Cloud FastPath Perfects Migration Management

Cloud FastPath, at its core, is designed not just to achieve migration success, but to empower migrators. Migrating into and between cloud collaboration platforms is a complicated process, demanding a fair amount of attention from those in charge of handling the project. Luckily, CFP, with its wealth of planning features, ensures that all projects can start off on the right foot, and monitor their migration every step of the way.

Migration management is a multi-stage process, but CFP’s tools are specifically designed to help migration teams navigate every step of the project with ease. Cloud migration isn’t simply about moving content; it’s about moving people. As such migration management requires astute planning, and ongoing communication with end users. Cloud FastPath assists migration teams at the highest level, and it’s trusted by thousands of organizations. CFP’s migration management capability makes it no surprise why.

What Constitutes a Migration Wave

Surfing the migration wave

Following the content analysis phase, it’s time to begin planning the actual shape of the migration, breaking your users down into migration segments, often known as “waves.” Designing your migration waves is central to this, and what those waves contain will ultimately be dependent on the information gathered from CFP’s analytics. Luckily, CFP offers migration teams with an easy to navigate framework for building and scheduling their waves, ensuring that they can intuitively map permissions for their target platform, and create jobs that accurately reflect the timeline of the migration.

As you’re considering how you want your waves to look, you can begin to design and execute your pilot wave, your migration test drive. For most organizations, the pilot wave will consist primarily (if not exclusively of the IT team). While a few businesses choose to populate the pilot wave with different or additional accounts, two rules should remain consistent: the wave should contain between 20 and 100 users, and those users should be real users, not dummy accounts. The reasons for these guidelines are relatively straightforward. The pilot wave is your opportunity to dip your toe in the water and gauge the temperature. You want a reasonable amount of accounts so that, if errors occur, you can efficiently identify and address them without jumbling the content of hundreds of users; and, you want actual users so that you have a sense of how migration affects your actual content. In selecting the accounts to make up your pilot wave, you want to be careful to choose ones that are representative of your users: a standard amount of content, a standard amount of collaboration. Faking it only messes with the purpose of the pilot. So, while dummy accounts may seem tempting, they’ll ultimately give your migration team an inaccurate understanding of what challenges you’re facing, and what problems in your content need to be addressed.

Following the execution of the pilot wave, it’s important for IT to take a solid amount of time to analyze any errors, recognize any missteps, and decide how they want to proceed with the remaining bulk of users. Once the migration is under way, it’s common to have waves overlapping one another. However, having your first earnest wave overlap your pilot is universally a bad idea. It leaves IT personnel with much more to analyze all at once, and that analysis will have to get done while the team is still unsure about certain errors that cropped up in the pilot. Recklessly overlapping with the pilot wave forces your project team to learn to drive while they’re speeding down the Autobahn. It’s inviting a crash.

As the subsequent waves are constructed, it’s important to be gradual in how many users you’re including. If your pilot wave has 50 users, your first wave might have between 300 and 500. Your second, then, might jump to a few thousand, and so on. On top of all the waves you’ve painstakingly designed using the information you have about users–how much content they own, what departments and teams are working together, who requires consistent access to what.

On top of these basic waves, you’ll want to craft what’s known as an “exceptions” or “stragglers” wave. While the purpose of the pilot wave is to catch as many errors as possible early on, it’s not unlikely that individual user accounts will fail to migrate the first time. In fact, stragglers can make up almost 25% of the migration all told, and the stragglers wave ensures that you have time built into your migration schedule to re-migrate those folks, without your project coming down to the wire.

Cloud FastPath is designed to make the construction of waves easy, and the Project Center serves as an easily accessed central hub where migration teams can continuously monitor their project, while managing or amending any aspects that might need to be redesigned to account for unforeseen forces. With unified reporting, flexible migration views, and multi-job scheduling (more on that in a moment) and management, the Project Center is designed to be a one-stop show for migration management. Providing migration teams with a home base, it ensures that whether your concern is assessing the duration of your migration, building reports for management, or simply looking to check in on how much content has been moved thus far, you have the exact information you need for proper management.

When it comes to managing your migration within CFP, scheduling and timing concerns must be given due consideration. Timing issues are extremely important to keep and eye on, especially if there is a deadline for when the source system must be decommissioned. With the scheduling feature, project teams are able to schedule all of their waves in advance, so that migration of certain users doesn’t disrupt ongoing tasks. It also allows IT and admins to keep looking back at what is scheduled to happen when, so that if last minute changes need to be made, a previously-planned wave doesn’t take migration teams by surprise.

As each wave progresses, IT personnel are able to use the CFP dashboard to see exactly how far along that wave is: what’s been migrated, and how much is left to go. Checking in on these dashboards–which display the information in number of accounts, amount of data, number of files, and number of folders to give as comprehensive an understanding as possible–throughout the migration is essential–not only because it gives your specialists information about the current wave, but also informs them of how long future waves might take. With the data CFP provides regarding how long prior waves have taken, or how much time it took to re-sync accounts, migration teams are able to anticipate how long upcoming jobs will last, and evolve their schedules to make sure that no users and no responsibilities are left by the wayside.

The Secret to Migration Management? Communication and Flexibility

It should come as no surprise that migrating to the cloud isn’t a stagnant process; it’s not just pressing “Go” and sitting back. Scheduling and user needs are always changing, and migration needs to account for that. Cloud migration teams should be consistently looking at reporting and analytics, continuing to hunt for outlier accounts and search for potential errors even if they’re absolutely certain there are none to be found. With Cloud FastPath, it’s increasingly easy for IT to remain flexible without feeling like they’re always on their toes.

The second crucial factor to migration management is communication. In fact, Dan Powell , a CFP senior solution architect argues: “half of the risk of migration is in communication.” Keeping in contact with your users, hearing their concerns, addressing problems they notice arise: this is all essential to the success of the migration team. Often times, users will notice issues with their content even before IT sees it on the CFP report, and letting your users feel like they have agency in the migration process lays the groundwork for the onboarding stage.

Beginning to help users understand their new storage environment should start early-on, running almost concurrent with the migration. Ensuring that all departments and teams recognize how to access their data as well as any new permissions, administrative features, or security protocols. As users become more and more familiar with the new solution and the demands of the migration, the migration itself becomes more and more likely to succeed, benefiting for admin-user communication and clarity.

Cloud FastPath is the Best Tool for Migration Management

With Cloud FastPath, building and maintaining a powerful migration project is easy and intuitive, backed by a wide range of tools and features.

From the very first stages of migration, CFP makes planning and scheduling your jobs simple:

Cloud migration dashboard showing planned and scheduled jobs

As the migration progresses, monitoring each job is extremely manageable:

Job monitoring for data migration processes

Checking in on all of your ongoing jobs is straightforward, ensuring you always have the relevant information you need:

In-depth statistics for running cloud migrations

Furthermore, the migration team can keep migrations with many waves organized with tagging and commenting on the central web-based dashboard:

Central dashboard for the complete cloud storage migration

Whether you’re looking for tools that help your teams carefully design waves or check in on the progress of an individual folder, Cloud FastPath provides just what you need, and more. The Project Center offers a powerful hub where scheduling, wave-building, and reporting can all be centrally managed, while the analytics tools that help teams understand users and content prior to migration and point out any errors after ensure that IT remains well informed every step of the way. With the help of CFP migration specialists and support engineers communicating with IT as they see fit, businesses are able to execute migration projects with a smoothness they might never have thought possible, and thrive in the cloud to levels they could never have imagined. Migration management is a doorway to the future of your organization. Cloud FastPath holds the key.