Cloud Migration Checklist

If a company is looking to migrate to the cloud, moving key enterprise applications can seem daunting. The IT team may struggle or have limited success if they don’t plan for the migration and know as much as possible about the impact of those moves.
If an organization is looking to modernize critical applications and that requires the team to carry out cloud migration, they do not want to make mistakes that can be costly. As such, there is a cloud migration checklist that can be followed to maximize the chances of successful cloud migration. While not every organization will need to carry out every step, it is still important to have a basic outline to follow. The most important part of that checklist is what teams do before the process even starts.

To find out more about strategies for cloud migration and to get a full cloud migration checklist, reach out to one of CAST’s Cloud Migration experts for a free consultation.

Step 1: Determine The Migration Architect & What They Do

The Migration Architect is a system architect-level position that is the lead of the Cloud Migration process. He or she plans and completes all aspects of migration. This person has the responsibility to develop the overall roadmap to the cloud including defining the steps taken throughout the rest of the process, designing strategies for data migration, defining requirements, defining cloud-solution requirements, and helping to prioritize migration switchover mechanisms. The Migration Architect is necessary throughout all stages of the process, even as much of this work is done before it even starts.

This is a good time to determine Cloud Migration KPIs. Include these on the Cloud Migration checklist so that it is clear when, where, and how they are going to get done and who is responsible for them.

Some of the KPIs that the Migration Architect may want to define include Lag, Response time, Session duration, Application/component performance, Errors, Throughput, Availability, CPU usage, Performance, Memory Use, Engagement, and Conversions.

Step 2: What Level Of Cloud Integration Is Necessary?

When moving an application to the Cloud, there are two ways to consider it. The first is shallow cloud integration, often called “lift and shift.” The most common option chosen by companies, the Lift and Shift approach takes an existing software ecosystem from where it is on-premise and moves it to a cloud infrastructure as it already is. It is the quickest and least costly approach to cloud migration. The problem is that it seldom meets business objectives once the process is complete.
The other approach is a deeper cloud integration that requires the modification of applications during the migration process.
Once determining the approach, the next choice is whether to go a single cloud or multi-cloud.

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Step 2: What Level Of Cloud Integration Is Necessary?

There is no “best tool” for a cloud migration, simply because each organization is starting in a different position and has unique goals. Because of this, it’s important to work closely with the service provider during the early planning stages to determine which utilities are available and ideal for the situation or to work with an established third party that’s familiar with any providers that may be involved as well as with the organization’s needs. Detailed information must be gathered well in advance that outlines the capabilities and drawbacks of any potential solution.
When you’re ready to assess the applications for their cloud readiness along with the infrastructure and dependencies, a solution like CAST Highlight can help segment and prioritize applications into specific categories using a methodology such as the Gartner 5Rs approach. It will also identify potential boosters and blockers for migration to the cloud. This is an important step to identify the right applications to consider for cloud migration and what characteristics inside the application code may have to be changed in order to effectively move the application to the cloud to get all the benefits of the cloud. Some examples of blockers that may need to be changed are Persistent Files, Use of Hard-coded IP Addresses, and COM Components/System DLLs.

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The above three steps would typically cover a major part of the pre-cloud planning. However, successfully migrating to the cloud will also depend on potential other factors like the complexity and architecture of existing applications and data dependencies. Moving an entire application over, running a test to see that it works, and then switching traffic seems simplistic in theory - but there will still be complications.

Following a Cloud Migration checklist helps to ensure that teams have been as strategic as possible in planning for possible issues, challenges, and hiccups that can alter the journey. Ultimately, this allows companies and teams to enjoy the benefits that attracted them to move to the Cloud in the first place.


To find out more about strategies for cloud migration, reach out to one of CAST’s Cloud Migration experts for a free consultation.

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