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July 20, 2018

Cloud Migration Planning: 5 Things to Consider

Operating on the Cloud is becoming an essential business requirement and 80% of companies worldwide are increasing their use of Cloud services. This is likely driven by the great cost, productivity and user experience benefits operating in the Cloud offers. However, Cloud migration is not without its risks. Done badly, migration to the Cloud can be a long, costly and risky process that touches on every area of the business.

Here are 5 of the things you should be considering when planning your move to the Cloud:

1. Baselines and KPIs

It’s important before you start the migration to understand what migration success looks like and then to measure this as you go along. This starts with having a clear picture of what your current performance is like as a baseline to validate Cloud migration improvements. You can then use KPIs around user experience, application and component performance, infrastructure and business engagement to measure the success of your move to the Cloud.

2. Which applications to migrate and in what order

The Cloud is not the optimal environment for everything, so it’s important to think carefully about what you want to migrate and how to manage this. Applications running on proprietary or custom hardware or operating systems, for example, may not be suitable if they cannot be virtualized. It’s also important to consider the order in which you want to migrate services. It makes the most sense to start with services with the fewest dependencies, so you will likely migrate internal services first and then move towards the services that are most likely to impact customers. Beginning with non-critical data or applications gives you a chance to perfect your migration method while reducing risk.

3. Data migration

Data migration is possibly the most important and also the highest-risk step in the Cloud migration process. Where the data is located can impact Cloud performance, so you need to decide carefully whether to keep data on or off-premise. The success of a Cloud migration can hinge on data, so take extra care when planning this step. You must have a clear understanding of the purpose of all the data you hold to ensure that relevant information is captured and irrelevant data is not transferred to the new system. Cleaning data and keeping it clean will simplify the migration process and help you get the most out of your applications at the other end.

4. Downtime

Most Cloud migrations require at least some downtime, although the number of organizations opting for a 0 downtime window is growing. You need to know how much system downtime you can afford, plan for when it is likely to cause the least issues and optimize the migration process as much as possible to reduce the level of downtime required. Having an intelligent end-to-end process can reduce the size of the final data sync and therefore reduce outage time.

5. Monitoring and Optimization

The work doesn’t stop when all your applications and data are safely migrated to the Cloud. You need to continually monitor and optimize your Cloud services to get the most out of them. For example, if you continue to allocate resources statically, you’re not getting one of the main benefits of the Cloud, which is the ability to scale up and down as needed.

There’s a lot to consider when migrating to the Cloud. Thorough planning and understanding the benefits you want to achieve are essential to success. Spreadsheets don’t provide the level of planning and human and machine orchestration necessary to ensure a successful migration due to their complexity, but Cutover does.

Using Cutover allows you to collaboratively plan and run your Cloud migration, maintaining visibility of current status throughout. Cutover provides enterprise human and machine orchestration in one place, linking to technical enterprise tools for full visibility. The full audit trail makes tasks more repeatable and easier to optimize.

Find out more about using Cutover for your cloud or data center migration.

Chloe Lovatt
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