Cloud migration is the process of moving data, applications and other business data elements into a cloud-computing environment. There are various types of cloud migration processes.
Data can be migrated from an on-premises data center to a public cloud or from one cloud platform or provider to another. The latter is known as cloud-to-cloud migration model.
There is a third process called reverse cloud migration or declouding, where data is moved off of a cloud to any other form of local storage.
Benefits of cloud migration
Cloud migration aims at hosting applications or data in the most effective and efficient IT environment. Various factors are associated to it such as performance, security, costs, etc.
Many companies undertake migration of applications and data from their on-premises data center to a public cloud infrastructure, in order to benefit from the advantages of such cloud environments like, greater flexibility, self-service provisioning, pay-per-use models etc.
Cloud Migration and Business Strategies
Every business needs to have a plan or strategy for their cloud migration processes before they execute the task. These strategies need to be flexible in order to allow for changes as the migration process advances.
Also, these plans must dictate how the business wishes to shift and in what order their applications are to be moved or migrated. Some of the most important aspects of a cloud migration strategy has been discussed below.
The term re-hosting refers to the popular lift-and-shift approach. Here the apps are re-deployed in the cloud after being moved there and also the necessary changes to the app host’s configuration are done.
This is the easiest and at the same time fastest method of cloud migration processes. The advantages of IaaS, namely, its scalability and flexibility are not available in such cases.
There are various tools that can help organisations in undertaking such a task. Whatever the process of migration may be, once the apps are finally up and running in a cloud, it becomes much easier for organisations to re-architect and optimize those apps. Large-scale migrations are the best option for re-hosting strategy.
To re-platform means to run applications on the cloud infrastructure itself. In this case, some optimization of the cloud services is required but major investment is not needed for that matter, as the application’s core structure remains almost same.
Developers can use familiar resources in such cases, like development frameworks, legacy programming languages and caches of a company’s codes.
The main disadvantage of this strategy is the still-evolving PaaS market; it still cannot furnish developers with some capabilities that existing platforms can offer.
Another strategy for app migration into cloud is re-architecting or refactoring. In essence, this means to re-image how the app was structured and developed in the first place.
Sometimes refactoring can help businesses to add new features for better performance, which would otherwise have been impossible. However, like all other strategies this one also has a weakness; the loss of legacy codes and developmental frameworks.
On the other hand, this strategy gives you the top-notch developer tools. Customization data models and app templates are available as productivity tools from the PaaS providers. However, with PaaS, clients tend to rely more on the providers and as such, any fallout over pricing and any other trivial matters can disrupt business.
This strategy aims at giving up any legacy app and then developing commercially marketed Software as a Service or SaaS, platforms. Here, developer teams are not needed as the needs for business changes frequently.
Here, basically the business is shifted into SaaS platforms like, Drupal and others. Vendor lock-ins, interoperability problems and inconsistent naming conventions are some of the shortcomings of this strategy.
The first step in any cloud migration strategy is to analyse the whole IT portfolio. This includes performing application measuring in order to find out how much of the IT resources are being used.
More often than not, it is seen here that about 20% of the resources remain unused. As such, this unused extra luggage needs to be retired in order to positively affect the business.
It helps in costs savings and at the same time allows IT resources to be used elsewhere. Simultaneously it also drops out the security concerns related to these outdated applications.
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From time to time, you need to revisit your resources and sort out the apps that are most essential for your business and this is what is meant by revisiting.
In such cases, you migrate only those apps that are necessary for your business. However, as the magnitude of the portfolio changes from on-site to cloud, you ca gradually cease this strategy.
These above six are some of the key cloud migration strategies that can make your application migration journey smoother and hassle-free.
Cloud Migration Tools and Services
There are various tools and services available in the market that helps businesses to successfully plan and execute a cloud migration process.
Some of the Public Cloud providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google. These providers support migration for both private/dedicated networks for data transfers and offline migrations.
Public cloud providers also offer tools to their clients so that they can plan and execute cloud migration easily. These tools can collect information about a businesses on-premises environment, such as system dependencies, so that an informed migration plan is created and executed.
Some public cloud providers offer migration facilities like, AWS Migration Hub, Azure Migrate, Google Cloud Data Transfer Service, AWS Snowball, Azure Import/Export, and Google Transfer Appliance
Third-party vendors are also available who offers cloud migration services and tools, such as CloudVelox, Racemi and RiverMeadow.
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Thus, we have seen that cloud migration is very important for continued and secure business. There are various providers of cloud migration services. Also we have seen that there are some key strategies to follow in order to successfully plan and execute a cloud migration process.