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6 steps for accelerating cloud migrations...

As the industry is shifting towards cloud, Cloud Migrations and Application Transformations frameworks needs to be formalized to achieve the promised gains. In this blog, I will share a six-steps based, agile methodology to embark and succeed in your cloud transformation journey.

Analyzing applications – Typically, an application portfolio assessment is done to determine which apps are ready for cloud adoptions. Get the best of the folks to get this early stage of planning done, as this will become the foundation of your journey. A careful selection of the first few applications will define your learnings and will bring the stakeholders together. My recommendation is to move an app (or few) which is significantly noticeable across the organization, yet small in number of workloads.

Business Case Build Up – Not all applications are built for cloud. Understanding the complete financial structure of the app stack enables the business case build up. Cloud operating model is significantly different than the existing cost structure. Which elements to move from the stack will also significantly make the ROI and TCO different.

Migration Roadmap – Building a reference architecture, application assessment roadmap, cloud operational plan, Cloud GRC plan, selecting right tools are few of the critical tasks that needs to planned for, as you build the application migration roadmap.

Migrate – This is where the actual implementation starts. Building the Infra foundation, security specs, VPC’s and then migrating the selected workloads are few critical tasks in this phase. There are various different ways to perform migrations:

· Lift and Shift – These are mostly fully automated migrations performed with various cloud provider tools or third party tools. This method is mostly used for smaller workloads. Typical time to migrate such workloads from legacy production to cloud production is 4-6 weeks.

· Re-platform Apps – This is used when the application in flight requires something to be re-platformed including OS (Unix to Linux) or say a web server swap etc. These makes the migration more complex in nature as you are transforming certain less complex (or sometimes more complex) parts of the application. Typical time to migrate such applications an vary from 3 to 6+ months.

· Re-factor apps – This method has the most impact on the existing code base of the application in flight. It needs to be implemented when there is a business requirement for a cloud native architecture for the application. Other times this will be required is for transforming a legacy app from one code based to another one. These are much more complex migrations and can range anywhere from 9 months to 24 months depending upon how complex the existing system is.

DevOps – DevOps has become the de-facto operating model not only in Cloud, but also in many on-premise application life cycles. Migrating to cloud also mandates a devops automation culture to reap all the benefits of the cloud. DevOps in Cloud has various more options than the open source tools available on-prem. You can significantly increase your production rollout velocity by making good choices where available. For example, the power of AWS Cloud Formation can be leveraged to quickly deploy the complete foot print of your Data Center in a different region. A good DevOps implementation will ensure that you have achieved the highest rollout velocity with highest quality, reliability and user experience.

CloudOps – CloudOps in principal is the same as managing your production environment. However, what you are managing has completely transformed. Your infrastructure is now scaling on demand, everyone with an account can potentially (without proper controls) order infra, apps on demand, self-provision and ultimately continuously generate invoices for development, test and certainly in production environment as well. Your platforms are now auto scalable, loosely coupled, location transparent, distributed and stateless. Your data is also mostly sharded, replicated and distributed. At TalentVana, we believe that continuous automation and optimization has become a must to maximize your benefits in the cloud world. New operational procedures and practices needs to be defined to achieve the 0 downtime goals. Morphing old ones to fit the new needs will simply lead to significant lost advantages.

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