Cloud Migration: what is it and what are the steps for a successful strategy

6 min

In the Digital Transformation process, Cloud technology recomposes a very important role. If deployed correctly, it can have a significant impact on the company. Before tackling the move to the cloud, however, the company must make the appropriate assessments, trying to consider whether it is ready. Let’s find out together what steps need to be taken.

What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud Migration is the process of moving applications, data, and infrastructure from corporate locations to cloud platforms. The cloud makes computing resources available on demand, without the need for active management by the user. In this context, “cloud” can refer to different modes of availability, including private, public, or hybrid cloud.

Cloud adoption has changed the way organizations manage their IT operations. Key benefits of migrating to the cloud include the ability to shift computing costs, with the elimination of the need to purchase and host unused servers; the ability to scale usage and storage expenses; increased data accessibility and security; and the ability to accelerate innovation.

In addition, the cloud now offers the ability to use technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to create value from collected data. These technologies are opening up new opportunities for organizations, including self-repair and the ability to run offline. Among other things, the cloud offers a more stable and secure platform for running IT processes.

The types of Cloud Migration

Migration to the cloud is a crucial issue in today’s business innovation challenges. Moving to the cloud means moving resources, applications, and various elements of the business to a shared technology environment that is scalable, flexible, and adaptable to business needs.

Organizations that decide to migrate to the cloud can access greater flexibility, reduce costs and improve the agility of their business. There are various types of cloud migration, let’s analyze them in detail.

Cloud-to-cloud migration

Cloud computing has become widely used, and many organizations use multiple clouds, often due to mergers and acquisitions. In these cases, it can be beneficial for them to choose to move resources between different public clouds through cloud-to-cloud migration. This type of migration can also be advantageous when an organization wants to take advantage of the benefits offered by products, services, and pricing from different cloud platforms.

While managing resources across multiple clouds may seem complex, it is possible to effectively manage all resources from one location using a centralized management tool. These tools automate and simplify many tasks, such as configuration, management, and monitoring of cloud resources, helping organizations make the most of the benefits of cloud computing.

Data center migration

In terms of data center migration, we are talking about the process of moving data from local servers and mainframes, often located within an organization’s headquarters, to cloud servers managed by external providers. These data centers are generally located in large buildings with high levels of security and are managed by professionals.

The most common way to accomplish this transfer is through high-capacity networks, but in the absence of such networks, it is still possible to migrate by transferring data to high-capacity disks or data boxes and physically sending it to the cloud service provider to be uploaded to the appropriate servers.

Migration to Hybrid Cloud

Many organizations choose to keep some resources in local data centers and transfer only a portion of them to the cloud, thus creating a “hybrid cloud” environment. This type of solution allows for maximum utilization of existing equipment in local data centers while at the same time taking advantage of the benefits of the cloud for the resources being transferred. It also allows for industry-specific and government compliance requirements for organizations.

The hybrid cloud is also useful for inter-cloud backup, in which data from the local data center is backed up to a public cloud as a disaster recovery solution in case the local data center becomes unusable due to unforeseen events such as fire, flood, or crime.

Application, database, and mainframe migration

Several types of workloads are commonly migrated to the cloud. Of these, mainframe workloads are among those that are most frequently migrated.

Migrating to the cloud for these types of workloads can bring numerous benefits, including reduced costs, performance and reliability improvements, access to cloud-based development tools and APIs, enhanced security, and the ability to easily adapt processing capacity without the need to purchase, install, and manage new equipment.

Although it is possible to migrate these workloads without making changes (in a “lift-and-shift” mode), optimizing or “refactoring” workloads to improve their performance and reliability on the cloud has some additional benefits. This can help take full advantage of cloud capabilities and improve overall efficiency.

Stages of Cloud Migration

Migrating different workloads and creating different cloud configurations involve different recommended procedures and technical processes, but all cloud migrations follow the same six basic steps.

Defining the strategy

Defining a strategy for cloud migration is essential to ensure that the organization achieves its business goals and minimizes risks during the migration process. The strategy should cover both the technical and business aspects of the migration.

Regarding the business aspects, the strategy should define the goals of the migration, such as reducing operational costs, improving agility and scalability, and establishing metrics to measure the success of the migration.

In addition, the strategy should also consider security, including plans for managing risks and continuing operations in case of emergencies.

Implementing a plan

Aligning the cloud migration plan with desired business outcomes is critical to ensuring that the organization achieves its goals and benefits from cloud migration. Some strategies can help align the cloud migration plan with business outcomes such as:

  • Identify business goals
  • Choose the right workload
  • Use a suitable migration methodology

Preparation

The phase of preparing local and cloud environments for migration is an important step to ensure that the migration is performed effectively and without disruption. There are several activities that can be performed to prepare local and cloud environments for migration, such as:

  • Analyze the current environment
  • Identify security requirements
  • Identify dependencies
  • Configure the cloud environment
  • Test the migration
  • Prepare documentation

Perform migration

A proper migration methodology is critical to ensure that the transfer of systems and data to the cloud occurs efficiently. There are several methodologies for migration to the cloud, some of the most common are:

  • Lift-and-shift: involves moving existing workloads to the cloud without making significant changes to the code. This methodology is ideal for workloads that are already compatible with the cloud and for which no significant changes are needed.
  • Refactoring: involves modifying existing workloads to optimize their performance and reliability in the cloud. This methodology is best suited for workloads that require significant changes to be optimized for the cloud.
  • Replatforming: is a middle ground between the previous two approaches, with minor modifications to take full advantage of the cloud architecture.

Governance

The governance phase in cloud migration refers to the creation and implementation of policies, processes, and controls to ensure that cloud resources are used in a secure and compliant manner.

In this phase, organizations should establish a set of rules and guidelines for cloud use.

Management and monitoring

The management and monitoring phase in cloud migration refers to the use of tools and technologies to monitor and manage cloud resources once they have been migrated.

Management and monitoring of cloud resources are important activities to ensure that cloud resources are used in a safe, performant, and compliant manner. In addition, it is important to continue to monitor and adapt the management and monitoring of cloud resources as business needs and technologies evolve to ensure the continued efficiency of cloud resources and adapt them to changing business needs.


Migrating to the cloud can offer scalability, cost reduction, and greater flexibility for businesses, but it is important to choose the right strategy for your needs Click To Tweet

Benefits of migrating to the cloud

In conclusion, migration to the cloud is an important step for companies that want to increase elasticity, reduce costs, and improve the reliability of their systems and data. However, it is important to follow the proper methodology and adopt effective governance to ensure that the migration to the cloud goes smoothly and meets business needs.

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For a more detailed analysis of how technological innovations are transforming not only the IT sector but also business and social structures in general, we recommend reading the book ‘Toward a Post-Digital Society – Where Digital Evolution Meets People’s Revolution’. This book thoroughly explores the impact of digital technology, providing readers with a broad understanding of how it will shape our future.”

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