While there are potential challenges associated with data center migration, the benefits of moving from physical infrastructures, enterprise data centers, or on-premises data storage systems to a cloud data center or a hybrid cloud system are well worth the effort.
Now that we’ve gone over the potential challenges of data center migration, how do businesses enable a successful data center migration while effectively managing risk?
Below, we’ve laid out a repeatable high-level migration strategy that is broken down into four phases: Discovery, Planning, Execution, and Optimization.
Phase 1: Discovery
During the Discovery phase, companies should understand and document the entire data center footprint. This means understanding the existing hardware mapping, software applications, storage layers (databases, file shares), operating systems, networking configurations, security requirements, models of operation (release cadence, how to deploy, escalation management, system maintenance, patching, virtualization, etc.), licensing and compliance requirements, as well as other relevant assets.
Phase 2: Planning
When a company is entering the Planning phase, they are leveraging the assets and deliverables gathered in the Discovery phase to create migration waves to be sequentially deployed into non-production and production environments.
Typically, it is best to target non-production migration waves first, which helps identify the sequence of waves to migrate first.
Phase 3: Execution
Once companies have developed a plan, they can bring them to fruition in the Execution phase. Here, businesses will need to be deliberate about the steps they take and the configurations they develop.
In the Execution phase, companies will put into place infrastructure components and ensure they are configured appropriately, like IAM, networking, firewall rules, and Service Accounts. Here is also where teams should test the applications on the infrastructure configurations to ensure that they have access to their databases, file shares, web servers, load balancers, Active Directory servers, and more. Execution also includes using logging and monitoring to ensure applications continue to function with the necessary performance.
Phase 4: Optimization
The last phase of a data center migration project is Optimization. After a business has migrated its workloads to the cloud, it should conduct periodic reviews and planning to optimize the workloads. Optimization includes the following activities: