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6 Best Practices for Migrating to a Private Cloud Environment

Michelle Yakura - December 13, 2023
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Many modern companies rely on cloud infrastructure to run their business, but for those considering a migration to private cloud, the journey can be daunting. Some smaller businesses may be operating with legacy on-prem systems, while other companies may be working in a public cloud. Wherever you may be, you've decided that a private cloud is the best way to move your business forward, and you want to understand the best practices for the cloud migration process.

Senior Solution Architect, Kevin Ng, walks you through best practices for migrating to open source private cloud, via the Mirantis Application Migration and Modernization platform (AMMP).

Why Migrate to a Private Cloud?

Enterprises choose to migrate their clouds for various reasons, including:

  • Improved versatility: As your business grows and changes, you may find that on-prem systems or a public cloud environment don't offer the flexibility you need. You may want more control of your resources to make it easier to adapt your workflows. A private cloud can offer that versatility with impressive customization. 

  • Reduced costs: Whether you're working with on-prem systems or a public cloud, you might be spending more than you need to. While on-prem systems come with hardware and maintenance costs, public clouds often have unused resources that translate to wasted money. You can rein in your resources and expenses with a private cloud designed for your business. 

  • More billing predictability: When you move from an on-prem system, a cloud platform has a much more predictable billing cycle because it typically operates on a subscription model. With an expert team managing updates and general maintenance, you can save a lot on the unexpected costs that tend to arise with outdated on-prem systems.

  • Greater control of your environment: If your business has unique operational demands, on-prem systems and public cloud infrastructure can feel limiting. A private cloud platform gives you complete control and ownership of your data, so there are fewer limitations to the things you can achieve with your infrastructure. Create custom services and workflows designed to move the needle without facing outdated system issues or service level agreements (SLAs) that hold you back.

Tips for Your Cloud Migration Strategy

Migrating to a private cloud can be exciting, but it’s also a big undertaking. This process requires strong planning to ensure it goes smoothly, but once the migration is complete, you can start reaping the benefits. Keep these six best practices in mind when you begin your cloud migration.

1. Assess Your Current Infrastructure

Knowing what you’re currently working with is an important first step in your cloud migration. When you know what you have, you can make decisions about what you need, including the level of support required during migration.

This initial assessment of your infrastructure can also help you find the right cloud solution for your needs. When looking at your current infrastructure, think about what isn’t working. Do you have enough available resources? How is the security? What are your scalability requirements?

During this time, you should consider some of your core goals for this transition. If you find that scalability is one of your biggest challenges with your current infrastructure, that will likely be your main goal for your private cloud migration. 

2. Develop a Migration Plan

Once you know what you have and need, you can get into the weeds of your migration plan. A major part of your plan is determining what applications and services must be migrated and the order you should migrate them. Consider factors like business impact and complexity to determine your migration order.

These decisions pave the way for your migration timeline. How long do you expect the migration to take, and what steps should occur at each stage in the process? Your timeline should factor in the weeks leading up to the migration as well as action items after the migration is complete. Share your plan with your team to make sure everyone understands the process.

3. Identify Everyone's Role in the Migration

You want to run a tight ship during migration to ensure no part of your plan is forgotten, and identifying everyone's role during the process will be critical. There are many moving parts in a cloud migration, including data transferring, testing, and troubleshooting. Create teams for these different processes and provide a thorough explanation of each role.

Another key aspect of these roles is creating a communication plan internally and keeping your customers aware of any downtime. Identify all stakeholders in the migration, such as C-suite executives, project teams, partners, and customers who rely on your cloud services. Then, decide on the preferred communication channels for each group. For example, you might choose an email campaign for your customers and an employee intranet for internal interactions.

As you progress through your migration timeline, provide regular updates for each group to keep them aware of any changes to functions and activities. These updates will also include looping in your core players about actions from other teams. For instance, if your process is put on hold, let the data transfer and testing teams know that troubleshooting is underway.

4. Establish Key Performance Indicators

Key performance indicators (KPIs) will help you understand whether or not your cloud migration is helping you meet your goals. KPIs can vary based on your organization's larger objectives, but common ones include cost per month, time to deployment, and time to scale. 

You should establish your KPIs before migration takes place to have a clear direction for the process. These KPIs can also be helpful references during your migration planning when you're examining the budget. Your KPIs can be a great justification for increasing your investment in certain areas if it will help you meet your goal. 

5. Leverage Automation Solutions

Efficiency is likely a priority for your organization as you migrate to a private cloud, and it's much easier to achieve with automation. Repeat tasks will play a role in the migration process, and you can use automation tools to handle these processes independently.

Without automation solutions, you run the risk of increased downtime internally and for your customers, which can lead to larger problems down the line. These automation tools can also help you stick to the migration timeline you designed. 

6. Complete a Migration Dry-Run

Once you have your plans, KPIs, roles, and automation solutions in place, you're ready to try out your strategy. A migration dry-run is a way to practice your migration without changing DNS or disabling writes. During this practice round, you can look for any issues with compatibility, configuration, and performance before you do the real thing. 

A helpful way to get started with your dry-run is to clone your current infrastructure and data to your cloud provider, so your original environment is still up and running. From there, you can test out your strategy on the cloned infrastructure. 

Turn to Mirantis for Migration Support

Mirantis has private cloud solutions to support your goals, and our expert team is here to help you migrate. Collaborate closely with our professionals to uncover the best cloud strategies and optimize your migration process. Get in touch with us today to learn more. 

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