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5 Key Steps for a Faster and Safer Google Cloud Migration

Planning a migration to Google Cloud? 

As we know, migration of workloads, databases, and storage to the cloud environment, including Google Cloud, will always be challenging, especially in maintaining zero downtime and data integrity throughout the migration.

Timely migration to Google Cloud will require a holistic optimization in risk management, teamwork, prioritization, budget management, and time management, among others, and it can be easier said than done. 

While a successful Google Cloud migration can be challenging, it doesn't mean it's impossible. In this article we will share five key steps to accelerate your Google Cloud migration while ensuring security and reliability throughout the process.

Google Cloud Migration

To start, let’s begin with some best practices in ensuring an optimal Google Cloud migration. 

Migrating To Google Cloud: Best Practices for Success

Before planning and executing the migration process, it's important to maintain the following best practices:

1. Evaluate your current environment and its difference with Google Cloud 

Whether you are migrating from an on-premises physical data center, a private hosting environment, or another cloud platform (i.e., Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure), there will always be notable differences you'll need to pay attention to. Evaluate different areas, including but not limited to networking capabilities, security features, virtualization, and identify these key differences.

Understanding these differences will help you in creating a better migration plan for your business.

2. Evaluate the possibility of skill gaps

A common issue in many businesses migrating to the cloud (including Google Cloud) is a skill gap. Your team may not have the required skills to make the most of the new cloud environment and ensure a seamless migration.

A good approach is to use Google's Cloud Adoption framework to evaluate your business's and team's readiness in adopting and utilizing the new cloud environment.

3. Choose the type of migration based on your workload(s)

Evaluate the type of migration based on your current environment (as discussed above) and the type of workload/resource/application to be migrated.

Basically, we can divide workloads into two main types: cloud-ready and non-cloud-ready. When a workload is not cloud-ready, then assess whether it will be more cost-effective to modify the workload (refactoring) or decommission the workload and invest in a new, cloud-ready application (repurchasing).

Based on this assessment, you can choose between three main approaches on how you're going to migrate to the Cloud:

● Rehosting: also called "lift and shift," which is a straightforward migration of your workload from the previous environment to Google Cloud without any modification (at least, very minor changes). Ideal for cloud-ready workloads.

● Replatforming: modify parts of the workload to better suit the Google Cloud environment. Also called "improve and move."

● Replace: decommission the workload and either purchase a new solution or rebuild the workload from scratch (refactoring), so it becomes a cloud-ready workload.

5 Key Steps to Accelerate Google Cloud Migration

Here are five recommended steps to ensure a seamless, fast, and secure Google Cloud migration for your workloads:

1. Evaluate Your Current Environment

As discussed, the most important foundation in ensuring a seamless cloud migration process is a thorough understanding of your current environment.

The better you understand your current stack and its differences with the target environment (Google Cloud), the better you can make your decisions in approaching the migration process.

Here are some of the most important considerations regarding the evaluation of your current environment:

● Create a comprehensive list with the applications, resources, processes, services, hosts, and technology solutions you have (including physical technology assets) and where they are currently running.

● Out of this list, rate the different resources based on the difficulty of migrating them to the cloud:

● Easy to move

● Hard to move

● Impossible to move (both technical and financial-wise)

● Identify workloads that should be prioritized (i.e. those that are absolutely critical to your operations, those with dependencies, etc.)

You can utilize various monitoring tools to help you gather a complete view of your current environment, which is especially important to help you evaluate dependency information if you are planning to migrate multiple workloads.

2. Establish Pre-Migration Test Plans

To ensure a seamless migration process, pre-migration testing is crucial, as you'll get an opportunity to experiment and familiarize yourself with the migration process and the target cloud environment (in this case, Google Cloud) without causing downtime and incurring other risks to your business operations. 

Productive pre-migration tests may also help reduce adoption resistance in your team since they will improve familiarity. 

Create a comprehensive plan for testing the migration of different workloads/applications, network configurations, and sensitive data. Take notes of any errors and performance issues you face during the test and use these insights to fine-tune the actual migration. You can also use these tests to have a better idea of the required resource allocations.

3. Pay Extra Attention to Dependencies

Understanding dependencies is key in ensuring a fast and error-free migration process while maintaining zero downtime. You wouldn't want to migrate a workload and suddenly realize that the application is not working optimally, introducing high latency to the whole system and increasing the overall migration costs.

You should consider:

● Listing all workloads and services you are using in your current environment

● Identifying workloads without any dependency that can be migrated in isolation

● Identifying workloads with tight dependencies

● Assessing the current usage and resource consumption patterns of services

● Evaluating the network traffic between workloads to be migrated and those that will be left in your current environment

● Evaluating the operational cost of each workload after they are running in Google Cloud

4. Optimize Your Network Speed and Reliability

Even with very high-speed internet connectivity, migrating a large amount of data to the cloud can take days, weeks, and even months.

Make sure your cloud network is optimized properly with an optional internet gateway and an optional IPSec VPN connection, and an optional internet gateway to improve both the speed and security of the data transfer. 

5. Recruit Certified Experts Trained on Cloud Migration

As discussed, the skill gap is a very common issue hindering success in a cloud migration. However, the cost of training your team can be substantial, and it's typically better to just outsource the cloud migration process to a certified cloud migration service.

A certified cloud migration service brings in the experience, skills, and knowledge to ensure an optimal migration process, while can also helping you make the most of your new Google Cloud environment.

Google Cloud Migration with Pythian

Pythian offers a professional, enterprise-grade Google Cloud migration service that will deliver secure and reliable migration to Google Cloud. Pythian will help you identify and build plans to modify and migrate your current apps and databases to the cloud.

With 24/7 ongoing operational support from its global, certified teams, you can make sure you'll always get help during and after the cloud migration process. 

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