Cloud migration involves moving an organization’s data, applications, digital services, databases, and other IT resources to the cloud environment. A cloud migration strategy contains the blueprint for making this move happen. According to Gartner, more than 45% of IT spending will shift from traditional data-processing platforms to the cloud by 2024. This observation reaffirms the cloud platform’s popularity as a disruptive technology of the present and the future.
This article summarizes the main points of a cloud migration strategy, which is a plan that an enterprise develops and uses to move data and applications from on-premises servers to the cloud. A multi-cloud approach provides continuous real-time insights and helps businesses innovate, modernize aging infrastructure, and transform their data. Real-time analytics helps you capture your data for singular visibility across all cloud providers, allowing you to modernize application environments, scale your organization, and optimize the cloud migration journey.
A successful, enterprise cloud migration strategy usually outlines the process for completing the following steps:
- Prioritizing workloads
- Determining the correct migration plan for each workload
- Developing a pilot test – when evaluating application performance, it’s important to measure key performance indicators (KPIs) such as latency or scalability
- Modifying the strategy, based on the outcome of the pilot test
- Assessing how applications workloads, machine data, and other data applications will be handled in the new processing environment
This may be done with the help of a public cloud service provider such as Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, or Amazon Web Services. The basic purpose of cloud migration is to modernize an organization’s IT infrastructure. Many businesses move away from relying on their on-premises servers for data and digital assets storage, to using the cloud computing environment available in these providers.
When undertaking a cloud migration strategy, it is important to identify the specific types of digital assets and computing environments that need to be moved and ensure that they are compatible with the cloud provider’s infrastructure. A solid cloud exit strategy should also be formulated to ensure that the move is successful.
Formulating a systematic, well-documented migration strategy will help to ensure a feasible migration plan for moving apps and data with minimal disruption. When considering your strategy, it is important to consider the business processes and routines that need to be moved, as this is often an overlooked aspect of a successful cloud migration plan.
Developing the Cloud Migration Strategy Roadmap
Having a solid cloud migration strategy is essential for businesses that want to take advantage of the cloud.
A good cloud migration strategy should include an assessment of the workloads and data to be moved, a comprehensive plan for how they will be moved, and a discussion of all the technology and management challenges that need to be addressed. It should also include plans to reallocate staff resources and tools for the cloud migration.
The first step in creating a successful migration plan is to evaluate your current IT infrastructure and create a roadmap of how you want the process to look. This includes determining the order or sequence in which to move workloads, applications, or data into the cloud. Once this roadmap is established, it’s important to develop a pilot program for each step in the process. This helps ensure that any issues can be identified before they become costly problems for your organization.
The cloud migration strategy roadmap should include a tested environment for optimized data and security measures to prevent security holes.
Creating a Cloud Migration Strategy
A good migration plan outlines the steps needed to ensure a successful transition, including cost reduction and scalability. Depending on the size of your organization, it may require additional time to create a checklist for all of the applications and data that need to be migrated. Once you have created a checklist, it’s important to communicate plans with stakeholders so that everyone involved understands what needs to be done.
Here are the action steps for creating a foolproof migration strategy, though not necessarily in this order:
- Assess your existing on-premises infrastructure, identify the workloads and associated data that need to be moved to the cloud, and determine which cloud service provider (CSP) will best meet the needs of the organization.
- Determine how the chosen workloads can be moved from your current business data center functions to CSPs such as Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure. This step may include modifying workloads for global changes. You should also consider how these workloads will scale in terms of performance and scalability when moving from one environment to another.
- If you are taking advantage of cloud-native capabilities, you need to ensure that your organization can still leverage these services in the new environment.
- Consider the impact of the new cloud computing environment on your existing systems and applications. You may have to create some specific test scenarios to complete this step.
- Try out different cloud providers, as each may offer different benefits.
- Build cloud-agnostic applications that can run on any type of public cloud platform.
Cloudendure Migration is one of the most popular tools for migrating existing applications and data to a new cloud platform. This tool can automate most rehosting tasks, making it easier to move your applications from an existing storage system to a virtual machine running in the cloud.
Additionally, Cloudendure can help you apply the company’s legacy systems into a modernized architecture running on the new platform. Cloudendure’s migration technology, which is based on cloud-native applications and services, helps you to develop a core strategy for migrating your organizations to a cloud-based infrastructure.
The above steps may bring tangible advantages such as cost savings and scalability. Keep in mind that you may have to revisit your migration every few months to ensure that the transition is still beneficial and brings measurable benefits for your company.
Cloud Migration Strategy: Challenges and Solutions
This section highlights the challenges and solutions of cloud migration:
Data security and compliance: The managed service provider must instill confidence in their ability to adhere to security compliance and protect data applications during the migration process. It is also important for companies to remain in control of their data throughout the process, understanding where it resides and how users can access it.
Internal resistance to the migration: It is beneficial to keep all the key stakeholders and business staff informed about the migration plan and its assumed benefits from the very start. This collective endeavor should continue the planning, developing, testing, and implementation stages of the cloud migration.
Dedicating resources during migration: Cloud migration is a resource-intensive process that requires organizations to dedicate significant resources such as time, money, and staff. Additionally, organizations need to allocate resources to operate their cloud infrastructure services, which includes significant reconfiguration. This can be a serious challenge in terms of extra overhead.
Complexities related to the migration: Cloud migration strategy can be tricky, as it involves systemic changes – often complicating cloud infrastructure issues and migrating applications. A few factors that could cause delays and extra costs are complexity, cloud services, migrating legacy applications, and cloud platforms.
When migrating legacy applications, there will be delays in the migration process that may require significant changes to your legacy applications in order to make them compatible with the new cloud platform.
Businesses must adapt to a new environment: During and after the migration, businesses have to adapt to cloud-based computing. This can be a challenge, given the urgent data-processing demands of any business, especially if the transition is from a legacy environment to a new cloud data environment.
Continuous testing and refactoring: The continuous testing of applications and applications data can lead to adjustments and refactoring of the migration strategy, which means additional resource utilization. Quite often, these adjustments include modifying core architecture of the current data center and more.
The move from a physical data center to the virtual environment of the cloud is not easy, and businesses have to carefully consider their individual needs and goals before planning the migration. The biggest challenge is ensuring that the move does not disrupt business objectives or cause any disruption to day-to-day operations.
At every stage of a phased cloud migration process, business stakeholders must be reassured that the benefits of cloud migration far outweigh the costs, resources, and security concerns related to adopting a virtual data center.
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