Welcome to Cloud Migration, a site dedicated to helping you think through the process of moving applications from traditional data centers, colocation providers and utility MSP’s to modern cloud providers.
This site is sponsored by the cloud computing consulting practice of MomentumSI, the trusted cloud migration partner for medium and large enterprises.
The Migration Process
Establish an owner/team responsible for the cloud migration process.
The process of migrating to the cloud for the medium and large enterprise can be a significant effort. We advise our clients to start the initiative by identifying an executive owner, business champion and cross-discipline transition team.
Establish the scope and business case
Cloud migrations can be large efforts that require an initial investment before the payback. It is important to establish the intended scope of systems that are being targeted for migration. To support the program, a business case should be published that articulates the efficiency, agility or cost savings goals. The initial pass on scope doesn’t have to be perfect but it should indicate an initial sizing. As you get deeper into the program, the scope will vary as some systems will be identified as good candidates to migrate while others will be removed from the list.
Establish the target clouds
In many cases, our clients have already established their target clouds, either private or public offerings. Those who haven’t will go through the exercise of identifying the cloud service providers (CSP) for their workloads. This selection process reviews the CSP’s offerings, SLA’s, prices, geographies, customer satisfaction records, and more. For private cloud, the effort focuses on reviewing commercial and open source solutions and the appropriate architecture. Either way, the initial clouds are usually non-production (dev, test, DR). It is important to stabilize the operations of the cloud prior to moving business critical workloads.
Establish the transition framework
The transition framework is the process that will be used to ensure a predictable outcome in the migration. Phases include:
Discovery of current assets and usage – In a cloud migration, it is necessary to identify the inventory of current assets and the extent to which they are used. Some of these may move to the cloud, some may be sunset and others may stay in their current location.
Discovery of topologies and dependencies – Many applications span multiple machines with complex multi-tiered topologies. Even simple applications often have dependencies on storage devices, or network settings. Understanding the web of dependencies is critical to a successful migration.
Discovery of platforms and licenses - It is common to find that some applications have dependencies on operating systems or platforms that are not supported by the cloud providers. Some commercial applications have software licenses that are based on CPU’s, cores, memory, etc. that may affect the pricing of the software.
Discovery of SLA’s, security and compliance – Applications will have different levels of importance to the business. Some will require very high up-time, response time, security or may have to adhere to government regulations. Applications that require HA, low-latency IOPS, data encryption or similar, will need to be identified so that equivalent cloud solutions are made available.
Cloud feature/fit analysis - By using industry best practices and the information gathered in the Discovery phase, the portfolio of applications can be quantitatively analyzed to identify which systems are candidates for cloud migration.
Provider analysis – For companies that have multiple cloud providers, th analysis will indicate which cloud provider has best-fit for a given work load.
Contract model analysis – For workloads being migrated to an external cloud provider, the contractual model will vary. Models include: on-demand pricing, reserved instances, dedicated instances, bid/ask, etc.
Sizing analysis – As systems are migrated to the cloud, it is necessary to allocate the right amount resources for them. Compute instances, storage devices and network bandwith must all be appropriately aligned to the system needs based on data obtained in the Discovery phase.
Migration & Validation
Establish the migration toolkit – Identify the appropriate toolkit to enable both one-time and repeat installations, configurations, validations and exception analysis.
Migrate infrastructure – VM, OS, Load balancing requirements, Network security: NAT, firewalls, disk
Migrate applications, platforms and data – migrate multi-tiered custom applications, packaged applications, middleware platforms, database, turnkey systems (Exchange, LDAP, Active Directory, …)
Migrate operations services – Reinstate VPN’s, monitors and alarms, disk backup and restore, etc.
Validate migration – Ensure that the systems have been migrated without loss of fidelity in functional and non-functional requirements.