Nowadays, every business relies on the cloud to host and manage its services. It can be challenging to move everything from your legacy infrastructure to the cloud at the same time, but various tools and platforms are now available to make this possible. However, you must prepare a strategy beforehand that will help you to execute seamless migration. The purpose of this article is to discuss cloud migration, what it is, why it is important, the benefits, challenges faced, and migration strategies for successfully migrating to the cloud.
What is Cloud Migration?
Generally, cloud migration uses public cloud solutions for replacing the existing on-premises IT resources with modern technology. However, cloud migration starts with a compatible replacement of the existing solutions but some of the companies look for a more sublime approach for the cloud migration like considering the on-premises fixed cost, changed security management, and others.
Some companies do not want to move all their workload to the cloud and some look for complete migration depending on their requirement. But for some companies the engagement process before the cloud migration seems to be challenging and comes with a few set of questions that everyone should consider once before they move to the Cloud.
- What type of cloud model will you choose (public, private)?
- What type of workload will be prioritized (either low-risk dev or new applications)?
- What strategy do you choose for migrating your workload to the cloud for leveraging most of the cloud-native architecture?
- What are the challenges that may have to face while migration?
- What is the entire process behind the migration and how are you going to implement it?
Consider these factors before you move to a cloud platform because you might find that your infrastructure doesn’t match the cloud infrastructure.
What are the Main Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud?
Below are the benefits that any organization can leverage with cloud migration. These are the major points that are enough to compel any business to move all their data along with applications to the cloud.
Every business tends to grow in the future and to manage those growing workloads we can easily rely on cloud computing. Using the traditional infrastructure, businesses have to spend much on the data centers and hardware for storing the growing data that would incur costs to manage and buy them. But you do not have to worry about this once you move to the cloud. It will give you room to grow your business as per the changing requirements.
Most of the cloud providers take the complete responsibility of upgrading and maintaining your system thus leading to low cost working on the cloud. In a traditional environment, you have to engage a specific IT team that will handle your data, security, and network related configurations. Thus you can also save on the IT team and infrastructure along with the space they require. This will help the cloud computing platform to engage the resources to the right place like developing new technology.
It is obvious that if you migrate to the cloud, you will experience improved performance and a better user experience. It allows your applications and hosted websites to scale accordingly providing high throughput. It allows the applications to be run in any geographical region making them highly available to a wider audience.
4. Agility and Flexibility
If your applications are running on the cloud platform, then deploying, processing, testing, and developing your applications on the cloud platform will be very efficient since the cloud service provides you with great agility and responds faster when changes are made to the system. It is easy to use various tools with just a single click. Additionally, it provides powerful tools for both small and large businesses.
It makes the system flexible, as it allows companies to set up offices in various locations without setting up individual infrastructure and they can access cloud services from anywhere increasing the flexibility.
5. Security and compliance
There are various large companies that are also relying on cloud technology for keeping their data. It is important that the security and the integrity of the data is being maintained. As the cloud is easily accessible to all, thus having the security measures in place can keep your data safe with cloud infrastructure. You can avail any type of cloud model depending on the type of companies you own and what type of data you want to be secured. The cloud places various authentication and authorization processes to protect the data. In addition, they keep track of what types of data can be accessed via the internet and follow some compliance guidelines.
6. Support and Maintenance
In the case of the traditional infrastructure, you have to maintain complete hardware and software but with the cloud platform, you do not have to worry about having a specific IT team handling such infrastructure. Your cloud provider will have to maintain and manage the hardware and software on your behalf.
What are Common Cloud Migration Challenges?
Apart from the benefits that you can leverage by migrating your business to the cloud platform, you may come across some challenges while doing so. Here, we have mentioned some of the challenges that you may face.
Though cloud is easier to manage but can get complex sometimes due to the involvement of other cloud facilities like hybrid cloud and various applications running on it. As a result, you must be capable of handling such infrastructure.
Before migrating your applications to the cloud, make sure that there are no such dependencies that will halt the migration process or crash your server once you start running your application on the cloud. Make sure that you use the right cloud provider discovery tool for getting all the applications along with dependencies insight.
3. Legacy Applications
Some applications are not meant to be run on the cloud as they are tightly bound to the underlying infrastructure. Thus making it important that you think before migrating your legacy applications to the Cloud. If you want to reboot the application later to be compatible with the cloud then it is fine to start migrating.
4. Lack of Strategy
Some companies start migrating to the cloud without having any strategy in place and do not give enough time to make the right decisions. For implementing the cloud infrastructure successfully, you need to do rigorous end-to-end planning as there will be different sets of requirements for each application and dataset. Also, migrating to the cloud may require a different approach. So make sure that you are clear with all the prerequisites.
5. Cost Management
While migrating, many companies do not focus on KPIs for understanding what will be your expenditure after migration. This will provide you insight if the migration is successful from the monetary point of view. As we know, clouds are dynamic and have a tendency to expand. Also the cost will increase if you are exhausting more resources for your business.
6. Vendor Lock-In
Once you move to the cloud, you will come across the term vendor lock-in and its situation. You will get a ton of services by cloud providers but some of them are not able to extend to other cloud platforms. It might be a difficult and lengthy process of migrating workload from one cloud to another. But in some cases, once you opt for one cloud provider, you won’t be able to migrate to another provider even if the current provider is not meeting your requirements.
However, the migration process usually comes with security risks. Transferring a large set of data, which may be crucial , and managing proper access controls for accessing the applications across different environments, creates significant exposure.
Cloud Migration Strategies
Here, we have mentioned five different techniques of cloud migration. If you are recently looking to migrate your business to the cloud, then you must be aware of the following strategies and understand which strategy you can use to migrate your workload.
- Rehost. Or can be specified as the Rehosting, or ‘lift and shift,’ comes with the involvement of the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). In such a case, you have to seamlessly redeploy your existing infrastructure consisting of your data and applications on the preferred cloud server. This is an easier way for businesses that are new to the cloud computing concept. Also, you can use this strategy where you are not going to change the code and want your applications to be migrated to the cloud without any impact.
- Refactor. Or can be specified as Refactoring, or ‘lift, tinker, and shift,’. You can leverage this strategy if you want to tweak and optimize your applications once they migrate to the cloud. You can easily employ a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model for efficient working. As a result, the core architecture of the applications will remain intact, but you will need to make some adjustments to leverage cloud-based tools.
- Revise. You can create the revised builds based upon the previous strategies, but it will require more significant changes that will include the change to the architecture and code of the systems that are being moved to the Cloud. In such a way the applications will leverage the complete benefits of the available services, along with the major code changes. For implementing such a strategy, you need foreplanning and advanced knowledge.
- Rebuild. Taking the Revise approach would mean discarding the existing code base and replacing it with a new one. The process is long and is only preferred when an organization’s requirements cannot be met by existing platforms.
- Replace. If you do not want to rebuild then you can go for an alternate approach called replace. The only difference here is that the company does not have to redevelop its own native application and system from scratch. In this, you need to migrate to a third-party, prebuilt application provided by the vendor. You only have to migrate the data else everything about the system is new.
Migrating to cloud platforms is nothing new and most companies are leveraging its benefits. If you are left behind then nothing to worry about, you can start now and start planning. Make your strategy and make sure to implement it well for a successful migration to Cloud. Migration offers many benefits, such as using various cloud tools that make working easier. With the help of this article, you will understand what migration is and why it’s important. As your business grows, you’ll need more room to scale your resources. You should think about cloud migration even if you’re a small business.