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Four Steps to Developing A Multi-Cloud Migration Plan

By: Blair Felter on January 17, 2018

Determining your organization’s right mix of public, private and hybrid cloud options sets you up to make a smart approach to cloud migration. And all successful migrations begin with a migration plan.

Approaching the Planning Process

No matter how straightforward your ecosystem is or how little infrastructure is being moved, cloud migration is a significant undertaking. As it should with any major organizational investment, your planning process should center around concrete objectives, and all other components of the migration should contribute to achieving these end goals.

Even still, the variety of components included within a cloud migration can be challenging to wrangle, especially when you’re working with disparate workloads, applications and hosting environments. For this reason, we’ve boiled down the cloud migration process to four steps that should offer a great starting point for kicking off a successful plan.

Steps to Cloud Migration Planning for a Multi-Cloud Architecture

1. Migration Preparation and Business Planning

This is the most critical step of migration planning — it’s where you define your migration objectives and business case. Hopefully, the upfront work you did to determine your multi-cloud architecture requirements will be useful from a technical and business stand point, but you’ll also need consider other logistical details, like who are the project owners, what is the timeline and what are the migration’s success criteria.

2. Portfolio Discovery and Planning

This is where you review your existing infrastructure, applications and workloads to catalog what you have, plan for what you need and identify anything you’re missing. If you’ve effectively considered your multi-cloud environment’s technology needs for today and in the future, you may already be ahead of the game. Nonetheless, your portfolio discovery and planning process helps you confirm what components of your infrastructure need to move and how they will work together in your new model.

3. Designing, Migrating and Validating Applications

Once you have a clear understanding of what is moving, where it’s going and how it will work when it gets there, your migration activities are ready to begin. It’s often best for companies to start the process by migrating their least complex use cases, saving any mission-critical systems for later in the cycle to help mitigate downtime.

4. Operations

The fourth and final step of migration may seem simple, but it can become a dramatic time and cost sink when it isn’t given its due diligence. Step four is the testing and validation phase where you confirm that your infrastructure was migrated successfully and is working as it should. When done right, this process can be straightforward and orderly. When done wrong, it can lead to costly project delays, system outages and productivity losses for your internal staff.

Depending on the size of your ecosystem and how much you choose to migrate at one time, these four steps can be overkill or deceptively simple. Either way, the cloud migration process presents unique nuances and decision points that can derail in-house IT talent from their day-to-day responsibilities. This is why many companies work with third-party resources to navigate migration.

**For more insight into migration planning and how vXchnge can help, download our data center migration checklist.

Ready to Launch Your Multi-Cloud Strategy?

This blog post concludes our five-part series outlining an approach to launching a multi-cloud strategy, but the process doesn’t stop there. There are a variety of other trends, factors and solutions that are worth consideration when you plan your multi-cloud approach.

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