How to Prevent Cloud Service Migration Problems

How to Prevent Cloud Service Migration Problems

Cloud service migration is a sensitive, tedious process.

The migration process encompasses moving data from one cloud service provider to another.

Some clients fear it because of its fickle nature. What happens if it breaks? What if something goes wrong?

When executed correctly, migrating to the cloud can help businesses expand their IT capabilities. Cloud environments provide secure, flexible environments, ready to support any organization’s needs.

Cloud services provide numerous benefits which include:

  • Reduced need for employing a technical staff
  • Environment equipped to handle large influxes of online traffic
  • Help managing data across geographic regions
  • Decreased application/website downtime
  • Remote access for employees
  • Compliant environments for sensitive data

Undeniably, migrating to cloud services provides businesses with easy solutions and the support they need to take their business to the next level.

Upon deciding to make the switch, how does one minimize the problems they will encounter?

Two common mistakes businesses often make when migrating their data are:

  1. Failing to plan properly
  2. Failing to communicate effectively

Planning for a Successful Migration

Ask yourself the following questions to help prepare your business for a trouble-free migration:

  • With whom do you need to communicate?
  • Who is responsible for which issue(s)?
  • Which dependencies need to be mapped?
  • What is a successful migration?
  • How can you fix a mix-up?
  • How do you lower TTL values?
  • Have you confirmed domain ownership?

“We often see clients get tripped up around DNS [Domain Name Servers] issues when it comes to migrations,” says Jay Sudowski, CEO of Handy Networks. “The absolute first thing to check if you’re moving anything internet-based is the domain name. It’s very common for us to encounter clients who are trying to move their applications only to discover later they don’t even own the domain name they are trying to run the application on.”

Sudowski advises verifying the domain owner and ensuring you have access to the name servers handling the domain when planning for migration.

Communication for a Successful Migration

Communication will immensely help with resolving issues and delegating responsibilities leading up to the migration.

“One of the biggest steps you must use during migration is communication,” says Jeff Shotnik, Systems Engineer at Handy Networks. “Everybody has to be a communicator.”

During the migration process, every team is going to have a lot on their plate. Management must maintain involvement to ensure each department is paying attention to the migration and setting aside time to work on it. Management should be involved to coordinate with each of these teams.

Developers must also be deeply involved in the process to help map dependencies between the servers.

“If you’re migrating dozens of servers, you might not be doing them all at once,” explains Shotnik. “Say for example you migrate server C, is that going to affect services on server A? It is imperative to know these sorts of things before beginning the process. Creating migration groups can help facilitate that.”

One final piece of advice is to participate in team meetings.

“We recently did a migration for a client here in Denver, and throughout the migration planning, their DBA [Database Administrator] did not participate in the team meetings or migration planning,” says Sudowski. "When it became time to start the migration process, and for the DBA to export his data, he was unsure of what data he needed to import.”

This problem negatively affects not only the cloud service provider but the client as well. “We have done this quite a few times, and I always reiterate to clients that failing to plan and flawed communication will lead to a failed migration every time,” warns Sudowski.

What issues concern you about migrating to the cloud?