Reverse Cloud Migration: What It Is and How To Leverage It

Migrating to the cloud is a top focus for businesses around the globe, but what happens if you need to move back to ...

Migrating to the cloud is a top focus for businesses around the globe, but what happens if you need to move back to on-premises systems? This process is known as reverse cloud migration. It might seem counterproductive, but there are many reasons a business might need to turn to on-site options. For example, it could be a temporary solution for some companies, while others might use it as part of a hybrid cloud storage framework.

reverse cloud-2

What Is a Reverse Cloud Migration?

Reverse migration is also known as cloud repatriation. It involves moving data, applications, or other business elements from a cloud environment. You then transfer it to a local data center or on-premises infrastructure.

It's not about downgrading or turning your back on your digital transformation strategy. Sometimes moving off the cloud just fits your unique needs better. Think of it as choosing the best home for your digital resources, while recognizing that your definition of "best" can change as conditions change.

What Are the Types of Reverse Cloud Migration?

Cloud repatriation can take several forms based on how much data you move back to your infrastructure. Are you completely reverting to your pre-cloud stage or just moving a portion of the data? Here are different solutions to consider.

Full Reverse Cloud Migration

This is the most complete form of cloud repatriation. You would move all business data and applications from a cloud provider back to on-premises infrastructure. This type of move tends to take a long time and results from drastic data management changes.

Partial Reverse Cloud Migration

Partial reverse migration is a more focused approach. You select specific applications or data types to transfer to your local infrastructure. This is an excellent way to provide better security for specific applications while maintaining other systems with cloud storage.

Hybrid Reverse Cloud Migration

Using a hybrid approach can create the most flexibility. It combines on-premises solutions and cloud-based resources to achieve optimal performance for specific apps or processes.

What Are Common Reasons for Cloud Repatriation?

Digital transformation is a big undertaking. Why would companies revert back to on-site data centers? There are a few reasons this could happen.


Companies must comply with regulations affecting their industry or the data they process. Sometimes the best way to do this is to keep certain types of data on-premise. When companies use private data centers or servers, they have more control over security and privacy.

Cost Considerations 

Moving to cloud storage isn't always significantly cheaper than on-premises solutions. Forbes notes that cloud costs are no longer dropping at previous rates of decline. The addition of new public cloud features contributes to this. Depending on your unique needs, there could be instances where a local data center is a more affordable option.

Technical Limitations 

Sometimes cloud providers don't have all the technical tools your business needs. For example, you might need to run an app that requires faster processing than you can get in a cloud environment. Bringing those apps back on-premises could be the most logical solution in these situations.

What Are the Challenges Affecting Reverse Cloud Migration?

Organizations face the most significant risk during times of transformation. People take on new roles, old roles change, and workers learn as they go. All of these factors and more can create some challenges.

Security Risks

During migration, some servers might not have the correct configurations. Hackers could hijack sessions. New networks could be penetrated. There are so many moving parts to manage that just one misplaced cog in the wheel could create a vulnerability for clever and opportunistic hackers to exploit.

Data Loss 

Data is always at risk when you move it around. It could be corrupted or lost due to a misconfiguration of devices or applications during the transfer process. Ensure all your personnel receive adequate training and that your systems have enough redundancies as insurance against data loss.

Business Disruption 

Change is always disruptive. Even if you plan carefully, there could still be unforeseen consequences of a reverse migration. Disruption affects workers, which, in turn, affects customers and business productivity.

How Can Companies Prepare for a Successful Reverse Cloud Migration?

Your exit strategy from the cloud is just as important as the strategy that fueled your first migration. Here are a few things you should include in your new plan.

Catalog Your Data

You can only move data safely once you know what's in the cloud. Make a master list of all digital assets, and then prioritize them. Your most sensitive or mission-critical applications should be at the top of the list for repatriation. You could also move smaller data sets first to test them before moving bigger loads.

Check Your SLAs

SLAs provide the framework for your relationship with your cloud service provider. Read through them to understand what you need to do to complete a successful reverse migration. Some vendors could charge fees for canceling services early. This is an example of a vendor lock-in strategy.

Reassess Security

Your on-premises infrastructure likely has more security capabilities than your cloud provider. Reassess your security policies and procedures once the repatriation is complete. Update your backup practices and test your redundancies.

Move at Your Own Pace 

You don't have to move all your data back in one go. Prioritize, plan, test, and then move your data over multiple stages. That way, you minimize the risk of any disruption or data loss and give everyone time to adjust to the changes.

Plan for Potential Disruptions

You can minimize the risk by outlining a clear structure for how and when changes will occur. Give everyone a timeline so they know what to expect, and establish roles for who handles each stage of the process.

Why Should You Hire Professionals for Your Reverse Cloud Migration?

Reverse cloud migration can be daunting, and a lot can go wrong. Working with professionals reduces the risks and increases your chances of success.

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.

If you would like to learn more about how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration project, visit our website, or contact us.

Similar posts