When it comes to network architecture, nothing beats the agility, efficiency, security and cost savings that the cloud can provide. But if your company is still relying on legacy infrastructure and looking to join the multitude of companies across a range of verticals that are turning to the cloud for business operations, you’ll need a good cloud migration strategy.
So, what is cloud migration? Cloud migration means moving workloads from an on-premise, or physical place, into the cloud. Assets being migrated to the cloud could be data, programs, storage files, apps, websites or virtually anything else currently taking up space in your on-prem locations, even down to migrating the data center itself to the cloud.
Moving to the Cloud
Two words universally dreaded: Moving day! The packing, the hauling, the unboxing, and the set-up can be stressful for you and for friends and family who are often plied with drinks and pizza in exchange for a labor-intensive afternoon. So, cloud migration, as its name implies, is technically a move, and just like any relocation, a plan makes all the difference. We’ve already answered the question, “What is cloud migration?” Still, there are several whys, hows, and whats that will give you a fuller picture of what cloud migration is, why it benefits business, and how to get answers to commonly asked questions about migrating to the cloud.
If you landed here while seeking answers about the best ways to incorporate the cloud into your network or how to explain “what is cloud migration” to leadership as you make the business case for a move to the cloud, you’re not alone. More than 88% of organizations use cloud in some form, with almost a quarter expected to move all their applications to the cloud within 12 months. This number may even be higher than anticipated, as Flexera found that 59% of enterprises expect cloud usage to exceed prior plans due to COVID-19.
Why Migrate to the Cloud? The Benefits of Cloud Migration
So why move to the cloud? The journey to cloud migration begins with understanding the value proposition and business goals associated with moving to the cloud. Identifying a driver for the migration is important because it helps to clearly define goals for the migration that will ultimately set your business up for success. As part of this evaluation, consider whether your company should be investing more in its own datacenters and infrastructure or if it’s time to take advantage of the cloud. The cloud is often the answer due to the long list of cloud migration benefits, including:
- Scalability: Need more bandwidth? Have you recently doubled the size of your company? Is your business no longer using that application? No problem, the cloud’s scalability allows you to quickly increase (or decrease) things like programs, storage, bandwidth, and data as your needs evolve.
- Cost: Thanks to the scalability noted above, cloud migration gives you the ability to turn things on/off, resulting in the ability to manage your cloud spend and to only pay for what you are consuming without the necessity of big capital outlays. A study by Datometry found that 61% of IT leaders they surveyed named cost-cutting as a main drive for moving to the cloud.
- Speed and Efficiency: Unlike setting up physical servers or equipment in an on-prem scenario, the cloud provides the ability to test and launch applications quickly. Therefore, you have the access to what you need at the drop of a hat from any location, which is handy for businesses operating out of multiple hubs. How’s that for efficiency?
- Security: The cloud has robust safety measures built in, so all data available in the cloud is protected with a guaranteed layer of security.
Other top reasons organizations note for their transition to cloud:
- Access to platform-as-a-service offerings from cloud providers
- The ability to turn legacy workloads into fully-managed products
- Disaster recovery support, allowing you to shed the physical machines on standby and spin up resources only when you need them in the case of disaster
- Tools to enable developers to innovate rapidly, with a development environment that can be turned up in minutes and not weeks
What Are the Six R’s of Cloud Migration?
A few terms come up often when talking about cloud migration, and they’re known as the six R’s of cloud migration. Although new ideas are emerging about whether or not the six R’s are still the most relevant framework (read this Google blog for more on that), the Six R’s are universally accepted and continue to be the prevailing methodology. Each represents a key decision you need to make when migrating to the cloud. Let’s review them:
- Retire: In examining what applications need to move to the cloud, you may find that some of your services or platforms are outdated, or perhaps you’ve uncovered data you no longer need. In this case, you can mark assets to be retired, so you never migrate them to the cloud in the first place. Just like tossing those once lost artifacts in your home that no longer serve a need, there’s no sense in bringing workloads that are no longer serving you into your new cloud environment.
- Rehost: Often a strategy employed by companies looking to get the fast results from their cloud migration, rehosting is simply taking your existing programs and applications and moving them into the cloud. Sometimes, however, businesses find more benefit in the next R…
- Replatform: Just as you might uncover assets you want to retire, you may also find databases or operating systems that are no longer serving the company in the best way possible but still serve a vital need. In that case, replatforming is your answer. Instead of simply moving existing assets to the cloud, you can identify newer and better platforms that serve your long-term cloud migration goals.
- Refactor: But when replatforming isn’t enough, refactoring is your answer. Rather than a few tweaks, this is when you completely rebuild your application code in the cloud reaping all of the benefits of the cloud-native technologies you now have access to.
- Repurchase: If during your cloud migration you discover that an application you were using in an on-prem environment is now offered as Software as a Service (SaaS), or you simply decide it’s time to completely switch to a new platform or service, this is known as repurchasing.
- Retain: You may have an app that’s really working for you, but perhaps it’s not compatible with or available in the cloud. In this case, you can choose to retain the service or platform that’s working for you and even consider investing in on-prem support to ensure it continues to work moving forward.
Common Cloud Migration Misconceptions and Challenges
Now that you know the what, why, and how of cloud migration, here’s the final piece of knowledge needed to fully understand, “what is cloud migration?” – that is, the challenges associated with cloud migration, as well as some common misconceptions. Enterprises, particularly those with a large inventory or apps, machines, services, data and workloads or a lack of a knowledgeable team or cloud operating model can pose challenges in adopting a cloud-based environment. But as with any challenge, there are solutions. Download our white paper with a comprehensive overview of common cloud migration challenges to learn more, or read more in our blog “Top 4 Tips for Overcoming Cloud Migration Challenges,” which is also available in a webinar format to stream on-demand.
Likewise, in our recent three-part webinar series, our experts covered the Top 3 Myths about Cloud Adoption. From costs to team dynamics, our experts explain commonly held beliefs about moving to the cloud and why they’re most accurately labeled as misconceptions.
Cloud Migration Experts to Guide You
Just like hiring a moving company instead of trusting your friends with your delicate antiques, Maven Wave has expertise in all public clouds and is here to back your cloud migration journey with knowledge and professionalism. Maven Wave holds the Google Cloud Partner Specialization in cloud migration, meaning we have Google’s stamp of approval to move your cloud migration journey forward swiftly by bringing all of your applications completely to the cloud or into a hybrid or multi-cloud environment.
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