Tom Horan


Chances are that many of your business-critical systems are running on your IBM iSeries. Managing and monitoring these aging AS400’s on-premises with a maturing team can be a lot to handle especially when you need to take on new digital projects and innovate at an accelerated rate. Hosting your IBM iSeries in the cloud can be a smart alternative with benefits ranging from cost savings and increased performance to enhanced data backup and security.

It’s no surprise that CIOs and CTOs find themselves overwhelmed at the beginning of their cloud journey with so many options available. To help you simplify this complicated project, we created a 10-point checklist so you can fully understand key factors before you start your project.

1. Be clear on why you are moving to the cloud.

First, establish your organization’s reason for why you are moving to the cloud. Like all projects, moving to the cloud requires clear goals, objectives, project leads, and partners.

2. Conduct a performance analysis.

By doing a performance analysis of your current on-prem infrastructure, you can evaluate the different options available to help project future performance and total cost of operation. A comprehensive assessment will help you identify which cloud option best meets your business needs at the lowest cost.

3. Evaluate which applications you should migrate versus keep on-premise.

Third-party software vendor support is important to consider because many critical business applications have strict requirements around the infrastructure that they support. Therefore, IT is vital in determining the cloud readiness of each application and the potential impact on licensing.

4. Decide which model you should use.

Cloud service providers offer different deployment models including public, private, hybrid, and hosted. Each model has different levels of flexibility, control, and price points. Understanding the differences between each model can help you determine which one is best for your unique business challenges.

5. Understand the Service Level Agreement (SLA).

A thorough understanding of the SLA is crucial as it outlines the performance level you can expect. Make sure any SLA is crystal clear on the issue resolution process and expected timeframes, and guarantees a quick response time so your systems stay up and running.

6. Ensure Operating System (OS) compatibility.

It is important that you review the minimum operating system requirements and ensure your OS is in alignment with IBM’s “end of life” schedule. Any partner you work with should have a thorough understanding of the IBM iSeries support lifecycle and guarantee that your OS is properly supported in the cloud.

7. Consider data backup and recovery.

Make sure you are clear on your partner’s backup and recovery strategy to ensure the IBM disaster recovery solutions meet your RTO and RPO needs. Your partner should map your defined RTO and RPO requirements to your SLA, to ensure they are met.

RTO (Recovery Time Objective): RTO is the targeted duration of time in which your business process must be restored after an interruption in order to avoid a major business impact.

RPO (Recovery Point Objective): RPO is defined as the maximum period of time in which your data can be lost without having a major impact on your business. RPO is often 4 hours, 8 hours or 24 hours.

8. Review ERP licensing.

Many ERP software provider’s licensing does not fit the cloud model, so a detailed review of the ERP’s licensing clause is required. Keep an eye out for incremental pricing charges and make sure the licensing allows you to run a production or target instance in the cloud. Confirm that your cloud partner will facilitate a proactive discussion with your ERP provider if any questions/concerns or additional costs are uncovered.

9. Adhere to regulatory compliance.

In most cases, cloud computing is MORE secure than an on-premises solution. The cloud provider should have highly-trained security specialists on staff utilizing the most updated security software. However, make sure your company is covered, as every industry has laws and regulations such as SSAE 16/SOC 1 and 2, HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, and Sarbanes-Oxley that require different controls and protections around data.

10. Define an exit strategy.

Maintain control of your data and operations by having a clearly defined exit strategy. Your partner should work with you to provide a documented process to gain a complete copy of your data along with a plan to migrate all applications to a separate system. Agreements should take into consideration your short-term and long-term business needs which may impact the length of the term, along with the general terms and conditions

Taking the proper precautions and considerations can have a significant impact on your long-term cloud success. Meridian is a services company that helps you consume technology the way you want for today and for tomorrow. We help you select and implement the solutions you want and provide the expertise on the solutions you need. With over 40 certified IBM engineers and consultants providing IBM Power i Cloud services since its inception, Meridian is your partner on your journey to the cloud. Your team of Meridian’s brilliant humans will provide 24/7/365 support coverage to make sure you get the performance and service you need for your IBM iSeries support. Chat us now, call +1 (888) 684-3644, or send an email to to speak with one of our solution experts.