While the demand for cloud computing is on the rise, many organizations are migrating to the cloud to avail the benefits advanced technology has to offer. In such a scenario, a strong cloud migration strategy will help your organization to complete the entire process seamlessly.
A cloud migration strategy is the proposition that a company makes for a successful transfer of all its assets in the form of data or applications from the legacy systems to the cloud platforms. It is the high-level plan that an organization agrees upon to move the existing on-premises or co-located data related to its application workloads or IT processes to the cloud servers.
Cloud migration is almost like moving a small office physically to a larger space. It is an effective way of cost-saving and providing greater flexibility to the organizational processes involved. The term ‘cloud migration’ is also applicable to the migration from one cloud to another cloud.
In this article, let us discuss the cloud migration process in brief, the 5 major cloud migration strategies that must be undertaken to derive the best results, and then move on to learn about the challenges involved in the process.
A brief on the cloud migration process
Cloud migration may vary from organization to organization depending on the scale of the data required to be migrated and the complexity involved in it.
It involves mainly four stages of deployment and they are:
1. Planning before migration
You must plan your migration before execution. First, evaluate the reasons behind the migration and then contemplate the cloud migration strategy that can best support the cause. Initially, assess the cloud environment to compare the requirement behind the cloud server with the existing infrastructure.
This helps in avoiding the purchase of excess cloud features, over the actual requirement. Also, a review from an expert is recommended to gain real-time visibility of your existing environment.
2. Choosing the correct cloud platform
Once you have a clear idea of your current and future requirements, it is time for you to choose the cloud migration solutions that best fit your requirements. Choose among the hybrid cloud, public cloud, and multi-cloud according to your cloud computing needs.
3. Migrating your data and applications
This is the step where actual migration takes place. If the planning and choosing steps are done correctly, then the cloud migration process must go smoothly. Along with the migration process, security issues must also be kept in mind. The migration must be compliant with security policies and there must be adequate resources for data backup and recovery.
4. Validating the success of the migration
Once the migration process is complete, it is important to compare the pre and post-migration performance levels of the applications in both the cloud and legacy systems. This will help you to analyze the success rate of the migration.
Top 5 cloud migration strategies to follow
There are several migration strategies based on the cloud environment depending on the business you are trying to deploy. Here are some of the most effective and popular strategies for your business to run successfully on cloud premises.
Often mentioned as ‘lift and shift’, re-hosting is literally about redeploying data or applications of an organization from on-premise servers to a cloud-based environment. It also involves making changes to the host configuration of the application. This cloud migration strategy is good to provide a quick and easy solution to the migration process. Re-hosting also comes with automated tools like Amazon Web Services.
For both manual and automated re-hosting migration strategies, the applications moved to the cloud tend to be much simpler to optimize and re-architect. This strategy is fit for large scale-enterprises when loads of data are involved.
This involves the applications already running on the cloud platforms. Re-platforming is all about making further adjustments and optimizing your cloud landscape so that the applications produce the best results. The primary motto of this strategy is to make a few cloud-related optimizations without changing any core architecture of the applications.
This allows developers to reuse existing resources such as existing development frameworks or legacy programming languages. It is an effective strategy for organizations looking forward to building trust in the cloud environment and extracting certain benefits such as enhanced system performance.
Often this is strategy is associated with moving to a new cloud-native platform while discarding the existing legacy system or the current application platform in use. The new platform is most commonly a SaaS software where your team gets to explore new areas instead of the familiarity of the existing codes.
There might be the challenge of shifting from the old to a new platform but it might prove to be a very cost-effective program in the case of highly customized legacy systems.
4. Refactoring/ Re-architecting
In this cloud migration strategy, you need to build your applications from the scratch. This is typically availed when your business might need to make use of cloud features that are absent in your current environment.
Your business might need features such as serverless computing or cloud auto-scaling not available with your existing system. Although it is an expensive option, it can prove compatibility and convenience with future versions.
Before the actual migration process starts, you need to assess your entire IT infrastructure. This will help you to determine the usefulness of the applications involved in your business. Most commonly, it is seen that 20 to 30% of the deployed application are no longer needed.
In that case, you can always discard them to bring down your overhead costs involved in the cloud migration process.
Challenges involved in cloud migration
Even after you have landed on the most perfect and secured cloud solutions, the migration process involves certain amounts of risks. Let us discuss them briefly,
The entire migration process may come with elongated downtime. It will involve the in-house servers making them temporarily unavailable for business operations to be carried out. This could affect application performance and eventually customer loyalty. The remedy to this situation might be the involvement of a strong cloud migration strategy where proper resource allocation and system backup are looked after.
2. Data loss
You must understand that while the migration may give you boundless benefits in the long run, it still involves risk factors like data loss during the migration. Data security is at risk while migrating to the cloud. Some of the data might get lost or are at risk of security breach during the process.
To minimize data loss and breach, one must apply cloud security controls such as app encryption and privileged access management.
3. Resource management
Clouds do not carry the same impression for all professionals. Some may find it not trustworthy. Professionals who used to handle physical servers now have to educate themselves and upskill to manage cloud computing. In some cases, the migration might involve the introduction of new IT infrastructure or new resources disrupting some business processes.
You might find difficulty in establishing communication between the existing system and the new cloud environment. The solution to this issue might be the adaption of the processes of the cloud provider.
Nonetheless, whatever might be your IT infrastructure and the amount of data involved in it, there are several cloud migration strategies that can be adopted for seamless cloud migration. Prior to the actual implementation of the migration process, you must plan and choose your environment and validate it later to ensure a successful migration.
Also, there might be a certain level of risks and challenges involved in the process but with cloud migration solution providers like us, you can easily handle the tedious process and strive to achieve much more efficiency and agility in your business processes.