Cloud migration is the process of moving either all or some digital assets, databases, IT resources, services, and applications into cloud computing. It can be considered a physical move, except it, involves moving digital assets to a cloud infrastructure. The most common cloud migration model includes transferring data and applications from an on-premise data center to public cloud services.
However, cloud migration can also refer to moving digital assets from one cloud environment to another, which is also known as cloud-to-cloud migration. The least common type of cloud migration is reverse cloud migration. In reverse cloud migration, also known as cloud repatriation or cloud exit, the organization moves its digital assets from the cloud to an on-premise digital infrastructure.
Why are organizations migrating to the cloud?
Cloud migration is a very important part of digital transformation. Especially during the pandemic, many organizations changed how they operate while trying to meet the needs of their customers in an ever-changing environment. There are multiple benefits of cloud migration. One of the main reasons for cloud migration is that it offers access to virtually limitless computer resources. Thus, organizations can scale up their digital infrastructure easily and quickly. Also, switching from an on-site facility to the cloud enables organizations to save costs without compromising performance. Many organizations also prefer cloud services due to their security features. Most service providers encrypt the data they are storing to keep them safe.
What are the types of cloud migration strategies?
There are multiple types of cloud migration, depending on the organization’s needs. While some of them are better for faster and easier approaches, some of them are more complicated processes with additional benefits.
Rehosting, also known as lift and shift, is an approach that focuses on redeploying existing data and applications on a cloud server using an Infrastructure as a Service solution. It is ideal for organizations that are inexperienced with cloud environments or if it is complicated to modify the code
Replatforming, also known as lift, tinker, and shift, refers to, as its name implies, optimizing an application for the cloud before deploying it. This method uses a platform-as-a-service model and doesn’t change the architecture of the applications, instead it makes adjustments to benefit from cloud-based tools.
Refactoring is a combination of rehosting and refactoring along with major changes to the architecture and code of the system. These changes are focused on taking full advantage of cloud services with major changes. Thus, it is the most expensive approach for cloud migration, but its benefits are also greater. This approach requires detailed foreplanning and extensive knowledge.
Rebuilding includes replacing the existing code base with a new one. It is a very time-consuming process and is only considered if the organization decided that its solutions can’t meet the current needs of the organization.
Repurchasing is relatively similar to the rebuilding approach but instead of developing its native application, this approach involves migrating to a third party for a prebuilt application offered by the vendor. Most organizations prefer replacing existing applications with a cloud-based version from the cloud provider’s marketplace. This approach is ideal for many legacy applications that are too complicated to virtualize or migrate.
Retaining is technically not a method for cloud migration, but it is related somehow. In some cases, it may be the best option to retain an application on existing on-premises infrastructure. The decision to retain an on-premise application can help an organization choose between a hybrid cloud or a multi-cloud approach for later stages.
Reverse cloud migration
As its name implies, this approach includes migrating away from the cloud to an on-site facility, if an organization decides the cloud is not the ideal solution for their business. Reverse cloud migrations are also known as cloud repatriation, de-clouding, or unclouding.
What are the different types of cloud migration?
As a part of their cloud deployment strategy, organizations should decide on a cloud deployment environment to be able to get the most benefits.
Single cloud is a deployment model that isn’t very popular among organizations. Working with only one cloud vendor isn’t the best option in many cases and it is considered as not being feasible.
Multi-cloud is a popular method that is a combination of at least two public cloud solutions. The multi-cloud model allows organizations to benefit from multiple features from different cloud service providers.
Hybrid cloud is also a very popular model that includes at least one public cloud and a private cloud. In some cases, such as industries that require improved security, organizations prefer combining on-premise legacy data centers with public clouds.
What is the difference between cold migration and hot migration?
The main difference between cold migration and hot migration is that in cold migration, during the process, the system is turned off, causing to go non-operational for a while. In hot migration, also known as live migration, the system is operational and active during the migration process.
What are the benefits of cloud migration?
Migrating to the cloud offers various benefits, depending on the organization’s needs. Since profitability is a top priority for most companies, cloud migration’s cost and time savings make it attention-grabbing. For many companies, IT-related expenses are at top of the list. By migrating workloads to cloud environments, organizations can reduce their IT operations costs dramatically. It also allows IT teams to focus elsewhere instead of maintaining and managing the operations.
Scalability is also a big challenge for organizations. In an on-premise environment, scaling the infrastructure can cost a fortune and comes with additional difficulties, such as running out of free empty space or software licenses. With cloud migration, an organization can simply outsource these tasks. With a few clicks, organizations can simply scale up or down the resources they need depending on their current needs. Easily scaling according to workloads also eliminates the risk of unexpected performance issues or outages.
By optimizing the application for the cloud environment, organizations can improve performance and end-user experience drastically. Also, with cloud migration organizations can run applications in geographical locations near customers to reduce network latency. Security is among the benefits of migrating to the cloud. Most major cloud service providers offer best practices in security and compliance to protect the applications and the data of their customers.
What are the risks associated with cloud migration?
Most organizations already are already aware of the benefits of cloud services, however, it is not a magical solution that can solve every problem. Thus, it requires a delicate planning process to be able to maximize its benefits. Each organization’s needs are unique, as are the solutions that are required. To be able to find the ideal approach, organizations should consider the requirements for each application and dataset. Organizations should also consider costs that are related to cloud migration to avoid extra costs. To be able to calculate the costs, organizations should include the costs of services that will be adopted and usage changes.
Another unwanted situation related to cloud migration is vendor lock-in, which refers to the difficulty to switch providers. This makes it harder and more expensive for organizations to switch to another provider even though it is better for them. Another major concern is data security. Cloud providers offer the best security measures but they can be useless if the organization can’t configure them correctly, including security controls for services and applications. Also transferring huge amounts of data can create exposure.
What are the steps involved in planning a successful cloud migration?
There are four steps of cloud migration.
The first one is planning, which includes assessing the environment to determine the factors that define migration. The planning should be made according to the organization’s needs. Once the plan for the tools for migration is made, the organization can proceed to create a migration business case. In this phase, the organization needs to find relevant services from cloud providers. During this phase, the organization also needs to determine the expected benefits of migration, including, operational benefits, cost savings, and architectural improvements. Future cloud costs should also be estimated, including storage, computing resources, instance types, operating systems, performance, and networking requirements, to avoid unwanted extra payments.
When the organization has determined its plans and business plans, it can start executing cloud data migration. The main goal for migrating data is to minimize disruption to the operation or eliminate it completely if possible. Thus, it is important to complete the migration at the lowest cost and over the shortest period of time possible. During the migration, every element should be proven to work in its new environment before starting to migrate another element. Some major cloud service providers, including AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure, offer built-in tools to help customers with their data migration.
The final step is ongoing upkeep. When the migration is complete, it should stay optimized, secure, and easily retrievable if needed. Organizations should also predict workload changes to be able to make real-time adjustments to infrastructure. Assessing the security of the data is also a part of the ongoing upkeep.
What is cloud migration?
Cloud migration is the process of moving digital assets, services, databases, IT resources, and applications to the cloud.
What are the benefits of cloud migration?
There are multiple benefits of cloud migration, that depend on the organization’s needs. Some of the major benefits of cloud migration are:
- Cost savings
- Improved performance
What are the types of cloud migration?
Cloud migration can be made in many ways. While some of them require almost no changes in code, some of them may require major changes. These cloud migrations types are:
- Reverse cloud migration
What are cloud migration steps?
To complete a cloud migration process effectively, organizations follow these steps:
- Business case
What are the risks associated with cloud migration?
Apart from its benefit, there are also some risks associated with cloud migration, which should be considered before starting the process.
- Data integrity
- Vendor lock-in
- Resource management
What are cloud migration tools?
Here are some of the most useful cloud migration tools offered by major cloud providers:
- Google Cloud