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So You’re Ready To Migrate To The Open Cloud

Many of our prospective Managed Cloud customers are interested in migrating to the open cloud, but some could use a hand getting there. Our Rackspace Cloud Ready team was created to help save you time, and we have assisted many customers with migrations over the past several years.

We know that many developers have the technical capability to perform a migration, but our team can focus on the migration for you so that you can continue to focus on your application. Furthermore, we can give you guidance on how to consume our cloud in the best possible way.

Before our team can help you with the migration, there are a few things to verify. First, your application must be running on a 64-bit operating system. Second, we need to make sure that your application is running in an environment where you have root access. Third, you must ensure that your current operating system is supported in the Rackspace Cloud – here is a list of all the supported OS images in our cloud. There is one exception: if you run an out-of-date version of Ubuntu we do have the ability to help you automatically update your OS.

After this verification, our first step is to understand your app and its architecture, because the cloud is a shared environment. We want to know if your app is capable of being distributing across multiple endpoints, and can provide guidance on how to take advantage of the many benefits of the cloud. Depending on the different constraints that you may have (including compliance requirements or high I/O demands), we can suggest a configuration that is either completely in the public cloud, or a hybrid solution that connects the public cloud together with dedicated servers via our RackConnect product.

After understanding your app and architecture, we help you reconfigure your environment. This involves changing the IPs, offering guidance on different or updated libraries your app may use and helping reconfigure your web and application servers. If you have questions about reconfiguring your app, you can rest assured that we are here to help you – this is where paying attention to the little details can make a big difference.

The next step is that we deploy a cloud configuration that suits your needs and help you migrate your databases, data and application. At this point in time your app will be in a cloud environment, and we encourage you to kick the tires and test it extensively. This is a crucial step to the migration process because you know your app inside and out and will be able to tell if it is performing properly.

One thing we advise all our customers to have is a roll back plan. While people don’t like discussing contingency plans for failure, it is always better to have a plan and not need it, than to need a plan and not have it.

After each of these steps is complete, and after the new configuration has been tested, it is time to move your production server. You will start by putting up a maintenance page on your current site. We will perform a final data sync with the last bit of data while you change the DNS to your new site. Now you’re running live in the Rackspace Cloud!

In Chris’ previous post, he highlighted six tips for a smooth migration.

If you have any questions about how the Cloud Ready team can help you with a migration, be sure to reach out to us. And for more information, check out our new migrations web site: http://www.rackspace.com/cloud-migration/

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Chris Wuest.

One of the founding members of the Cloud Movers team, Chris Wuest splits time between focusing between finding new ways to write tools and automate as much of the Linux workflow as possible, teaching other Rackers principles of programming, and security research.


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