Managing a Cloud Migration with CenturyLink

Migration to the cloud doesn't have to be complicated. At CenturyLink®, we understand the importance of easing the complexity involved with migrating platforms.

Helping customers migrate from their legacy platform to CenturyLink Cloud is designed to facilitate a smooth, effortless, and cost-effective transition between service platforms using the best delivery methods.

Cloud Application Manager facilitates customer IT transformation by using a best-practices approach to orchestrate the delivery of infrastructure, applications and services across multiple clouds. Its key component is Managed Services Anywhere, which includes monitoring, patching and remote administration via automation and may be deployed on any cloud environment. With access to CenturyLink's 365x24x7 Global Operations Support Center, you’ll also spend less time on IT management while our experienced and accountable Managed Services teams manage tasks, minimize failures and downtime, and help you save on operational costs.

The following guide can help you through the important steps and criteria for a successful migration to the cloud.

Assess your existing situation

It's important to take stock of existing infrastructure, licensing, staffing, and hardware capabilities and limitations. When it comes to migration, this step goes beyond assessing the state of the physical equipment – it means getting a holistic perspective of your existing situation and needs in their entirety.

  • Where are you regarding end-of-life status on existing hardware, leases, warranty, or support agreements? Taking snapshots of each of these elements is crucial to taking the next (and necessary steps) towards a migration.

  • Is it time to renew software enterprise agreements? Can you take advantage of more flexible subscription or service provider licensing models? It often makes more business and operational sense to assess subscription models, plans, and formats to get a view of which solutions best suit your post-migration needs.

  • Where will automation and management of the cloud free IT staff? This might be one of your most important decisions in today's competitive landscape. Removing complexity, reducing overhead, and expediting the process to release and market via automation frees up dedicated staff and resources. This is how companies maintain traction and gain a competitive advantage.

Which back-office apps could leverage unique cloud capabilities?

  • Look at apps that require fault-tolerance, such as CRM and ERP to tap into built-in disaster recovery. Not all apps are created equal. Some require more heavy lifting and involved processes while others can migrate in a more straightforward manner.

  • Inherently distributed apps like mail have inherent cloud capabilities. Looking at different deployment versions of environments – like a full Exchange environment or hosted Exchange, based on your need to customize – is essential in cloud environments.

  • Easily migrate terminal server or browser-based apps like SharePoint, Drupal, Joomla. This is an easy win. Data stored in browser-based apps have built-in connectivity and transference to cloud interfaces, making migration easier and more secure.

Can you use the cloud to open new markets?

  • Where can you reduce cost of sales, cost of support or create new markets with legacy apps? Understanding this aspect of your business can help you maximize future profits by reducing friction, and freeing up money tied to expensive and near end-of-life statuses running on sunsetting software.

  • Which customer-facing apps could you serve online (SaaS) to reach new customers or better serve internal customers? The cloud is versatile and agile. Customers and users alike depend on ease-of-use, speed of deployment, and the ability to scale-up and scale-out based on their needs. Whether it's cloud-based portals or new websites with cloud integration, understanding what apps can reach new customer bases is essential and part of a sound digital transformation strategy.

  • Can you leverage the cloud as a fast path to multi-tenancy? If you're using a single tenancy model, a cloud migration can help pave the way to multi-tenancy in the cloud without costly rework. Simplicity wins out while expanding on your customer base.

Assess your security requirements to understand all the implications

  • Understand what data and apps need to be held via SAS 70 Type II audited, HIPAA and PCI compliant systems. Migrations are only as good as the security that comes along with them.

  • Can you access data over the public Internet or do you require a secure connection? Maximize the value of a migration by keeping your key business needs in mind when it comes to accessibility options. For a secure connection, asses your need for persistent virtual private networks (VPNs), private VLANs, extending AD or LDAP. Protect your data across the public Internet with desktop VPN software via a self-service, persistent network-to-network tunnel.

  • Extending Active Directory or LDAP authentication for your apps necessitates a secure vLAN or secure point-to-point connection.

  • Plan migration to minimize impact/downtime by practicing good Change Management. Migrations affect change type and the resulting customer notifications from a disruptive, potentially disruptive, or non-disruptive change.

Make a smooth transition

With a complete enterprise cloud platform, CenturyLink specializes in helping customers think about frictionless processes that leverage cloud flexibility. Our cloud specialists can highlight areas of importance to help you develop an awareness plan so your internal customers can easily provision the services they need.

Other considerations for a successful migration involve cost recovery planning. By utilizing a billback system, enterprises are charged a percentage of the total cost of equipment and services they use. Consider using sub-account processes that automate chargebacks for you.

With careful planning and a forward-thinking customer support model with your new solution, you can focus on your competencies instead of managing the infrastructure.

Learn More about CenturyLink

Read up on Cloud Application Manager and Managed Services Anywhere for information on how our experts can support your migration to CenturyLink Cloud.