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What is Cloud Migration?
In this blog we’ll cover everything you and your organization needs to know about cloud migration. Whether you’ve been ...
In this blog we’ll cover everything you and your organization needs to know about cloud migration. Whether you’ve been through a cloud migration before, or it’s the first time, read on to get more insight on what it means, some of the benefits and the types of cloud migration.
What Does Cloud Migration Mean?
Cloud migration is the process of relocating an organization’s on-premise data, applications, and workloads to a cloud-based infrastructure. Organizations may find many unique benefits to migrating their data to the cloud. Migrating to the cloud often improves operational performance and agility, workload scalability, and security. Taking advantage of Cloud infrastructure also provides increased availability for the end user which can help optimize and streamline business workloads.
Cloud migration strategies may involve one or more targets. Some clouds are public, whereby services are delivered over the public internet, and some clouds are private, consisting of secure cloud infrastructure. This data may be restricted to only a specific component of the organization. Businesses commonly use several clouds, both public and private. This allows for secure administration of sensitive data. There will need to be different cloud migration processes for each of these.
What Are The Overall Benefits of Cloud Migration?
Listed below are a few of the ways your organization can benefit from a cloud migration:
- On Demand Growth: Cloud computing can scale to support larger workloads and more users, much more easily than on-premises infrastructure. The cloud removes the physical constraints to scalability and reduces the financial limitations of adding servers and the supporting infrastructure to a data center. So a reason for cloud migration is to allow cloud computing resources to grow or decrease on demand.
- A better payment method: The cloud lets you pay for only the capacity you use instead of purchasing on-premise resources to anticipate growth you may or may not need. With a cloud-based infrastructure, you pay only for resources you need today and scale on demand when you need to. Often payment plans are subscription based. Cloud providers take over maintenance and upgrades. Companies migrating to the cloud can spend considerably less on IT operations. Therefore, cloud migration to one of these cloud infrastructures frees up time and resources.
- Less Risk: Clouds in general are secure environments that operate within applicable industry standards and government regulations. They are protected through security platforms, best practices, and policies that cloud providers update as needed on a regular basis and at scale. Having data stored in the cloud also removes the need for an on-premise data center. Migrating to the cloud can reduce risk to natural disasters and physical loss of on-premise infrastructure.
- Future Proof: Placing applications in the cloud allows your enterprise to adopt new technologies quicker. This also allows your organization to bring affordable, just-in-time technology to your cloud infrastructure much quicker than with previous on-premise solutions. Having your applications migrated to the cloud helps to bring ideas to market in less time.
What Are The Cloud Migration Types?
In 2011, Gartner identified five cloud migration techniques, known as the “5 Rs”. Companies looking to move to the cloud should consider which cloud migration strategy best answers their needs. Here is a quick overview of common cloud migration techniques as outlined by Gartner:
- Rehost: Rehosting, or ‘lift and shift,’ is a cloud migration process that involves using infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). You would redeploy your existing data and applications on the cloud server. This is easy to do and is thus suited for organizations less familiar with cloud environments. It is also a popular method for data where it is difficult to modify the code, and you want to migrate your applications intact. Once applications are up and running within the cloud, it is often easier to optimize them with cloud-native capabilities.
- Refactor: Refactoring, or ‘lift, tinker, and shift,’ is a cloud migration process when you tweak and optimize your applications for the cloud. Here you might make a few cloud optimizations to achieve some tangible benefit, but you aren’t otherwise changing the core architecture of the application. In this case, a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model can be employed. The core architecture of the applications remains intact, but adjustments are made to enable the better use of cloud-based tools.
- Refactoring / Re-architecting: This cloud migration technique builds upon the previous strategies, requiring more significant changes to the architecture and code of the systems being moved to the cloud. This is done to enable applications to take full advantage of the services available in the cloud, which may require introducing major code changes. This strategy requires foreplanning and advanced knowledge in the legacy application.
- Rebuild: Rebuilding takes the previous cloud migration approach even further by discarding the existing code base and replacing it with a new one. This process takes a lot of time and is only considered when companies decide that their existing solutions don’t meet current business needs. Perhaps the legacy application is no longer needed and can be turned off all together.
- Replace: Replacing is another solution to the cloud migration challenge. The difference here is that the company doesn’t redevelop its own native application from scratch. This would involve migrating to a new third-party. Perhaps procuring a prebuilt application provided by the cloud service vendor. The only thing that you migrate from your existing application is the data. All other components would be new cloud-based services.
How Do I Move To The Cloud?
Migrating data and applications to the cloud requires a set of tools that help avoid common missteps. Many legacy applications in an organization’s environment are not optimized for the cloud. They must be prepared for the transition with tools designed specifically for cloud migration. Currently, you can choose from a multitude of tools in the market, giving you plenty of choices to handle specific aspects of migration. Cloudficient has a suite of products to assist with your data migration needs.
Cloud migration tools are crucial because they simplify, accelerate, and often automate the migration process with minimal interruption to your day-to-day operations. Automated tools are designed to remove the complications of migration. With the right guidance and configuration, they often add speed to the overall cloud migration process.
When investing in cloud migration tools, make sure to select ones which are compatible with your operating systems and platforms. It is also important to look for tools that provide monitoring, transaction tracking, and reporting. This will enable your project sponsors to capture critical data metrics and have insight on the overall data migration process. In fact, at Cloudficient we always recommend that you do a proof of concept so that you’re trying a solution in your environment, with your users and your data.
What Are Cloud Migration Services?
Businesses preparing for a cloud migration have access to plenty of vendor services that offer a combination of tools, expertise, and varying levels of automation to streamline the cloud migration process. Invest in automated services that provide reporting and migration tracking which allow project sponsors to monitor progress and adjust as needed.
Secure cloud migration services that have been tested and employ best practices can accelerate the process, minimize risks associated with cloud migration, and help prevent downtime. This is another reason why Cloudficient insists on doing a proof of concept. Always validate that the solution fits your business needs and performs within your environment. Migration services can provide organizations the necessary tooling, automation, and expertise to successfully execute a secure migration to the cloud. Depending on an organization’s requirements, services can be set to move entire workloads at one time or in batches.
Cloudficient has proven managed cloud migration services which work. Leveraging the only next generation, pure cloud migration technology, Cloudficient helps our clients with a tailored approach that ensures successful business outcomes.
- Kickoff: Our first step is to conduct a series of workshops to analyze and review the project scope, goals, and desired business processes. We then map that analysis and design a tailored, automated solution, that aligns to the project goals.
- Deploy & Test: We will then deploy the cloud tenant and install the necessary on-premise components. End to End tests will be performed to ensure the correct permissions, connectivity, and cloud migration workflow steps.
- Pilot & Optimize: From there, we test the solution with a pilot group to ensure all steps are completed for each user in the correct sequence. The pilot stage findings are then reviewed, and the configuration optimized for maximum throughput.
- Ramp Up & Execution: Moving into a production state, Cloudficient migration technology is continuously loaded with more and more users to maximize the overall performance. Cloudficient migration technology orchestrates and automates the entire workflow as a business process, end to end. This saves time and resources, putting the client’s business needs at the forefront and ensuring return on investment.
- Wrap Up: After the cloud migration is finished, we will perform a final review to ensure we have met the project goals. The last step is to decommission the cloud tenant and assist in removing any legacy on-premise components.
A successful cloud migration requires the planning and execution of a detailed strategy that sets migration goals, creates a timeline, identifies resources, anticipates challenges, and defines the project’s success. Cloudficient has a proven history in digital transformation. It is often necessary to consult an expert to help navigate the highs and lows of a data migration. There are many moving parts to a data migration. Invest in the correct tools and services to minimize end user impact and ensure a successful migration.
Migration plans take into account which data to move to the cloud, which needs to stay on-premise, and which new capabilities and applications to add once migrated. Your cloud migration strategy should cover specific use cases for the data which you have in scope. This may include mission-critical enterprise applications, data backup and recovery, productivity and collaboration applications, or software development projects. Defining specific use cases upfront enables you to create a solid strategy and sets the foundation for a properly executed migration process. A migration to the cloud may have many moving parts and your strategy should do its best to identify a workflow for these areas.
Cloud migration strategies typically cover risk assessments, resource allocation, and security, as well as the type of cloud—public or private—that will host each of the workloads being relocated. Migration strategies should outline the overall administration of the data transformation in a consistent and simplified manner. Automate and report where available.
Elements of the security plan should include whether to encrypt all or certain types of data, compliance with regulations pertaining to data in motion and at rest, and replication requirements.
Make sure your cloud migration strategy also includes a communication component. Identify when and how communications should be sent. This will help with the end user experience and minimize impact to the business. The cloud migration plan should outline the success criteria and have a path to communicate milestones to project sponsors.
Once the migration strategy has been developed and approved, it’s time to proceed to the planning stages of migration. A cloud migration plan must take into account all the data to be transferred to the cloud and the sequence for migrating them. Cloudficient migration tools are built with a Workflow Orchestration engine which can help to automate the process. Our suite of workflow steps tailors the migration process to ensure the data is processed per the requirements of the project. We have over a hundred automation steps which can be enabled as needed. The migration plan should include a small pilot to start a migration. This will allow for testing of the process and reviewing the outcome. This makes it possible to adjust if deemed necessary.
Cloud migration plans cover roadmaps, scheduling, project metrics, migration tools, and services. They include a communication plan for organization leaders, implementers, cloud vendors, and end users impacted by the change.
Here are a few key details of a cloud migration plan. A detailed migration strategy should include the following elements:
- Identification of the Data being migrated
- Migration priorities and sequence
- Definition of processes, resources, and roles
- Performance Metrics
- Project Sponsor/End-User communication
A good cloud migration strategy requires the use of cloud migration tools. The correct tools and expertise can make it easier to automate and streamline moving data from legacy on-prem resources to cloud infrastructure.
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.