Migration to the Cloud—It's Not Just Where You're Going…It's How You Get There
Discussions of the cloud tend to focus on the benefits that can be achieved once you get there—the cost savings, flexibility and innovation that are possible when you are no longer wrestling with the challenges of managing your IT on your premises.
But as with many things in life, the journey is as important as the destination. If where you are going is important, how you get there is just as critical.
When the cloud first came on the scene, most migrations were to software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based solutions such as Salesforce (SaaS still accounts for the largest part of the cloud market.) And while transitioning from traditional on-premises software to a hosted SaaS application requires a lot of planning around business issues (user roles, licensing/subscription costs, SLA requirements, customization), it demands less in the way of technology changes, because most of the nuts-and-bolts work is handled by the SaaS provider.
Cloud migration strategies are really just now coming into their own with the growing popularity of Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and Platform as a service (PaaS). As it became possible to decommission data centers and have an IT infrastructure delivered via public clouds, private clouds, hybrid clouds or multiple clouds, people naturally began to look at different ways of getting there.
That's why migration strategies are getting much more attention as more organizations shift existing IT workloads and legacy apps to the cloud.
The white paper looks at the pros and cons of various migration –going totally cloud native, lift-and-shift of existing applications or refactoring/replatforming.
It also includes insights from a major cloud migration Navisite completed for a global insurance brokerage. The migration was technically challenging—more than 100 virtual servers and some 50 terabytes of data were migrated to Azure—and highly successful: a project slated to take months was completed in just four weeks.
At the conclusion of the project, both the Navisite and client teams reviewed some of the big lessons learned. Interestingly, while technical challenges were front and center during the migration, in the end, many of the big takeaways were related to the business practices that contributed to the successful outcome:
- Using C-Suite support to overcome many of the personal and political barriers that can cause IT projects to fail
- Do the pre-migration work that is so essential to minimizing impacts on user experience
- Saving time and money by using modeling and proofs-of-concept
- Lining up skills and resources in advance, rather than scrambling as inevitable problems arise
- Allocating the right amount of network bandwidth
At Navisite, we welcome the opportunity to provide more insights on the pros and cons of different migration strategies and also on the business and technical aspects of cloud migrations. It's largely because of our extensive experience with large and complex cloud migrations that Microsoft selected Navisite as one of just 40 providers to be included in its highly prestigious group of Azure Expert Managed Service Providers (MSPs). We are also one of Microsoft's four Centers of Excellence.