Migrating to Pega Cloud Services: Overview of Migration and Modernization



Every migration is different; however, they all typically follow the same high-level process: 

  1. Assess the readiness of your Pega solution to upgrade and migrate to Pega Cloud, including all applications, data, and infrastructure
  2. Migrate your application(s) to Pega Cloud, and upgrade to the latest Pega version for each application 
  3. Address each of the items uncovered during the assessment, or during testing
  4. Work with the Pega Cloud team to migrate your data to Pega Cloud, and Go-Live  
  5. Modernize your applications with the new features and functions available on the latest release

The following sections provide an overview of each of these parts of the process.  Additional information is available after registering with Pega to indicate that you are interested in upgrading and migrating to Pega Cloud Services.

Who does the migration?

Migrating your Pega solution to Pega Cloud Services involves a combined team including these roles:

  • System administrator
  • Application developer
  • Network engineer
  • Database administrator
  • Project manager/program director
  • Product owner/business owner
  • Application architect
  • Performance engineer 

While some of Pega’s clients manage this migration themselves, many work with Pega’s partners or work directly with Pega.  In any case, Pega will oversee the migration project to be sure that it meets the standards needed to be successful, providing advice and guidance every step of the way.

Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and responsibilities for the stakeholders in a migration vary depending on the tasks, as shown below.

Pega responsibilities include:

  • Provision the foundational infrastructure (VPC) and connectivity, in consultation with the client.  For more information, see Private Connectivity for Pega Cloud Services 
  • Provision all environments, and inform the client when it is completed 
  • Migrate the Pega data, in consultation with the client
  • Go Live cutover, in partnership with the client

Client responsibilities include: 

  • Complete a migration and upgrade assessment, in consultation with Pega
  • Create a project plan, in consultation with Pega
  • Migrate the application rules, in consultation with Pega
  • Mitigate any issues identified in the gap analysis, or during testing  
  • Complete functional testing of the applications, and inform Pega when it is completed
  • Complete performance testing of the applications, in consultation with Pega
  • Go Live cutover, in partnership with Pega

How long will the migration take and how much will it cost?

Pega deployment implementations vary greatly, so the duration and cost for migrating to Pega Cloud Services will vary based on the size and complexity of the migration. For instance, the migration of one simple application may only take a matter of weeks, while migrating a portfolio of complex applications with large amounts of data could take months. 

The estimated duration and cost of migrating to Pega Cloud Services can be derived from the project plan that you create as a result of the assessment and planning phase.  


Assessment and Planning  


To ensure compliance with Pega Cloud standards, and compatibility with the latest GA release of the Pega Platform, Pega requires that you complete an assessment of your current Pega solution, and create a detailed change plan.  

You need to complete both an upgrade assessment and a migration assessment.  The upgrade assessment identifies any functionality or features that are no longer supported in the Pega Platform or Pega applications, along with the best way to provide the same functionality or features in the current GA version.

The migration assessment identifies any functionality or features that are not supported on Pega Cloud Services, along with the best way to provide the same functionality or features that are compatible with cloud architecture.

The assessment and planning determine the overall approach for migrating your Pega applications and data to Pega Cloud Services as efficiently as possible, thus reducing the risk of potential roadblocks.  The assessment and planning must be completed before beginning to migrate and upgrade your Pega solution.  You should involve Application Owners, System Administrators, Database Administrators, Network Engineers, and other stakeholders to collect the information necessary to perform the assessment.  

There are three main areas that must be assessed:

  • Your Pega applications
  • The database where your Pega application(s) and Pega data are stored
  • Your current environment and infrastructure


"Flow diagram of Assessment and Planning process"

Assessment and planning include:  

  • Pega provisions a Pega Cloud environment for the assessment
  • An in-depth review of the current Pega deployment, including applications, data, and existing environments.
  • Capturing requirements for the migration and target Pega Cloud deployment, such as security policies, compliance policies, and performance SLAs.
  • A gap analysis to identify any modernizations that must be made to your application as it moves to Pega Cloud.  
  • A plan to remediate any issues found by the gap analysis
  • An application testing strategy that includes both functional and performance tests 
  • A project plan and a governance plan
  • A kickoff meeting

After the project plan has been reviewed by Pega, you are ready to hold a kickoff meeting to begin the project and initiate project governance.  

Pega provides various tools and worksheets to assist in the migration process.  These resources are available after registering with Pega to indicate that you are interested in migrating to Pega Cloud Services.  They include:

  • Cloud Migration Gap Analysis Worksheet - a manual worksheet that lists all the information that must be gathered before migrating, also highlights potential legacy functionality issues to address before migrating
  • Cloud Migration Delivery Checklist - sample project plan
  • Application and Data Readiness Tool - includes a RuleSet with an activity that generates an application gaps report as an Excel file
  • Migration Project Estimator Tool - provides high level estimate in hours required for the migration, based on key high-level design and details of the current system. 
  • Guardrail Compliance Best Practices

Applications Assessment

There are two parts to the applications assessment:  upgrade assessment and migration assessment.

As noted previously, the upgrade assessment identifies any functionality or features that are no longer supported in the Pega Platform or Pega applications, along with the best way to provide the same functionality or features in the current GA version.

The migration assessment identifies any functionality or features that are not supported on Pega Cloud Services, along with the best way to provide the same functionality or features that are compatible with cloud architecture.

These assessments begin with a comprehensive review of your Pega applications and the systems that support them. This includes analysis of your Pega software, including:

  • The Pega Platform version (target version must be latest GA release)
  • A list of your Pega strategic applications by version
  • Pega deployment type (i.e. high-availability, single schema, shared with other apps), and the usage profile (number of users, case volume)
  • An integration profile that captures how your application interacts with other systems 
  • Details regarding your additional services (BIX, PDC, etc.) 
  • Guardrail score compliance (must be at least 90)

The completed gap analysis must be reviewed by Pega.

Database Assessment

The assessment process includes analyzing the data used by your Pega application, to determine which data must be migrated, and the approach for migration with respect to the overall size, rate of change, and acceptable cut-over window.  The data migration plan must identify all of your database schemas and tables that require migration to Pega Cloud Services, as well as how the data will map to the schemas and tables of the target database.  

On Pega Cloud, your data can be easily managed through the Pega platform.  Database customizations can (and must) be created and managed using the database tools in the Pega Platform.  Custom database objects – any objects which were not present in the Pega-provided database deployment - are not supported in the Pega Cloud environment.  If your deployment includes them, they will require remediation.  Types of customized objects that must be remediated include:  

  • Custom schemas
  • Stored procedures
  • Functions
  • Views
  • Triggers
  • Sequences
  • Synonyms
  • Aliases
  • Packages
Stored procedures, triggers, and so on that are shipped with Pega software are fine.  However, customized versions of these objects are not supported by Pega Cloud.
After the approach for the data migration has been defined, it must be reviewed by Pega.  This review is very important, as the Pega team will be responsible for executing this plan during the data migration and go live phase.  

Infrastructure Assessment

In addition to the database, the infrastructure assessment must identify other configurations and components currently supporting your Pega deployment, such as:

  • Operating system
  • Application server
  • Network topology 

Your assessment must also determine whether there are custom system components which will not function properly in a Pega Cloud Services environment.  Since the file system in a cloud environment is transient and may cause data loss if relied upon, any Pega application functionality that writes files or other information to disk must be updated to modern strategies that support standard cloud operations.  

In addition, since there is no command-line access in a Pega Cloud environment, you will need to update customizations that require command line access, so that they use Pega application functionality.

These are some examples of items that would require remediation:

  • Custom shell scripts
  • Cron jobs
  • Custom schedulers
  • Custom scripts to move files
  • Configuration file customizations
  • Custom libraries
  • Database customizations that require unsecured manual changes to the data or database structures
  • Use of non-standard ports or dynamic IP addresses
  • Nodes identified by a specific Host ID or IP address


Application Migration, Mitigation, and Testing

After your contract has been signed, Pega is responsible for provisioning the infrastructure and connectivity of your environment, working closely with your network and security teams. 

You will be responsible for:

  • Packaging your application, 
  • Importing it into the target dev environment 

After importing your application, you are responsible for:

  • Implementing the changes identified during the assessment, to make your application comply with Pega Cloud Services standards and ensure compatibility with the latest GA version of the Pega Platform
  • Performing the necessary regression, functional, and performance tests to certify it for use on Pega Cloud Services environments.  

Development Environment

After Pega creates your new Pega Cloud Services environments, package your application and import it into your Pega Cloud development environment.   Then perform testing to validate application functionality. 

If your testing finds additional issues that were not found during assessment, those will also need to be remediated.

"Flow diagram of Application Migration and Testing process"

You should complete end-to-end functional testing to ensure proper functionality of all components.  After you complete the testing, you must sign off in your project plan to certify the application is working as expected. 

Staging Environment

After you complete your testing in the development environment, promote the application to the staging environment.  Deployment Manager is recommended for this.  For more information, see:

As an option, also migrate the data.  If you opt to migrate the data to the staging environment, prepare the data as described in Preparing for data migration, below.

This is also the point at which any parallel development is synchronized with the application.  

Run your performance testing suites to establish a baseline on the new environment and to ensure the system meets the required performance levels.  Also perform a Pega Predictive Diagnostic Cloud (PDC) review, to provide detailed insight into system performance.  Performance testing must be reviewed by Pega.

After you complete the testing, you must sign off in your project plan to certify the application is working as expected. 

Production Environment

When you are satisfied that the application is ready, use Deployment Manager to promote the application to the production environment.  


Data Migration and Go Live

Preparing for data migration

Prepare the data for migration by doing such things as:

  • Reduce the overall size of the database, if possible (for example, could some data be archived?)
  • Add a primary key to tables with BLOB columns
  • Remove special characters from column names

Pega will provision data migration tooling in Pega Cloud and work with your network, security, and database teams to establish connectivity to the source database.

Migrating the data 

This process can begin after Pega establishes correct connectivity between Pega Cloud and the on-prem database.

As preparation for the Go Live cutover to Pega Cloud, create a runbook that specifies all the steps, how long they take, and who does them.  Complete multiple dry runs using a production backup or clone.  Use these dry runs to optimize the tools and processes, with the goal of building confidence that the runbook is accurate and minimizing downtime during the cutover.  

Pega will recommend the optimal data migration approach to minimize downtime during the production cutover based on the profile of your data as identified in the database assessment.

After moving to Pega Cloud, Pega provides monitoring and support to ensure stability in the new environment.

"Flow diagram of the Data Migration and Go Live process"


Modernizing with New Features  

After migrating your application to Pega Cloud and upgrading it to the latest release, you are now in a position to adopt the new features that are available in the latest release, and in subsequent releases.  These should be evaluated and adopted based on business needs, schedules, and budgets.


The Next Step 

If you want to go forward with the process of migrating your applications to Pega Cloud Services, or would like additional information, register your interest so that a Pega upgrade expert can help guide you through the process: 

After registering, you will be given access to additional information on-line and will be assigned a Pega upgrade expert to be your guide.  


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