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Hybrid Cloud Migration: Benefits and Best Practices
There's a lot of talk about moving to the cloud, but not every organization thrives in a "pure" cloud environment. For ...
There's a lot of talk about moving to the cloud, but not every organization thrives in a "pure" cloud environment. For regulatory reasons and personal preferences, some companies opt to leave some data assets onsite, requiring a hybrid cloud migration. Sometimes this involves repatriating data already migrated to cloud services, which is also known as reverse cloud migration.
TechRepublic estimates that 82% of IT leaders choose hybrid cloud solutions for their organizations. Is it the right approach for your business? Review the benefits and best practices before you decide.
Definition of Hybrid Cloud Migration
Let’s start with the hybrid cloud definition. A hybrid cloud is a mix-and-match of private cloud on-premises and third-party, public cloud services. It also includes the orchestration between these platforms.
Hybrid cloud migration is the process that creates this mixed data architecture. A hybrid approach allows businesses to move their data and applications between private and public clouds based on their needs. Doing so offers greater flexibility and more deployment options than choosing a single solution.
What is a hybrid cloud example? Say a company needs to process large amounts of data during peak hours. The private cloud can be used for baseline operations, but when the load increases, the company can move its applications to the public cloud and quickly scale up its resources.
Another common question is the hybrid multicloud difference. While a hybrid cloud refers to a mix of cloud infrastructure located on-premise and in the cloud, multicloud solutions combine two or more public clouds from different cloud service providers.
Types of Hybrid Cloud Migration
Hybrid cloud meaning is a broad umbrella that covers three migration strategies. Review your business and IT goals carefully and choose the one that best suits your needs.
Lift and Shift
Lift and shift is the most straightforward approach to hybrid cloud migration. It involves the transfer of data assets from a private data center to a cloud environment without making changes to the assets. This strategy is mostly suitable for applications with a straightforward design. In such cases, reconfiguration for the cloud would only yield minor benefits.
Think of it like moving your office items from one floor in a corporate building to another. You pick up everything you have (your applications and data) and place it in your new offices (the cloud environment) just as it was. While this approach is fast and requires less upfront planning, it may not fully exploit all available features of the cloud.
Replatforming is the process of taking existing applications and data assets, making some adjustments, and then deploying them. This approach makes it possible to optimize your hybrid implementation by taking advantage of features such as serverless computing or software-as-a-service. It requires more effort than lift and shift but delivers better results.
In the office analogy, replatforming would be like moving everything to the new office but making a few modifications to the equipment. For example, the new space can fit a larger printer, so you upgrade to a new one with wireless printing features. The new breakroom can also fit a vending machine and a fancier coffeemaker. Everything else remains the same.
Containerization is another approach to hybrid cloud migration. It involves running applications, databases, and other services in containers. These are isolated environments that can run on different platforms. This strategy enables organizations to develop resilient and scalable architectures while maintaining flexibility over the deployment process.
In our office example, containerization would be like moving the items to the new space but storing them in separate areas. Every department might operate in a different area and work in isolation. You can move the teams around, switch positions, or store them away for later without taking everything out and reassembling them.
Common Reasons for Hybrid Cloud Migration
Hybrid cloud deployment offers organizations various benefits that make the effort of migration worthwhile.
Improved Flexibility and Agility
Hybrid solutions can move workloads and data securely between different cloud environments. These solutions can also facilitate agility by speeding up the ability to develop, test, and deploy new services much faster. Overall, companies can respond more quickly to changing market conditions or customer demands.
Businesses can minimize their IT spending by combining on-premises resources with public clouds. This also reduces the need for significant upfront investments in infrastructure, making it a more viable approach for small and medium-sized enterprises. Companies could also save on potential fines when they use private systems that provide more control over factors affecting compliance.
Businesses can enhance their cloud security by combining public and private solutions. Microsoft recommends this as a way to protect sensitive data and assets. Available tools include private networks, encryption, or authentication tools. Hybrid clouds also offer more control with on-premises environments. For example, an organization can implement greater lockdowns on its private network, making it more impenetrable by unauthorized sources.
Ease of Transition
There is no need for an all-or-nothing approach to cloud migration. Hybrid solutions provide an effective middle ground so that companies can move data in stages as requirements change or more resources become available. Organizations can leverage both infrastructures throughout the move, which reduces disruption. Training is part of the transition process and can be more effective when deployed in stages to match the cloud migration pattern.
Dynamic Scaling of IT Resources
Hybrid cloud migration allows for dynamic scaling of IT resources, crucial for companies with fluctuating demand. Businesses can seamlessly upscale their resources during heightened activity utilizing the public cloud. Conversely, when demand is lower, they can downscale and shift back to their private cloud or on-premises infrastructure, thereby optimizing costs. This elastic character of hybrid migration allows businesses to adapt swiftly to market changes and customer requirements.
Challenges in Hybrid Cloud Migration
When considering a hybrid cloud approach, organizations must also consider the potential challenges they might face during the process. Plan for these two caveats.
Integration challenges often arise during the migration process. Businesses must ensure their existing on-premises systems can effectively communicate with the new cloud-based infrastructure. This complexity stems from the fact that hybrid cloud environments are a blend of different technologies, each with its own specific requirements and standards.
Without proper integration, data silos can form, hindering the seamless flow of information across the organization. This diminishes the efficiency promised by hybrid cloud migration. Careful planning and the use of compatible technology are critical for successfully implementing a hybrid cloud strategy.
Data Management Challenges
Effective data management requires a comprehensive understanding of where and how data is stored, accessed, and transferred. This becomes increasingly complicated when data spreads across various on-premises and cloud storage facilities. Ensuring data integrity, availability, and security becomes a significant concern as the complexity of the data landscape increases.
Regulatory issues add another layer of complexity to data management. Businesses operating in highly regulated industries or processing sensitive data must comply with strict data protection laws, often dictating where data can be stored and transferred. Therefore, adopting a hybrid cloud strategy requires a robust data governance framework.
Work With Cloudficient for Your Hybrid Cloud Migration Goals
Our experienced cloud migration specialists can work closely with your team to evaluate your systems. We listen to your needs and assess your current system to determine an appropriate way forward. Contact us to get started with your hybrid cloud migration.
With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide affordable services that are scalable, fast and seamless.