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What's a cloud migration factory, and how does it work?

When properly implemented -- and understood -- a cloud migration factory combines the right mix of people, processes and tools to smoothly transition an app into the public cloud.

When organizations have a large number of applications they want to move to the public cloud, they often fail to make a suitable business case for each, align the migration to business strategy or measure the overall value of the move. A cloud migration factory aims to change that.

What is a cloud migration factory?

First, the term factory is a bit of a misnomer. A cloud migration factory is a collective term referring to the people, processes and tools that help an organization plan, execute and support workload migrations. In other words, it blends the technical components of a cloud migration with the business and human components.

In the planning phase, a cloud migration factory can help choose the best migration approach -- such as single workload migrations or migrations in phases or groups -- as well as guide application assessments. During this early stage, a cloud migration factory also organizes and prepares the chosen cloud provider's resources and illustrates the business value of migration to stakeholders.

Once the planning phase is complete, the people, processes and tools included in a cloud migration factory execute the actual move. The goal is to employ an efficient workload migration process that includes:

  • provisioning;
  • testing;
  • cutovers;
  • monitoring; and
  • troubleshooting and rollbacks, as necessary.

Finally, the cloud migration factory validates the completed migration to ensure the workload is properly secured and performs adequately. It should also implement any maintenance, backup or disaster recovery tasks needed to support the application in the public cloud.

When to implement

The argument for or against a cloud migration factory depends on business needs and the scope of the migration. An enterprise that runs a few low-priority workloads in a public cloud -- on an experimental basis -- probably wouldn't benefit from the formality of a cloud migration factory.

However, an enterprise with regular and recurring migration tasks could benefit from the formal organization of the people, processes and tools required to move an application successfully off premises.

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