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Conducting a Splunk Cloud Platform migration readiness assessment

 

Preparing for Splunk Cloud Platform involves key steps that ensure a smooth transition and effectively use its capabilities. This article guides you through the preparations, best practices, and strategic plans for deploying the Splunk Cloud Platform. Migrating your infrastructure to the cloud can bring numerous benefits, and when it comes to your Splunk deployment, the transition to Splunk Cloud Platform offers scalability, flexibility, and reduced operational overhead. The strategies provided in this pathway will help you accomplish these goals and ensure that your migration is seamless, efficient, and aligned with your operational requirements and strategic goals. You can work through them sequentially or in any order that suits your current level of progress in cloud migration.

This article is part of the Increase Efficiencies Outcome. For additional pathways to help you succeed with this outcome, click here to see the Increase Efficiencies overview.

Splunk Cloud Platform readiness

To ensure a smooth migration journey, Splunk provides a comprehensive assessment and readiness check process. This assessment of your existing Splunk deployment will help you pinpoint potential challenges, dependencies, and necessary customizations.

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This section outlines the steps in conducting a successful Splunk Cloud Platform migration assessment and readiness check.

  1. Understanding migration to the cloud
  2. Preparing for a cloud migration assessment
  3. Conducting a migration assessment
  4. Using the Cloud Migration Assessment App for Splunk

Understanding migration to the cloud

Migrating your infrastructure to the cloud offers a range of benefits, and when it comes to your Splunk deployment, transitioning to Splunk Cloud Platform can bring about a paradigm shift in how you manage and analyze your data. Some of these benefits are:

  • Scalability: Splunk Cloud Platform provides the flexibility to scale your infrastructure up or down based on your data and processing needs. This ensures that you can accommodate data growth and fluctuations in usage seamlessly.
  • Reduced Operational Overhead: With Splunk Cloud Platform, the operational burden of maintaining hardware, software updates, and infrastructure is shifted to Splunk, allowing your team to focus more on deriving insights from data.
  • Security and Compliance: Splunk Cloud Platform adheres to stringent security standards and compliance regulations, offering robust data protection and encryption to ensure the safety of your data.
  • Faster Time-to-Value: Splunk Cloud Platform eliminates the need for lengthy setup and configuration processes. You can quickly deploy new instances and start deriving insights from your data sooner.
  • Access to New Features: As part of your subscription, you automatically gain access to the latest features and updates, ensuring your deployment is always up-to-date with the newest capabilities.
  • Global Accessibility: Splunk Cloud Platform is accessible from anywhere, enabling collaboration among geographically dispersed teams and ensuring seamless data access.

Preparing for a cloud migration assessment

Embarking on the journey to migrate your data and applications to Splunk Cloud Platform begins with the migration assessment. This phase requires effective management of organizational changes, sets the tone for your entire migration project, and plays a pivotal role in ensuring a seamless and successful transition.

Building the right team

  1. Assemble Your Stakeholders: Begin by assembling your migration team, which might include stakeholders from IT, operations, security, and business departments. This team will collaborate throughout the assessment process to ensure a holistic understanding of your organization's needs, goals, and pain points.
  2. Plan the Migration Workforce: Analyze the resources required for a successful migration. Determine the roles and skills needed, including technical experts, project managers, communication specialists, and support personnel.
  3. Engage with Splunk: Reach out to your Splunk representative or account manager to initiate the migration assessment process. Splunk experts will guide you through the assessment steps, provide guidance, and offer their expertise to ensure a comprehensive analysis.

For more detailed information on staffing for a cloud migration, see Meet the team in the Splunk Cloud Platform Migration Guide.

Defining a migration value proposition

  • Value Proposition Definition: For each stakeholder group, define the value proposition of the migration. Clearly articulate how the migration will address their pain points, enhance their workflows, and contribute to overall business goals.
  • Validation: Validate the value proposition with stakeholders. Ensure that their concerns are addressed, and the benefits of migration are clearly communicated.

Developing and executing communications plan

  • Generate Excitement: Develop a communication plan to generate excitement about the migration. Highlight the benefits, improvements, and positive impact of the migration on daily workflows.
  • Alignment and Expectation: Cascade messages through local leadership and managers. Ensure that all team members are aligned with the common migration goal and have a clear understanding of the timeline and steps involved.
  • Transparency and Feedback: Encourage bidirectional communication. Allow team members to provide feedback, ask questions, and express concerns. Address these concerns transparently and provide regular updates.

Creating a post-migration staffing transition plan

  • Roles Redefinition: Post-migration, roles and responsibilities might change due to reduced infrastructure management tasks. Define new roles that focus on driving business value from data, optimizing the cloud platform, or redeploying resources to other technologies.
  • Value Stewardship: Encourage the migration team to become trusted business advisors. Focus on deriving business value from data, working closely with business units to identify opportunities for improvements and innovation.
  • Platform Optimization: Allocate resources to optimize the new cloud platform. This might involve enhancing data ingest efficiency, workload management, and monitoring platform health.
  • Resource Allocation: Ensure that roles are appropriately staffed and aligned with your organization's goals and objectives. Allocate resources based on individual strengths and interests.

Conducting a migration assessment

Current state analysis

  1. Infrastructure: Evaluate your existing infrastructure, including hardware, servers, storage, and network components and their configurations. Identify any limitations or bottlenecks that might affect migration.
  2. Applications: Assess the applications currently in use, their dependencies, integrations, and customizations. This analysis ensures that all applications are compatible with Splunk Cloud Platform. Consider workarounds for mission-critical apps that might be delayed due to compatibility issues.
  3. Data: Understand the types of data you're collecting, indexing, and analyzing. Determine the volume, sources, and retention requirements to plan for data migration.
  4. Customizations: Understanding your existing customizations and integrations helps ensure a seamless transition to the cloud. The assessment phase allows you to identify any modifications required to make your applications work optimally in the new environment.
  5. Forwarder Versions: Ensure all forwarder versions are supported as per Splunk Cloud Platform Service Details. When you start the migration, you should simultaneously upgrade forwarder versions to ensure compatibility and avoid delays.

Scope definition

  1. Identify Use Cases: Define the business use cases that rely on the Splunk platform. This helps determine which data, configurations, and applications are critical for migration and need to be prioritized.
  2. Data Sources: Identify the sources from which data is collected and ingested into the Splunk platform. This includes both internal and external data sources.
  3. Applications: List the applications and add-ons currently in use, and plan for their upgrade before migration. Determine which applications and configurations will be moved to the cloud, and which ones, especially premium or third-party, might require modifications or upgrades for compatibility.

Risk assessment and mitigation

  1. Security and Compliance: Evaluate security measures and compliance requirements in your current environment. Identify any potential risks related to data security, privacy, or regulatory compliance to ensure that data remains secure and compliant with relevant regulations during and after migration. Consider the potential impact on the migration timeline due to compliance-related considerations.
  2. Dependencies and Integrations: Identify dependencies and integrations with other systems, applications, or platforms. Mitigate risks associated with broken integrations or disruptions.

Blockers

  1. Firewall Configuration for Data Forwarding: Check for any firewall rules that might prevent data forwarding to Splunk Cloud Platform. Reconfigure firewalls and resolve any issues to ensure seamless data transmission.
  2. Firewall Rules for On-Prem Integrations: Confirm that firewall rules don't hinder integration of on-prem services with Splunk Cloud Platform. Address any issues related to Adaptive Response Relay, Enterprise Security, Phantom, and User Behavior Analytics.
  3. Forwarding Certificates: Ensure that all on-premises forwarder certificates are supported in Splunk Cloud Platform. Check if the requireClientCert = true setting in server.conf is present; if not, it's not supported in the cloud.
  4. Extended Change Windows: If your migration requires an upgrade of your on-prem environment, plan for the change window. Ensure that the migration aligns with your organization's change cycle and upgrade timelines.

For more detailed information removing blockers and mitigating potential delays, see Remove top roadblocks in the Splunk Cloud Platform Migration Guide.

 

Performance analysis

  1. Performance Metrics: Gather performance data from your current environment so you can design a cloud architecture that meets your requirements. Needed information includes data ingestion rates, search performance, concurrent user activity, and system response times.
  2. Capacity Planning: Analyze the capacity of your current environment to understand resource utilization. Determine whether the existing resources can accommodate the workload in Splunk Cloud Platform.

Roadmap creation

  1. Migration Strategy: Based on the assessment findings, create a migration strategy that outlines the sequence of steps, the order of migration, and any necessary adjustments to ensure a smooth transition.
  2. Resource Planning: Allocate resources, including personnel, hardware, software, and budget, based on the assessment outcomes and migration strategy.
  3. Downtime: Assessment helps identify potential points of disruption or downtime during migration. Armed with this knowledge, you can plan for downtime minimization strategies and conduct migrations during periods of lower user activity.
  4. Cost Management: Understanding the scope and requirements of your migration allows you to estimate costs accurately. This includes costs associated with hardware, software licenses, personnel, training, and potential disruptions during migration.

Migration assessment is not just a preliminary step; it's a strategic investment that significantly influences the success of your migration project. By thoroughly evaluating your current environment, identifying risks, and planning resources, you set the stage for a smooth migration experience.

Using the Cloud Migration Assessment App for Splunk

In addition to the migration assessment steps provided in the previous section, you should run the Cloud Migration Assessment App for Splunk (SCMA). It is a powerful tool designed to assist organizations in assessing their readiness for migrating to Splunk Cloud Platform. This app streamlines the assessment process by providing insights into various aspects of your existing Splunk environment. Its primary goals include:

  • Data Collection: The app collects data from your current Splunk deployment about configurations, applications, data sources, users, and more.
  • Analysis: SCMA analyzes the collected data to identify potential challenges, risks, dependencies, and areas that require special attention during migration.
  • Recommendations: Based on the analysis, the app provides actionable recommendations, best practices, and insights to help you optimize your environment for migration.
  • Customization: SCMA allows you to customize the assessment parameters to align with your organization's specific needs and migration goals.

Installing and utilizing the SCMA

Installation

  1. Download the App: Visit Splunkbase or contact your Splunk representative to obtain the SCMA app.
  2. Install the App: Install the SCMA app in your existing Splunk environment using the Splunk Web interface.

Configuration

  1. Launch the App: Once installed, launch the SCMA app from the Splunk Web interface.
  2. Configure Inputs: Configure the app inputs to gather data from your Splunk deployment. Inputs might include configurations, users, apps, indexes, and more.

Assessment process

  1. Initiate Assessment: Start the assessment process within the app. The app will begin collecting data based on your configured inputs.
  2. Data Collection: The app collects data from various sources, including configurations files, API calls, and other relevant data points.

Analysis and recommendations

  1. Review Findings: Once the assessment is complete, review the findings presented by the app. This might include insights into configurations, applications, users, and more.
  2. Assessment Report: The app generates an assessment report that highlights potential issues, risks, and areas requiring attention. It also provides recommendations for optimization and migration.

Customization and collaboration

  1. Customize Parameters: Customize the assessment parameters to tailor the analysis to your organization's unique environment and migration goals.
  2. Collaboration: Share the assessment report with your migration team, stakeholders, and Splunk experts to collaboratively plan for migration.

Planning and migration strategy

  1. Actionable Insights: Leverage the insights from the assessment report to develop a comprehensive migration strategy. Address identified issues, dependencies, and challenges.
  2. Resource Allocation: Allocate resources, budget, and personnel based on the recommendations to ensure a successful migration.

Helpful resources

Splunk OnDemand Services: Use these credit-based services for direct access to Splunk technical consultants with a variety of technical services from a pre-defined catalog. Most customers have OnDemand Services per their license support plan. Engage the ODS team at OnDemand-Inquires@splunk.com if you require assistance.