Cloud migration checklist

What is cloud migration?

Cloud migration is about transforming a network infrastructure to cloud based testing infrastructure. Cloud offers scalability and flexibility that rescues the business organisations from spending on infrastructure costs thus resulting in greater productivity.

Although the decision to move into cloud based testing requires sketching out steps that need to be taken to enable everyone towards attainment of a common objective of business. Therefore, before beginning with cloud based testing, it is a primary task to prepare a checklist, mentioning the important areas or aspects to cover.

Cloud vs Network Infrastructure

Checklist for Cloud migration:

  • Business Essentials - Objectives of any project within an organisation has to be aligned with the business goal, because it will ultimately impact an organisation's revenue and growth prospects. So IT team is expected to present an approx. figure of the amount to be generated from such a move. Analyse few key points in this regard :
    1. Try to identify the reasons for not being able to achieve the desired targets. There could many reasons like shortage of expertise within the organisation, capital expenditures etc.
    2. Categorise the infrastructure, platforms, and services and rank them in order to move to the cloud. This helps to prioritise steps that are important in the process of achieving migration.
    3. Determine the impact of migration on the teams that could be possibly be affected by such change.
    4. Prepare use cases to predict how the current system will change for the better by inculcating current practices and customer experiences.
  • Technology Essentials - Once the business needs are analysed, the next step is to move towards identifying the technologies to be adopted for implementing cloud testing. Categories of technology selection could be :
    1. Service selection - Information as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS). To analyse whether there's a need for a dedicated server or a VM environment would suffice.
    2. Software Selection - Determine which software or database to go for - PHP, .Net, MySQL etc. Also what are the services that we wish to move to cloud, and which to keep inhouse.
    3. Determine the performance criteria that is expected from the users. Set realistic expectations.
    4. Finally create a migration plan.
  • Cloud Hosting Provider - Choosing a host provider is the biggest challenge. There are few imperative facts that needs to be dealt with and a careful analysis of the brand image is important.
    1. Understand how long have the cloud host provider have been in the business.
    2. Analyse the prevailing financial status of the business.
    3. How do they live up to the expectations of their clients in terms of keeping pace with client demands.
    4. Identify their perspective towards the choice of their clients.
    5. Determine hardware configurations they use.
    6. Determine the extent to which they can offer support to their clients.
    7. Determine if they provide backup for data and the pace with which they can recover data.

So to put it very precisely, cloud migration follows the following steps :

  • Assessing the scope of improvement in shifting base from current infrastructure to cloud based infrastructure.
  • Planning the migration activities once the decision is taken. Defining the services, cloud providers, topology of application architecture performance bottlenecks if any and so on.
  • Migration. After planning out everything about migration and finding out the best possible solution, one may think of migrating to the target cloud based environment.
  • Validating all aspects of the application after the migration is complete.

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Cloud testing / cloud migration is a decision that requires team planning. Take into account the various factors that form a crucial part for an application to be tested on cloud. The implications for such a transformation should be measured from every dimension so as not to affect growth of the business.

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