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1h 4m

Course Description

In this course, we will learn practical planning techniques for migrating business applications to public cloud services. 

Intended Audience

The course is suitable for anyone wanting to learn more about how public cloud services can be effective in business transformation.  

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the benefits of migrating to the cloud.
  • Describe the six common migration strategies used in cloud migrations. 
  • Explain the stages of the Cloud Transformation Maturity model, and identify where an organization might be in cloud maturity.
  • Implement a framework for assessing an organization's business and technical migration readiness.


I recommend completing the Cloud Computing for Business Professionals learning path as a pre-requisite. While this is a beginner level course, having a basic understanding of the concepts of Cloud Computing will help ensure you gain the most value from the content.

This Course Includes

In this course, we will learn hands-on strategies and techniques for migrating business applications to public cloud services. At the completion of this course, you will have a working perspective on the steps and processes required to build a migration business case and to implement a migration plan. You will also have an understanding of some of the best practices around migration planning and migration execution. 


If you have thoughts or suggestions for this course, please contact Cloud Academy at support@cloudacademy.com.


This concludes this Getting Started with Migrating to the Cloud course. I hope you have found the content and format useful and feel more confident with beginning a Cloud Migration project or a business transformation program in your own business or with one of your customers. So let's review the areas we've covered to remind ourselves and help solidify what we have learned in this course. First, we learnt the benefits of migrating to public Cloud Services. The core benefits of public Cloud Services are ease of use. It is just easier to start up new services when you don't need to provision them first. Elasticity; Cloud Services can scale up and down to meet demand. You don't need to provision infrastructure based on estimated usage. Cost efficiency; with Cloud you only pay for what you use. Flexibility; you can add or remove services easily and without delay. And security; Cloud providers manage the security of Cloud Services and encourage security best practices, meaning you can focus on generating business value. Next we explained the six common strategies used when discussing Cloud Migrations. Those were: rehost, replatform, repurchase, refactor, retain and retire. Next we explained the four stages of the Cloud Transformation Maturity Model. The first was the project stage where we have intermittent projects, often with no clear executive support or plan. Then we have the foundation stage where we begin to see the components Cloud Services being put in place but generally there's no clear direction yet. The the migration stage, that's where we have a number of migration projects under way but often independently of each other and often prone to operational blocks such as top down support, coordination or fiscal or financial issues. Then we have our optimization stage. This is where we may even have an all in strategy but often we lack the best practices and resources to be able to ensure we're getting the best from all of those good Cloud Services. Then we explored how to identify which maturity stage and organization may be at in the Cloud adoption cycle using that Cloud Transformation Maturity journey. And we explored some of the techniques we can use to move an organization forward in Cloud Maturity. To move forward from the project stage we looked at running a Cloud Readiness Workshop to clarify business drivers, define strategy and common goals for Migrating to public Cloud Services. We looked at using a Cloud Readiness Assessment to identify the current readiness of applications, to define the requirements required to shift any of those, identify roles and responsibilities and to agree priorities. We looked at the Proof of Concept as a way to increase confidence in Cloud Services and quickly approve viability of services proposed. To move forward from the foundation stage, we explored setting up a Cloud Center of Excellence to capture and encourage organization-wide best practices. We looked at running security all rolls and responsibility workshops. To move forward from the Migration Stage, we discussed running optimization workshops to ensure cost optimizations and we looked at including vendors and partners to ensure best operating practices and the use of the latest optimization tools and features. Then we walked through a Cloud Readiness workshop for Expertiseplease.com. We followed their progress as they ran a Cloud Readiness Assessment and defined a high level migration plan for transforming their business. Here's a quick summary of what they did. Expertiseplease has a storage exhaustion deadline at their current data center. So they needed to find a solution within three months. That fixed constraint made the decision to lift and shift their image storage to Amazon S3 relatively easy. That was the main priority as the exhaustion deadline could not be changed. Proof of Concept proved that the business application could run using images stored in Amazon S3. So the minimal viable solution was simply shifting storage to Amazon S3, however, the brief from the customer was to also try and improve reliability and to make it easier to iterate on new features and services. The need to securely manage customer data is seen as a priority for success going forward. AWS is able to meet more clients' requirements then Expertiseplease could ever do in their current data service. The ability to increase availability by running in multiple availability zones and the option to recover to an entirely different region are very attractive propositions to the Expertise Executive. So it was seen as practical to lift and shift their business applications to Amazon EC2 Instances and their Oracle Database to Amazon RDS. So their Migration Plan is based firmly on priorities. First phase is to shift the image assets as soon as possible to negate the storage exhaustion issue. Now this shift immediately improves scalability, availability and it reduces costs. Further, it reduces the constraint on the business as there will be no need to renegotiate the contract with the data center that's currently being used. The long-term benefits of shifting to the Cloud, to the Expertiseplease business, is the ability to implement new features and service much faster. The CEO recognizes that Expertiseplease needs to innovate quickly to meet customer demands and to keep ahead of the competition. Increasing agility in this way can make a big improvement to the operational success of the expertise business and this is a core driver in that shift to Cloud Services. So to realize this vision it is crucial to prioritize effectively so refactoring the application is proposed in phase three. Now this reduces risk to phase one and ensures that the internal development team are not over-committed during those other phases. The storage exhaustion constraint is the priority. So while there was an appetite for rewriting the way images were posted and returned to the application and to in customers, adding a caching layer to reduce load on the public facing servers and implementing LAM defunctions to decouple the services to add more scalability, the decision to replatform and optimize was moved out to a second phase. Now this is an important decision point you may come across yourself. If you are working to a hard time constraint, aim for the minimal viable migration. Every modification you make increases the risk of a technical complication or time delay. The Oracle Database is migrated as a lift and shift to Oracle RDS running on AWS infrastructure using the Database Migration Service. And then at a future stage it has been proposed to migrate off the Oracle platform to use Postgres, which is a Cloud native of Open Source Relational Database Platform. Now this repurchase strategy will save Expertiseplease considerable costs in annual licensing fees. The monolithic business application is seen as something that needs to be refactored and retired. It is not feasible to redeveloping the whole application each time a new feature is added. Okay, well done, Cloud Ninjas. That brings us to the end of this Getting Started with Migrating to the Cloud Course. You should now feel you have the knowledge to recognize and implement a framework for shifting an organization to the public Cloud. It is amazing what can be achieved with the bias for action, an agreed plan, executive support and taking small steps built on the learnings and feedback from your previous steps. Now, as a next course after this, I suggest following the technical design phase for the Expertiseplease.com migration which is in this learning path. If you have any questions or comments about this course, please reach out to me directly at andrewlarkin@cloudacademy.com or to us, the team at support@cloudacademy.com. Thank you very, very much for your attention. I really hope you enjoyed this course as much as I enjoyed doing it for you and good luck with your migration projects.

About the Author
Andrew Larkin
Head of Content
Learning Paths

Andrew is fanatical about helping business teams gain the maximum ROI possible from adopting, using, and optimizing Public Cloud Services. Having built  70+ Cloud Academy courses, Andrew has helped over 50,000 students master cloud computing by sharing the skills and experiences he gained during 20+  years leading digital teams in code and consulting. Before joining Cloud Academy, Andrew worked for AWS and for AWS technology partners Ooyala and Adobe.