1. Due Diligence & Discovery: Begin discovery sessions by gathering all workload information for the portfolio analysis. These assets include servers, applications, databases, and other required IT asset details. Next, decide which elements to migrate. Only consider what is required to be in scope for the migration. Once the portfolio analysis is ready, finalize the scope and call-out dependent elements. During this phase, answer these key questions when creating the cloud-migration plan:
- Which applications and systems can be migrated without resulting in significant changes to the architecture of the new environment?
- What are the dependencies between the current systems and applications that will be replaced or modernized?
- How would this impact the entire IT landscape?
2. Design: This is a crucial phase, as solution considerations should be finalized before taking action. At this point, the portfolio analysis should be complete, dependencies identified, and the scope of environments to be migrated should be determined. In the design phase, address the activities that involve design and solution considerations, and secure signoff with all stakeholders. This endorsement can be achieved by:
- Finalizing sizing considerations for the target cloud. During the sizing exercise, consider any optimization possible in terms if infrastructure and OS requirements.
- Considering the resilience of the cloud data centres for hosting production, disaster recovery (DR), and non-production environments. Some organizations may experience regulatory requirements to remain hosted locally within the region.
- Planning the migration approach from source to the target. This approach should be designed to ensure minimal cut-over downtime during production migration.
- Discussing and approving security considerations to avoid disruptive operational issues. Native security controls and specific add-ons need to be documented in the cloud deployment architecture and design document.
- Finalizing the migration execution plan and ensuring that it includes:
a. Details of all environments in scope, including dependencies for the migration
b. Key project deliverables and timelines
c. Owners for all activities involved, led by a project manager
d. A forum to ensure timely communication, enabling stakeholders to raise issues when they arise for faster resolution
e. Validation and testing activities post migration of each environment
f. Clear definitions of production cut-over activities, including risks, mitigation, and a rollback plan for any unforeseen issues
3. Dev Migration: Dev is the first migration activity in the migration strategy, and detailed execution steps should be tested. Conduct extensive validation and testing, and include all stakeholders in the process. The issues encountered with the resolution should be documented. Perform thorough validation and testing before releasing the environment for use. Consider automating manual and repeated tasks to preserve the migration timeline, reduce costs, and minimize business disruption due to human error.
4. Test Migration: The test environment should have a similar architecture to the production environment. For example, if the production has an Oracle database configured with Oracle Real Application Cluster (RAC) to support high availability and integration with other applications, consider having similar setup for the test environment. This will ensure the migration procedure has all the necessary steps and processes to be followed/executed during the production migration. Perform validation though various testing methods, including system integration testing (SIT) and user acceptance testing (UAT). IT and business teams should also be available for validation and testing. It is highly recommended not to make any major changes beyond this point.
5. Production, DR Cut-Over: There should be enough time allocated for production and DR build environments to ensure all the learnings and best practices are implemented. Include enough time to perform validation and quality checks as well. It is highly recommended to implement a freeze period at least two weeks prior to production cut-over, ensuring no major changes are implemented that could lead to new, undocumented issues. If possible, perform a mock run and DR rehearsal prior to cut-over. This investment pays off by building confidence and ensuring a smooth production migration. During the cut-over, rigorously follow the migration plan an communicate status changes to all stakeholders. Most importantly, check readiness with the rollback mitigation plan in case it’s needed.
6. Hypercare, Steady State: In the post-production cut-over phase, implement special monitoring for any issues -- especially performance related -- until the stabilization period. Monitor the IT and Business SLAs to ensure the environment performance is within the acceptable limits. Last, ensure the transition from migration team to the business as usual team is smooth.
Without proper planning, cloud migration can prove to be a time-consuming and complex process. It is a big undertaking, but having in an effective cloud migration strategy and approach makes the process orderly and reduces risks. Wipro has helped many clients successfully migrate their critical applications to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure while considering the unique requirements of each business, to design the right cloud migration strategy. This collective experience has resulted in these six essential steps to a successful cloud migration.
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