Everything You Need to Know About Moving Data to the Cloud in 2021

Manju Naglapur | 7 min read

Cloud adoption is gaining pace with the advance of digital transformation. You may have heard of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models that bring you applications through the internet. Disruptive technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, big data, VR/AR, and the Internet of Things (IoT) make businesses put on their thinking caps.

Organization leaders worldwide are racing to replace legacy, on-premises technology with cost-effective computing power in the cloud along with flexibility and scalability.

The need to innovate to remain competitive besides reducing information technology costs are reasons to move to the cloud.

It would be best if you had a fair understanding of cloud computing before making quick decisions on moving to the cloud. Hopping onto the cloud bandwagon without proper knowledge, planning, and cloud expertise can be expensive.

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Why should you migrate to the Cloud?

There are many reasons why business is migrating to the cloud. A Deloitte report states that security, data modernization, and cost are among the top drivers for cloud migration.

Lower cost and better performance

Cloud enables you to opt for the right-size computing resources and cut unnecessary IT infrastructure costs. You can increase or decrease infrastructure costs based on your needs and eliminate on-premises IT assets that can be more costly to maintain and lack flexibility.

Cloud enables greater efficiencies and operational agility. There are a variety of cloud solutions from leading IT firms that support digital transformation efforts.

Improved security

The digital landscape is increasing day by day, and so is the sophistication of cyber-attacks. You can see that clearly in the number of digital touchpoints in your daily life, from mobile apps to log in to various shopping activities to your workplace online access. All these increased security risks.

Security and data protection are critical, and cloud offerings leverage improved and latest security measures that implement the security policies, governance, and compliance.

Data modernization

Data is a goldmine today, and moving legacy applications to the cloud provides data seamlessly across applications. Data on the cloud helps to provide analytics and in-depth insights and helps your organization with competitive advantages.

Besides the above, you can gain many other advantages like – enabling digital transformation to create incremental value out of existing IT assets, accelerating growth, and leveraging new technologies rapidly.

Moving to cloud-based solutions has become an imperative rather than an option today.

What are the types of Clouds?

In case you thought there was just only one cloud, know about the different types of clouds here so that it can help you choose the type of cloud you need.

Cloud types include the following – Public, Private, Hybrid, and Multi-Cloud.

Public cloud

Public cloud services are run over the public internet by cloud service providers (third-party vendors). You can get a free or flexible pay-as-you-go type where you choose and pay only for cloud resources you use.

Examples of public clouds include leading names like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

Public clouds offer advantages like the flexibility to select resources on-demand and the ability to scale up and scale down resources when needed. The cloud services are all managed by the cloud provider, and public clouds are most popular as they are economical and straightforward to set up.

Private cloud

As a private organization, selecting a private cloud entitles you to own all the cloud resources. Private clouds are more popular among the financial and government agencies mainly due to the hosting of sensitive data or for regulatory compliance requirements. For example, private clouds may be hosted on-premises or at the vendor’s data center, like at the AWS data center from Amazon.

Hybrid cloud

Hybrid cloud is a valuable combination of private and public cloud. You get the advantage of both. A good example is if you have compliance requirements, you can store sensitive data and applications in a private cloud and the rest of the applications and related data in a public cloud. The private cloud part will lack the cost-effectiveness of a public cloud.

Multi Cloud

Using multiple cloud services in an environment is called Multi-Cloud. You can adopt a multi-cloud strategy if you wish to decrease dependability on a single cloud provider. You can increase reliability and use features of multiple cloud providers like AWS and Google Cloud or any mix of cloud services.

What are Cloud Service models?

Cloud service models are primarily on the -‘as-a-service model. So, you can take Software, Platform, or Infrastructure as a service.

SaaS (Software-as-a-Service)

In SaaS, you get cloud-based tools and applications for everyday use over the internet. An example would be accessing online storage like Google Drive or any applications like an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) like SAP or simple mail and office applications like GSuite or Microsoft 365 apps. All these are available as a service over the internet and do not need installation on your physical machine.

PaaS (Platform as a Service)

With PaaS products, your developers can host, build, deploy, and scale consumer-facing applications. PaaS eliminates challenges with data serving, storage, and management. AWS Lambda, OpenShift, and Google App Engine are PaaS examples.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

IaaS products enable your business to manage their resources on the cloud, like their network, servers, and data storage. You don’t worry about any maintenance as the cloud service provider maintains it.

What are the benefits of Cloud Migration?

Cost reduction

Migrating to the cloud offers significant benefits. You save on resource, maintenance, and real estate costs. Besides that, you gain the ability to optimize workloads so that they cost less to run.

Flexibility and scalability

You only pay for the cloud resources that you use, and that’s optimizing your costs. Besides that, based on your workload demand, you can scale up or scale down computing resources.

Most cloud providers maintain a worldwide presence at key locations so that businesses can run cloud workloads closer to their customer locations.

Better security

Leading cloud providers follow the latest industry standards and ensure regulatory compliance. As a customer, these measures reduce the risk of cyber-attacks. As per Gartner’s predictions, 99% of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.

Reliability

Cloud solutions are more reliable, even though some cloud deployments may not be too smooth. Cloud migration empowers you with reliability for reducing downtime and lowers data loss risks.

Moreover, cloud vendors guarantee 99% uptime and are responsible for backups and disaster recovery.

Faster implementation

Migrating to the cloud can help speed up the pace of digital innovation. The technical flexibility provided by cloud providers helps in optimizing and accelerating workflows. You can leverage new digital applications that help deliver competitive gains.

What are the essentials for Cloud Migration planning?

Cloud migration is about having the right strategy and avoiding common pitfalls in cloud migration strategies. Planning on cloud migration is asking three basic but essential questions.

  • What are you moving?
  • Why are you moving it?
  • How are you going to migrate it?

The answers involve in-depth cloud migration planning details and processes, and it would be best to engage someone with cloud migration expertise for guidance. The three questions will set the right direction for your cloud migration.

What are the common Cloud Migration strategies?

There are six common cloud migration strategies, and adoption varies as per the needs of an organization.

1. Rehosting (“lift and shift”)

This strategy involves lifting your stack and shifting it from on-premises hosting to the cloud. Transporting an exact copy of your current environment without any significant changes can give quicker ROI. Conservative organizations without a long-term strategy for the cloud can opt for this type of re-hosting.

2. Re-platforming

Here the core architecture remains the same, but the strategy involves making a few more adjustments for optimizing your cloud landscape. Conservative organizations wanting to achieve benefits like increased system performance could implement this strategy.

3. Repurchasing

In this strategy, you move to a new SaaS platform (for example, a CRM to a new cloud-native product like Salesforce). As it is new, this will involve re-training your staff. Repurchasing can be cost-effective if you are moving from a customized legacy application landscape.

Besides these three major ones, there are other strategies –

4. Refactoring

Refactoring is like re-building your applications from scratch. It is the most expensive option if you need to leverage cloud capabilities like cloud auto-scaling or serverless computing.

5. Retiring

Retiring is turning off applications that are not needed.

6. Retaining

Retaining strategy is not adopting a cloud strategy and planning a revisit at a later stage.

How can AWS Migration Tools and Services help?

When migrating to the Amazon AWS cloud service provider, cloud migration tools can be of immense help. Shifting your application, data, and processes onto the cloud is not as easy as drag and drop. However, AWS offers you a great set of tools to get started on their platform real fast!

  • AWS Migration Hub — Track the progress of your migrations across AWS solutions. Helpful suggestions guide you to pick the right tools, track essential metrics, and more.
  • AWS Application Delivery Service — You can improve cloud migration planning exercises by having AWS review your on-premises data setup. Data is collected in an encrypted format and accessible from the Migration Hub.
  • AWS Server Migration Service — This migration service enables you to move workloads to AWS quickly and is especially beneficial for large-scale server migrations.
  • AWS Database Migration Service — Move your databases to AWS securely, and that’s the unique part – the database remains functional throughout the migration. Gain with lesser downtime.
  • CloudEndure Migration — This free 90-day automation service provides a lift-and-shift solution.

Besides that, there are various AWS tools for migrating data and files like AWS Snowmobile, AWS DataSync, AWS Snowball, AWS Snowball Edge, AWS Transfer for SFTP. You can learn more about these cloud services from AWS.

Companies in today’s marketplace are experiencing a shift in technology that’s fueling a competitive advantage. Today’s cloud services offer companies the ability to experience the possibilities of a nimble, flexible, and low-cost IT infrastructure. We’d love to know how Compugain can help you with your cloud strategy.

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