Cloud Migration - Getting Started

The Migration Strategy and Roadmap

by Utkarsh Sharma


  • Provides a high-level outline of preparing for the Cloud Migration process and the key components required during planning, actual migration and post migration to ensure a smooth migration
  • Key components to ensure a smooth migration include network and architecture design, security and access, tools and technology, a migration checklist and a cutover strategy


So, you are all ready to migrate to the cloud! Some of the readers may be looking for the blog on the decision-making process and pro & cons of moving to the cloud and which cloud best suits our needs. A simple search on the internet will throw up a multitude of articles and checklists of that process and comparison charts for various cloud infrastructure providers.

This blog is a high-level outline of Day 0 – how do I start the migration, what should I have in place to ensure a smooth and successful migration to the cloud.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

The Tailor’s rule of measuring twice and cutting once holds true here

Measure Twice, Cut Once

  • The Tailor’s Rule

    It is essential to know, check and recheck all that is required and ensure they are in readiness prior to the actual migration process. This includes knowing what all is required before, during and after the migration – infrastructure, people, access, etc.

  • Strategy and Roadmap

    A well-defined strategy and roadmap are key to preparing the team and all resources needed, including endless cups of coffee and doughnuts, to initiate and execute the process.

Key Elements

Key Elements Of The Migration Roadmap

The following are few of the essential resources while preparing for the migration process:

  • Discovery


    The existing IT setup plays a key role in architecture and deployment decisions. An in-depth due diligence and discovery process is required to understand the current environment and how it is deployed – including network, infrastructure, application, database discoveries. A due diligence report containing these key details is important for the post migration verification to ensure that all workloads are migrated successfully.

  • Network Designing

    Network Designing

    Networking is a baseline requirement to host the infrastructure. A virtual network is a must have for any application deployment on cloud. You should ensure that the IP CIDR range is not overlapping with your on-premise network. The network design includes both the proposed cloud footprint on the cloud and the connectivity to the cloud.

  • Architecture Setup

    Architecture Setup

    It is important to know what the proposed infrastructure will look like – the workloads that will be migrated and what is deployed where. Architecture planning is required to plan the underlying infrastructure resources, the future network demands and integration requirements.

  • Security Posture

    Security Posture

    Security planning is a high priority during migration planning. The migration plan should include the security best practices - cloud, data, infrastructure and application security. The primary cloud infrastructure providers – AWS, Azure and GCP - have native support for the security tools. They are compliant with most regulations and industry best practices, letting us focus on our data and application security.

  • Technology Decisions

    Technology Decisions

    The right migration tools and technology stack to be used paves the way for a smooth migration process. The migration teams should have a clear understanding of what tool will be used during the migration process, including CI/CD, Configuration management, IAC, alerting and monitoring etc.


During And Post Migration Preparation

The following 3 components of migration preparation address what you should take care of during and after the migration process:

  • Migration Checklist

    Migration Checklist

    The migration checklist is the sequential order of execution of steps during the migration activity including network setup, DNS configuration, load balancers deployment, data replication, and automation. This checklist helps the team ensure that they have not missed any item like updating the DNS records after everything is done.

  • Cutover Strategies

    Cutover Strategies

    Planning the cutover strategy is the important last mile in the migration journey:

    • Defining how the actual cutover would be done
    • Identifying downtime requirements during the migration process
    • Canary based approach or Big Bang cutover to re-route traffic to the cloud
  • Post Migration Optimisation Planning

    Post Migration Optimisation Planning

    Once the migration is done and the application is running on the cloud, it’s important to plan the optimisation through a security, cost and compliance audit. This also includes if any upgrades are required in any stack if it was pure lift and shift or transforming to cloud native services.

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Diving deeper

While this blog in the series gave an eagle-eye view of the migration process, the next blog we will dive deeper into the advanced practices for faster and efficient migrations.

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