The next step after deciding on moving to a private cloud, is mapping out your strategy for a private cloud migration. Cloud migrations are not easy.  Cloud migrations are fraught with points of frustration that, according to a Gartner piece by Thomas Bittman, result in the failure of 95% of private cloud projects. That’s a very high failure rate!

The root of this frustration, and ultimately project failure, is simplicity. When looking at any cloud migration process, the first and most important question to ask is: “What are we looking at?” Any type of cloud migration plan needs all the documentation and mapping possible. Too much planning is just enough in these situations. Knowing every element of the system and where it will end up living is imperative for success. 

When assessing a private cloud migration, the keys to your project’s success lie in the operational details and your overall cloud migration strategy. Siloing can cause big issues during the cloud migration process. Cross-functional collaboration is a necessity for a successful private cloud migration. 

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Answer these questions to solidify your private cloud migration plan

Deft have managed and supported more cloud migrations than we can remember. The 12 questions below have been critical success factors for these projects. Documenting all the answers for these questions with the appropriate stakeholders can mean the difference between the 95% of projects that fail and the 5% that succeed. 

  1. Which applications will be moving to the cloud?
  2. Which servers are running these applications?
  3. What are the server’s CPU utilization rates?
  4. Which groups, departments, individuals use these applications?
  5. How critical are these applications to the organization?
  6. Who manages these applications?
  7. What is the impact to the organization if these applications are unavailable for an hour? For a day? For a week?
  8. Are these applications architected for high-availability and/or redundancy?
  9. Are there legal/compliance requirements for RTO and RPOs?
  10. What are the relationships between these applications?
  11. What are the security requirements for these applications?
  12. What are the data protection and retention requirements for these applications?

Are the answers to these questions the same for each application that is being migrated? If not, what are the key differences?

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The answers to these questions give the team conducting the cloud migration process an answer for every important step in the process. You can extrapolate the answers to these questions to build out a project map and timeframe for completion. 

Details make a successful cloud migration process

All too often, organizations believe the cloud automatically makes applications highly available and redundant, and that a cloud-based infrastructure will be cheaper. This isn’t the case unless your team has a specific plan for making those goals happen. 

The most successful cloud migration planning we’ve been a part of begin with handling every detail. In the largest of these migrations, we spent almost a year working with a customer auditing equipment, applications, access, relationships, business requirements and SLAs, talking to app users and owners to develop a clear and complete picture of the migration. Yes — almost a year, but we wanted it to be successful. 

5 Business problems a cloud migration can solve

Once this planning was complete, the actual migration time to cloud took approximately 6 months. This detailed planning and preparation resulted in a migration with minimal issues and documented real savings (hard dollars) of millions of dollars per year.

Where did the savings come from?

A significant component of the savings was the result of the audit which showed that less than 25% of the compute capacity across the organization was in use. This meant a 1:1 relationship on compute capacity wasn’t required for the migration. There’s a lot of planning to be done to set yourself up for success.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help with your cloud migration strategy

Handling all the elements of your migration to cloud can be quite an undertaking. If your team needs assistance managing this migration and along with it potentially savings loads of money year over year, we can help. 

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