What is Cloud Migration?
Cloud migration is the process of moving digital assets, such as applications, data, workloads, or IT resources, to cloud infrastructure. Typically, cloud services refer to moving data and tools from an on-premises data center or old, legacy infrastructure to the cloud. It can also mean moving from one cloud to the other.
An enterprise implements different kinds of migrations to the cloud. A typical model relates to transferring applications and data from an on-premises, local data center to the public cloud. However, cloud migration might also imply moving applications and data from one provider or cloud platform to the other. This model is called cloud-to-cloud migration. Another kind of migration is reverse cloud migration, cloud exit, or cloud repatriation, in which applications or data are moved off the cloud back to a local data center.
The Cloud Migration Process
Remember, there cannot be a one-size-fits-all move to the cloud. It will be best if you consider a few factors before implementing the cloud migration strategy. Cloud services providers recommend determining your business model, the size and complexity of the current business environment, and your migration goals. You must rely on the expertise of your IT team or hire a cloud service provider to understand the intricacies of your business environment. Only then can you possibly design a roadmap that guides you on when and how to migrate which app.
Irrespective of whether you move all your services and apps at once or typically adopt the hybrid approach of keeping a few apps on-premises, migration to cloud follows these fundamental steps.
Plan for Cloud Migration
Without adequate planning, migration to cloud cannot be successful. Before you even begin, be clear on your reasons for moving to the cloud and the migration approach that best supports them. You may thus employ cloud migration tools to keep yourself aligned with your migration plan.
We offer full visibility in your on-premises environment that comprises all system dependencies.
By analyzing server, performance, and security needs, you should also determine the training that your teams need, whether it is with a specific cloud provider or in DevOps. Organizations should assess where they fall on the cloud maturity curve before they hire cloud services for business.
Select Your Cloud Environment
Once you have analyzed your current application resource needs, you may choose a cloud service provider that meets your business requirements. Cloud platforms, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure, enable businesses to adopt several different cloud models. With the help of a cloud services provider, you can build, price, and test a virtual workspace to check how things look in deployment.
Migrate Your Data and Apps
When planned accurately, your app in actual and data migration to cloud should go smoothly. There are many ways to transfer local data centers to the public cloud. One way is an online transfer that uses either public internet or the transfer happens over a private network. There may also be a physical offline transfer by which you upload local data onto an appliance to ship to the cloud service provider. The ideal approach depends on the type and amount of data you are transitioning and the speed at which you need to complete the cloud migration process. Hiring a cloud service provider is the safest bet here.
Validate Success Post Migration to Cloud
Once you have migrated your business to the cloud, you need to show the ROI (return-on-investment). Besides, as you migrate applications, continue making efforts in the direction of emerging with a new operating model, turning off legacy systems, and thus pushing forward.
Cloud Migration Types
Following are the three fundamental cloud migration patterns or types.
1. Lift-and-shift (Rehosting)
Lift-and-shift or rehosting approach is fast and needs refactoring to a minimum extent. Your cloud service provider adopts this cloud migration strategy for simple workloads and poses a low impact. In case your current setup involves a lot of virtual machines, the approach is comparatively straightforward. Once running in the cloud, applications are easier to rework and optimize.
But, in the rehosting cloud migration strategy, you may miss out on the advantages of the cloud native. Doing so means you may have to pay to ensure the ease and speed of your business migration to cloud later.
2. Move-and-improve (Replatforming)
Move-and-improve or re-platforming approach to cloud migration involves making some new and modern updates to your application, such as introducing automation or scaling. Cloud services providers implement a few cloud optimizations in this cloud migration strategy without changing your app’s core architecture. Move-and-improve is a good strategy for organizations on the verge of building trust in the cloud or are not ready for configuration or expansion.
The downside of this approach is that it can result in migrations where you place all your technical debt and receive none of the cloud-native benefits.
3. Rip-and-Replace (Refactoring)
In the cloud migration approach of refactoring or rearchitecting, you rebuild your workload from “zero” to be “cloud-native.” In other words, you rebuild applications from scratch to take advantage of cloud-native capabilities, like serverless computing or auto-scaling. You may need to hire a cloud service provider to gain maximum benefits out of this cloud migration strategy. Companies offering cloud services for business have the requisite skills to make a move and refactor your code.
Every enterprise and workload are unique. But, if the cause for migrating to the cloud is to ensure maximum gains from the capabilities and benefits of the cloud, embracing cloud-native design principles should be the core of your strategy. The refactoring cloud migration approach is the most future proof for enterprises that want to profit from more advanced cloud features.
A potential pitfall of refactoring cloud migration strategy is vendor lock-in since you are rebuilding a cloud infrastructure. Besides, it is the most expensive and time-consuming route.
The three most common strategies for migrating your current infrastructure to the cloud are thus covered.
Cloud Migration Strategies
Repurchasing implies fully replacing your current applications with a new cloud-native, SaaS-based platform. When transitioning from a highly customized legacy landscape or mitigating the number of apps or services you must manage, repurchasing is considered the most cost-effective instead of switching to full-fledged cloud services for business. You can effectively prevent costs of development by repurchasing a cloud migration strategy.
However, the challenge with repurchasing is being unfamiliar with the existing code and training your team on the new platform.
Enterprises must evaluate the size and nature of their application portfolios. This way, they can easily find out if migrating to the cloud is suitable for their business.
As you assess your IT portfolio, you might find that some applications are no longer helpful for your business. You should get rid of them and save on business costs. You, of course, do not need two apps to do the same task, and it is ideal for your teams not investing time and effort in learning one extra unnecessary tool.
While engaging in application portfolio rationalization, you may feel that a few or all your applications should stay, like apps that are indispensable for business or those that manage internal processes. Cloud migration companies suggest migration to cloud-only when it makes the most sense to your business.
Reverse Cloud Migration
Cloud repatriation, unclouding, or de-clouding is all about migrating away from the cloud to an on-site data center.
Cloud-to-cloud migration involves migrating from one cloud to another, like from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Microsoft Azure or vice versa.
Cloud Migration Strategies
Challenges in Migrating to the Cloud
Migrating Large Databases
You need to move databases to a different platform altogether. Only then can they function in the cloud. It is not an easy task to move a database, especially if massive amounts of data are involved. A few cloud transformation service providers are offering physical data transfer methods for large databases. Data may also be transferred over the internet. Irrespective of the method, migrating data to the cloud takes considerable time.
Ensuring Data Integrity
How do you ensure the security of your data while it migrates to the cloud where you have less control? Doing so is one of the biggest challenges of migrating to the cloud. Your data should be intact and secure, without any leaks during the cloud migration process. Besides, the migrated sensitive data should meet GDPR compliance requirements.
As a business, you should guarantee that your current systems are operational and available throughout the cloud migration process. It is ideal for creating a copy of all your data lying in the cloud before you shut down your current database. Typically, businesses should move a bit at a time rather than all at once.
Adapt your cloud migration process to that of your provider of cloud services for business. Only then can you get your current applications to communicate with newer cloud environments.
Resource Availability and Management
Considering temporarily offline in-house servers in the cloud migration process is a challenge. This downtime might be harmful to application performance, hence customer loyalty. Support it with a proper plan for disaster recovery. Besides, note that not all IT professionals trust the cloud. If you use your team to manage physical servers, you might be required to educate them on the new infrastructure or even reconfiguration to introduce new roles.
Benefits of Migration to Cloud
1. Provides Scalability and Elasticity
Cloud offers improved scalability, enabling organizations to almost instantly add or remove resources according to their business requirements. They may also do so to match demand. Besides, elasticity comes in handy with scalability. Simply put, elasticity enables scalability. Through elasticity, businesses become fast at expanding or reducing computer processing, storage resources, and memory to meet varying demands without thinking much about capacity planning. The cloud is known to have a practically infinite set of resources, implying that servers can scale to tackle the rush without interruption. The process of scaling can be implemented automatically, better known as autoscaling.
2. Ensures Cost Savings
As you migrate your data to the cloud, you only pay for the resources used. You can thus access resources that would otherwise cost a lot of money and time, tying back into scalability. In the case of a traditional IT approach, scaling up is quite expensive. Such is not the case with cloud transformation services. Migrating to storage or cloud applications helps to mitigate energy expenditure and maximize space drastically. Cloud solutions enable you to reduce labor as well as maintenance costs. As vendors own the hardware and store it in off-site locations, there is less demand for in-house IT staff.
3. Guarantees Move from Capital Expenditure to Operating Expenditure
Cloud shifts tech systems from a capital expenditure (CapEx) to an operating expenditure (OpEx) model, like a long-term investment to an ongoing, regular cost for operating the business. However, for most businesses, a pay-as-you-go plan for cloud services for business is an ideal solution. Cloud migration experts can thus run and maintain the cloud. You can outsource the job of moving your data to the cloud to a company offering cloud transformation services and let your existing employees focus on their critical tasks. You can keep your financial forecasts predictable and stable this way. The new and more flexible approach to reducing your operational costs is keeping your IT efforts as OpEx if possible.
4. Brings Higher Flexibility and Agility to Your Business
In the context of the cloud, agility can mean many different things. Typically, cloud agility can be defined as developing, testing, and launching business apps faster. Besides, the cloud offers your business – the agility to quickly respond to ever-changing customer needs. Companies offering cloud transformation services help even small and medium-sized businesses access the same powerful tools used by the biggest enterprises. Cloud brings flexibility to your business too. Companies with multiple offices don’t have to set up their infrastructure in all locations. The best part is that your workforce can easily switch to working-from-home or remotely, like happening in most organizations in the post-COVID-19-world.
5. Assures Performance, Reliability, and Resiliency
Your cloud computing provider helps increase your business’s agility and speed by deploying new services or applications. Hire a well-known and credible cloud transformation services provider. Packed with cutting-edge technology, they run a world-class, global network of facilities. Your provider of cloud services for business takes care of everything, right from keeping network latency low to ensuring delivery of an exceptional data backup as well as disaster recovery. Outsourcing cloud migration to an IT Outsourcing company helps bring those working remotely closer by giving them access to the tools. As the cloud mitigates the risk of downtime through safety measures, such as backup storage and automatic failover, it proves to be more reliable and resilient than on-premises systems.
6. Takes Care of Security and Compliance
Your cloud services provider for business ensures to stay on top of trends and updates, keeping your sensitive data safe in the cloud. Companies offering cloud migration consulting services give utmost priority to security and compliance. Then, public cloud providers focus on tech, policies, and controls to step up your security game. These policies weigh far more than the average security practices of your organization, considering industry-specific compliance. As they maintain the confidentiality and integrity of your data on the cloud, your data doesn’t get compromised.
7. Simplifies IT and Maintenance
Maintaining computer software and hardware is a tedious full-time task for businesses of all sizes. With a public cloud migration consultant in place, your IT team is free from spending time on the tiresome task of equipment maintenance. This is a job that doesn’t directly contribute to the goals of your business. Hiring a cloud migration company helps to take care of the IT infrastructure, leaving your employees in the IT department to concentrate on driving business results. You may hire a cloud migration company, like AWS cloud migration, that offers up-to-date, real-time IT maintenance and management, IT infrastructure consulting, and business continuity services.