Planning for a Successful Cloud Migration

By Scott Fuhriman, VP Sales and Product Development

Considering a migration to the cloud? While the move can mean major IT savings and improved performance, the shift of enterprise systems and infrastructure from traditional to cloud environments needs to be planned carefully to ensure a real payoff and minimize risk. The process of migration requires an analysis of business, technical and operational considerations as well as an understanding of emerging cloud technologies and architectures.

Business Strategy Should Drive Cloud Strategy
Because cloud migration is fundamentally a business decision, it’s important to examine business strategies and processes and map them to the right cloud architecture and cloud strategies. Depending on the nature of your business and the applications you use to operate, cloud technologies provide different levels of availability, failover, security and other services.

There is no one-size-fits-all cloud solution. The business needs that drive your IT applications and infrastructure will determine whether to migrate all or a portion of your physical or existing virtual systems, applications and data to a cloud environment and exactly what type of environment that is-whether a private, public or hybrid cloud solution.

Some key issues and questions to explore include:

  • How large and complex is our data? How important are regulatory considerations such as HIPAA, PCI, Sarbanes Oxley, and other requirements related to the privacy and protection of data?
  • Are our current business applications ‘cloud-ready’? Can they easily be scaled up and down in order to truly take advantage of the elasticity of a cloud environment? If not, what do we need to do — re-architect or replace the applications? Would migration have any impact on our software licenses?
  • What are our requirements for availability of applications and data? Is any downtime acceptable if there is ever an interruption, maintenance window or other reason we couldn’t access our cloud environment? What would the cost of downtime be and what service level agreement do we require for a cloud environment?
  • If we build new applications or modify existing ones in a cloud environment, would we be able to take them with us if we changed cloud providers? What would the process and cost be?

Don’t Go It Alone
These are just some of the questions to consider when planning a possible move to the cloud. For many businesses, the most important step of a cloud migration initiative is finding an experienced and reliable cloud provider who can help you sort through all of the key questions, navigate the pitfalls along the way, and in some cases — fully lead the implementation of cloud technologies.

To learn more about successfully migrating to the cloud and the TierPoint cloud difference, click here.