5 Stages of Cloud Migration (Timeline)


 | April 18, 2023

Cloud migrations can be complex, depending on project infrastructure and business impact. As a result, the multiple factors involved in a comprehensive migration plan make estimating the time to completion a significant challenge.

This article outlines how an experienced migration team executes a successful cloud migration. You’ll also learn tips for choosing a partner that can help your organization maximize the benefits of the cloud, optimize expenses, reach migration goals, and get a solid return on your investment.

A Quick Primer on Cloud Migrations

Cloud computing has immense benefits - especially for businesses willing to go beyond a “lift and shift” approach that simply transfers their digital assets. 

A comprehensive cloud migration program also includes moving your IT resources, databases, services, and applications to a cloud environment. The benefits of deep cloud integration include easier scaling, increased access for hybrid teams, better IT systems integration, increased automation, improved efficiency, enhanced customer experiences, and more. 

How long does a cloud migration take?

The cloud migration process is challenging - even for the most experienced professionals. It’s a complex process with multiple steps that can take up to 120 days.

Estimating the time frame to completion takes numerous variables into account. Factors to consider for most cloud migration projects include legacy infrastructure, migration goals, operational requirements, team size and experience. 

Small-Scale Migrations 

Small-scale projects - such as moving data from one server - can take up to two weeks provided there are no integrated services. Other factors affecting small-scale projects include additional project requirements and the size of your cloud migration team. 

Many businesses start their cloud migration journey by transferring their data. Additional services can be added from there to further integrate cloud computing into business operations.

Medium-Scale Migrations

A medium-scale cloud migration project that includes moving email systems and digital assets can take roughly two to four months. The benefits of cloud computing increase substantially at this level, and many businesses typically add cloud management services at this stage.

Large-Scale Migrations

Large-scale cloud migrations typically include applications and large data centers. Migrations at this level usually require a comprehensive strategy and can take up to 120 days to complete. 

5 Stages of a Cloud Migration Timeline

Most cloud migration timelines have similar stages, even if the technical details vary significantly between projects. The timeline below details how Moonswitch executes a cloud migration project in five stages: 

Stage 1: Discovery & Assessment 

The migration process begins with requirement gathering and migration strategy development. During this phase, we assess digital assets, existing data centers, applications, IT infrastructure, and more. 

We also choose your cloud provider during this phase from several options, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, Azure, DigitalOcean, Rackspace, and Oracle.

Estimated time: 2 weeks

Stage 2: Architecture Design

Following the assessment phase, we develop and design your cloud architecture by identifying data sources, location, and sensitivity. Security is built into all these layers at this stage to minimize security threats.

Estimated time: 2 weeks 

Stage 3: Landing Zone

The Landing Zone phase is where we establish cloud accounts with the public cloud provider and deploy environment(s) based on client requirements. Additionally, we compose Infrastructure as a Code (IaaC). 

Estimated time: 4-5 weeks

Stage 4: Workload Containerization

During this phase, we replicate source data to the public cloud and migrate and containerize workloads. Then we test the migration and take corrective action to optimize your infrastructure.

Estimated time: 4-6 weeks

Stage 5: Cost Optimization

The cost optimization phase is where we monitor cloud resource usage and threshold settings according to predetermined cloud migration KPIs. We then configure usage settings and log your data stream. 

Following these steps, we then conduct a performance review to optimize and maximize value. 

Estimate time: 3 weeks

How to Choose a Cloud Migration Partner

Choosing an experienced cloud services partner sets the foundation for a successful migration. 

The right partner will outline an optimal strategy incorporating your key business goals. As a result, you’ll avoid sub-optimal outcomes while maximizing the benefits of cloud computing. 

Some factors to consider when choosing a cloud migration partner include:

  • Experience with clients similar to your business
  • Experience across all multiple technological areas, including software development and IT operations
  • Frameworks used and best practices
  • Security and compliance experience
  • Knowledge of multiple cloud service platforms

Selecting the right partner is essential for most large-scale migrations. By engaging the services of a cloud computing expert, you’ll be able to develop a strategy and timeline that helps your business reach its goals. 

Your Cloud Migration Timeline Will Vary Significantly According to the Needs of Your Business 

Cloud migration is a complex process with numerous stages that can take up to six months from start to finish. Estimating the time to completion is challenging due to the multiple factors involved, including current IT infrastructure, resource requirements, operational needs, goals of migration, team experience, and more. 

Is your enterprise ready for the cloud?

Migrating your IT infrastructure, applications, and digital assets to a cloud services provider can maximize your organization’s potential. 

Get clarity from the experts at Moonswitch by booking a complimentary consultation. We’ll review the cloud-specific benefits most relevant to your business, establish a realistic timeline, and develop a cloud migration strategy aligned with your company’s goals.