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Ensure Success with a Cloud Migration Checklist

Posted by Indusa Admin on March 22, 2016 12:20 pm

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Perplexed about the right way to move to the cloud? Well, you’re not alone! Moving to the cloud can be complex if you’ve not planned for it properly. So how do you develop a cloud migration strategy that is aligned with your business goals and objectives? What measures do you take to get the most out of your cloud investment? Where do you begin? The best way to increase the likelihood of a successful migration is to start by outlining steps and developing a migration plan that takes into account all aspects of the migration: business, technology and partner.
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Use this checklist guide for planning the move to the cloud and ensure a successful migration.
This sample checklist lists out major facets required for moving an existing application to the cloud platform. It is based on the following scenario –

1.Business Considerations

It’s important to understand how your business is going to benefit from this migration:

  1. Understand what gains you expect to achieve with the migration
    • Speed of operations
    • Increased scalability and agility
    • Financial savings
    • Improved customer experience
  2. Deliberate why you are not able to achieve these improvements with your current setup
    • Lack of experienced and expert in-house staff
    • Legacy system limitations
    • Inadequate budget
  3. Rank the infrastructure, platforms, and services that you intend to move to the cloud in order of expected savings and improvements (In case of roadblocks in the process later, this list can help you prioritize the migration)
  4. Understand your team’s perception of and approach to the migration
    • Identify and include business practices and internal teams that would be affected by the migration in the planning process
    • Understand the major concerns of various teams
  5. Evaluate post-migration business situations
    • Create use-case scenarios that define how business practices and customer experiences will improve after migration to the cloud
    • Associate the scenarios with existing practices and customer experiences
    • Carry out a cost-benefit analysis to ensure the benefits are worth the cost
    • Deliberate if the benefits are in line with expectations
    • Identify changes that have to be incorporated in the current processes
    • Plan for a new customer support model

2. Technology Considerations

Taking a close look at your existing investments in infrastructure and assessing the current status of your hardware, application portfolios, and network architecture is crucial to cloud success to a successful cloud migration.

  1. Evaluate your existing infrastructure
    • Review your current lease and support agreements
    • Check your license renewal dates
    • Examine legacy applications
    • Analyze your applications, databases, and online transactions and identify which of these need to be migrated vis-à-vis continue to reside on premise
    • Identify the integration plan and list down the activities
  2. Understand your current workloads
    • Identify business critical workloads
    • Examine where the workloads fit in the application lifecycle
    • Analyze implications for required service levels, response times, and other relevant performance-related measures
    • Scrutinize any specific security and compliance requirements
  3. Evaluate your application architecture
    • Evaluate if your application architecture is cloud friendly
    • If not, identify the prerequisites for refactoring the application for the cloud environment
    • Verify if the applications to be migrated have been optimized for the cloud
    • Identify the testing plan
  4. Determine your service needs
    • Identify the OS, databases and servers being used and their cloud migration plan
    • Analyze the CPU, network, memory, and storage requirements
    • Explore the most beneficial cloud service – IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS
    • Inspect need for moving business critical apps to a private cloud
    • Analyze the need for dedicated servers vis-à-vis VM environment
    • Choose between data access over the public Internet vs secure connection
  5. Understand the repercussions of the new environment
    • Identify possible bottlenecks that will be introduced due to the new environment
    • Check if your applications have integration points with on-premises systems, and plan for appropriate workarounds
    • Make sure your applications get the necessary CPU, memory, and speed to meet historic performance levels
    • Ascertain the bandwidth and latency requirements
    • Identify tools that you can reuse
  6. Determine the level of performance required
    • Understand the basis on which this level is determined and its accuracy
    • Identify the minimum level required versus the pre-requisite levels
    • Explore whether optimizing the current hardware infrastructure before migration makes sense
  7. Identify the costs involved
    • Number of resources required to support the workload
    • Operational costs
    • License costs
  8. Create a Migration Plan
    • Ascertain how you will ensure business continuity during the migration
    • Do an assessment of changes that need to be made to your internal processes
    • Identify changes in technology-related responsibilities post-migration, and assign migration roles
    • Look at the possibility of downtime and have plans in place to manage and mitigate

3.  Cloud Hosting Partner Considerations

Assessing service providers on criteria such as their cloud experience, current financial state, and their ability to keep up with demand will help you evaluate their standing in the industry:

  1. Service provider’s process of client selection
    • Check if they specialize in providing cloud services for a core set of industries
    • Get in touch with their clients for feedback
    • Ascertain if the service provider partners with other companies to offer services. If so, determine the extent of those services
    • Do a due diligence on these partners in terms of security and trustworthiness
    • If possible, arrange an onsite visit and tour of their facilities
  2. Partner’s approach to security and privacy
    • Evaluate their monitoring and testing activities
    • Check security of their physical premises and look for security breaches
    • Understand their access regulation procedures
    • Examine if an administrator or another client can gain access to business data
  3. Fee structure
    • Explore available billing options
    • Understand the flexibility of their packages
    • Check if their prices vary dynamically based on demand
  4. Service provider’s flexibility
    • Capability to listen to and understand your business requirements
    • Ascertain if they have a “one size fits all” philosophy or if they are open to working collaboratively in providing a personalized, business-specific solution
  5. Service providers’ capability
    • Evaluate the level of scalability they provide and its competence to fit your current and future needs
    • Verify whether and how they comply with government and industry regulations that your business requires
    • Identify the type of hardware they use. Check if it is a legacy system or a modern system
    • Determine the compatibility of their systems with your business and software needs
    • Assess their service availability record. Check frequency and duration of their downtime in the last couple of years
  6. SLA
    • Determine the level of support you can expect from the provider
    • On-site support staff
    • Response and resolution times in the event of an incident
    • 24×7 availability
    • Evaluate if they have dedicated point of contact for your business
    • Ascertain the level of commitment to customer service
    • Review their disaster recovery plans, and their process of managing potential data disruptions
    • Backup policy

Are You Cloud Ready?

If you want to move to the cloud, sufficient planning is required in preparation and implementation of the new solution. Several migrations fail because companies treat all their applications as the same, whereas for successful migration, you need to consider each application individually and see what works best for the application: a transfer, an upgrade, a complete redesign, or no migration at all. By closely studying your current infrastructure and the business drivers, outcomes, and constraints of a migration, you can arrive at a cloud readiness assessment that will help you set a realistic migration plan. With such a plan, you’re bound to positively transform how you do business.

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Neha
About the Author – Neha Kumar

Neha Kumar is a digital media evangelist and marketing professional. She overlooks Indusa’s content management, social media, online events, email marketing, blogs, digital campaigns, lead generation and inside sales activities on a broader scale.

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Contibuting Author: Malavika Nityanandam