your company’s data secure, is essential too.