When cloud migration planning, ask these questions in the following order: Why, What, Who, Where, and When. That gets you to the “how.”
By now, some if not most you should be familiar with the six “R’s” when discussing cloud migration: Remove, Retain, Replatform, Rehost, Repurchase, and Refactor.
These designations ultimately help you determine and plan a cloud migration strategy as well as the disposition of your on-premise assets and applications.
But, to get the job done, you must be able to answer the five “W’s.” Let me explain.
I’m sure at some point in grade school you were taught the five W’s and one “H” format for interrogatories: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. The “How” falls into the six R’s so we will get to that last.
All introductory meetings should begin with answering these five W’s.
Cloud Migration Planning Questions
In cloud migration planning here are the things you need to know and what you should be asking yourself before you hit the submit button on the sign-up page. To better explain, we’re going to move those W’s around a little into the following order: Why, What, Who, Where, and When.
#1 – Why?
Why are we moving into the cloud? And more specifically, why are we moving this application or server into the cloud? Maybe its been decided for you, and your CEO\CIO has adopted a cloud first strategy. Or they want to reduce their hardware expenditures and on premise footprint.
Regardless of the reasoning, you need to have a clear and concise understanding of “why” you are moving to the cloud. This is very important because it drives design and lets everyone know what’s really important.
#2 – What?
What are we moving into the cloud? All applications? Some applications? Are we just expanding capacity?
Are we looking to take advantage of cloud services? Understanding the “what” will help you define the path you take, and the tools and effort required to get there.
#3 – Who?
Who owns the application? Who is involved? Who needs to be notified? Let’s get them involved in the conversation.
They may have plans and projects in place that constitute “unknowns” that can derail the project, or conversely, they can help the project. Maybe they’re planning a software upgrade that would facilitate a brand-new installation in the cloud?
Making sure everyone is onboard is a critical step.
#4 – Where?
This is a more complex question than it implies. To the cloud! Easy right? Nope. There are a lot of different factors that go into deciding where an application should be placed, and here I’m speaking geographically as well as logically. For small to mid-sized companies, this is probably not a difficult choice.
At this scale, decisions are based more logically, as in how you design your virtual networks and subnets and which services you might need to include. For larger, more geographically disperse companies, maybe even globally dispersed, even something as simple as designing a file share can be complex.
Dealing with regulations and security become exponentially more difficult. So “where” becomes a vital question to consider.
#5 – When?
And lastly, when can you move it? How long will it take? Is it end of the fiscal year and you have financials to generate and it can’t be touched? Is it a AAA–rated app that can never go down? Will it require extra effort because of your need to redo DB connection strings, security, or firewall access.
Fully understanding “when” will make a huge difference in planning your migration.
So now to the “how.” How comes armed with the answers to the five W’s and goes directly into the six R’s.
Once “how” has laid waste to your spreadsheet and has littered it with checked boxes in your “R” analysis, picking the appropriate migration methodology should be evident. Leave this one where it is. Retire this one. Migrate this one, etc.
Knowing the five W’s gets you to the six R’s and into the cloud.