Data Migration: Lessons Learned

January 19, 2017

If you read part 1part 2, and part 3 of US Signal’s three-part blog series on data migration, you probably have a good understanding of what is involved in moving workloads to the cloud. As the 1968 hit by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell says, however, “there ain’t nothing like the real thing.” You can’t fully understand all the in’s and out’s of a data migration project until you’ve been through one. Even then, the “gotchas” and “where-did-that-come-from’s” will vary from project to project.

US Signal’s professional services team is in the unique position of having successfully completed numerous cloud migration projects in conjunction with a wide range of clients. Some have been easy. Some — not so much. We’ve put best practices to the test and seen what works and what doesn’t. We’ve encountered obstacles and figured out work-arounds. We know where the risks lie and how to mitigate them.

While we can’t directly transfer that knowledge to our customers, we can share the lessons learned to help make their data migration projects run more smoothly. For example, successful data migrations seem to share these common traits:

  • Executive sponsorship. Top-level buy-in and support of the project means it has a high priority within the organization, so things move faster and resources get allocated quicker.
  • A well-documented environment.  Customers who have taken the time to document their IT environments know what they have, the dependencies, the usage patterns, and all the other variables that make their environments unique. This helps eliminate some of the surprises that can pop up during a migration project.
  • Strong two-way communication.  Successful migration projects require good communication between team members and, if applicable, between the internal IT team and the CSP. This helps keep projects on schedule and ensures that when issues arise, they are deal with promptly and collaboratively.

A cloud migration project can be a major undertaking, whether you take it on yourself or enlist the assistance of a cloud service provider’s professional services team. Take advantage of some of the lessons learned by US Signal’s professional services team. It’s as close to “the real thing” as you can get without going through a data migration project yourself.


Learn more about data migrations with these related items.