Cloud migration has become a worldwide phenomenon now and very few businesses remain that will not adopt cloud migration at any point. It refers to moving all or some business operations to the cloud and utilizing cloud infrastructure for their operations moving forward. Of course, there are a myriad of reasons why cloud migration has become such a popular phenomenon. It is highly beneficial to most businesses and helps them cut down a lot of costs while making operations more convenient than ever before.
What Is Cloud Migration
Cloud migration refers to the process of moving business operations to the cloud. There is more than one type of cloud migration that we commonly see.
First, cloud migration refers to businesses that are moving to a cloud space from traditional infrastructure. Traditional infrastructures require a lot of hardware and physical space, whereas cloud computing eliminates the need for most physical hardware, and people can work comfortably from remote locations as well.
On the other hand, cloud migration also refers to businesses that change cloud providers to gain more benefits, cut costs, or improve their businesses. This is known as cloud-to-cloud migration and is a common phenomenon as competition between cloud providers increases immensely regularly.
Of course, established business operations have lots of operations that have likely been carried on in the same way as ever. Moving these operations from their traditional setup into a cloud system would require quite a lot of work. Of course, seeing the rate of migration in the modern world only shows us that the switch is entirely worth it. But we need to know exactly how cloud migration works, so let’s take a look at the details:
How Does Cloud Migration Work?
There are 5 commonly utilized cloud migrations techniques. In 2011, Gartner identified these strategies and labeled them the 5 Rs of cloud migration. Here is how they work:
Rehosting is the easiest cloud migration strategy of them all. When rehosting, a company can simply take their current operations the way they are and shift them to their new cloud server. Companies opting for the rehosting strategy use Infrastructure-as-a-service or IaaS providers for their new business architecture. Rehosting is also easy for more businesses to adopt since they do not have to make too many changes to their current business operations even if the infrastructure changes. This strategy is also the best strategy for businesses that are new to cloud platforms in general.
Of course, there might be some inconveniences, bloatware, and other issues which would need optimization. Most businesses that want their operations to be optimized to fit into the cloud make use of:
The refactor strategy allows businesses to modify or tinker with their codes and applications to fit into their new cloud systems. Most business operations make use of the PaaS or Platform-as-a-Service providers to fit their business operations into the cloud. While there is not a significant difference between the application and operations as they used to be, these applications are modified to a certain extent to optimize their adoption to the cloud.
The Revise strategy is more advanced than the previous two. In this cloud migration strategy, businesses have to make significant changes to their code, applications, and infrastructure when adopting a cloud computing system. This helps the system take complete advantage of the new cloud computing system and removes bloatware and all unnecessary components.
Of course, adjusting to the revision strategy is not for all businesses since adapting to the new system will take a differently skilled staff, and there will be more of a learning curve with the new system. This might make some people take some time to adjust.
Rebuilding a system to fit into cloud servers is an even more advanced approach to cloud computing than the revised approach. As the name suggests, the rebuild approach requires you to rebuild the entire system from scratch to fit the needs of the cloud system and to keep up with the new business model.
The rebuild approach is mostly taken up by companies when they come to an agreement that their present codes and applications do not fit the needs of the new system. There is usually a revision of the business model involved, and the staff has to undergo training, and different hires need to be made as well at times.
Of course, businesses sometimes need an entirely different set of core values and principles when they want to move to a cloud system. This is mainly done for convenience and optimization of operations.
Companies that make use of the Replace approach usually hire a third-party vendor or a cloud provider to help replace the current code and applications of their systems and move it to the cloud. The data is the only thing from the old system that is migrated as it is; the rest of the infrastructure is built from scratch and is usually dependent on the cloud system.
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Does Cloud Migration Have To Be Absolute?
The question that most businesses have regarding cloud migration is how absolute it is.
Well, cloud migration does not have to be an all-or-nothing situation. You can have a cloud computing system that is entirely based on a public or private cloud, or you can make use of a hybrid cloud system.
Hybrid clouds are still used widely by most business operations and involve either a combination of public and private clouds or a combination of a cloud system with an on-premises data center. Hybrid clouds work well for businesses that have security concerns on the cloud and whose staff is well-versed in their present business operations, which are also usually going quite well.
Many systems also have a well-established private cloud which they feel more comfortable and secure. They can use this private cloud space for sensitive data such as health records or credit card information, while the public cloud space from a provider can be used for other business operations.
Cloud computing absolutism is also not always deployed when businesses undergo cloud-to-cloud migration. Many businesses often opt for a multi-cloud deployment strategy where they take advantage of more than one cloud provider. Multicloud is beneficial for utilizing beneficial features from multiple cloud providers along with creating multiple backups for data.
Most businesses do not make use of a single cloud provider since it is usually not great from a business perspective.
Is Cloud Migration Beneficial?
The reason why cloud migration is still such a popular phenomenon is that it is very beneficial for most businesses. Here are some of the reasons why cloud migration is beneficial for businesses across the world:
Cloud Computing Is Scalable
One of the biggest benefits of cloud computing is that it is very scalable. You can add resources or remove them as per your needs. Cloud providers will only charge you for the resources that you are using and nothing else. These resources can include memory, processing power, and other features that may be specific to your cloud service.
This scalability helps the workflow remain sped-up and optimized since the processing power and the storage required by the operations can be increased if there is an influx of operations. On the other hand, if you are not receiving enough traffic and want to cut down on the use of resources, even that is possible.
Scaling in cloud computers is often automated as well. The system determines how many resources it should allocate to your operations, and you receive those instantaneously. This way, the business does not suffer in terms of cost or resource allocation if there is ever more or less traffic than you have determined.
You Cut Down On Costs
Cost reductions and savings are major added benefits of making use of cloud computing for your system. The scalability of the system is one of the major reasons why it is possible to save up costs on a cloud system. Since you will only be using as many resources as you need, you will not be charged for anything extra.
In fact, one of the best ways to save up costs for your cloud system is by switching off features that you do not use anymore. You can talk to your cloud provider and ask them to take away some of the features that don’t help your business, and you will not have to pay for them.
These cost-saving features give cloud computing a massive benefit over on-premises systems. On-premises systems can be increased to handle peak data flow, but even when the traffic decreases, you will have the same amount of space and the same resources, even if most of them become redundant. On cloud computing systems, with auto-scalability, your system only receives as much processing power and space as it requires, and it is as easy to decrease resources allocated to you as it is to increase them.
You Get Better Performance
Cloud providers aim to provide businesses with only the best that they have to offer. Naturally, the performance of these world-class systems is on par and usually even better than most private clouds and on-premises systems. This, along with regular, scheduled maintenance of the system, notifications regarding utility, and the system’s resilience in terms of power, make cloud computing highly beneficial for most business operations.
You Are Not Tied To Your Premises
Another massive advantage of cloud computing is that you are not limited to a desk, a chair, and a physical office space. Offices are now expanding internationally with the introduction of remote-working concepts, and they do not need to be limited to a single space for it. Because of this, expansion is much easier without the allocation of physical resources.
Automation of workflow is another huge added advantage of cloud computing. Many manual systems are replaced with automated features through cloud providers. This feature continues to improve as technology evolves, and cloud providers aim for newer and more innovative methods of cloud deployment.
Concerns With Cloud Migration
There are some challenges that businesses commonly face with regard to cloud migration. Some of the challenges businesses commonly face include the following:
- Lack Of Strategy: Planning for your cloud migration process is crucial to migration. Make sure you have planned out an entire strategy with the help of IT professionals regarding your migration to the cloud. Have clear and concise objectives in mind regarding why it is important for your business to make this decision and what strategy you should opt for.
- Cloud Migration Costs: Cloud migration helps to cut down costs, but it can be an expensive venture if your business model is all over the place. One way to cut down costs and not exceed your migration budget is also by planning your expenditure. Try to not utilize too many cloud providers and understand what resources you will need.
- Security Concerns: One of the major concerns that still prevent some businesses from migrating to the cloud is security. Cyberattacks are becoming more comprehensive as technology evolves, and despite the features and ease that public clouds offer a business, they are still apprehensive about adopting public clouds because of the pressing matter of security. Most cloud providers have embedded comprehensive security means into their systems and provide continuous monitoring to prevent security mishaps as well. Another way to avoid security mishaps is by storing sensitive information in the private cloud and adopting a hybrid cloud strategy.
- Staff Deployment: A lot of the staff for many businesses will need to undergo thorough training to adopt their new systems. This will involve a lot of learning and unlearning as well, which might bring morale down for some of them.
Cloud migration is of utmost importance in the world today as more and more businesses migrate their operations into cloud systems. Knowing how it works will help you plan for it for your business and understand how to best suit your needs.
Read further about What is Cloud Migration and How Does it Work.