Tools, Technique, and Approach for Cloud Migration

A cloud migration process takes place when a business moves a portion or all of its own data center capabilities into the cloud, typically to run on cloud-based framework provided by a cloud providers 

As more institutions move to the cloud, cloud migrations are also getting more common since businesses are constantly moving between various cloud providers. However, for those making their first foray into the cloud, there seem to be a few important components to be fully aware of, which we’ll go over below.

Why should you use a cloud migration strategy?

Adopting a cloud migration strategy aids in identifying and executing the quickest, least expensive, and least disruptive transfer from on-premises to cloud. It can help determine which current software workloads you can discontinue or replace, rewrite, which should continue to stay on-premises, which you should shift as-is to a cloud platform to run as-is or target to augment with native cloud computing, and which cloud is the best destination for which application. To address the entire application portfolio, a business cloud migration design will include a combination of these approaches.

Key Advantages of Moving to the Cloud

Some advantages that compel institutions to move assets to the public cloud are:

Scalability - Unlike on-premises infrastructure, cloud computing can be adjusted to support larger tasks and more users. It has saved businesses the need to buy and install physical servers, storage, software licenses and network equipment in order to scale up business services in IT surroundings.
Reduced Cost - Because cloud providers handle maintenance and upgrades, businesses that migrate to the cloud may actually spend very little on IT processes. They can invest more money in innovation, such as the development of new products or the enhancement of existing ones.
Enhanced performance - Moving to the cloud can enhance performance and the end-user involvement. Cloud-hosted websites and applications can easily expand to handle more customers or high throughput, and they can operate in geographic regions close to end users to lessen network latency.
Improved flexibility - Users may access cloud data and services from any location, irrespective of whether they’re staff members or clients. This contributes significantly to digitalization, improves customer satisfaction, and provides staff with advanced, flexible cloud migration tools.

What are the Most Common Cloud Migration Obstacles?

Cloud migrations can indeed be complicated and dangerous. Here are a few cloud migration challenges that many companies face as they migrate assets to the cloud.

Inadequate Strategy

Many organizations begin their cloud movement without devoting adequate time to focus on building a sound strategy. What they fail to understand is that End-to-end cloud migration planning is essential for effective cloud adoption and implementation. Each app and set of data may have unique requirements and considerations, necessitating a unique approach to cloud migration. Every workload that is shifted to the cloud must have a solid business case.

Management of Costs

Many institutions really haven’t clearly defined KPIs to recognize what they intend to invest or even save after migrating to the cloud. This makes knowing whether transfer was economically successful difficult. Because cloud environments are dynamic, costs can fluctuate quickly as new services are embraced and application usage grows.

Vendor lock-in

Vendor lock-in is a prevalent fault for cloud technology adopters. Cloud providers produce a wide variety of services, but a lot of them are not transferable to other platforms. Moreover, workload transfer from a cloud to another can be a costly and time-consuming process.

Compliance and Data Security

Data compliance and security are significant barriers to cloud migration. Cloud services are using a collective responsibility model in which they take responsibility for security infrastructure while the client handles data and workload security. While the cloud provider provides the robust security measures, it's your firm’s responsibility to configure them and make sure that all applications and services have the necessary security measures. The migration process alone presents security risks. Moving large amounts of sensitive data and configuring access controls for apps across multiple environments exposes you to considerable risk.

Cloud Migration Techniques

Gartner has identified the “5 Rs” cloud migration techniques. Companies considering cloud movement should consider which migration strategy best meets their needs.

Rehosting, also identified as ‘lift and shift,’ involves the use of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). This is straightforward process that simply requires you to deploy your current applications and data to the cloud server, hence appropriate for organizations that are foreign to cloud environments. It’s also a good option if changing the code is difficult and you want to keep your applications intact.
Refactoring, also known as ‘lift, tinker, and shift,’ is tweaking and optimizing your apps for the cloud. A platform-as-a-service (PaaS) framework is used in this case. The applications’ core architecture remains unaffected, but changes are made to enable good use of cloud migration tools.
Revising adds to previous programs, necessitating more major modifications to the code and architecture of the cloud-based systems. You do this to allow applications to fully utilize the cloud services available, which may cause major code changes. This strategy necessitates forethought and advanced knowledge.
Rebuilding advances the Revise approach by getting rid of the existing code base and putting in a new one. This is a lengthy procedure that is only taken into account when businesses determine that their current techniques do not meet current business requirements.
Replacing is yet another way to address the issues that motivate the approach. The distinction is that you don't have to start from scratch when developing its own native application. This entails migrating to a vendor-provided third-party, pre-built application. The only thing you move from your existing program is the data, and the rest of the system is brand new.

A Four-Step Cloud Migration Procedure

1. Cloud Migration Strategy

The initial steps to take before moving information to the cloud would be to identify the use case that the public cloud will serve. Will you use it to aid in disaster recovery? Hosting enterprise workloads in the cloud completely? DevOps? Or will a hybrid method be most effective for your deployment?

It is critical to assess your environment and identify the variables that will regulate the relocation, like critical legacy data, application data, and application interoperability, at this stage. It is also essential to assess your data reliance: do you have files that need to be re-synced on a regular basis, data compliance obligations to meet, or non-critical information that can be migrated during the process?

2. Business Case for Migration

Once you’ve determined your business needs, learn about the services and costs provided by cloud services and other partners. Determine the anticipated advantages of cloud relocation along three components: cost savings, operational benefits, and architectural enhancements.

Set up a business case for each application you intend to migrate to the cloud, comparing the anticipated total cost of ownership on the cloud to the existing TCO. Use the cloud cost calculators to forecast future cloud costs based on logical assumptions, like the amount and type of storage used, computing resources, instance types, operating systems, and specific performance and networking requirements.

3. Execution of Cloud Data Migration

After you have evaluated your situation and developed a strategy, now you can proceed to carry out the migration. The key challenge here is to complete your migration with little disruption to normal operations while incurring the lowest possible cost, and using the shortest amount of time.

If your information becomes unreachable to customers during migration, your operations may suffer. The same remains true after the first migration when you proceed to sync and update your systems. Before shifting to another workload element, each workload element should be proven to function in the new environment.

4. Ongoing Maintenance

Once data has been moved to the cloud, it is essential to make sure that it’s secure, optimized and easily retrievable in the future. It also aids in the detection of real-time changes to critical infrastructure and the prediction of workload contentions.

In Conclusion

An effective enterprise cloud relocation strategy will prioritize workloads for migration, determine the best migration plan for each workload, create a pilot, test it, and adjust the strategy based on the results. A cloud migration strategy file should guide team members through the process and to allow for rollback if needed.

Using fit-for-purpose migration tools and the fact that the destination and source platforms have a similar structure will have a massive effect on the cost and effort of migration.

The desired end state is a smooth transition of apps from on-premises to preferred cloud infrastructure with no disruption to application availability or day-to-day operations.

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