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We have a saying in the scuba diving world – “Plan your dive, then dive your plan.”  It sounds almost too simple, but in diving, living by these words ensures that you keep on…living.  As I read articles in the Divers Alert Network magazine – our go-to guide on diving safely – the one thing that keeps coming up is how the casualties referenced either failed to plan or deviated from their plans.  A frequent example is how two guys decide to go to Ginnie Springs in Florida to do some cave diving – forget that they aren’t certified, don’t have the special equipment and have no idea what they are up against. They have heard about the gin-clear waters and want to see what it is like.  We rarely hear their stories because this is a recipe for disaster.  The other common case is what happens when the situation changes and the diver abandons a well-thought-out dive.  If you’ve seen the film “Open Water,” you know what happens there.  If your dive is to be 30 minutes, you surface at 30 minutes, even if you find something really cool our there.  You don’t hang out longer, figuring that the boat will simply wait.  (Yes, it should, but do you want to take the chance?)


Divers spend a lot of time training so they can earn their C-card, the certificate that entitles them to rent air.  Unfortunately, that training is just a beginning and not a plan for real-world diving.  Not only do you need that training, but you need to continue to learn and then practice your learning with rigor.  If you don’t check your equipment and that of your buddy, there will be a time when you regret it.



So what does this have to do with Cloud?  I’m so glad you asked.  As I watch people talk about cloud, I see too often a failure to follow the diving mantra.  Caught up on the financial benefits of cloud, too many rush into it without looking into how they will ensure SLAs in a cloud environment.  Customers won’t just cut you some slack if performance is worse after you move. They don’t care that it saved you money – they just want service.  Your business can suffer “decompression sickness” if you don’t plan to manage the applications you migrate.


Cloud managers can also get distracted – just like divers – and deviate from their plans (when they have them).  Again, the results can be fatal to your business.  There are high paid consultants who can come in and give your business “decompression treatments” but by then, the patient is in trouble.

So what should you do?  Learn from divers and take the time to do it right.


  1. Get your C-card - Learn enough to evaluate what cloud can provide for you and what it will cost.  Which applications belong there? Which ones don’t?  Private, hybrid or public?
  2. Plan your dive - Plan your cloud migration carefully, considering not just what you want to do from an application basis but also how you will manage it.
  3. Dive your plan – Execute as you planned.  If situations come up that require a course-correction, go back to your planning exercise and adjust it with the same diligence and discussion you performed the first time.  Take the time to do it right.



As a Master Scuba Diver, I apply these lessons to many aspects of my life.  Learn from the living divers and make your cloud migration a business-enhancer. Don’t get bent!