Data migration to the cloud can be a daunting task. It can be costly, time-consuming, and complicated. However, for businesses that require scalability, agility, and security, it is frequently the best option. According to Gartner, enterprise cloud spending will account for 14 percent of global IT revenue by 2024. Although businesses claim that cloud migration is critical to their business strategies, many have difficulty transitioning to the cloud.
A shift in culture, laser-like focus, and a precise plan of action that incorporates input from all departments are required for successful cloud-based adoption. A single oversight or incompetence in your IT infrastructure could lead to lengthy and expensive delays.
So, how do you know when it's the right time?
And what are the best practises for cloud data migration success? In this blog post, we'll look into these questions and try to find answers. We'll also emphasise the importance of having a cloud migration strategy in place to help you make the best decision for your organisation. Let's get this party started!
Why Do You Need a Cloud Migration Strategy?
A cloud migration strategy is a plan developed by an organisation to move all assets in its infrastructure, such as data, services, and applications, to the cloud.
Companies should implement a cloud migration strategy to improve the efficiency of their day-to-day business operations. Cloud migration techniques are especially important for businesses moving their existing systems to the cloud for the first time, as well as current cloud users looking to upgrade.
Adopting a cloud data migration strategy assists businesses in identifying and executing the quickest and least disruptive transition from on-premise to cloud. A well-executed migration strategy also assists in determining which existing workloads can be replaced, discontinued, rewritten, or retained on-premises.
Because each organisation is unique, a cloud migration strategy should be tailored specifically to their needs in order to achieve the desired business goals and improve overall efficiency.
A successful enterprise cloud data migration strategy should include workload prioritisation, determining the appropriate migration plan for each workload, developing a pilot, and modifying the strategy based on the pilot results.
The Cloud Migration Procedure
This section will go over the four-step process of migrating apps and data to the cloud. While the procedure may differ,
When planning a cloud migration, it's critical to understand why you're doing so and which strategy will best support them. You can begin by evaluating the current cloud environment. To avoid purchasing more than you need, calculate your cloud server requirements based on current application resource requirements. To gain real-time visibility into your environment, you can seek the assistance of an expert or specialist.
Select your Cloud Environment
Now that you have the visibility you need to succeed, the next step is to decide which cloud migration solutions to implement. Choose the hybrid cloud, public cloud, or multi cloud that best meets your current and future needs.
Transfer your apps and data
The following critical step is to migrate your apps and data to the cloud. Your cloud application migration should go smoothly if properly planned. However, keep in mind cloud security issues such as data backup and recovery planning and compliance with security policies.
Verify Post-Move Success
Once you've decided on cloud migration solutions, compare pre- and post-move application performance from both a technical and business standpoint in a low-risk test environment. This will aid in determining whether cloud migration techniques were successful or not.
Now that we've covered the cloud migration process, let's look at the various cloud data migration strategies.
Cloud Data Migration Strategies of Various Types
There are several cloud-based migration strategies that can be used depending on your business environment. Here are the six most widely used and effective strategies.
It's also known as the "lift and shift" method. Rehosting entails moving an exact replica of the existing infrastructure to the cloud. Businesses with low-impact workloads that are still figuring out long-term strategies for scaling and service offerings should consider this option. It is also a viable option for businesses whose infrastructure heavily relies on virtual machines. While rehosting is the quickest method of migration, it is also the most expensive.
The move and improve strategy is another name for replatforming. It entails making only minor changes while migrating to the cloud and includes plans to make scaling easier. The application's basic architecture remains unchanged. This strategy is appropriate for businesses that have already planned to scale up their services and want to improve their performance by leveraging cloud-based solutions. The problem with replatforming is that it does not fully utilise the capabilities of the cloud.
Certain aspects of legacy architecture may become difficult and costly to maintain, and even impossible to expand in some cases. For example, consider internal customer relationship management (CRM)
software. In such cases, it is critical to migrate to a cloud-based solution. The disadvantage of this strategy is that employees and users may require education.
Refactoring is a technique for creating an entire infrastructure from scratch. It is the best option for businesses that want to reap the benefits of cloud computing, such as auto-scaling and serverless computing. Both of these are difficult to achieve with an on-premise configuration. However, writing the entire system from the ground up will take time and effort. While it is the most expensive option, it will pay off handsomely in the long run.
This strategy entails removing applications that are no longer useful or have become obsolete. If an application is deemed unsuitable for cloud migration, it can be removed or scaled back. This allows businesses to focus on the services that are most frequently used and have immediate value.
There may be times when one or more modules of the current infrastructure do not work with market-available cloud-based platforms. This is typically information that cannot be transferred due to compliance or infrastructure that was recently built with significant capital. In these cases, keeping the modules on-premises makes both financial and operational sense.
Now that we've seen the various cloud migration methods for overcoming cloud migration challenges, it's time to look into the best practises for moving to cloud-based solutions.
Cloud Migration Best Practices
When planning a cloud migration, the most important best practise is to develop a well-thought-out strategy, as previously explained.
However, aside from selecting the best strategy for your company, there are a few other considerations.
Cloud Migration Best Practices
Create a Cloud Governance Framework
Because security and compliance are among the top priorities for businesses moving to the cloud, it is critical to establish a cloud-based governance structure with clear policies that allow organisations to ensure safe cloud use.
Cloud governance investigates the inherent risks of transferring data and applications to third-party providers. It is the process of defining how things should be done – processes, tools, skills, and capabilities – to ensure that the business migrating to the cloud can do so with minimal risk and maximum value.
A good cloud governance programme includes roles, structures, responsibilities, policies, goals, plans, principles, measures, and a decision-making framework.
Improve the Network
The publicly accessible internet is the default network used by cloud providers. Certain organisations, particularly large enterprises, may be concerned that the internet is too slow and insecure to meet their business objectives.
Certain third-party cloud providers are aware that connecting to the internet may not be the best option. AWS is one such example. Through corporate offices, it provides a dedicated internet connection for its cloud infrastructure. Azure provides the ExpressRoute service, which connects your local network to Azure without using the internet.
Assume that a dedicated network connection is not required. In that case, it's a good idea to seek a higher-quality, faster service from your Internet Service Provider (ISP), because moving to cloud services requires users to switch from accessing applications to accessing data.
Early Staff Training
Because many businesses cite a lack of cloud experience or cloud-specific skills as a barrier to cloud application migration, it is prudent to educate your staff on the cloud platform you select as soon as possible. Because of the amount of abstraction provided by cloud systems and the distinctly different structure of cloud-based public systems, it is recommended that a series of training sessions be organised to bring employees from various teams up to speed on cloud concepts.
Staff can adapt to new working methods more quickly if they are educated earlier and introduced to new training methods.
Manage Software Licensing Correctly
It is critical to manage software licencing correctly in cloud computing. one of the most significant businesses are concerned about whether their current on-premise software licences can be extended to the cloud. Certain software providers offer a Bring Your Own Software and License (BYOSL) programme that allows businesses to move their software to the cloud. Other vendors charge based on the number of concurrent users.
An effective approach is to record every enterprise application and examine their cloud computing licencing policies. If the rules are unclear, consult with the vendor to see if the licences you purchased can be upgraded to allow the application to be used in the cloud. Software Asset Management (SAM) tools can help reduce the risks, costs, and complexities associated with the extension.
Wherever Possible, Automate
Service Any cloud data migration strategy should avoid interruptions or downtime. To reduce disruption and increase migration effectiveness, it is best to automate repetitive patterns whenever possible. Automation expedites the moving process while lowering risk and cost.
Some tools facilitate the automatic transfer of virtual machines and data. They can also be useful when migrating an on-premise model's database to a cloud-based model. Automation and the phased cloud migration approach can complement each other as you discover repeated patterns over time that can be automated in subsequent migration phases.
Track Cloud Usage
It is critical to monitor the use of cloud services from the start. A A centralised dashboard that can detect running instances across multiple cloud services will help you with this.
It is critical to monitor security and compliance. You'll be collecting data from systems, apps, databases, and network points to ensure that information security requirements are met.
Support for Service Providers
When you've finished your research, you should have considered, or at the very least should have considered, the amount of assistance you'll receive. A capable support team will be an invaluable ally during any cloud migration project.
To ensure that your migration is successful, test it
Testing should be carried out throughout the migration process to identify and resolve any issues. Clients can experiment with various scenarios and assess the impact on application dependencies and overall performance.
Moving your data centre is equivalent to starting over. The space is clean, well-organized, and set up exactly how you want it on the first day. However, if you do not perform regular maintenance, it may become cluttered and damaged.
It would be beneficial if you considered implementing a comprehensive maintenance plan to ensure that your environment continues to function smoothly over time. Examine the procedures you've put in place for each stage of the migration process to ensure that best practises are followed and your IT infrastructure remains stable in the long run. Don't let the last few months' worth of discoveries and cleanup go unnoticed.