Why is the Cloud Computing Process Incomplete Without Data Migration?

Cloud Computing has become one of the most discussed technologies in recent times.

It has got a lot of attention from the media as well as analysts, because of its unbridled opportunities. As of 2019, cloud computing is expected to grow 24 percent growth in total market share. It also suggests IT companies are spending $3.79 trillion in cloud computing.

The IDC report has identified SaaS (Software as a Service) as the largest spending category.

Moreover, it is the fastest-growing category with a projected five-year CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 32 percent. PaaS (Platform as a Service), on the other hand, is the lowest spending category with a record of second-most largest category. It has projected a five-year CAGR of 29.9 percent.

Cloud computing services like Amazon EC2 and Windows Azure are getting more and more popular every single moment. However, it seems many of us are still confused as what exactly the buzzword ‘cloud computing’ means.

What is Cloud Computing?

The term cloud computing describes both platform and software. As a platform, it supplies, configures and reconfigures servers. This server can be managed both manually and virtually. Cloud here is used as a ‘metaphor’ for the Internet, and it is an abstraction for the complex infrastructure.

In simple words, the principle of cloud computing is the provision of computing resources through the network. Enterprises have been striving hard to reduce computing costs. It was the foremost reason for businesses to consolidate their IT operations using technologies.

Cloud technology allows businesses to store, share and utilize data more efficiently to further reduce the costs with improved utilization, reduced administration and infrastructure cost, moreover, swifter deployment cycles.

Cloud services are characteristically divided into three major types:

  1. SaaS (Software as a Service)

SaaS is a way to deliver applications over the Internet. As the name suggests, it is provided as a service. The best part is instead of installing and maintaining; users can simply access the application through the Internet. SaaS gives freedom from complex software application and hardware management.

Example: BigCommerce, Google Apps, Dropbox, ZenDesk, Hubspot, etc.

  1. PaaS (Platform as a Service)

PaaS offers an application platform as a service, for instance, Google and App Engine. It enables clients to deploy customized software with proper tools and programming languages provided by cloud providers. Clients can manage and control the deployed application and environment-related settings.

Example: Windows Azure, Apache stratus, Heroku, etc.

  1. IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

Infrastructure as a service provides hardware resources like CPU, network component, disk space as a service. These resources are generally delivered as virtualization platforms by various cloud providers. Clients have control of the platform and are not responsible for managing the underlying infrastructure.

Example: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Compute Engine (GCE), Microsoft Azure, etc.

A Deep Insight on Data Migration

Data migration to cloud computing is an excellent way to control risk management. Cloud migration is a process of moving data, applications and other essential business elements to a cloud computing environment.

There are several types of cloud migrations an enterprise can perform. The most common model is to transfer data and applications from local, on-premises data to the public cloud.

However, a cloud migration also entails moving data and application from one cloud platform or provider to another. This model is known as cloud-to-cloud migration. In the process of cloud migration and cloud repatriation, data or applications are moved off the cloud and finally return to the local data centre.

Why should you migrate data to the cloud?

  • Cloud computing frees IT enterprises from the burden of managing a hefty amount of data.
  • Legacy application or workloads require low latency or higher security and control. It should stay on-premise or move to a private cloud.
  • The most significant benefit of cloud migration is workload flexibility. When workload suddenly needs more resources for maintaining performance, its cost to run may escalate rapidly.
  • Public cloud provides proper scalability through the pay-per-usage model. Moreover, private cloud or on-premise cloud offers extra control and high security. A hybrid cloud model provides the best of both performance and connectivity.

Cloud Migration Strategies

It includes a complex combination of management, technologies as well as challenges. There are a various choices in the type of migration. One must consider the following steps of cloud migration:

Step one; Application

First of all, one needs to identify the application. Different companies have different reasons to move to cloud-based infrastructure.

As per the goal of the organization, the application needs to be chosen. In the next step, they figure out how much data one needs to move and how quickly the migration process can be done. Taking inventory of data and application, developers look for ideal dependencies and consider choosing one of the migration options.

Considering the costs, an organization has a bundle of investments in software licenses and hardware infrastructures.

Step two; Choosing the type of cloud migration

In this stage, it is required to identify the right cloud environment. Nowadays, enterprises have numerous cloud scenarios.

Through the Internet and dedicated connections, the public cloud gives access to many useful resources.

Moreover, the private cloud keeps the data within the data center. On the other hand, the hybrid cloud model combines private and public cloud models to transfer the entire data. In the final stage, enterprises use IaaS options in multi-cloud scenarios.

You must consider thinking about how well the data will perform after migration. Make sure to leave adequate bandwidth for optimal application performance. It is also required to investigate whether the application’s dependency on the cloud model might complicate the migration.

Take a look at the handful of platforms that are mainstreams among multi-cloud and hybrid environment:

  • Microsoft Azure Stack
  • AWS Outposts
  • Container-based PaaS (Cloud Foundry or Hat OpenShift)
  • Google Cloud Anthos

Regardless of the application process, the current staff must learn to take on new roles. To be more precise, data security requires a different approach altogether. Thus, your existing employees need proper training and management strategies to handle the new work environment.

Process of Cloud Migration

The process of migration entirely depends on the factors and types of migration an enterprise wants to perform. The most common elements of cloud migration strategies include:

  • Evaluation of performance and security requirements
  • Selection of cloud provider
  • Calculation of costs
  • Reorganization of the process if necessary

Challenges faced during cloud migration

  • Interoperability
  • Data and application portability
  • Data integrity and security
  • Business continuity

Without proper planning and migration strategies, the process can face many challenges. It is hard to recover from the stage in the first place. If the migration is attempted online, one can calculate how much bandwidth is required to make the final move.

More to know

Live migration through a network makes way for various types of attacks.

The stolen credentials can duplicate the snapshots for additional access. The reality is that not all applications are suitable for the cloud.

Thus it is essential to scrutinize the on-premise application before moving to a cloud environment. Tools like Microsoft azure advisor offer optimization recommendations in a cloud environment to reduce cost and enhance security and performance.

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Martin Moyer
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