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Navigating the Cloud: Ensuring Visibility Across the 3 Phases of Migration

Detailed planning and well-defined processes can help make execution a success, especially when the applications are so important to business operations.

Jason Chaffee

January 29, 2024

3 Min Read
ladders leading up to dark clouds
Jacky via Adobe Stock

Maintaining visibility in the cloud continues to be a top priority for many organizations -- regardless of their industry. In fact, Flexera’s 2023 State of the Cloud report noted that 66% of IT professionals and executive leaders from enterprise organizations representing a broad cross-section of industries surveyed list cloud migrations as a top challenge. And, although a common compliment to support digital transformation initiatives, the cloud migration of critical applications -- including ERP systems -- affects not only IT staff but organizations as a whole.

To name just a few, some common cloud migration challenges include:

  • Network bandwidth issues impacting employee connectivity.

  • Latency or slow application performance, causing quality issues and increasing end-users’ frustration as their experience is affected.

  • Downtime, disruptions, and poor user experience causing a partial or even complete loss in productivity.

  • Limited IT resources to assist with migration challenges throughout each phase.

Improving Success in the 3 Phases of Application Migrations

Migrating applications to the cloud is not undertaken on a whim: The process is complicated, expensive, and usually requires the oversight of senior management. However, detailed planning and well-defined processes can help make execution a success, especially when the applications are so important to business operations.

Related:Quick Study: Security and the Cloud

The following steps -- based on preplanning, evidence gathering, and informed decision-making, coupled with ongoing monitoring and management following deployment -- will help to create a solid foundation for each of the 3 phases of critical cloud migrations.

Phase 1: Pre-migration:

  • Assess the performance of the application with a pre-deployment audit before migration, which provides valuable information on service dependencies, responsiveness, capacity, and user experience for concrete evidence and informed decision-making.

  • Identify expected utilization metrics, capacity requirements, and service dependencies based on the actual utilization of current applications to include in the development plan.

  • Develop the deployment plan, performance management needs, and implementation strategies specific to the application being moved.

Phase 2: Migration:

  • Migrate the application using performance monitoring and user experience testing to ensure quality following the migration matches or exceeds expectations, as well as to provide metrics to pinpoint and rectify potential problems quickly.

Phase 3: Post-migration:

Related:8 Secrets for Smoother Sailing During a Cloud Migration

  • Monitor going forward to ensure user experience and quality performance meet goals for the application – and to provide the ability to share evidence of problems (or successes) with vendors and senior management.

  • Optimize the environment for bandwidth and capacity needs, as well as user experience, with proactive performance monitoring and trending to ensure the best service.

Migrations and ERP Applications

Many organizations, particularly those managing complex global logistics, rely on mission-critical applications to ensure smooth operations. Known as enterprise resource planning, or ERP, applications, these systems support various essential business functions, including supply chain management, manufacturing, financial planning, research, and customer relationship management.

For this reason, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software applications are ubiquitous staples of global commerce, with the entirety of the Fortune 500 now relying on ERP software. However, as ERP systems become more ingrained in company processes and procedures, performance disruptions in this software can significantly interrupt business continuity – making it all the more important that IT organizations follow the steps above for minimal disruption.

Related:Cloud Migration: 9 Ways to Ease the Agony

Visibility Enables Planning, Monitoring, and Optimization of Migrations

To maintain business continuity and ensure uninterrupted performance in essential areas, organizations should first expand their instrumentation and traffic visibility in their various data centers, remote sites, colocation environments, cloud environments, and more. Increased visibility helps IT teams assure optimal network and application performance across locations by setting baselines and alerts if applications stray from expected performance during or after a migration. In turn, IT teams can better diagnose challenges that occur throughout the cloud migration process, such as network bandwidth issues, service disruptions, and slow application performance, to take prescriptive action that will ultimately enable application performance goals to be met and assure a quality overall user experience.  

About the Author(s)

Jason Chaffee

Senior Director of Product & Solutions Marketing, Netscout

Jason Chaffee is the Senior Director of Product & Solutions Marketing at Netscout. With over 25 years of experience, Jason Chaffee works closely with Netscout’s executive team to drive product development and marketing for the company’s enterprise network and application performance monitoring solutions. His previous work experience includes time at Xerox, Fluke Networks, and Transflo. He has an MBA from the University of Denver.

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