A successful cloud adoption requires cloud migration, but you must first understand what cloud migration is, why it is necessary, and how to plan for a smooth transition. Read on to learn what cloud migration is, why it is important, and how to proceed.
In order to ensure access anytime, anywhere, an organization must manage its infrastructure virtually. Furthermore, organizations need to move to the cloud to ensure business continuity as a result of the evolving remote work culture, which emphasizes the need to plan, strategize, and implement cloud migration.
Cloud computing has become an indispensable tool for business continuity during these challenging times. Many organizations have turned to the public cloud to deal with sudden spikes in usage. Without the flexible infrastructure provided by the major cloud providers, platforms like Zoom would not have been able to operate.”— Alastair Edwards, Chief Analyst, Canalys
Cloud computing is becoming more and more popular, but organizations still feel overwhelmed when moving valuable, intrinsic, and confidential data to the cloud. Here are some tips for moving valuable, intrinsic, and confidential data to the cloud this year.
Cloud migration is what it sounds like
An organization is independent from the physical resources acquired to run a business if it migrates data, processes, and workloads to a cloud-based environment.
Across all sizes of organizations, cloud computing has become popular due to its anytime, anywhere access.
It is widely believed that COVID-19 will accelerate cloud migration, and 87% of global IT decision makers agree.
Additionally, you can migrate to the cloud in two other ways:
- Our infrastructure is migrated from one cloud to another via cloud-to-cloud migration.
- Moving on-premises from the cloud in a reverse cloud migration.
Cloud migrations, regardless of their type, require planning and knowledge of the process.
Deployment models and cloud services in an overview
You should understand the different cloud services and deployment models available before diving deeply into cloud migration. The suitability of these services and deployment models will be determined by your business needs.
Models of cloud services
To better understand the features and applicability of these cloud service models, here is an overview of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.
- Infra as a Service (IaaS): Cloud-based infrastructure that migrates part or all of a physical infrastructure.
- Cloud-based platform that allows developers to create applications quickly (PaaS).
- In SaaS, applications are hosted on servers, and the providers perform updates on them. SaaS applications are becoming increasingly popular among businesses because of their ease of access and 24/7 availability.
Deploying the cloud in different ways
- Generally, IT services are accessed anywhere and at any time using the public cloud environment, where organizations share server space and coexist without interruptions.
- In a private cloud, the data center is located either on-premises or off-site to serve only a single organization.
- Often, organizations use the private cloud to manage IT infrastructure, while using the public cloud to handle network traffic. A hybrid cloud offers an orchestrated experience by combining both public and private clouds.
What is the importance of cloud migration?
An organization’s legacy infrastructure comprises hardware and software resources. A presence of this legacy infrastructure on-premises makes you dependent on your physical location and increases maintenance costs.
Cloud migration, however, makes an organization independent of infrastructure and physical space.
Your business strategy will benefit from cloud migration if you take advantage of these benefits.
- Cloud computing is more cost-effective than on-premise solutions. AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, for example, offer Pay-as-you-go pricing models, meaning you pay only for what you use.
- Rapid adoption of newer technologies that offer a competitive edge can be achieved through the cloud environment’s agility and responsiveness.
- You can access your data from anywhere and at any time with cloud computing. As remote work becomes the future of how we work, cloud computing is gaining more traction as organizations no longer rely solely on their physical locations to get work done.
- Focus on core business: By adopting the cloud, companies can reduce the risks of downtime, data security, and disaster recovery. As a result, organizations can devote more time to core business responsibilities, resulting in improved productivity. The cloud provider provides the required cloud space, security, and real-time access.
- In contrast to on-premise environments, which require more effort, time, and money to accommodate a growing demand, cloud computing can accommodate a larger number of users.
How to migrate to the cloud - The 5 R's
It is important to remember that the 5 R’s of cloud migration define migration strategies, which include rehosting, refactoring, revising, rebuilding, and replacing sites.
- Rehost: A rehost is the process of lifting your legacy data and applications from an on-premise environment and moving them to the cloud.
- Lift, Tinker, and Shift: Refactoring involves optimizing the legacy infrastructure and adopting a PaaS cloud service to migrate to the cloud. The cloud platform provides developers with an opportunity to experiment and take advantage of it.
- This strategy involves modifying the architecture and code before migrating to the cloud in order to tailor the applications to fit the cloud environment. In order for Revise to work, you would either need to have your in-house tech team or consider outsourcing the process since it requires technical know-how about cloud migration.
- Repair outdated applications by rewriting and re-architecting them, i.e., rebuilding them from scratch. Whenever the existing framework isn’t suitable for the changing business needs or technological advances, rebuilding is the best approach.
- Replacing the old in-house applications with SaaS applications should be the preferred approach in this scenario if the old applications are outdated or do not suit the cloud environment.
Migration tools for the cloud
Migration tools ensure that migrations are quick and effective without affecting routine operations at an organization, which is common when organizations are unprepared for significant changes.
1. Software as a service
As the name suggests, these tools, also known as Software-as-a-Service, serve as an anchor between on-premise applications and cloud storage destinations, transferring all the data safely. What these tools have in common is that they are automated and easy to use.
2. Tools available for free
In addition to being free of cost and available to anyone, these tools can also be customized by your technical team based on your business requirements.
3. Processes in batches
Batch processing tools help avoid network congestion by automating the transfer of large amounts of data at regular intervals.
Steps to migrate to the cloud
While the basic steps of cloud migration are the same for any organization, the core process depends on the size of the company and the complexity of its legacy infrastructure.
How to migrate to the cloud is as follows:
1. Establish a priority list of requirements
A robust cloud migration should be framed following a Q&A within your organization to determine your organization’s size and business needs.
It may be necessary to ask the following questions:
- How do you expect the cloud to meet your expectations?
- Does your business need a cloud migration strategy?
- How does moving to the cloud benefit you?
- How important is performance, security, and server reliability to you?
It is important to examine your current on-premise environment comprehensively to find answers to these questions.
2. Choose a reputable cloud provider
Consider comparing AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud as these platforms provide different features for small and large companies alike.
3. Determine the style of the cloud migration
Here are three of the most popular cloud migration styles to choose from before beginning a cloud migration process.
- An amalgamation of public, private, and even on-premises servers is known as a hybrid cloud.
- Clouds deployed by just one provider are called single clouds.
- To create the best of both worlds scenario, you can deploy two or more public cloud service providers.
4. Stakeholder communication
In addition to changing your organizational operational guidelines, cloud migration can also be considered a digital transformation.
In order to prepare junior and senior employees for the upcoming change, it becomes essential to communicate effectively with them.
5. Make your choice of cloud migration tools
Depending on your cloud deployment strategy and model, there are numerous tools available for cloud migration. You can choose a service provider to help you select the best tools.
6. Adapting to a new environment
In response to your cloud migration strategy, you can move forward with actual migration. You can hire IT, experts, and developers for a smooth cloud migration, or you can utilize your technical support team to assist with the migration. Understanding and adhering to security and privacy protocols is crucial at this point.
7. Manage and ensure cloud security
You can take advantage of most of the performance benefits after the migration is complete, while saving money at the same time. As well as ongoing cloud maintenance, ongoing cloud monitoring tools are essential. What you need to track and monitor are:
- Performance measurement of uptime
- Calculate the virtual machine’s memory utilization
- Security and utilization gaps should be identified, analyzed, and fixed
Getting Started with Cloud Migration
Cloud migration is a complex process. To avoid missing a beat, create a migration checklist before starting the migration process. Below are some key considerations for cloud migration.
- Make a distinction between on-premises and cloud workloads
- Run a comparison between shortlisted providers if necessary to select one that suits your business size and needs.
- Avoid roadblocks and loopholes by hiring a cloud migration service provider or appointing an in-house team to execute migrations
- Utilize AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Solution cost calculators to estimate migration costs
- Keep everyone informed by communicating with them
- Establish a cloud migration roadmap, which means selecting a cloud migration strategy and creating an execution timeline
- To accelerate organizational change, introduce training sessions that build team skills
- For a smooth transition to the cloud, choose the right tools
- Ensure migration effectiveness by setting KPIs
- Whether it is a phased migration or a one-time migration, follow the plan laid out
- Secure, private, and uptime are ensured through the management of the cloud presence
Migration to the cloud presents challenges
Organizations often find it challenging to navigate cloud migration. It is easier said than done. Below is a look at some of the challenges associated with cloud migration.
1. Downtimes may occur temporarily
When migrating to the cloud, your in-house servers may suffer temporary downtime, resulting in a bad customer experience if the outage lasts for too long.
2. Complexity of architecture
A lack of planning can result in an overcomplicated architecture when implementing hybrid environments. It is sometimes challenging to match a cloud strategy with an organization’s needs. To avoid this, build a cloud migration architecture compatible with your internal IT infrastructure.
3. Having data lost
Data loss and breaches are possible when migrating to the cloud. To mitigate these risks, encryption should be considered seriously, as well as strict adherence to security protocols.
4. Data migration of a large amount
Transferring large volumes of data to the cloud can take a lengthy time. The larger the databases, the longer it will take. This is also likely to cause downtimes and even data loss.
5. Deficiencies in skills
Consider cross-functional training courses and introduce new roles if necessary if the tech team managing the physical servers is not comfortable with virtual servers.
Can cloud migration be applied to what applications?
Cloud migration is neither necessary nor economical for all applications. This table highlights which applications should be migrated to the cloud and which should be maintained on-premises.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Choose a partner that cares about its clients.
- Never compromise on technology experience and domain expertise.
- Check out your development partners’ portfolios, customer testimonials, and references.
- Observe how they approach communication and how much they pay attention to your vision.
- Ask the right questions to help you choose easily.
- The average outsourcing charges in India are $18 – $40, which is way more affordable than in developed countries like the USA, $38 – $63.
- India has a large pool of native-English speakers who’re highly proficient in their work.
- With an Indian outsourcing partner, you can access 24×7 support and specialized IT talent.