Cloud Migration Strategy, Process, Services, Risks, and Benefits
Cloud migration is the technique of transferring data, applications, and other business components to a cloud computing environment. Cloud migration is the process of moving digital business operations into the cloud. When organizations move their data and apps from their on-premises to the cloud, this process is called cloud migration.
What is Cloud Migration
Cloud migration is sort of like a physical move of goods, except it involves moving data, applications, and IT processes from one or more data centers to other data centers, instead of packing up and moving the physical goods. It seems like a move from a smaller office to a larger office,
Cloud migration requires quite a lot of preparation and advance work, but usually, it ends up being worth the effort, resulting in cost savings and greater flexibility.
The migration process may involve moving all your applications and services, or it may take a slower procedure where some applications are moved to the cloud, while others remain on-premise. This method is called a hybrid migration. In any of the cases, the cloud data warehouse can give you many benefits over your on-premise solution.
Benefits of cloud migration
Organizations move to the cloud for many reasons. Following are just a few of the ideas in which moving to the cloud can be a winning decision for your organization.
- Scalable. One of the most significant advantages of the cloud is scalability. Whether you are scaling vertically or horizontally up quickly or slowly, a cloud data warehouse can support you.
- Secure. Cloud data warehouses are liable for providing services that meet standard compliance requirements, including certifications like SOC 2, ISO27001, HIPAA, and PCI. When you migrate to the cloud, a team of security experts is part of your contract like the JEDI deal won by Microsoft Corporations.
- Simplified. A data warehouse can handle complexity with a team of product experts at the cloud data warehouse provider. This means your coders or workers can focus on the things that matter, like how to grow your business day by day.
- Cost-effective. When you maintain your data warehouse onsite, you are responsible for maintaining the infrastructure and workforce to support every component of your warehouse. But when you transfer to the cloud, you can get the perks of world-class infrastructure while saving big bucks.
Types of Cloud Migration
There are numerous types of cloud migrations an enterprise can perform.
There are mainly three types of cloud migrations.
- One common type is to take your whole data, apps rom a local on-premises data center, and transfer to the public cloud.
- Cloud migration could also ensure moving data and applications from one cloud platform to another cloud, and this type is known as cloud-to-cloud migration.
- The third type of migration is called uncloud, which also known as reverse cloud migration or declouding, where the data or apps are moved off of the cloud and back to the local data center.
Types of cloud migration tools
You have a few options for the kinds of tools you can use to migrate to the cloud.
- Open source: Open source solutions can be customized at every level, and they are often free or low-cost. The pitfall of the open-source solution is that you will likely need qualified employees to make the customizations.
- Batch processing: The batch processing tools work well in environments where large volumes of data are moved or processed at regularly scheduled times.
- Cloud-based: Most of the Cloud-based migration tools offer the most seamless experience, tying all the information and the cloud with connectors and toolsets designed for that particular task.
There are various tools and services available provided by different cloud providers that help the enterprise plan and execute the cloud migration.
For example, public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google cloud, offer cloud migration services to support the private/dedicated networks for data transfers, as well as offline migrations.
Public cloud providers’ migration tools:
- AWS Snowball
- AWS Migration Hub
- Azure Migrate
- Azure Import/Export
- Google Transfer Appliance
- Google Cloud Data Transfer Service
Cloud migration process
Standard components of the cloud migration strategy include evaluating performance and security requirements, choosing the cloud provider, calculating the costs, and making any necessary organizational changes.
See the following small steps that help you to migrate into the cloud.
Step 1: Plan and prepare for migration
Before you start the migration to the cloud, you have to make sure of certain things.
When you move the application from the local data center to the cloud, there are two ways you can migrate your application
- Shallow cloud integration
- Deep cloud integration
Shallow cloud integration(Lift and shift migration)
Depending on the details of the migration, the company may choose to move the entire application to its new hosting environment without any modifications. That model sometimes referred to as the lift-and-shift migration.
In some other cases, it might be more beneficial to make necessary changes to an application’s code or architecture before performing the migration.
Deep cloud integration
For a deep cloud integration, you change your application during the migration process to take the advantage of key cloud capabilities.
This might be something simple like using the auto-scaling feature and dynamic load balancing, or it might be as sophisticated as utilizing the serverless computing capabilities(AWS Lambda) for portions of the application.
Step 2: Choose your cloud environment
A single cloud environment is created by using the single cloud provider to serve any apps or services that the company decides to migrate to the cloud.
Single cloud environments can utilize either public or private clouds, using whichever one better serves their current and future needs.
In the multi-cloud environment, a company uses multiple different public cloud services, often from various providers.
The different types of the cloud may be used for various tasks to achieve best-of-breed results or to reduce vendor lock-in. This reflects the growing acknowledgment that not all clouds are created equal which are Marketing and Sales,
For example, likely have different needs than Software Development or Research & Development, and various cloud solutions can meet those requirements more effectively.
Step 3: Migrate applications and data and review
The data transfers from its local data center or VPS to the public cloud, an enterprise also has several options.
These include the use of the
- Public internet
- Private/dedicated network connection or
- An offline transfer, in which the company uploads its local data onto an appliance and then physically ships that instrument to the public cloud provider, which then uploads the whole data to the cloud.
An enterprise chooses the online or offline data transfers depends on the amount and type of data it wants to transfer, as well as how fast it needs to complete the whole migration.
It’s important to take of security during the migration. Any temporary storage for your data should be as secure as the end destination.
Cloud service providers will most likely give you access to various cloud migration tools. Use them to help you with migration. I have already listed some of the migration tools above section.
Challenges of migrating to the cloud
The larger and more complex your company’s current infrastructure, the harder it may be to move to the cloud. Like any significant change, there are challenges involved in moving to the cloud.
See some of the following well-known challenges.
Migrating large databases:
Often, databases will need to move to a different platform altogether to function in the cloud. Moving a database is difficult, especially if there are large amounts of data involved.
Some cloud providers offer physical data transfer methods, such as loading data onto a hardware appliance and then shipping the device to the cloud provider,
For massive databases that would take too long to transfer via the Internet. Data can also be transferred over the Internet. Regardless of the method, data migration often takes significant time.
After data is transferred, the next step is making sure data is intact and secure, and is not leaked during the process.
A business needs to ensure that its current systems remain operational and available throughout the migration.
They will need to have some overlap between on-premises and cloud to ensure continuous service.
For example, it’s necessary to make a copy of all data in the cloud before shutting down an existing database. Businesses typically need to move a little bit at a time instead of all at once.
Planning for security
You are probably concerned about how you will maintain secure data when you move it to the cloud where you have less control. Security is a concern during and after migration. What’s more, sensitive data is often subject to compliance requirements, which can be hard to support during the migration process.
Moving stored procedures
If you use stored procedures, you may be surprised to find out that this solution isn’t commonly supported in cloud environments. Migrating these stored procedures to a cloud data warehouse can be challenging.
Cloud infrastructure is one of the reliable, cost-effective, scalable infrastructures.
Any web application that has a tremendous amount of traffic and does not want to engage with hardware and software problems now and then must be migrated to the cloud.
In this article, we have seen what cloud migration, benefits of the cloud, types of cloud migrations, types of tools that help with migration, and the process of migration is.