Cloud migration: Definition, challenges, strategy and tools

Are planning to start a migration project but you have no experience and do not know how to do it, the following article of ArrowHiTech will help you. This article is for a beginner that teaches you all you need to know to go from having no knowledge of cloud migration to having some knowledge of cloud migration. Aside from useful information about Cloud migration strategy, you will also receive helpful tools to help you progress from getting the gist to mastering it. So, let’s explore with us right now! 

What is Cloud migration?

Definition of Cloud 

People often know the Cloud by the more popular name “cloud computing”. It is known as a collection of computer services that may be accessed via the internet. In fact, this pool is self-service and on-demand, allowing users to use services immediately without having to set up an account. Moreover, computers that organizations formerly had to keep on-site can now be stored in vast data centers all over the world thanks to the cloud. 

Data centers, unlike a server room or server closet, which are computer systems storage units in any office. In reality, they are solely dedicated to holding computer equipment. Besides, they are usually massive and built with the key purpose of keeping a large amount of technology running at peak performance. 

Furthermore, these data centers are run by organizations that specialize in data center management. As a result, it will reduce the requirement for local IT resources. 

Cloud migration definition

Definition of Cloud migration

A cloud migration refers to the process when a firm moves some or all of its data center capabilities to the cloud, typically to run on a cloud service provider’s cloud-based infrastructure, such as AWS, Google Cloud, or Azure. While cloud migration is the transferring data from on-premises to the cloud, it can also apply to transferring data from one cloud to another.  Following that, all or selected assets may be moved during a migration. Besides, it also entails a slew of additional factors. 

Key benefits of Cloud migration 

Migrating to the Cloud will bring organizations lots of great benefits, below are some of the most outstanding ones: 

Improve scalability 

Cloud computing scales far more easily than on-premises infrastructure to serve larger workloads and more users. Alternatively, to scale up business services in traditional IT settings, organizations had to buy and set up physical servers, software licenses, storage, and network equipment.  

Minimize cost

Companies taking advantage of Cloud migration can spend much less on IT operations because cloud providers handle maintenance and upgrades. Best of all, they will be able to devote more resources to innovation. For instance, the development of new products or the improvement of existing ones. 

Boost performance 

In particular, one of the most highlighted advantages of Cloud migration is it can boost performance and provide a better customer experience. Following that, cloud-hosted applications and websites can straightforwardly scale to serve more users or deliver higher throughput. Plus, they can run in close proximity to end-users to reduce network latency. 

Bring digital experience 

Whether employees or clients, they may access cloud services and data from anywhere. As a result, this helps with digital transformation, improves customer experience, and gives employees access to current, adaptable technologies. 

Cloud migration strategy

Common challenges of cloud migration every business should know

In addition to notable benefits above, Cloud migration also presents challenges for organizations. Let’s learn the most common following challenges to come up with the best solution to prevent them. 

Lack of strategy/ plan

In many cases, lots of businesses begin their cloud migration without investing enough time and thought to their strategy. End-to-end cloud migration strategy is necessary for successful cloud adoption and deployment. Moreover, each application and dataset may have unique requirements and considerations, necessitating a unique cloud transfer strategy. More importantly, each workload that the company migrates to the cloud must have a compelling business case. 

Cost management

Many companies have not set clear KPIs to determine what they plan to spend or save after shifting to the cloud. Therefore, this makes determining whether migration was effective from an economic standpoint challenging. Furthermore, because cloud systems are dynamic, costs can fluctuate dramatically as new services are adopted and application demand increases. 

Vendor Lock-In 

When it comes to cloud migration challenges, vendor lock-in  is a typical issue among cloud technology users. Cloud companies frequently provide a wide range of services, however, many of them are not transferable to other cloud platforms. What’s more, workload migration from one cloud to another is a time-consuming and costly process. Many businesses begin using cloud services and then discover that switching providers is tough if the present supplier no longer meets their needs. 

Data security and compliance 

Last but not least, data security and compliance are two big roadblocks to cloud migration. Cloud services operate on a shared responsibility model, in which they are responsible for safeguarding the infrastructure while the client is responsible for data and workload security. Although the cloud provider may offer sophisticated security measures, it is your organization’s job to verify that they are configured appropriately and that all services and apps have the appropriate security controls. In addition, the migration procedure poses a security risk. Transferring large amounts of sensitive data and implementing access controls for programs across many environments exposes you to a lot of risk. 

Cloud migration strategy

When coming to Cloud migration strategy, there are five cloud migration techniques (“5 Rs”). Organizations considering a cloud migration should think about which migration approach best fits their needs. Now, let’s dig down further information about each one:

#1. Rehost

First and foremost is Rehosting (often known as “lift and shift“) that entails the use of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). Your existing data and apps are simply re-deployed on the cloud server. In reality, this is simple to implement and is therefore appropriate for firms who are unfamiliar with cloud systems. Not only that, it is also an excellent alternative if changing the code is challenging and you want to keep your applications intact during the migration.

Cloud migration strategies

#2. Refactor 

The second Cloud migration strategy every business needs to know is Refactor. For more details, when you refactor, or “lift, tinker, and shift”, your applications are tweaked and optimized for the cloud. You can take advantage of a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model in this scenario. In general, the application’s underlying design remains similar, however changes have been made to allow for greater usage of cloud-based tools. 

#3. Revise

In fact, revising expands on prior strategies requires more substantial changes to the architecture and code of the cloud-based services. Besides, this is done to allow apps to fully utilize the cloud services offered, which may necessitate significant code changes. Most crucially, this Cloud migration strategy necessitates extensive planning and knowledge.  

#4. Rebuild

Rebuilding extends the Revise cloud strategy by removing the present code base and replacing it with a new one. This is a time-consuming process. In particular, it happens when firms determine that their current solutions do not fulfill their current business needs. 

#5. Replace

When it comes to strategies of Cloud migration, we can’t help but mention the Replace method. For more details, Replacing is another option for dealing with the issues that the Rebuild method addresses. The distinction is that the corporation does not rewrite its own native software from the ground up. This requires switching to a vendor-provided third-party prebuilt application. Furthermore, the data is the only item you bring over from your old application while the rest of the system is brand new. 

Effective tools of Cloud migration

Typically, there are many big public cloud providers like AWS, GCP, and Azure that want you to migrate to their slice of the cloud. Hence, they provide a slew of advanced tools to help you achieve your goals.

Besides, although migrating to the cloud has the potential to save money, cloud prices can quickly spiral out of control. That is why you must focus on planning ahead of time and change operations using all of the resources at your disposal. Because things that functioned perfectly on-premises can turn out to be costly errors in the cloud. 

What’s more, thanks to cloud cost calculators, you can get a sense of how much your setup will cost before you make the switch. In addition, you also need to examine the options provided by your public cloud provider. The AWS Pricing Calculator, Azure Pricing Calculator, and Google Cloud Pricing Calculator are just a few examples. Plus, AWS Trusted Advisor (for AWS) and Microsoft Azure Advisor (for Azure) are two other products to look into early on. These not only provide real-time advice on cloud best practices, but also assist with cost reduction, security, and performance improvement. 

#1. AWS cloud migration tools 

In case you’re seeking Amazon cloud migration services, the AWS cloud migration tool is the best choice. It offers a variety of options that come with a number of free options for you to start.

  • AWS Migration Hub  

This tool allows you to manage migration progress across AWS offerings. Not only that, it also assists you to choose the correct tools, measure KPIs, and more. 

  • AWS Application Delivery Service  

You should allow AWS to assess your on-premises data configuration to help you prepare for your move. What’s more, the information gathered is encrypted and accessible through the Migration Hub. 

  • AWS Server Migration Service  

This awesome tool makes moving workloads to AWS simple and quick, especially when dealing with large-scale server migrations. 

Cloud migration tools
  • AWS Database Migration Service  

With the help of AWS Database Migration Service, you can move your databases to AWS with ease and security. Additionally, during the migration, the source database remains operational, reducing downtime.  

  • CloudEndure Migration 

Best of all, don’t miss the CloudEndure migration tool because this automated lift-and-shift method is completely free within 90 days.

Furthermore, you can refer to other Cloud migration tools for efficiently migrating data and files such as: AWS Snowball, AWS Snowball Edge, AWS Snowmobile, AWS DataSync, AWS Transfer for SFTP, etc. 

Microsoft Azure cloud migration tools 

  • Microsoft’s built-in migration service

This modern tool offers a unified location for tools, progress tracking, insights, and help for planning and executing cloud migrations. Moreover, the majority of the additional tools discussed below are linked to this primary dashboard. 

  • Server Assessment and Server Migration

These tools allow you to examine and migrate physical servers, as well as VMware, Hyper-V, public cloud, and other virtual machines, to Azure. 

  • Data Migration Assistant 

DMA aids in the detection of compatibility concerns that could stymie your migration. Best of all, it highlights unsupported and new features, as well as assisting you in planning a database migration path. 

  • Azure Database Migration Service 

With the help of this advanced tool, you can easily move large amounts of offline data to the Azure cloud.  

In conclusion

Above all, through this article, ArrowHiTech has brought you a lot of useful information and knowledge about Cloud migration. In particular, we also introduce Cloud migration strategy and useful tools to help your cloud migration projects more efficiently. To sum up, if you have any question on this topic, let’s CONTACT US instantly. With many years of valuable experience of offering Integration And Data Migration, we will come up with the best method to solve everything for you.