Choosing a “lift and shift” approach to cloud migration makes it sound like a process that can be completed when you’ve got a slow afternoon with some time on your hands. This type of transition to a cloud solution does eliminate the need to modify code, but that doesn’t mean there’s no pain in the transition.
If you’re trying to move a legacy system or a non-cloud-friendly application, you can choose “lift and shift”, but you’ll still experience challenges. They may come in the form of a shift that then reveals the application doesn’t work as well in the cloud as it did on-site, or it may work great, but at a much higher cost when housed in the cloud. Fortunately, some steps that can be implemented to lessen the difficulties:
Choose the right provider for your cloud solution
This may seem like obvious advice, but many organizations don’t go far enough in their evaluation of a good provider. How much notice will the provider offer if they decide to no longer support an application? What kind of security and disaster recovery strategies do they have in place?
It may be possible to leverage existing relationships if a current software provider is can work with you through a transition and provide ongoing support for the new cloud environment. You’ll also want to be aware of situations where a provider is tacking on new services to increase their revenue options, but may only be a reseller or may not have the level of expertise you need for a smooth transition. Look for a partner that has experience in successfully supporting your type of cloud transition. Talk with your business partners and competitors about their providers.
Determine connectivity needs
Take time to evaluate how the enterprise will connect to the cloud, as well as how the cloud solution will impact the enterprise network. Congestion and jitter can become problematic when the technology is boosted without the necessary network configurations.
Moving a legacy system to the cloud resembles the building of a data center in many ways. While you won’t need the physical hardware or a location, connectivity is necessary. Determine whether an ISP will allow you to connect directly to the cloud or if you can use existing telecom providers.
Dedicate ample time to testing
A “lift and shift” move to the cloud often takes months, and much of that time should be dedicated to testing. This step assumes that you’ve got a clearly-defined set of deliverables that you’re measuring with your provider as you test the system. You need to know what storage costs will be, how you’ll handle backups and disaster recovery, and what hosting costs will be in the cloud.
When it’s time to migrate to the cloud, you need a technology partner that can help you anticipate and respond to challenges for a better transition. Contact us at BlackPoint IT Services for more information.