The cloud is undoubtedly a disruptive force within IT. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for months of operational disruption during your cloud transition.
Here are nine proven tips for making the process of moving to the cloud smoother.
1. Plan for hybrid operations
Despite offering superior flexibility and scalability, not all workloads belong in the cloud. For this reason, you should be planning for a hybrid cloud future, where some applications and data sets are retained in-house, while others are migrated off-site.
For best results, you will want your deployment to make hybrid operations as seamless as possible.
2. Inventory what you already have
Understanding the systems you currently have in place – and their importance to the business – is a crucial aspect of migration planning. This assessment allows you to prioritise which applications to move first – and those which can be retired entirely.
Do not underestimate the importance of retiring underused or unnecessary applications – you will still pay for the cloud resources they consume. Your cloud partner may be able to assist with the discovery and inventory process.
3. Use smart migration tools
Disaster Recovery (DR) tools are typically used for ensuring operations can continue in the event of a localised outage. However, the same technologies can also be used to streamline the cloud migration process, accurately and reliably replicating data sets to your hosted platform of choice without affecting ‘live’ operations.
4. Choose a native VMware cloud platform
If your business uses VMware for server virtualisation, it makes sense to choose a partner who offers a native VMware cloud environment. Selecting the same underlying technology will help to simplify and accelerate the migration of your workloads and templates.
You will also find ongoing management and maintenance much easier because the tools and techniques are familiar.
5. Identify a future for your legacy physical workloads
Legacy systems continue to be a drag on IT budgets because of their complexity and management overheads. Migration to the cloud offers an opportunity to virtualise these legacy systems, bringing them into line with your more up-to-date applications. Wherever possible, this is the preferred option moving forwards.
If virtualisation is not an option (some licenses prohibit it for instance), you should speak to your provider about the potential for provisioning physical systems in the cloud. This will involve making some difficult choices as the cost and complexity of migrating physical systems can be relatively high.
6. Use data seeding for massive data sets
Because of the time required to transfer enormous data sets over the internet, it may be advisable to ‘seed’ your migration first. Shipping physical drives to the cloud data centre is much faster and reliable, allowing you to jumpstart the migration process. You can then sync updated information over the internet as normal.
7. Test your bandwidth capacity
Hosting systems in the cloud places an even heavier burden on your internet connection. Work with your cloud provider to assess current bandwidth and whether it is sufficient to handle an increase in traffic. Where there is a predicted shortfall, you will need to arrange an upgrade.
8. Train IT staff to use new cloud management tools
Managing the cloud platform will be different to your current on-premise setup. Once you have selected a partner and platform, ensure your IT team are fully trained to use the new tools to manage your cloud environment.
And don’t forget to assess support provisions, our team needs to be sure they have a backup if something goes wrong – or need guidance and assistance.
9. Refine your future strategy
Cloud migration is not a one-time, big-bang project but an ongoing process of continual refinement and improvement. Working with your cloud provider, map out an effective migration plan that aligns with your strategic goals. They can also advise on how to re-architect systems to better contain costs and improve efficiency.
Get your cloud migration underway today
To learn more about successful cloud migrations and how WTL can help your business with a successful cloud transition, please get in touch.