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5 tips on cloud migration from those who know

Sharon Gaudin | Oct. 9, 2015
How to avoid minefields and even improve your network

aws invent panel
Holding the microphone, Mike Chapple, senior director for IT service selivery at the University of Notre Dame, and other IT managers, offer advice to companies considering a move to the cloud during a session at the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday. Credit: Sharon Gaudin/Computerworld

For enterprises considering a move to the cloud, or even in the middle of a move right now, the transition can be daunting -- even a bit overwhelming.

IT managers jumping into the arena have to know here to start, what to avoid and how to steer around the minefields that can derail a project.

The good news is that there are IT pros who've already been through a cloud migration and overcome their own hurdles on their way to becoming seasoned cloud users. These aren't people who have simply used Gmail or Google Docs; they're already running a major part of their business - or even their entire enterprise -- in the cloud.

At the annual AWS re:Invent conference here this week, Computerworld talked to some of these cloud veterans. Here's their best advice:

Really consider your connections

It's easy to get excited about what apps or services you're moving to the cloud and forget about the connections you need to get them there.

Eric Geiger is vice president of IT operations at Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, a $70 billion wholesale bank that lends money to other financial institutions. The bank runs all of its internal production workloads on the AWS cloud.

"Focus on your connection," Geiger said. "Connecting to [the cloud] through your VPN is fine, but if you have offices in Chicago and you're connecting with Virginia, that latency can become frustrating. And that latency can become a little obnoxious. Make sure you pay a lot of attention to that networking component. How you get there is a big part of it."

Mike Chapple, senior director of IT Service Delivery at the University of Notre Dame, threw his weight behind the same advice.

"I couldn't agree more about thinking about what your network infrastructure is going to look like," he said, adding with a laugh, "We thought it was so important, we did it four different times."

Be picky about your early efforts

The first apps or services that you move to the cloud are going to be significant. If the project works, your staff will be buoyed and business executives will be encouraged to continue the push. If the project doesn't work, however, it will be a blow to IT's, and executives', cloud enthusiasm.

 

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