7 Tips for a Successful Application Migration

With the ever-increasing adoption of hybrid cloud infrastructure models, application migrations have become a common occurrence. Whether you are migrating an application to your public or private cloud, these 7 tips can help you avoid costly and time-consuming errors in planning and execution.

1.      Get executive buy-in

Most companies have invested quite a bit in their legacy applications. Migrating an existing application in an effort to modernize it and provide new functionalities can be a cost-saving alternative to building a new application. However, trying to implement a migration as a cheap quick fix is a mistake. An application migration is an intricate process that requires scrupulous planning to avoid costly errors that result in downtime. Err on the side of caution when planning your migration project and get executive buy-in for the budget you need to be successful.

2.      Locate installation software

A useful tip IBM brings up in a blog post on migration traps that could save you loads of time and headaches is to ensure that you have any installation software you might need on hand before beginning the migration. With older versions, it is possible that the vendor no longer sells copies.

3.      Assess licensing provisions

Depending on the destination of your migration, you may have to request new software licenses. Some cloud providers may require special licensing according to their model. For example, some allow you to bring your own license while others may require that you pay based on the number of subscribers (referred to as an SAL) or based on the number of processors (PL). Review your end-user license agreement to confirm any special scenarios or circumstances.

Another point IBM brings up in their blog post is that you may need to ensure you can obtain a new software license or activation code from a vendor for reinstalling older applications. It is possible that the vendor no longer issues codes for your older version. Lastly, it is a typical licensing mechanism to use physical hardware, such as network card information, to generate a unique license. This mechanism will not work in a cloud-based VM.

4.      Check cross-object dependencies

Cross-object dependencies are often surprises in the late stages of an application migration. According to Glenn Johnson, Senior Vice President at Magic Software Americas, a complex project can have dozens of different data fields coming in from different applications. Identify external sources of data up front to avoid problems down the road.

5.      Utilize automation

There are several tools on the market that can automate time-consuming manual tasks in the migration process, such as CloudVelox and Racemi. However, do not forgo careful planning and professional expertise because you use a migration tool.

6.      Create documentation

If your organization has never created any documentation for migrating applications, there’s no time like the present. Document steps for each process to reduce the likelihood of human error when repeating processes. The documentation you create for this migration will be useful for other migrations down the road, and the documentation will become a guide over time as common mistakes and helpful tips are added.

7.      Simulate go-live on a local computer

Testing is a critical step in the application migration process. WSM, a company focused on cloud and server migration and DevOps services, recommends modifying local hosts file on your Windows or Mac computer to simulate go-live. This allows you to access and test migrated application before go-live at the destination server environment. They suggest adding a host line to your hosts file that is similar to the one below. Then you can use the browser of your choice to access the migrated application and navigate the site as a user would.

{ip_address} {host_name1} {host_name2} .. {host_name_n}

For example :

255.255.255.255 site.com www.site.com store.site.com

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