Your guide to a successful and cost-effective Google Cloud Migration

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Are you planning to migrate your workloads to Google Cloud? This guide will help you ensure a cost-effective, fast, and most importantly, successful migration to Google Cloud.

While Google Cloud is by itself a reliable platform that is relatively easy to use, migrating your system from your existing environment does have its challenges, as we will discuss below.

Google Cloud Migration: Key Challenges


While ultimately the purpose of migrating to the cloud is to improve efficiency and reduce operational costs, you will need upfront investments during and after the migration, including but not limited to the following costs:

  • Bandwidth costs for data and application migration
  • Rewriting application that is not yet ready for the Cloud or purchasing a new cloud-native application
  • Training employees and users so they can acquire the required skill sets
  • Handling performance issues, including downtime, latency, and dependencies

2.Skill Gap

To ensure both successful migrations to the cloud, as well as making the most of the new cloud environment in day-to-day operations, you’ll need a team with the appropriate skillset. However, building your own cloud-ready team will take time, and hiring new team members can be expensive.

The cost-effective solution for this issue is to outsource the cloud migration process to a professional cloud migration service, while at the same time, you should build an internal culture of learning and plan a comprehensive, continuous training program for your team members.

3.Adoption resistance

People naturally resist changes, and a very common issue preventing successful cloud migration is when your team resists adopting the new environment (Google Cloud environment). 

Migrating to a cloud environment, especially if you are previously in a physical (on-premises) environment, can bring a lot of changes to your workflow. So, it’s crucial to carefully and continuously communicate the benefits of the migration process, and ensure adoption is as easy as possible for them.

4.Data Security

The migration process will involve the transportation of your data, including sensitive/regulated data, of which data leaks and data losses can potentially be very dangerous for your organization. Ensuring data security best practices is crucial to facilitate a successful cloud migration.

Safe and Effective Migration to Google Cloud: A Step-By-Step Guide

To ensure a successful migration to Google Cloud while tackling the challenges we’ve discussed above, we can divide the Google Cloud migration process into four main steps:

Step 1: Assess

The first and arguably the most crucial step to cloud migration is the assessment of three things:

  1. Your current environment. Gather and organize as much information as you can about the environment.
  2. The target cloud environment (in this case, Google Cloud). Identify the key differences between the target cloud and your existing environment.
  3. Your workloads. Discover which needs to migrate, and prioritize which to migrate first.

Without a clear awareness of these three key elements, you’ll face issues during and after the cloud migration process. In this step, you should mainly focus on:

  • Whether your existing environment is physical (on-premises), private hosting, or public cloud (i.e., AWS or Azure)
  • List the applications and services you currently have in your existing environment.
  • Identify your most critical applications/workloads and the least important ones.
  • Identify bandwidth requirements
  • Assess how your applications are currently integrated and their dependencies (if any) with each other.
  • Identify applications that are already cloud-native and which are not designed for the Cloud
  • Monitor resource utilization. This is important, so you’ll know the resources you’ll need in the new environment.
  • Where your applications and devices are located
  • What problems (if any) currently exist in your environment

Gather as much information as you can about your environment, Google Cloud, and your workloads. Use these insights to decide how you should migrate to Google Cloud, which we will discuss in the next step.

Step 2: Plan

Based on the assessment result, you can start developing a master plan for the migration process.

Having a comprehensive plan is crucial so you can save both the time and effort needed for the migration process. Integration mapping while considering dependencies between workloads should be your main focus when planning the migration process.

  • Based on the assessment result, identify which workloads should be migrated first and which will require further modification.
  • If you are planning to migrate multiple workloads/applications, picking the right order (prioritizing) the right order to migrate is critical to ensure zero downtime and minimize issues due to dependencies.
  • Another crucial aspect of the planning step is to decide the size of your cloud resource based on actual usage.

Step 3: Migrate

Execute your migration plan, and in this step, we’ll start the actual migration process.

In most cases, it’s best to migrate your data first before you migrate your applications/workloads to minimize dependency issues. Once your data has been successfully migrated, migrating your applications should be relatively easy.

As you begin to migrate your workloads/applications, it’s best to start with applications that are already relatively easy to migrate (i.e., cloud-native apps) so you can avoid major mistakes and unnecessary downtime.

Step 4: Optimize

Now that you’ve (successfully) migrated your workloads and databases, the next step is to optimize the workloads on the cloud environment.

This step is about fine-tuning your applications’ performances in the cloud environment so you can make the most of the new Google Cloud.

This is also where you should establish a system for monitoring and logging the performances of your workloads and also train your team so they can use the new cloud environment better.

You can also use Google Cloud’s built-in optimization solutions to help you optimize your workloads in Google Cloud, including:

  • Google’s Deployment Manager: will help you automatically configure applications running in GCP.
  • Stackdriver: Google’s monitoring and analytics tool will allow you to monitor your cloud applications through a single database. Very useful for gaining insights on how you should optimize each application.

Google Cloud Migration with Pythian

Pythian offers professional Google Cloud migration services 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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