Preparing and execution pilot migration

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Preparing and execution pilot migration

Testing the waters before go all in with a new cloud provider is a good strategy. The pilot migration to the cloud ensures the seamless shift of the operations to cloud services and provide knowledge transfer and learning back to the organization.

It is a pilot exercise with a set of applications to uncover risks and process changes. For the entire migration activity to be successful, it is always advisable to start small or building a test project as a proof of concept. Organizations should choose a small application, come up with a migration plan, and migrate. It helps them to identify gaps so that they can refine their master migration plan.

This activity will also aid in making the technical staff more comfortable with cloud services and a mindset shift by allowing the stakeholders to see the benefits of the cloud migration, it helps justify the business case for the migration to the cloud.

Carefully choose the application for migration. Each subsequent migration will depend on the success or failure of it. There are many factors to consider. Do not choose an application only because it’s the easiest one to move.

Candidate assessment

Once selected an application as the right candidate, gather all information about its topology, connectivity, usage of resources, and system specific requirements. Get the current design and prepare the new one to be implemented in the cloud. Check the present and historical performance graphs to make sure that the cloud environment provide enough central processing unit (CPU), memory, and input/output operations per second (IOPS).

Once estimated the efforts required to migrate, it is time to test the waters with a small proof of concept. The goal of this phase is to learn the cloud provider environment and ensure that the assumptions regarding suitability for migration to the cloud are accurate.           Get familiar with the cloud provider API, tools, software development kit (SDK), management console and command line tools. Make use of the security features of the cloud provider at every stage of the migration process. Learn about the various security features provided: creating and maintaining user credentials, multi factor authentication (MFA), authentication, authorization, and IAM.


  1. Prepare the foundation cloud for the pilot migration.
  2. Create and execute a proof of concept.
  3. Start with development and test applications.
  4. Choose the right candidate for the pilot migration because there are many candidates to consider.
  5. Migrate pilot workloads as representative use cases.
  6. Examine the performance and latency.
  7. Build migration scripts to automate the process.
  8. Validate applications and operations on the foundation cloud.
  9. Verify economic model against larger application portfolio.
  10. Map security, compliance and operational processes.
  11. Gain the experience and confidence to move forward with a larger migration.

Hints and tips

  • The pilot migration is a iterative agile process:
    • Estimating the application migration effort.
    • Defining requirements.
    • Creating a migration roadmap.
    • Planning migration.
    • Get wet feet with the cloud.
    • Build a pilot and validate the technology.
    • Conducting migration pilots.
    • Test existing software in the cloud.
    • Updating the business case.
    • Designing a future architecture.
    • Build confidence with various cloud services.
    • Mitigate risk by validating critical pieces of the proposed architecture.
  • Pilot migration is a recommended approach to mitigate any potential migration risk.
  • Verify that the services migrated or provisioned meet the business requirements and expectations.
  • Ensure that critical business applications perform as expected in the pilot cloud environment before migrating the production instances.
  • Verify the migration process, allowing for better planning of the commissioning phase.
  • The rule of the thumb is to choose an application that is:
    • The easiest to migrate.
    • The most likely to fulfil the criteria of success.
    • The least prone to failure.
  • It is vital to not impact the users with performance or availability issues.
  • The users should have no idea the application moved to a new environment.
  • Demonstrate success early in the process, to inspire the belief and enthusiasm required to propel a cloud migration.
  • Be aware, whether intermittent connectivity, sluggish response times, or outright bugs, nothing stalls cloud migration efforts more dramatically than a poor user experience.
  • Basic applications are to be installed and configured in a static environment.
  • Collaborate with the cloud provider for the installation and configuration of the performance-sensitive applications.
  • Test to create different IAM groups for different business functions, different IT roles (admins, developers, testers etc.), users to match to the organization chart or users for each application.

Activity output

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