Migration at Scale to Google Cloud

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As businesses increasingly adopt cloud technologies, migrating IT infrastructure at scale becomes a critical task. The challenge lies in moving hundreds or even thousands of applications, databases, and virtual machines without disrupting ongoing operations. In this blog, we will explore the various challenges organizations face when undertaking large-scale cloud migration, from planning and strategy to security and compliance. We will discuss the key components and benefits of Migration at Scale (MAS) solution, which will help your business accelerate your cloud journey with confidence and ease.

Challenges of Large Scale Migration: 

Organizations embarking on a large-scale migration journey will encounter a number of challenges. By acknowledging and addressing these challenges head-on, organizations can better prepare themselves for a successful large-scale cloud migration. Here are few of these challenges:

  1. Unclear Goals: It is crucial for organizations to understand their reasons for migrating to the cloud and how those reasons align with their business strategy. While there may be short-term needs, such as capacity constraints or a data center contract expiry, it’s essential to establish clear business value and return on investment for the transition.
  1. Lack of Sponsorship: Migrating to the cloud requires significant investment in time and effort, and as such, it needs strong sponsorship from both IT and business leadership. A clear commitment to the business goals should be communicated across the organization. It’s important to emphasize that a lift-and-shift migration is often the first step in a larger technology transformation journey.
  1. Poor Planning: Many organizations begin their cloud migration without fully understanding the complexity of their existing application footprint or the impact of moving workloads to the cloud. It’s essential to map out dependencies and limitations of applications, as these factors may have evolved over time and can be challenging to identify.
  1. Wrong Technology Choice: When migrating to the cloud, organizations must carefully consider the type of technology to use. For example, while a lift-and-shift migration might be the lowest risk option, it might be more beneficial to move to a managed cloud product for specific parts of the technology stack to achieve the full benefits of running workloads on the cloud.
  1. Delivery Capability and Operating Model: Large-scale migrations often require a significant amount of organizational effort and change management. Additionally, changes to the infrastructure operating model and approach to security due to cloud adoption are significant risk factors.

To effectively address some of the above challenges, it becomes imperative to  look at some of the key components of MAS which is essential for a smoother and efficient migration strategy. 

Key Components of Migration at Scale (MAS)

  1. Pre-Migration Planning: Before starting the migration process, a detailed migration plan that outlines the scope, timelines, and resources required should be developed. The pre-migration planning process includes evaluating the organization’s readiness for cloud migration, identifying potential challenges, and setting clear goals and milestones.
  1. Customized Migration Strategy: A customized migration strategy for each organization should be developed. This strategy may involve different migration methods, but depending on the organization’s specific needs and objectives, two key approaches could be considered – 

    Migration Factory – for Rehosting and Replatforming,
    Change Factory – for Refactoring and Modernizing

  2. Identify First Mover: Identifying what will be the first workload to migrate is critical. The success of this first mover holds the key for not only a successful migration but also represents your typical business workload. Here are a few items to consider when selecting you first mover:
    • Represents your typical workload
    • Not business critical
    • Few system and network-to-network dependencies
    • Require little application refactoring
    • Requires little data migration
    • No compliance challenges
  3. Customized Migration Sprints/Waves: To minimize disruption to ongoing operations, the migration process can be structured into a series of sprints or waves. Each sprint focuses on a specific set of applications or virtual machines (VMs), allowing the migration to proceed incrementally without impacting the business’s day-to-day activities.
  4. Continuous Monitoring and Optimization: Ongoing monitoring of the performance and stability of the migrated assets enables you to identify any issues or bottlenecks. This allows for prompt resolution, ensuring a smooth transition to the cloud.
  5. Post-Migration Support: Once the migration is complete, ongoing managed services may be required to support clients in optimizing their cloud environment, ensuring maximum performance, and driving down operating costs for maximum efficiency. This involves monitoring cloud resource utilization, fine-tuning configurations, and providing guidance on best practices for cloud management.
  6. Security and Compliance: Throughout the migration process, strong emphasis on maintaining security and compliance standards is paramount to drive successful outcomes. By adhering to industry best practices and leveraging advanced security features available on GCP, clients’ data and applications can remain secure and compliant with relevant regulations.

A proven Migration at Scale solution to Google Cloud with a well-planned approach can help accelerate your journey to a future-proofed, optimized, and high-performing cloud infrastructure. Onix is a proven leader in implementing large scale migrations on Google Cloud and has implemented a customized approach for our customers using the migration factory and change factory model. 

Onix’s Migration at Scale (MAS) Approach

Onix’s Migration at Scale (MAS) offering is optimal for organizations that have already completed a Comprehensive Infrastructure Assessment (CIA) which builds a customized migration plan and Rapid Application Migration (RAM) which builds a Secured Landing Zone on Google Cloud. These offerings ensure that your organization is ready to move a large number of assets to the cloud. 

With a Secured Landing Zone in place, Onix will execute a large-scale lift-and-shift migration. The MAS approach follows a factory model of migration sprints, systematically moving hundreds of VMs to the Google Cloud Platform.

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