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Dec 29 / 2016

The 5 Steps of Every Cloud Migration (Dennis Allio, Group President, Cloud Technology Services)

It can be a little daunting to kick off your cloud migration. A good approach to starting this work is to break it down into steps. I would like to introduce you to our 5-step process for a cloud migration. You can use the steps for an individual application, as well as a high-level planning tool for your the entire initiative.


Step 1: Discovery

Discovery is the step to dive in and figure out how many applications you have. With this stage, you’ll come to understand as much as possible about how those applications exist and function for your company. An up-to-date application inventory is an important part of Discovery.

Step 2: Analysis and Strategy

This step includes creating a migration strategy for each application, along with a plan to complete it. You may choose to Shift, Refit or Evolve your applications, or completely Rebuild an application to take advantage of everything cloud computing has to offer. Other dispositions include replacing, retiring, or retaining items in your inventory.

Step 3: Design / Alteration

This is the step when you roll up your sleeves with your development team to make the necessary changes decided upon during Analysis and Strategy. This can be relatively simple – such as making and testing configuration changes for a Lift and Shift – or more complex, such as making changes to your identity and access management (IAM).

Step 4: Migration and Validation

In this step, you will complete the migration, and validate that it is performing as expected in the new cloud environment.

Step 5: Operation and Optimization

For organizations that are new to migrations, this is the crucial step that is most likely to be ignored. An on-premise, or simply virtualized environment, is usually considered “live” and successful after a deploy that results in a steady state environment. With a Cloud Shifted application, you have to put in place controls for operation and optimization beyond the initial deployment. Cloud applications cannot be left alone, as the new cloud platform, unlike an on-premise environment, is subject to constant change by forces outside your control.

This is just a brief synopsis of the five steps of any migration.

For much greater detail about each of these steps, as well as a way to determine your general cloud readiness, check out my eBook, "Cloud Readiness: Preparing to Lift and Shift Your Applications to the Cloud."

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