Cloud Migration Strategy

The cloud holds the promise of speed, agility, and simplicity. A cloud migration strategy is the plan an organization makes to move its data and applications from an on-premises architecture to the cloud. Not all workloads benefit from running on cloud-based infrastructure, so it is important to validate the most efficient way to prioritize and migrate applications before going live. A systematic, documented strategy is crucial.

Setting Your Road Map- Five Steps

  1. Business Case and Preparation
  2. Portfolio Analysis
  3. Design Phase
  4. Migration Strategies and Validation
  5. Operation and Optimize

Essential Questions for a Cloud Business Case:

  1. Where and how should the company implement cloud environments?
  2. How will we secure, manage and govern across cloud and hybrid environments?
  3. What are our performance baselines/KPIs (performance, reliability)
  4. What are the benefits (employee experience, agility, speed, scale)?
  5. What cost and maintenance optimisations (ROI) can we achieve?
  6. What are the goals and challenges of each line of business?
  7. What elements should be on the roadmap to track these?
  8. What visualizations and KPIs will my stakeholders need?

Portfolio Analysis – Assess Current State:

  1. Business Considerations
  2. Technology Considerations
  3. Application Considerations
  4. Security Considerations
  5. Data Considerations
  6. Integration Considerations

Design Phase – Cloud Readiness

  1. Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
    • User Experience
    • Application/component Performance
    • Infrastructure
    • Business Engagement
    • Cost Optimization
  2. Select Metrics
    • Location of application
    • Application Owner
    • Location of app users
    • Number of users
    • Cost per user
    • Environments
    • Data/Privacy Risk
    • Connectivity
    • Uptime Requirements
    • Licensing
    • Seasonal or Peak Use constraints
    • Full Disaster Recovery required
    • Number of dependent
    • Applications/connections to other systems
    • Flexibility
    • App Availability required per SLA
    • Application Stability
    • Frequency of change
  3. Storytelling
    • Visualize Roadmaps to show Cost, Risk, Connections, Performance

Migration Strategies and Validation

  1. The 6 Strategies
    • Rehosting “Lift-and-Shift“
    • Replatforming “Lift-Tinker-and-Shift”
    • Repurchasing/Replace “Moving to a different product”
    • Refactoring/Rearchitecting “Re-imagine the application”
    • Retire “get Rid of it”
    • Retain “Keep it (or usually do nothing…for now)”
  2. The Big Three
    • Rehosting
      • Typically, an early cloud strategy deployed by the majority
      • Can be automated with tools
      • Easier to further optimize/re-architect one already in cloud
      • Reduction in cost for server maintenance
      • Minimal impact on staff
    • Replatforming
      • Rehosting and Refactoring considerations
      • Small cloud optimization changes
      • More knowledge is needed about the Application
      • More cloud-compatible not necessarily cloud-native
      • More skills are required
    • Refactoring
      • Application Modernization
      • Typically leveraging initial ‘lift-and-shift’ strategy to exploit cloud-native features
      • Long terms business motivation
      • One of the more complex options
      • Usually, the most expensive but at times the most beneficial

Operation & Optimize

  1. Continuous Monitoring: Post-Migration
    • Beyond cloud migration, set up continuous monitoring and feedback loops to guide future optimizations.
      • Consider the ongoing operational requirements of your systems
      • Add proposed cloud technologies to existing roadmaps
      • Prioritize migrations and monitor key metrics as projects progress.
      • Ensure cloud adoption supports the business goals of the enterprise.
      • Continually update security risk scores (probability and impact) by liaising with application owners.
  2. Good Architecture makes the Invisible, Visible
    • Assess your current technology infrastructure and dependencies
      • Understand and communicate about applications, data stores, and systems support requirements
      • Explore and communicate to lines of business how cloud technologies can augment existing business capabilities or provide new functionality
  3. Set up Metrics Calculations
    • Automate calculation of key metrics such as Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), Performance, Reliability. Compare these across scenarios/options
    • Calculate a complexity ranking for each solution, as to the amount of work required to redesign or refactor each system vs continued maintenance of current systems
    • Quantify the Security and Risk implications of your cloud migration scenarios

Security Strategy

  1. Understand your organisation’s security strategy / parameters
  2. Is it necessary to adjust security strategy as part of cloud migration?
  3. Are additional governance and compliance processes and metrics needed for sensitive cloud-based workloads
  4. Set up a security risk scoring process to understand and monitor risk
  5. Have an exit strategy if security scores exceed comfortable parameters. Address lock-in issues, data ownership, backup, portability

Decide on Strategy in summary

  1. Organizational and operational change
  2. Underutilization & unbudgeted costs
  3. Roadmap and POC
  4. Establish KPIs
  5. Technical Support
  6. Security
  7. Optimize, Optimize, Optimize …
  8. Critical and non critical changes
  9. Downtime
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