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Key Cloud Migration Challenges & How to Overcome Them
After careful consideration, your organization has chosen to move on-premise resources to cloud services. What are some ...
After careful consideration, your organization has chosen to move on-premise resources to cloud services. What are some of the challenges of moving to the cloud? Before moving to the cloud, it is often best to review your existing infrastructure. Look over the scope of the migration and identify cloud migration challenges.
- The challenges of moving on-premise resources to cloud services include identifying what needs to be moved, the sequence and timing of the migration, and potential impact on business components.
- Cloud migrations can fail due to poor planning and "scope creep." It's important to have a solid migration plan that includes goals, timelines, resources, and success criteria.
- The plan should include identification of the data being migrated, migration priorities and sequence, a timetable, definition of processes, resources, and roles, performance metrics, and communication with project sponsors and end-users.
- It may not make sense to move all data to the cloud at once and a hybrid model may be necessary. It's important to define specific use cases for the data to create a strong strategy.
- Communication with end-users and management is vital to minimize impact on the business and ensure user buy-in.
- It's important to look for cloud migration tools that provide monitoring, transaction tracking, and reporting to capture critical data metrics and have insight into the overall migration process.
Some cloud migration challenges include:
- What needs to move to the cloud, and when does it need to move?
- Are there any linked business components that a migration could impact?
- Does it make sense to migrate multiple components at the same time?
- Mailbox move and legacy archive move?
- Desktop refresh and PST elimination?
Having a solid understanding and inventory of your current operations will help to define the scope/impact of your cloud migration.
Planning is key to having a successful cloud migration project.
Why do cloud migrations fail?
There are cloud migration challenges, but a successful cloud migration requires the planning and execution of a thorough strategy that does all the following:
- Sets migration goals
- Creates a timeline
- Identifies resources
- Anticipates challenges
- Defines the project's success criteria
At Cloudficient, we often see migration projects fail due to "scope creep" or poor planning. Outline what needs to migrate and define success criteria for the project before moving any data to the cloud. You should avoid a situation where a project's requirements tend to increase over a project lifecycle. What once started as a single deliverable can sometimes become five, or a product that began with three essential features now must have ten. This is a result of poor preparation. Make a plan and stick to it!
Having reviewed some of our cloud migration challenges, here are some critical details of a cloud migration plan. Your migration plan should include the following elements:
- Identification of the Data being migrated
- Migration priorities and sequence
- Timetable (confirmed with testing)
- Definition of processes, resources, and roles
- Performance Metrics
- Project Sponsor/End-User communication
Cloudficient has a proven history in empowering digital transformation. There are many moving parts to data migration. Research and acquire the correct tools and services to minimize end-user impact and ensure a successful migration.
Migration plans consider which data to move to the cloud, which needs to stay on-premise, and which new capabilities and applications to add once migrated. Perhaps it does not make sense to move all data to the cloud at one? This is ok. Your migration strategy should cover specific use cases for the data which you have. It is ok to move data components in waves but plan for it. If it makes sense to utilize a hybrid model, review the need and only move to the cloud what is necessary. Defining specific use cases upfront enables you to create a strong strategy and sets the foundation for a properly executed migration process. A move may have many cloud migration challenges, and your strategy should do its best to identify a workflow for all these areas.
Make sure your migration strategy also includes a communication component. Identify when and how communications should be sent. Another point of failure could be the end-user experience. It is not uncommon for the end-user to fear digital change. An unexpected update could be a painful encounter and potentially interrupt their daily tasks. If the wrong VIP has a cloud migration problems, it could quickly derail a migration project. Include strong communication and detailed piloting to minimize this impact. Ensure there is overall user buy-in to have success. This will help with the end-user experience and minimize impact on the business.
As well as the end-user, communication with management and project sponsors is also vital. When investing in cloud migration tools, it is essential to look for tools that provide monitoring, transaction tracking, and reporting. This will enable management to capture critical data metrics and have insight into the overall data migration process. Reporting on success and identifying bottlenecks will help project sponsors see a return on their investment.
What cloud migration challenges are faced in planning?
Businesses preparing for a cloud migration can find plenty of vendor services that offer a combination of tools, expertise, and varying levels of automation to avoid cloud migration problems. Invest in automated services that provide reporting and migration tracking to overcome challenges in could migrations.
Purchasing cloud migration services that have been proven can accelerate the process, minimize risks associated with migration, and help prevent downtime. Selecting the wrong tool for the job could put your project at risk of failure. This is another reason why Cloudficient insists on doing a proof of concept. Always validate that the solution fits your business needs and performs well within your environment. Migration services can provide organizations with the necessary tooling, automation, and expertise to successfully execute a secure migration to the cloud.
Cloudficient has proven managed migration services that work—leveraging the only next-generation, pure cloud migration technology. Cloudficient assists our clients with a detailed and custom approach that ensures successful business outcomes.
- Kickoff: Our first step in moving to the cloud is to conduct a series of workshops to analyze and review the project scope, goals, and desired business processes. We then map that analysis and design a tailored, automated solution that aligns with the project goals.
- Deploy & Test: We will then deploy the cloud tenant and install the minimum on-premise components. End to End tests will be performed to ensure the correct permissions, connectivity, and migration workflow steps.
- Pilot & Optimize: From there, we test the solution with a pilot group to ensure all steps are completed for each user in the correct sequence. The pilot stage findings are then reviewed, and the configuration optimized for maximum throughput.
- Ramp Up & Execution: Moving into a production state, Cloudficient migration technology is continuously loaded with more and more users to maximize the overall performance. Cloudficient migration technology orchestrates and automates the entire workflow as a business process, end to end. This saves time and resources, putting the client's business needs at the forefront and ensuring return on investment.
- Wrap Up: After the migration is finished, we will perform a final review to ensure we have met the project goals and that there are no cloud migration problems. The last step is to decommission the cloud tenant and assist in removing any legacy on-premise components.
There's more information on how we perform migrations here.
How long does cloud migration take?
Every organization's environment is unique. It is fair to say no two are identical. When planning a migration strategy, focus on the core data components. How much data needs to move, where does the data reside, and where is it going are just a few great qualifying questions to start with.
Cloudficient migration tools are built with a Workflow Orchestration engine which can help to automate the process of moving to the cloud. Our suite of workflow steps tailors the migration process to ensure the data is processed per the project's requirements. Based on years of experience with multiple clients, our team can offer estimates on what to expect daily throughout with our migration tools. The migration plan should include a small pilot to start a migration. This will allow for testing of the process and reviewing the outcome within the client's environment. As always, perform a proof of concept (POC) to confirm results. This makes it possible to adjust if deemed necessary.
Once pilots have completed and the process has been tested "as good" in the environment, now is a great time to start capturing throughput rates. This is the ramp-up phase moving into velocity migrations. At this stage, we should begin to see daily migration rates rise and make some early calculations on the overall timetable. Think of this as a curved metric. Rates will ramp up until velocity and then turn down as we start to run out of data to migrate.
Be aware of business impact and set realistic timelines based on testing. The project team may want to migrate 10 TB of PST data per day, but what does this translate to in users? 100 users, 10,000 users? The end-user impact may dictate the migration group size and throughput rate. The migration solution may migrate 10TB a day, but can your service desk accommodate requests from 10,000 user batches daily?
Migration times for moving to the cloud from aging legacy infrastructure may also interfere with your well-laid plan. One of the common factors for moving away from legacy on-premise components is they are often slow and becoming obsolete. Moving 100s of terabytes of data is not an easy task. Be aware of the resource impact this may have on aging hardware. This legacy infrastructure will need to be maintained in good working order during the migration. Be prepared to factor in any outdated or out of support legacy hardware.
Anti-virus solutions may also impact throughput for cloud migration projects. Make sure to work with your existing security software to implement the proper data path exclusions. Cloud migrations often utilize temp working directories with a high amount of disk read/writes for data transfer. A real-time virus scanning of these directories will cause unwanted latency.
A successful cloud migration strategy often includes the use of cloud migration tools. The correct tools and expertise can reduce the challenges of moving from on-premise to cloud.
With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide affordable services that are scalable, fast and seamless.