UKCloud were recently selected as the partner of choice to deliver a project for a large central government department to secure, consolidate and migrate, sensitive data from a company’s I.T platform into public Azure – with a view to maintaining access to the information for analytical purposes.
Critical to the solution was the preservation of over 600 terabytes of data stored in a localised, bespoke network storage solution. The scope of our engagement was to assess the options for moving this environment from its current physical location, then to design and build a new cloud-based solution which allowed the department to continue accessing the data and information for investigative purposes.
As an established, trusted cloud partner to the public sector community we were well placed to deliver a structured and efficient assessment. Our design and migration approaches were underpinned by our core security and data integrity principles and methods. We partnered with Shaping Cloud who brought deep technical expertise across the existing network storage solution which was Microsoft Storsimple and the target public Azure solution. Combined, we were able to swiftly understand, manage and address a complex and challenging set of technical, assurance and service requirements against very tight timescales.
Our approach during the engagement was flexible, accommodating of regular change and remained customer focused throughout. This stems from our agile way of working and a comprehensive understanding for cloud and public sector projects. This particular piece of work was complex and required the management of multiple organisations, and specialist skills. UKCloud and Shaping Cloud have together governed, co-ordinated and executed the project. A project that was delivered on time and in budget.
This project highlights the importance of collaboration between organisations and the requirement to have specialists on hand to enable an efficient migration. My advice when collaborating with multiple organisations is to develop and maintain a clear and consistent communication strategy. This should be defined at the start and provides a way for stakeholders to stay informed and keep up to date throughout the project.
I would also stress the importance of having a structured approach to requirements analysis and design work. As part of this phase, it is necessary to understand and define the business challenge whilst exploring technical solutions. This allows for line of sight between the requirements and resulting solutions which support change control and impact assessment together with providing commercial robustness such as benefit realisation and ROI.
Migration projects are often broken down into smaller tasks or “packages” and this was the approach taken with this project also. In this case it was appropriate to run a proof of concept (POC) exercise initially and I would attribute this to the success of the overall migration. When running POCs, it is important to ensure these are tightly coupled with clear success criteria, to inform requirements and ensure time constraints are adhered to.
To sum up this successful project, there are three key aspects to keep in mind when it comes to cloud migration:
- Develop a clear and consistent communication strategy
- Undertake a detailed and comprehensive requirements analysis
- Embed clear success criteria to evaluate