Cloud Migration Explained – Introduction and Strategies

Rachel Grand
Cloud ComputingData Centers
25 Jul 2022
cloud migration

In the past, organizations stored all of their IT infrastructure, servers, software, and data on-premise. However, the usage of cloud technology has increased dramatically in recent years as companies worldwide have realized the benefits of migrating to the cloud.

Cloud computing technology enables businesses to run advanced applications using microservices, reduce costs by providing on-demand storage and allowing access to workplace systems and files remotely from anywhere in the world. Recently, many organizations are also using the cloud for data analytics.
As the trend of remote work is increasing, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more businesses are migrating to the cloud. As a result, cloud migration services are gaining popularity more than ever.

In this article, we’ll provide a thorough understanding of what cloud migration means. We’ll also discuss other important cloud migration solutions, such as cloud migration strategy consulting,, cloud migration tools, cloud migration architecture, cloud migration optimization, and more. This article is basically a practical guide to cloud migration.

What Is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration process overview Image source

Cloud migration overview:

Cloud migration means moving your on-premise IT infrastructure to a cloud computing environment. This includes application migration to the cloud, cloud data migration, and server and networking equipment migration. Companies can choose to move all of their infrastructure or only a part of it. Many companies also take on legacy migration to the cloud to transfer their data from a legacy system, which likely has outdated and inefficient technology, to a modern cloud system.

There is also cloud-to-cloud migration, which involves moving data and apps from one cloud platform to another. Reverse cloud migration is another type of cloud migration in which data and apps are moved from a cloud platform to an on-premise environment or a private cloud.
Using a cloud platform allows businesses to streamline their operations, reduce IT costs, scale up or down as needed, and enhance customer experience. Several cloud migration success stories, such as Spotify, DocuSign, and 90 Seconds, show how worthwhile updating legacy systems to use cloud technology can be.

While cloud migrations offer several benefits, the process also comes with its own challenges. Companies looking to migrate to the cloud should understand how cloud computing works and its benefits and risks. A proper cloud migration strategy is a must, so many companies opt for cloud migration consulting to guide them through the process.

Cloud Migration Benefits

There are a number of advantages of migrating to the cloud:

Cost Reduction

One of the biggest benefits of migrating to the cloud is that it reduces IT costs. On-premise systems involve several costs like purchasing and maintaining hardware and servers, maintaining IT staff, replacing outdated hardware, power consumption costs, etc.
However, with on-premise-to-cloud migration, companies don’t have to bear such costs. The cloud provider is responsible for system upgrades, server performance, etc. Additionally, cloud services use a pay-per-use model, which means you only have to pay for the services you use.
Migration to the cloud also allows you to focus on more critical tasks instead of worrying about maintaining the servers and systems.

Better Scalability

Scalable cloud computing services mean that organizations can quickly scale up or down as needed. For example, you can add more cloud storage as your business grows and produces more data. Similarly, organizations can also add cloud data analytics capacity, depending on their requirements. Thus, migrating to the cloud helps respond to customers’ demands in a timely manner.

Remote Access and Collaboration

On-prem to cloud migration allows your employees to access data, files, and workplace systems from anywhere. It also enables employees to share files with each other remotely and collaborate in real time.

Better Customer Experience

Today’s modern customers expect to be able to access services from anywhere at any time. With on-premise IT infrastructure, they can experience latency, especially if they are too far away from where your data resides.
Data center migration to the cloud allows customers worldwide to access your services without any latency and lag issues. For example, you can choose Ridge as a cloud service provider who can connect with data centers near your customer base anywhere in the world. When cloud data centers are close to the customers, it reduces network latency that occurs due to long connections.

If you want to learn the importance of data centers’ location in detail, check out our article about why location matters in cloud computing.

Challenges of Migrating to the Cloud

Potential challenges of cloud migration include:

No Proper Cloud Migration Plan

Successful cloud computing migration requires proper cloud migration planning. For example, sometimes, it’s better not to migrate certain applications to the cloud if the benefit won’t outweigh the difficult migration process.
Companies must have a clear cloud migration project plan to identify what are the benefits of migrating an application to the cloud and what risks are involved. For instance, applications like emails and Office Suite are easier to move to the cloud and don’t involve many risks. Similarly, organizations should have a good cloud data migration strategy for all applications and data to move to the cloud.

Large Database Migration to the Cloud

Data migration to the cloud can be complex, especially if it involves shifting large databases to the cloud. You may need to move your databases to a totally different platform to ensure it works seamlessly in the cloud. Transferring large databases over the internet can sometimes take too much time.
Cloud migration service providers offer cloud data migration tools, such as hardware appliances, to transfer your data physically to the device and then move it to the cloud data centers. When you’re choosing a cloud migration company, you should also consider whether it fits with your data integration practices.

Data Loss and Data Security

Many organizations feel that cloud migration security and data compliance are big issues with migration to the cloud. However, in reality, the cloud is usually more secure. Good cloud providers take robust security measures, such as protecting physical servers and adopting best cybersecurity practices to keep your data safe and secure.

Cloud Migration Strategies

An on-premise to cloud migration strategy refers to a clear plan that an organization uses to shift its on-premises IT infrastructure, data, and apps to the cloud.
The cloud migration framework that most companies use as a part of the cloud migration process includes six key cloud migration considerations and strategies. These are called the “6 Rs of cloud migration.” A cloud migration consultant can help you decide which strategy is the best for your organization.

The 6 Rs of cloud migration include:

Rehost

Cloud migration rehosting strategy

Image source

Rehosting involves shifting your servers and apps as-is to the cloud, without any significant architectural changes. This is also called “lift and shift.” This cloud migration methodology is quick and affordable, so companies that are moving to the cloud usually opt for this migration to cloud strategy.

Replatforming

In the replatforming strategy, the applications’ code is modified to optimize it for the new cloud environment. Thus, it requires IT staff with programming capabilities. This cloud migration system enhances service delivery without changing the app altogether.

Refactor

Refactoring involves redesigning your application by rewriting its code to make it compatible with the cloud computing environment and features. Using this strategy, you can transform your apps into cloud-native apps, while requiring time and personnel investment.

Replace

This cloud strategy involves adopting a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform. In the replacing strategy, an organization replaces its data and apps with ready-to-use cloud-based software that perform the same functions.

Retaining

Some apps are too complex to be moved to the cloud, and shifting them to the cloud involves high risks. Thus, sometimes it’s better to retain your on-premise deployments. Some apps can be retained partially on-premise, and partially on the cloud with a hybrid cloud. Cloud migration experts can help you identify such apps.

Retire

The final cloud migration strategy involves identifying services that need to be retired. In this strategy, an organization discards applications that are no longer needed. With the help of a cloud migration service, it’s easier to choose what to retire and what to migrate.

Cloud Migration Checklist

Migration in cloud computing involves several steps. Here are the key cloud migration steps:

  1. Cloud Migration Assessment

    Before you decide to move to the cloud, you need to assess your software to check its readiness for a cloud computing environment. For example, application assessment for cloud migration is important to see if it’s even possible to shift it to the cloud.

  2. Choose Your Cloud Strategy

    Once you’ve accessed your apps and systems, you need to decide which cloud migration approach is best for you. Making a clear plan is one of the cloud migration best practices, following key considerations such as:

    1. What benefits does cloud migration provide to the organization?
    2. How much cost does the migration involve?
    3. Do you only want to move a few applications or all of them? If you choose to retain some apps, how much will it cost?
    4. Which cloud migration tools do you need?
    5. Do you need a cloud transformation and migration consultant and cloud migration provider that can offer you cloud migration software and automated cloud migration tools?
    6. Doing research is crucial for deciding which cloud strategy is best for your company.
  3. Choose a Cloud Computing Environment that Fits Your Business Needs

    Organizations have different cloud migration options, such as hybrid-, private-, and public-cloud migration that fit different business needs. In addition, you also need to consider whether you want to choose a single cloud or opt for multi-cloud migration. Maybe you need access to edge locations as well. You need to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of each option to pick the right one for your business.

  4. Data Backup

    Before you migrate to the cloud, it’s crucial to back up your data. Although rare, you can lose your data and files, or they can get corrupted during cloud migration. Reliable cloud migration companies provide detailed data backups as a part of their cloud migration program to prevent data loss.
    You can then start your cloud migration by moving your data to the cloud using migration-to-cloud services.

  5.  Access Cloud Migration KPIs

    Cloud migration KPIs (key performance indicators) show how your cloud migration is doing and how your apps are performing. Monitoring post-migration response times, security, and user experience ensures that all of your data works in the cloud and helps identify any issues.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What are the types of cloud migration?

The most common type of cloud migration is on-premise to cloud migration, which involves moving your IT infrastructure, apps, and data to the cloud. Other types of cloud migration are cloud-to-cloud migration and reverse cloud migration. On-prem to cloud migration includes cloud application migration, data warehouse migration to the cloud, CRM migration to the cloud, Mainframe to cloud migration, and more.

What are the benefits of cloud migration?

By moving to the cloud, companies can reduce IT costs, such as the cost of purchasing and maintaining the hardware and servers, streamline operations and enhance customer experience. Cloud migration also allows employees to collaborate in real time.

Why do you need a clear cloud migration plan?

A cloud migration plan defines what value the cloud migration provides, what cloud migration challenges exist, how much it costs, which strategy you should use, etc. A proper plan and the best cloud migration tools ensure successful cloud migration.


Author:
Linkedin Rachel Grand, Content Writer | Ridge
Rachel spends her nights reading the stars and her days exploring the Cloud. As an expert in all things related to modern computing architectures, Rachel is helping Ridge to spread the gospel of the distributed cloud.