Migrating to the cloud is already difficult, but how do you tell what constitutes success for a cloud migration effort? Simply moving an application to a cloud provider and making sure that it “works” isn’t enough.

There are a host of other critical questions you need to answer—from how has app performance changed to whether the user experience after migration remains consistent with what was being delivered before the migration.

While cloud migrations can take many forms, some companies choose to simply port their applications directly from their data center to cloud platform instances (a so-called “lift and shift” migration) while others focus on completely re-architecting their applications to take advantage of benefits available only in the cloud.

The three key cloud migration questions

This spectrum adds nuance to the specific types of instrumentation you’ll need on your applications and infrastructure, making it easy to get lost in the weeds. At the end of the day, though, no matter what your cloud migration approach, you need to answer three primary questions:

  1. Has my application gotten slower?
  2. Is my application less stable than before?
  3. Am I losing customers due to either of those issues?

Sure, you also want to know your database-response times, how long messages are sitting in the queue, and more detailed information about your systems. New Relic can certainly surface all that data, but the importance of those deep dives are typically dependent on how they affect the answers to the above questions.

Start with a black box

Because of this, we recommend starting by validating your systems as a black box to create an overarching benchmark of how your systems are performing. This can be as simple as setting up a ping to your website or as complex as running a script of how a user may commonly interact with your services.

Use New Relic Synthetics to test the entire flow of data from an end user’s perspective, including all backend components working in concert. Ultimately, this cumulative view of your performance and stability is the primary metric you’re trying to optimize.

Setting up a New Relic Synthetics monitor pointing at your homepage or root experience will tell you exactly how long it takes your page or experience to load as well as how often it fails.

new relic synthetics monitor sample

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You can set these “checks” to run at regular intervals to create a historical baseline to compare against future results. For example, once you know that it takes an average of 700 ms for your page to load and it has a success rate of 99.9% when running in an existing data center, you have quantifiable performance measures to compare against after the cloud migration is complete:

sample new relic synthetics test result

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This is just one example of how you can use the New Relic Digital Intelligence Platform to help you baseline your current application performance before your cloud migration begins.

As you migrate, you can continue to run the same Synthetics tests to see how the cloud-based application is performing. Having this data easily accessible at each step makes it easier to closely monitor the success of your migration.

Check out our migration guide

You can learn more about how New Relic can help you measure migration success in our new migration guide Measure Twice, Cut Once: Cloud Migration Measure and Acceptance Testing with New Relic.

For a quick overview, watch the “Measure Twice, Cut Once” video below:


April Yep is a partner marketing manager at New Relic. She has spent over five years in software and technology marketing in a variety of roles. Prior to her marketing career, April spent three years in the trenches of various software companies as a technical support engineer. April is a native Californian, an animal lover, and someone who is always eager to learn new things. View posts by .

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