The Key Actions to Take Before, During, and After Your Cloud Migration

 In Cloud, IT Planning

Have you made the decision to migrate to the cloud? There can be big benefits from making the switch. Cloud means big changes in how you manage your information technology, so make the transition as smooth as possible by investing time in planning what to do before, during, and after the transition. Here are some of the key points you need to consider.

Things to Do Before Your Cloud Migration

The first thing to be clear on when you plan your cloud migration is to understand what goals you hope to achieve from the cloud migration. You may be hoping to reduce costs, increase flexibility, or give developers access to the latest technology. Understanding your goals will let you make decisions that align with the overall objectives.

You’ll need to identify which applications will be part of the cloud migration. Some organizations like to migrate a small, low-risk application first. However, it’s important that the initial applications are complex enough to give you reasonable experience with the cloud provider’s features and services and significant enough for you to see the benefits of using the cloud. Once you’ve decided which applications to transition, you can do the detailed design work for their migration, including sizing cloud instances and figuring out how to transfer data.

While most of your pre-cloud migration planning will focus on identifying applications to migrate and determining how to transition them, spend some time evaluating your existing IT infrastructure as well. Because cloud places a high demand on your network, you may need to invest in additional capacity for cloud to succeed.

Things to Do During Your Cloud Migration

Some applications that have made it to the cloud need to interface and integrate with resources that remain in your internal data center. Allocate the necessary time to implement and test this integration.

Before turning off your on-premises servers and applications, fully verify the new cloud deployment. You may want to run services in parallel for some time in order to ensure everything is working properly. Be prepared to verify all your security and compliance requirements are met; even if the cloud provider’s environment is certified for the standards that apply to you, it’s easy to choose incorrect configuration settings and accidentally expose private data.

This is also the time to train your IT team. Although cloud reduces your support responsibilities, it doesn’t eliminate them entirely. Know how to access the cloud provider’s monitoring tools, know how to recognize the important metrics and alerts, and know how to respond to them.

Things to Do After Your Cloud Migration

Your team will put that training to use monitoring performance after the cloud migration is complete. Be sure you monitor utilization, too. Unlike your in-house data center, using cloud resources incurs costs. The flexibility of the cloud makes it easy to scale down as well as up, so be alert for underutilized resources as well as those near capacity.

You may also need to plan changes to your applications to allow them to take better advantage of that cloud flexibility. Not all application architectures support easy horizontal scaling, so some of your applications may need rearchitecting and APIs to support that kind of growth.

It can be tricky to do all of these things well, before, during, and after your cloud migration, especially when you’re unfamiliar with the technology. Working with an experienced IT services firm like Prescient Solutions can help ensure you succeed at every step of the journey to the cloud. As a Microsoft Partner, we’re experienced with Azure and help our clients take full advantage of its capabilities. Contact us to learn how we can help you, whether you’re just beginning to plan your cloud migration or are supporting applications already in the cloud.

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