Cloud Migration: Challenges to Consider when Making the Move

04 Feb

On-premise infrastructure is a reliable method for intranet services and the business application being used in the offices.

The infrastructure set up takes cost and resources as well for maintenance. For the enterprises, this goes well and spending a few money over infrastructure is not a big deal, but for the small businesses, software as a service is an easy option. This goes with pay per use option. Also for the businesses apps that are scalable and varies with data use are better to be migrated over Cloud.

Cloud computing has helped businesses to store their data and run applications on a cloud platform without having an on-premise infrastructure. The Cloud market is growing at a very rapid pace, more and more enterprises around the world are migrating their services to the cloud and there are some challenges that come along while migrating to the cloud.

What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration is the process in which the data and the applications or any other business element is moved to a cloud computing platform. The businesses can choose among the various types of cloud migrations. One of the most common models is the transfer of data and the apps from a local on-premise data center to a public cloud computing platform. However, in cloud migration, data can be moved from one cloud platform to another, this model is known as the cloud-to-cloud migration. The third type of migration is unclouding, it is the reverse cloud migration, in this the data that is on the cloud is moved off from it to a local on-promise data center. Cloud migration is variedly used cloud software solutions.

Steps involved in cloud migration:

1. Planning:

This is one of the first steps that must be considered before data migration to the cloud. Planning mainly involves the determination of the use case that will be served by the public cloud. Planning is required for various processes such as disaster recovery, DevOps, big data services, etc.

Planning requires a proper assessment of the environment. Additionally, with the help of planning, one can easily estimate the points that will affect the migration. These points may include factors like critical application data, interoperability of application, legacy data and so on. Planning contributes to determining the relevance and reliance on data. Developers can discuss what points are needed to be updated regularly, the requirements regarding data compliance, etc.

It also computes whether the non-critical data be migrated during the first set of passes or not. Planning helps the developers to build a solid plan for the tools required for the process of migration. Tools involved can be this process are Azure, AWS, etc. It also helps to identify the type of data eligible for migration and its time suitability. Planning also helps to identify whether the data needs any scrubbing or not, its destined volumes and its need for encryption. SAP consulting services, when integrated with cloud migration, demand a huge amount of planning.

2. Execution of cloud data migration:

After the assessment of the environment and mapping of the plan, there is an urgent need to execute the migration. There are many challenges that come up in this process. It involves carrying out the migration with the minimum disruption possible. Also, the cost will be less and the time period taken must be minimum.

There is a condition where the data cannot be accessed by the users during the process of migration. This proves to be a risk and may impact the overall business operations. Risk also happens during the synchronization and updating of systems after initial migrations. Every workload element should be eligible to operate in the new work environment before migration to another element. This process also includes finding the method of synchronization of changes that are made to retrieve the data during cloud data migration execution. Both AWS, as well as Azure, contains built-in tools. These tools help in cloud migration.

3. After migration steps:

After the data has been migrated to the cloud, it becomes necessary to check whether it is optimized, secure and whether it can be retrieved or not. The data can only be processed further if it satisfies these provided checkpoints. After migration steps also involve monitoring for real-time changes to predicted contentions of workload and critical infrastructure. In addition to real-time monitoring, the developer must also check the security levels of data to ensure that the work done in the new environment meets the laws of regulatory compliance. It is also required to meet the performance and availability of benchmarks.

Benefits of cloud migration:

The main benefit or the main purpose of cloud migration is the ability to host applications and data in the most effective environment possible. It is based on factors like cost, performance, and security. There are many organizations that perform the migration of their local data to public cloud platforms. The organization can get many benefits by migrating their applications and data to the cloud. Additional benefits of cloud migration are as follows:

  • Fast transfers:

There are several tools of cloud migration that helps in automating, synchronizing the data faster and also securing it while the transition of data to the cloud. It promotes seamless transitioning and workloads into the cloud in an initial state of migration and continuous synchronization according to the schedules of the user. Cloud migration carries out the process of migration between any kind of storage repository that is often object-based.

  • High availability:

This is one of the most factors for the measurement of uptime. The biggest challenges of cloud migration that may affect the business adversely are drive failures, network misconfigurations as well as failures availability zones. Cloud migration helps in protecting the system against availability zone failures. High availability promotes a resilient cloud environment, safe service disruptions, etc.

  • Protection of data:

Using cloud migration allows the system to create snapshots that are application-aware. They do not have any impact on performance and consume minimum storage space. They are created by the developers and take a few seconds. These snapshots do not depend on the size of the volume that the system copies.

  • Optimization of cost:

This is a major advantage of cloud migration. It has efficient storage features, data compression, compaction, data tiering and thin provisioning. Optimization of cost using cloud migration can help the company to increase the data transfer costs from 50 to 70 percent.

Read the blog- Enterprises are predicted to adopt a hybrid cloud model in 2020

Services and Tools in Cloud Migration:

To execute the plan for migrating the data and applications to the cloud the enterprises need some tools and services.

The big public cloud platforms like AWS and Microsoft Azure also provide tools and services to the enterprises for the purpose of cloud migration. Choosing these public platforms can help businesses in growing efficiently. These platforms also offer the enterprise tools that help them track the progress of the migration. These tools are able to collect information about an enterprise’s on-premise local data. The data that is collected by these tools include system dependencies, it helps the enterprise to make a well-informed plan for migration.

Tips to avoid Cloud Migration Challenges:

There are many challenges that the enterprises have to face when they are migrating their local on-premise data to the cloud. Enterprises need to be aware of these challenges and should also know about some tips that can help them avoid these challenges. Migrating the applications and data to the cloud might sound easy but it is not, the enterprises have to take some measures. Below are some tips that can help the enterprises to avoid the challenges that they might have to face while migrating to the cloud:

1. Develop the right strategy for cloud migration:

One of the biggest mistakes made by enterprises is that they either don’t give enough time to the planning process or they try to do it ad-hoc and both these ways might create problems in the cloud migration process. Cloud software solutions are very helpful but the enterprises need to work out a plan. A plan that makes the process of migrating their on-premise data to a cloud platform in an efficient manner. The enterprises that are planning to migrate to the cloud should give a lot of time for testing. If surveys are to be believed, more than 40 percent of enterprises fail while implementing cloud migration. The main reason behind the failures of these enterprises was bad planning or lack of internal support.

How can enterprises create a good cloud migration strategy:

Before an enterprise starts to draft the cloud migration strategy, it is important to analyze the current application portfolio. There are some tools that can help the enterprise for the analysis of their current application portfolio. These tools can map out the application dependency, can offer detailed cost analysis that will help determine if the cloud application will be cheaper in the cloud. They can even help the enterprises to create a roadmap for migration. Automation of some parts of this process is important so that man-hours can be reduced even before the actual implementation begins.

Read the blog- How Microsoft Azure Is A Perfect Cloud Solution For Smbs

The enterprises will need a detailed view of their current infrastructure. They should also know how and where they are integrated to make sure that they don’t miss anything. There may be some assets that may need some rebuilding or small readjustments once they’re migrated to the cloud, this needs to be identified in the roadmap and strategy.
The strategy can also be broken down into phases that make the most sense for the enterprise.

2. Vendors lock-in:

Vendor lock-in has been an issue for long among IT teams, and especially when it comes to proprietary software solutions. There are many benefits of migrating the enterprise’s on-premise data and applications to the cloud but at the same time not being able to switch providers when it is really needed is a real problem. This has made many organizations back off from migrating their on-premise environment to the cloud.

This issue goes down to there not being any universal standards between providers. There are no standards of how data is stored, secured, and moved, this can make a big mess. For example, there may be an enterprise that wants to move to a different cloud computing services provider that uses a different standard for storing the data. Enterprises should analyze how the cloud services store their data. Working over the standard makes the businesses easily flow the process and migrate to the cloud from on-premise. it is an important part of the research when the enterprises select a cloud computing service provider.

How Enterprises can avoid Vendor lock-in:

The history of vendor lock-in in the cloud platforms is different from other technologies and has been there for long. The enterprises do not need to go “all-in” while they migrate their on-premise data and applications to a cloud platform. Enterprises can choose applications that may be ideal for cloud migration. If no ideal application is in the budget then the enterprises can go for other less than optimal apps for the cloud.

There are some ways by which enterprises can avoid vendor lock-in. The most popular way of avoiding vendor lock-in is to go for a hybrid cloud or a multi-cloud approach. In the two options that are stated above, the enterprises don’t have to rely on the service provider. By choosing one of the two options enterprises can at least have partial control in their hands.

3. The transition from on-premise in-house IT to partially managed IT:

When enterprises choose to move to the cloud the job and responsibilities of the IT team also change. The enterprises need the right team for the IT department that can make their vision of migrating to the cloud a success. The transition for a fully on-premise organization to any type of cloud model requires the adaptation of the team’s skill set that ranges from purely technical to more business and management-related work. The transition will make the IT team of the enterprise spend less time on maintenance and operations. This will allow for a shift in the roles of IT team employees in the organization.

How to make the transition smooth for the IT team:

Enterprises can provide their IT teams sufficient training in the cloud technologies that they will have to work with after the migration process completes. Enterprises will have to clearly tell the IT team about the functions that they will be provided in their vision and also the plan for the cloud. Because of the transition, the IT team will spend less time on maintenance and operations. The IT team can spend more time on development, data analysis, and training. Enterprises should make sure that the IT team is on board with all these new roles and responsibilities before migrating to the cloud. This step is critical and if done correctly it can ensure a smooth transition.

4. Controlling the budget:

Enterprises may underestimate or may not exactly figure out the budget for cloud migration. This is a bit of a problem that can affect the migration process. The process of cloud migration is not as straightforward because there can be some cloud service providers that may make the enterprises believe then and they will add up some hidden or unclear costs that will change the budget. This may stop the process of migration for some organization if the budget is not prepared after good research.

How can enterprise stay within the budget:

The planning of the Cloud Integration service budget should be flexible and maximized. Enterprises may run into unexpected issues and that is why the budget should be a living document. This means that the budget should be a part of the project and should be open to change and fluctuations. Enterprises can review their budget every week to make changes and adjustments. One more thing that enterprises can do is keeping track of resources using cloud metrics, it is a critical step that can make sure that the enterprises are within the budget. This is important in the phases where the resources are used in a heavy amount. Enterprises can control their budget if they give time in planning, and develop a flexible budget.

Conclusion

Cloud services have opened new doors for businesses around the world. Enterprises can now use cloud software solutions for their benefits. Migrating the on-premise environment of an enterprise takes time and money, it requires good planning and strategy development too. If done in the correct way, migration to the cloud can help the enterprises in ways that they may not even imagine. There are many challenges that have to be faced by enterprises too, some of them are mentioned above.

Enterprises need to know about the ways to avoid these challenges. Deep research of all the cloud computing platforms should be done by the enterprises before deciding. There are many factors that they should look upon when they finalize which cloud platform can provide them with the features and functionality they want. Enterprises can hire some other company for the purpose of cloud migration. Hiring another organization will help the enterprise to focus on its market strategies and simultaneously the on-premise applications and data will be migrated on the cloud. This will make the transition very smooth, the other enterprise will take care of training the IT team too so that they can work on the cloud post-migration.

There are some Big Data Cloud Solutions that enterprises can consider too. Enterprises need to be open and aware of every change that happens in the market to avoid the challenges and grow themselves. Cloud computing platforms have advantages and some disadvantages too. The enterprises need to understand them before they decide to migrate their data on them.