Cloud Forum 2016 – Cloud DevOps and Agile, 1 Year In

Melanie McSally, Ben Rota – Harvard

Cloud Program since February 2015 – Migrated 285+ applications (43% of goal), implemented Cloud Shield, Designed and implemented centralized cloud billing. Only 42 apps were lift and shift. Even simplest migration ends up having lots of refactoring.

All new applications have been put in the cloud

IdM team realizing $8500/month in savings by using elastic sizing of resources

Lessons learned –

  1. Get security and network design right as early as possible. Goal was to make cloud security as good or better than on premise
  2. Moving to cloud is 2 parts culture : 1 part technology. Be prepared to answer basic, non-technical questions – If things are working fine now, why move? Will cloud really save money? I understand cloud is the future, but we’re really busy! Doing thing the right way takes too long!
  3. You won’t do as well when you have to split your focus. When things get migrated, the app teams have to manage in two environments. Better to migrate entire portfolios at once.
  4. Everyone is accountable for the cloud – teams need a shared vision, shared goals, and aligned priorities. Corollary: When teams come forward really fast, it’s likely because they have a technical challenge you might not want to touch. Understand training needs of those you work with, before you get there.
  5. Communicate, communicate, communicate! Create a unified baseline understanding. Build partnerships to figure out the questions. Be open and transparent. Address the workforce fears up front.
  6. Don’t max out all the dials at once! Started with new program with new teams, new technology (Cloud), new management, and new processes (Scrum). In retrospect would have provided more help for the team. They didn’t have developers in their cloud program – they would change that if doing it over.
  7. Migrations + engineering + operations = impossible. Recommendation is to create small teams and have them focus on a specific goal. Separated migrations from operations. Operations will quickly consume all capacity.
  8. Cost savings take time to actualize. Learning how to manage costs in the cloud takes time. Could save money if they could close the data center (power and real estate expensive in Cambridge), but in a shared environment that’s hard. Push other benefits of cloud.
  9. Don’t forget about cost management.
  10. Be open to changing your strategy when new information presents a better way.

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