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So you've migrated to the cloud. Now what?

As explained in my previous post, “Tips for a smooth cloud migration,” the first big hurdle in a cloud migration is figuring out how to get all your data over to the cloud safe and sound.

“Those are good things to worry about and good things to get through,” Lilac Schoenbeck, vice president of product marketing and product management for iLand, a cloud provider, said during a webinar on cloud migrations. But once all the data has been successfully moved to the cloud, more planning still needs to be done. Failing to do so could put an additional management burden on the IT team, Schoenbeck said.

Here is one cloud provider’s tips on how to prepare for and manage the day-to-day once you’ve migrated to the cloud.

Find a provider with a clear, straightforward management environment.

Cloud providers can put heavy demands on the IT team. For example, they can require the IT team to understand their particular kind of scripting, as well as configure their particular management tools, Schoenbeck said.  It’s important for IT leaders to figure out what the day-to-day will look like and how much additional work will be put on your staff. “[There are] different types of clouds, different underlying hypervisors, different systems are going to throw off different kinds of metrics,” she said, adding that these conditions could mean that the successful cloud migration could in fact become “an ongoing burden on your team.”

A good strategy? Find a cloud service that has an environment close to your on-premises environment, so it will be easier to operate and easier to evaluate if something goes wrong, Schoenbeck said.

Don’t get stuck with an unexpected bill.

“We always want to know what our costs are going to be. One of the big concerns moving to the cloud is maybe these costs could be very variable, and I might be stuck with a bill I didn’t anticipate,” Schoenbeck said.

She outlined two ways to mitigate that risk.

First, an IT leader or company could go with a provider who uses a reservation pricing model, which means that your costs are fixed month-to-month and you’ve basically reserved a pool of resources in the same way that you might have an on-premises pool of resources to allocate however you like,” Schoenbeck said.

The second option is a pay-as-you-go or the bursting model. With this model Schoenbeck said it’s important “to look for [a provider] who’s going to be really transparent on what you’ve spent so far and, in fact, even predictive about what you will be spending if your behavior continues as it is.”

This visibility will also allow IT leaders to communicate with stakeholders, the procurement team, and whoever else might want or need to know what the bill will likely be at the end of the month, she said.

Look for a provider with a customer-driven roadmap.

Schoenbeck said that some cloud providers will invest very little in management support.  As your  company juggles more and more projects in the cloud, it then becomes “more and more difficult to operate [and] you don’t actually have anybody…  to help ease the way.”

That’s why it’s always important to look at the support options that come with the cloud service you’re planning to migrate to, Schoenbeck advises. She suggests that IT leaders choose a cloud provider that is going to work with you and work with what you need so that the management burden is minimized.

“Often times that’s going to make a big difference in what this means for your team operationally,” Schoenbeck said.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Kristen Lee, features writer, or find her on Twitter @Kristen_Lee_34.

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