AWS to Private Cloud Migration

Lots has changed since the last time I posted. For one, I have been assigned with migrating our SaaS applications out of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and into a hybrid private cloud. While at first blush that sounds like crazy talk, it is an investment my company decided to make for how the costs are allocated to the bottom line. Using a private cloud allows our company to reduce the annual impact of these costs to the bottom line. It definitely is not cheaper.

The project team was lead by the Cloud Architect initially and did not progress at the rate the executive team wanted. The CTO asked me to begin working with the team to manage the migration in a project management role. Initially I was hesitant to take the role because of my inexperience in the space. There were some really smart people already on the project team and truthfully I was a little intimidated by their expertise. I told the CTO my preference would be to not take the role, but he thanked me for my input and welcomed me to the team anyways.

It was clear that a traditional PMI textbook PMBOK was not going to work with this project. Some work had been done related to the infrastructure, but nothing more than buying some hardware and installing VMware. The backend services offered by AWS to help manage your ecosystem are fantastic. Migrating to a private cloud means you need to identify, deploy, and test what applications you will use to replace that functionality. The team had little direction for next steps beyond the VMware installation. On top of that, Engineering wanted to move to a Continuous Deployment model but was not ready to transition to full automation.

This project was at a standstill and needed to get some quick wins. We needed to identify the scope of the phases of the project and estimate the timelines. We needed to get individual team members committed to project goals and focused on their tasks. Bonuses were tied to project goals, so missing those goals would hit the checkbook of executives and others. Many executives identified this initiative as the highest priority for the company for a variety of reasons; all agreed that the outcome of having all geo’s migrated to our private cloud needed to happen in the next 12 months. You can see where this was a little overwhelming. However, I try not to steer clear of a challenge.

In the next several entries I will document many of the decisions that were made by the project team as it comes to the applications we are using in our private cloud for those of you who care. More importantly in my book, I will talk about the strategies used to manage this project. There are a large number of topics to cover, and I will do my best to discuss the most important issues. My hope is I can provide you with some insight into the lessons learned to date. We are still not 100% in Production with our private cloud, but we have made significant progress in achieving that goal.

I look forward to sharing our journey with you.

About the Author

I am the author of this site, and what I say goes. I love talking about the benefits of formalized and professional project management and getting stuff done.