What Is Cloud Migration?
What Is Cloud Migration?
It seems like everyone is migrating to the cloud these days. Business and IT leaders from all over the world are replacing their on-premise infrastructures with the more flexible, scalable, and cost-effective computing option.
Of course, modernizing the way you do business isn’t as simple as a data transfer, like the way your information gets synced when you upgrade to a new smart device. There are quite a few challenges that come with cloud migration, including choosing the right service model.
In this article, we’re going to explain cloud migration, what your options are, and discuss the typical challenges organizations face when migrating over.
Read on to learn more.
Cloud Migration 101
First things first—the cloud. What exactly is the cloud?
The Cloud is actually short for cloud computing. It refers to a group of computer services accessed over the internet. These groups are accessible on-demand and provide self-service to organizations of all sizes.
With the cloud, businesses no longer need to have on-premise data centers. Those data centers are now off-campus with professionals guarding them and maintaining them, which are two benefits including in your monthly service bill.
Businesses migrating to the cloud for a laundry list of reasons. The primary reason being that the cloud gives you access to virtually unlimited resources.
The term cloud migration essentially describes the move from on-premise infrastructure to the cloud. It encompasses the entire process of moving your digital business operations over to these new dedicated services that someone else will be maintaining for you.
Most importantly, it involves moving data, applications, and IT processes from one data center to another. When you look at it that way, the term can also apply to the migration, or move, from one cloud to another.
Yes—there are multiple clouds.
What are the Types of Clouds?
There are several different cloud business models that attract different types of businesses. They would include the public, private, hybrid, and multi-cloud servers. Each offers slightly different features to suit all kinds of digital needs.
Here’s a closer look:
Public cloud servers are kind of like a utility. These services are owned and run by a third-party service provider, referred to as a cloud service provider, over the public internet. These services are mostly free but are also available as pay-per-use in certain instances.
For example, public cloud applications include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Alibaba Cloud, Oracle Cloud, and IBM Cloud, to name a few.
Public cloud services are popular and for good reason. It comes with the advantage of 24/7 uptime, a pay-per-use choice for some applications (which is very cost-effective), scalability, and simplified infrastructure management. In other words, cloud services and cloud migration are so simple to set up and use because there’s no need to purchase expensive hardware or manage on on-premise infrastructure.
With the private cloud options, the cloud resources are owned and used solely by the organization that purchases them. This is the type of cloud service that’s most appealing to governmental and financial institutions that require maximum control, customization, and data security.
A few examples of private cloud services include Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE), IBM, Dell, Oracle, AWS, Google, and Microsoft. (Yes, some of these organizations were named above under public cloud services, however not every service under these organizations uses public cloud resources).
With the private cloud set up, you have two options: You can have your servers located in a data center on-site or hosted by a cloud service provider in a remote location.
Hybrid cloud services combine elements from both the public and private clouds, allowing resources to move between the two (hence the examples above). Hybrid cloud services work well for organizations that require private resources to manage regulation requirements around sensitive data but still want access to the public cloud sphere and its benefits.
Much like the private cloud, hybrid cloud service models take some IT finesse in that they require some on-site hardware, which cuts into the cost benefits of the public cloud but adds another layer of security.
Multi-Cloud services, as you may have already guessed, makes use of multiple cloud services in one environment. For example, you can have a mix of public cloud providers to reduce reliance on a single provider or for added benefits.
The multi-cloud business model is actually a very popular cloud strategy among larger enterprises. What makes it different from the hybrid cloud model, you ask?
Multicloud refers to the utilization of multiple services—like the services from AWS and Azure—while hybrid refers to the utilization of multiple deployment models, i.e., a mix of public and private cloud services.
The Challenges of Cloud Migration
While migrating to the cloud comes with a wealth of benefits, it also comes with its own set of challenges.
The biggest challenge is arguably the financial cost of cloud migration. In the long run, each business model yields a high return in increased efficiency, lower administrative costs, and streamlined processes.
However, there are some immediate costs including the re-writing of application architecture, training, investing in new tools, performance issues, and bandwidth costs that make the migration difficult.
The second most prevalent challenge is adoption resistance. Cloud migration brings A LOT of change to every aspect of the way you do business, and people tend to resist change. This requires an investment in expert training and resources, to help make the human transition to the cloud much more smooth and manageable.
The third most notable challenge is simply a skill shortage. If there’s one thing that can stop cloud migration in its tracks, it’s not having people with the proper skills to manage the migration. To make matters worse, finding experts to perform cloud monitoring and migration is an obstacle in and of itself, as the demand for these professionals exceeds the supply—at least for now.
Migrating to the cloud is the key to modernizing every aspect of your business. If you want to remain competitive in our ever-growing digital world, you’re going to have to access the same resources as your competition. While cloud migration has some very real challenges, the long-term benefits outweigh those pitfalls.