At present companies spend a considerable portion of their IT budgets on cloud based services. And cloud migration continues. Cloud based services offer conveniences and cost savings which are just too hard to ignore. But cloud migration has to be properly planned and implemented, otherwise some of those benefits may be lost.
The Different Stages Of Cloud Migration
There is no universal solution out there, so each company must define its needs properly. Thus the first stage in cloud migration is assessment.
It is not as if cloud providers provide the same kind of service which would leave you to choose solely based on prices. Make sure to know your needs sufficiently to be able to choose the best fit. You need to consider your workload demands. If you choose a company which offers over-the-top capacities, you will be paying for more than you need; on the other hand, a cloud service provider without a bit of room for workload peaks is almost sure to let you down. If you have existing tools, procedures and applications, it would be a great help if you choose a cloud vendor which offers the necessary support. Then of course there is the realistic cost to consider. If you do not define your needs properly, you may end up surprised by special charges for features you failed to ask for initially.
When you have sufficiently defined your needs and chosen a cloud vendor, it is time to come up with an implementation plan. You need to consider moving a few non-critical applications first. This will allow your staff to cope and give you chance to test the waters. Make a list of the applications and the order you want to follow in migrating them to the cloud. Most companies take a hybrid approach when it is not practical to move some applications and files offsite. Plan to include the procedural changes the differences between the architecture of onsite and cloud environments will prompt. Users will have to be identified and passwords issued. Staff will also need training. Most importantly, don’t move anything before you do a simulation or test-run.
Implementation comes next. Do not expect everything to run smoothly and allow for minor glitches. Actual transfer of data may be done directly through the internet for small files; organizations with large amounts of data to transfer should consider compressing the data and physically shipping storage devices to the cloud vendor. It is important to ensure adequate security controls are in place during data transfer. Migrating applications may require some configuration changes, both to enable deployment to the clouds as well as to make processes more efficient.
Last on the list is to confirm that all your processes work as you expected. Users should be able to access applications. Verify that all the data you have transferred to the cloud have reached their destination. This online article explains why verification testing is important in cloud migrations.
Proper evaluation of your needs, adequate planning, phased implementation and verification will ensure your move to the cloud involve only minor hiccups at most.