7 Key Know-Hows of Cloud Migration

Cloud migration involves moving business assets like data and applications to the cloud or moving these assets from one cloud computing environment to another. Organizations might use many types of cloud migration depending on their business needs, from uploading assets to a shared cloud location, moving elements to a different cloud provider or removing assets from the cloud to an on-site location. Deciding whether to move to the cloud and determining which assets to migrate can be complex, so we’ve developed this guide to help your cloud migration succeed.

What Is Cloud Migration?

Predictions-for-2022 cloud infrastructure Cloud migration is the process businesses use to move their assets and elements like data and applications to the cloud, between cloud providers or from the cloud to an on-site data center. Understanding these different cloud migration types can help you decide which process is right for your situation. These are the three most common types of cloud migration you might use:

  1. On-site to cloud migration: This type of cloud migration happens when a business wants to take information, data and assets from a data center at their place of business and move it to the cloud. You can do this online using secure wireless or wired connections or offline by shipping physical storage devices containing the material you want to move to the cloud.
  2. Cloud-to-cloud migration: A business might decide to move its assets from one cloud environment to another. This type of cloud-to-cloud migration usually requires that you establish an intentional strategy to ensure your assets transfer correctly. Cost and legal implications are important elements of this type of cloud migration as well.
  3. Cloud to on-site migration: Organizations might also move their assets from a cloud environment to an on-site data center. Like on-site to cloud migration, this can be done virtually using a wired or wireless connection or with physical data storage devices.

Cloud Migration Benefits

Some benefits of cloud migration include:

  • Cost: Some cloud services may suit your business’ budget better than an on-site data center, depending on your specific needs.
  • Security: Cloud migration might enhance security for your organizational assets compared to an on-site storage facility. Certain cloud environments might be more secure than others as well.
  • Performance: Hosting your assets in a cloud environment might improve performance if you’re experiencing challenges with your on-site data center. Compare performance outcomes between cloud services as well.

Challenges of Cloud Migration

Hosting your company’s assets on the cloud may come with challenges as well, including:

  • Cost: Some assets, especially applications you use often for important business processes, may be more cost-effective to host on-site.
  • Security: Because the cloud environment is often shared, assets may be less secure in some situations than they would be on site.
  • Performance: Some applications may perform more slowly from a cloud environment than locally, which may be an important consideration for business-critical activities.

7 Key Know-Hows of Cloud Migration

1. Know your reasons for migrating to the cloud

Before you migrate your data and apps to the cloud, it’s helpful to consider your reasons and keep them in mind when deciding how to proceed. These are some common reasons companies migrate their assets to a cloud service:

  • Eliminate uptime maintenance for your IT team
  • Clear local space for applications that require higher security and control
  • Occasionally lower costs
  • Workload flexibility
  • Potential increased scalability

2. Leverage a strategic plan

Whether you are migrating your assets to the cloud from your data center, between cloud service providers or back to your facility from a cloud environment, it’s important to have a plan to keep your assets secure each step of the way. Develop a strategy that addresses the steps needed to migrate your assets and other considerations like personnel needs and resources. Decide which data and applications to migrate, which method to use and who will be responsible for which tasks during and after your cloud migration.

3. Consider security

Security is a major consideration in any cloud migration process. Take measures to plan for and safeguard your assets. Protect your data using image backups and customized scripts, for example. Leverage additional cloud security tools if necessary, and be sure to incorporate these tools into the budget for your cloud migration.

4. Pay attention to costs

Your budget may be a key consideration in your cloud migration strategy. Think about costs before and during the cloud migration process to ensure you are staying within your planned resource constraints. Consider some of these factors when evaluating your budget and the cost of your cloud migration:

  • Cloud provider costs
  • Staffing and personnel changes
  • Hardware costs
  • Additional training
  • Application refactoring

5. Develop an exit strategy

Go into the cloud migration process with an idea of how you would migrate back out of the cloud if necessary. Try to think preemptively about factors such as potential on-site data storage, transition logistics and business considerations. You may return your data and applications to their original on-site location or you may need a new physical or virtual data center location. Consider the legality of exiting the cloud as well, especially if you are in the middle of a contract with your cloud service provider.

6. Leverage migration tools and services

Stay apprised of any need for additional cloud migration tools and services throughout your cloud migration process, from planning to implementation. You might use a cloud migration calculator, for example, to plan costs and resources you’ll need. Consider ways to automate your workflow if necessary.

7. Anticipate potential migration challenges

It’s possible that your business applications might not actually function as planned when you migrate to the cloud. Plan for this possibility and consider the reasons this might occur. Security and compliance concerns can also impact the efficacy of your cloud migration. You might also discover that the cloud environment is costlier than expected. That’s why planning and developing a contingency plan can help you mitigate any potential problems when migrating to the cloud.