Cloud Migration Checklist

Moving to the cloud is a fundamental shift for many organizations. IT teams are facing a task that is unlike any they have previously faced (at least within this company) and the results can be somewhat uncertain. As such, there may be a hesitation in making this move, locking companies into their legacy systems that are underperforming.

There is no denying that cloud migration is an important, effective step to bringing an application portfolio into the current day. Even so, those who have waited may benefit from hearing about the mistakes of other companies. If those mistakes do not dissuade CIOs, they can use that information to have a smoother transition to the cloud. Developing a cloud migration checklist may be the best option to ensure success.

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 Team Roles & Who Does What

Start the migration process by creating a team that will work on this project. The first person to choose should be the Migration Architect. He or she plans and completes all aspects of migration. This person has the responsibility to develop the overall roadmap to the cloud. This will include information on design, setting goals, adding members to the team, assigning roles, and much more. The Migration Architect’s input and oversight 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 goals and 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. It is through their work and attention to detail that the cloud migration checklist will be successfully completed.

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 3: Choosing A Cloud Migration Tool

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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