If your Atlassian stack is the heartbeat of your organization and you are still on Server, then you already know that cloud migration is in your future since Atlassian will no longer provide support for its Server products as of February of 2024.
So, there is no time like the present to start putting your Atlassian Cloud migration in motion. Every organization is unique and will require a different approach. If you're overwhelmed about the entire migration process, a good place to start is getting familiar with these four Cloud Migration Strategies and the pros and cons of each one.
The strategy you choose will determine the success of your migration outcome, so it’s important to spend time designing one that best fits the needs of your organization and investing the time to properly prepare your instance and teams. This blog post will discuss how to prepare, plan and carry out a successful migration strategy, including which Atlassian tools can help you along the way and how working with an Atlassian Solution Partner can support you throughout your migration journey.
Preparing for an Effective Data Migration
As an Atlassian Cloud Specialized Partner, we’ve seen it all when it comes to cloud migrations and can attest to the importance of investing the time in planning and preparing for an Atlassian Cloud migration. While many organizations mistakenly think that the migration itself is the most critical part of the process, it’s actually the prep work that will set you up for success. For example, we’ve helped our customers achieve a 100% migration success rate thanks to these 6 steps that involve diligent planning and rigorous testing:
During this phase, you'll find out what you need to prepare your environment for Atlassian Cloud. Take stock of your Atlassian footprint–including current applications, integrations, and customizations–to understand the complexity and level of effort required to migrate your instance to cloud.
Now that you know where you are going and how to get there, it's time to start planning the technical and operational aspects of your Atlassian Cloud migration. You'll also choose your migration strategy and method, as well as establish a timeline.
With your migration plan and timelines in place, you're ready to prep your instance and teams for the big move. You'll also want to clean up your data and build a communication plan for keeping users and key stakeholders up-to-date with migration milestones.
Doing a test run of your Atlassian migration is a critical step to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. This is also an opportunity to uncover any issues and determine how long the migration will take.
It's go-time! Now is your chance to resolve any last-minute issues and carry out your migration by moving your instance over to Atlassian Cloud. You're finally on the path to brighter days.
You've made it to your final destination! Now that you have successfully migrated to cloud, it's time to get your users onboarded and resolve any post-migration issues or questions.
Minimizing Downtime and Risk During the Migration
Organizations want to protect their data and systems to comply with industry regulations and earn customer trust. While migrating to Atlassian Cloud may feel somewhat intimidating—considering the level of risk and resources involved—there are several strategies you can use to minimize both downtime and risk.
Effective Project Management
Having a clear migration plan helps to set out the processes, workflows, and individuals that will make your cloud migration successful, as this planning enables you to avoid expected surprises that could cause downtime.
During migration planning, you can establish KPIs and performance baselines that you can use to determine how well your application/service is performing once migrated and highlight any errors that can cause downtime post-migration. You might select areas related to user experience (latency and downtime), overall performance (error rates and availability), and infrastructure (network throughput and memory use). Having these baselines in place helps you determine potential risks of downtime or other areas that can cause delays during migration.
As you prepare for migration, you should prioritize migration components and establish your migration plan. Will you migrate at once, or in pieces? Understanding system dependencies can help you prevent downtime from occurring, which is especially important to prevent downtime snowballs.
Before migrating, perform refactoring or other work on your applications/services as needed to ensure they’ll work properly once migrated. This helps to reduce any downtime that could stem from application performance. Additionally, paying attention to the resource allocation of your application helps to prevent any unforeseen resource consumption that could lead to downtime or application unavailability as a consequence of nonexistent or over-extended resources.
Establish Good Communication
Having a solid communication plan can minimize downtime and risk during the migration process. Everyone involved in the migration, whether taking on a more active or passive role, needs to be familiar with the established plan, who to contact in the case of an unforeseen incident, and how to respond to incidents if they do occur.
Additionally, since cloud migration does pose risks to security and can cause potential downtime if not handled in a thoughtful and well-planned way, it’s important to communicate with stakeholders, too.
Communication and project management tools like Jira and Trello help everyone understand what they need to do to ensure a smooth migration. If downtime does occur, or resources and data aren’t available and working as anticipated post-migration, these tools help notify those in the migration process about the issues so that teams can move swiftly to begin resolving incidents to minimize interruptions.
Secure Your Data and Resources
Before migrating, it’s good practice to encrypt data with secure network protocols (like SSL, TLS, and HTTPS) to minimize the risk of a data breach. Encrypting your data helps to keep it secure, preventing bad actors from being able to capture, distribute, or generally see sensitive or critical data during migration.
Not having adequate security protocols in place when migrating data can expose your system to malicious or unauthorized users and systems. So, you need to prioritize security to ensure systems aren’t compromised and protect data both in transit and at rest.
To maximize your security measures and limit the blast radius, you can also adopt a security information and event management (SIEM) solution that centralizes alert management to identify and respond to suspicious behavior in real time.
For example, Atlassian Access is available as an enterprise-wide subscription, providing added security across all your Atlassian Cloud products. It comprises a central admin console for complete visibility into your system. Gain insights into your network, proactively repel cyberattacks, customize authentication policies, and effortlessly orchestrate everything across your environment.
Practice Identity Management
Before, during, and after the migration, all users accessing your resources should be identified and verified to ensure that they’re supposed to access data, resources, and other sensitive information. Having a central governance system ensures that no unauthorized users can access the system and minimizes risk during the migration process.
Identity and access management tools like Atlassian Cloud IAM help ensure only the correct people and tools access the new cloud system and data. Atlassian Access’s helpful features include SAML single sign-on (SSO) for increased security and seamless authentication, audit logging for monitoring activities, automatic product discovery to identify shadow IT, enforced two-step verification upon login for improved security, and integration with CASB software McAfee MVISION Cloud to monitor suspicious activities. These features help ensure the correct people and systems access the new cloud environment and data during migration. Learn more about SSO in our five-part series.
Perform Frequent Testing
Testing your data management tools helps you to identify—and prevent—potential issues that you’ll encounter during migration, thereby helping you minimize disruption and prevent delays. This form of testing is called migration testing, and its goal is to verify that the migration will be smooth.
In addition to reducing the risk of downtime, migration testing also helps you ensure that your migration won’t result in data being lost, data integrity being sacrificed, and helps you ensure that all data is available, accessible, and functional in its new environment.
Every migration is unique, so what holds for one company may not apply to another. For instance, the technologies you use, the applications you need to migrate, or the compliance rules you must follow differ from organization to organization.
You should establish a migration strategy that helps you get the most out of your investment in Atlassian Cloud and sets you up for success throughout the entire migration process. When deciding on your migration strategy, you should consider:
- Long-term goals
- Migration process duration
- Apps and integrations
- Compliance privacy requirements
- Recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) of applications that you plan to migrate
- The total cost of ownership (TCO) of cloud infrastructure
Atlassian has resources available to help you with planning and carrying out your migration. For example, the Atlassian Cloud free trial enables you to test new Cloud-only features, helping you build your case for migrating cloud and gaining stakeholder buy-in. Atlassian’s free Jira Cloud Migration Assistant helps migrate projects from Jira Service Management, Jira Software, and Jira Work Management on-premise to Cloud.
However, even with these helpful tools, migrations are still a complicated undertaking and come with unexpected roadblocks, especially when dealing with more complex instances. We recommend bringing on an Atlassian Solution Partner – specifically one that is Cloud Specialized – to do the heavy lifting and guide you through the entire migration process.
While migrating to Cloud can be challenging, taking the time to properly plan in advance and prepare will minimize those unexpected roadblocks and set you up for success throughout the migration journey.
To learn more about how to plan, prepare for, and carry out an Atlassian Cloud migration, download our guide: 6 Steps for a Successful Cloud Migration, which is packed with insight on what to expect before migrating, how to avoid common mistakes during the process, and how Praecipio used these six steps to guide Castlight Health through their migration journey.
If your organization is ready to migrate to Atlassian Cloud or Data Center, reach out to the Praecipio team to support you through your migration journey.