cloud consoleVMware

The Journey Is No Less Important Than the Destination

ByJuly 8, 2019
Countdown to Liftoff — Are you ready to rocket your business into the cloud?
Most journeys start with deciding where to go. When a business decides to migrate their IT workloads to the cloud, they invest a lot of time and resources to determine why they want to move to the cloud, and which cloud will best serve their needs. Generally, it boils down to a need to focus more on business goals, and less on managing data centers. But, many businesses don’t consider how they’ll arrive at their new home in the cloud.

The journey to the cloud shouldn’t be a secondary thought. When planning a road trip, you focus on the route. It provides a plan for managing weather, adverse road conditions, and necessary stops along the way. Contingency planning is equally important to help manage unexpected conditions and potential risks.

The first journey to the moon was astronomically more difficult to plan than your average road trip. Pun intended. But the years of planning paid off when every astronaut returned safely home, including the Apollo 13 crew who had to execute their contingency plans when disaster struck.

iland has been assisting customers in their journey to the cloud for over a decade. Many of them had previously found that the route is not always smooth. The roadmap to a successful home in the cloud always starts with understanding a customer’s IT and business goals. It is critical to identify the success criteria and to collaborate across teams to develop the migration plan. Every angle should be considered, detailed plans laid out prior to execution, contingency plans created for when things don’t go well, and clear success measurements defined so everyone knows when the project is complete.

Start at the Beginning
It all starts with the preplanning process. iland’s solution architects work individually with our customers to make sure everyone understands the needs of the business, what workloads need to make the migration, the proper sizing of your cloud, and then document the requirements and desired outcomes. Of course, an understanding of what the destination cloud will provide and how the migration will occur will also be discussed. In the end, a solution design that meets the needs of the customer will be agreed upon.

Measure Twice, Migrate Once
Big or small, once the on-boarding begins, it should be well organized and managed like any other critical IT project. Having experienced project managers and engineers who have learned from customers of all sizes, and all the hiccups and failures they have had, can be a significant success factor when migrating to the cloud.

The iland migration team will review the desired outcomes and validate the design created in pre-sales will meet these needs. Then they will develop and document a plan with clear roles and responsibilities and realistic timelines, so everyone is clear on what happens and when. This helps the customer understand when outages will occur so they can properly schedule and communicate downtime to their end users.

Welcome to YOUR Cloud
After all this planning, it will finally be time to do some building. Utilizing the validated design, the cloud environment will be created utilizing the identified compute, memory, storage, security, and networking resources. In good cloud provider fashion, this will be a highly automated process to reduce time and human error.

After the creation of the environment, the iland engineers provide a guided tour of the Secure Cloud Console. Using the theme of “iland is only successful when our customers are successful” the engineers will ensure the customer is comfortable with the interface and all the tasks they need to perform within it. At this point, ownership of the environment is handed over to the customer.

Preparing for Launch
Now comes the time to countdown and execute the migration plan. With all the plans leading up to this phase, everything is expected to proceed smoothly. There are many variations on how this phase will proceed with each migration plan customized for each customer and their unique needs. Some customers rebuild their environment using new virtual machines and transfer the application data. Some replicate their VMs and build the equivalent of a planned disaster recovery failover. In all scenarios, customers migrating from on-premises vSphere environments will not incur the extra downtime and risk associated with converting their virtual machines. This is the advantage of choosing a VMware-based cloud provider like iland.

Project Closure
Once everything is moved over, the iland team will work with the customer to verify everything went according to plan, including functionality, performance, and any external connectivity. The team will also ensure the customer is comfortable with the iland Secure Cloud Console and the operations they need to perform going forward. If everything checks out, the project is closed and the customer is moved over to long-term support.

This is a process that iland has successfully used to migrate customers of all sizes to the cloud many times. It is a robust process that ensures all aspects are considered and any unnecessary steps are eliminated to simplify the process. Each customer is different and their migration steps vary, but the process for successfully helping them move to the cloud is well-defined and proven.

The journey may not be simple, but with the proper planning it can be as safe as the best road trips or a lunar landing. To learn more about successfully migrating your workloads to the cloud, see this webinar.
Brian Knudtson

Brian Knudtson

In his 20-year career, Brian has experienced many different perspectives of the IT industry. He has worked as a value-added reseller, vendor and service provider in roles in web development, system administration, post-sales deployment, pre-sales architecting, public cloud design and technical marketing. Currently, Brian is a Cloud Technologist at iland. He enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids. He is also heavily involved with the Destination Imagination program and has been a long-time member of the VMware community, notably starting the Omaha VMUG and putting on VMunderground at VMworld. You can find him online occasionally blogging at http://knudt.net/vblog and tweeting at @bknudtson.