Many organizations are moving their data to the cloud, which can be a complex task. However, the benefits of conducting an on-premises to cloud migration are often worth the effort. But where do you start? In today’s blog, we’ll go over the steps you can take to move your data from on-premise infrastructure to the cloud. Read on to learn more.
A Brief Overview
Cloud storage and cloud computing solutions have become an integral part of modern IT infrastructures. Moving to the cloud allows businesses to reduce costs, scale and improve performance. While many businesses know the benefits of moving to the cloud, it’s good to know the migration process so you can ensure a smooth and seamless transition. Before diving into the steps, let’s discuss on-premise vs cloud environments.
What Are On-premise vs. Cloud Environments?
On-premise and cloud environments differ in several key ways, and each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. In fact, for some organizations, it makes sense to keep your data in an on-premise environment. To understand why this might be the case, let’s break down these differences:
- On-premise environment - An on-premise environment is when an organization uses on-site data centers to manage and store digital assets. All of an organization's servers, storage and networking are maintained and managed on-site by a business's IT team. On-premise environments offer privacy and greater customization control. In some cases, it may be necessary for regulatory compliance. However, on-premise environments are also costly to maintain and can be difficult to scale.
- Cloud environment - A cloud environment moves all of an organization’s data center capabilities to a remote third-party provider. These providers deliver the services you typically would get from your on-premise data center. This can make these data assets more scalable, accessible and cost-effective to maintain. These pros are often enough to outweigh the cons, but organizations that value privacy and a fine degree of control for customization options may find that a cloud environment isn’t the right choice for them.
It’s important to consider the pros and cons of both environments to choose the best option for your business.
The Importance of a Cloud Migration
The cloud offers a multitude of benefits for businesses, including:
- Scalability - A cloud environment is much simpler to scale than an on-premise solution. With the cloud, businesses can scale based on demand and necessity at will. Many cloud services even have auto-scaling, which allows you to scale demand automatically during busier times.
- Efficiency - Moving to the cloud allows teams to access data and collaborate from anywhere in the world in real time, allowing for improved performance and productivity. Moving away from an on-premise model can also free up IT resources to allow them to focus on more strategic work rather than maintenance of on-premise infrastructure.
- Security - Most cloud providers must adhere to strict security standards and regulations. The high levels of security can especially be beneficial for businesses that can’t afford these security measures themselves.
- Cost-Effectiveness - The cloud can allow businesses to optimize costs and stop pouring money into on-premise infrastructure upgrades and maintenance. Even if you’ve invested a lot into your on-premise environment, moving to the cloud will eventually be more cost-effective since you won’t have to worry about your on-premise environment becoming outdated.
Overall, cloud migration can have a transformative impact on businesses, enabling them to be more flexible, cost-efficient and competitive in today's digital landscape.
Before implementing a cloud migration, there are several key factors to consider to ensure a successful outcome. Here are some pre-migration considerations to keep in mind:
- Define your Strategy - Before starting the process, make sure to lay out your goals and objectives for moving to the cloud. Consider what you’ll be migrating, why you want to migrate and what you’ll need to achieve a successful migration. Having your goals and strategy in mind can help you choose the right service provider based on your needs.
- Choose your Service Provider - There are various options for cloud service providers. You will want to make sure your provider meets the unique needs of your company. Look at the services they offer, your budget, their customer support, their security measures and all other crucial factors. Choosing a service provider is a big decision, so take your time to compare providers to find the best option possible.
- Determining your migration approach - There are several different approaches to take when migrating to the cloud, and your decision will depend on what you’re migrating. Rehosting, revising, refactoring, rebuilding and replacing are the most common approaches. Let’s quickly define each:
- Rehosting - Move all assets to the cloud in their current state
- Revising - Make slight modifications to applications to fit the new cloud environment
- Refactoring - Rewrite and restructure app architecture to fit the new environment
- Rebuilding - Rewrite the entire application to fit the new architecture
- Replacing - Replace the application entirely with a new solution that seamlessly integrates with the cloud
- Consider Security - Security should be a top priority during a migration. Make sure your cloud provider meets the regulatory and compliance standards of your industry. Keep in mind that the cloud is also a shared responsibility model, so access controls are controlled by your organization.
By taking these pre-migration considerations into account, you can set yourself up for success and ensure a seamless migration to the cloud.
Migrating Data To the Cloud
Migrating data from on-premise to the cloud can seem like a daunting task, but it can be as painless as possible with the right plan. Here are some steps to follow when migrating your data to the cloud:
- Prep your data for migration - By now, you should have already identified the data you want to migrate to the cloud. Make sure your data is consistent, clean and accurate before beginning the migration process.
- Backup your data - Once your data is accurate and ready for migration, back up your data in the event something goes wrong. You want to make sure you have something to fall back on.
- Implement your strategy - Your data is ready for migration. Implement your data migration strategy and monitor the migration if any errors arise. Address these errors as necessary.
Migrating data to the cloud can be a complex process, but by following these steps, you can ensure a successful migration with minimal disruption to your business operations. It can also be helpful to work with experts or consultants to guide you through the process.
Congratulations! You have successfully migrated your on-premise data to the cloud. But your job doesn't end here. You need to consider a few more things post-migration.
- Test the migrated data - Once you complete your data migration, test and validate the migrated data to ensure the migration was a success. Conduct a complete audit to check for errors or missing data.
- Monitor performance - Test that your cloud applications are working as expected. You should plan to monitor performance on an ongoing basis.
- User acceptance - Provide onboarding and training as necessary to ensure your users are comfortable with the new cloud environment.
- Cost optimization - A cloud environment makes it easier to optimize your costs. With a pay-as-you-go model, you can look at your usage pattern and streamline your infrastructure to make the cloud as cost-effective as possible.
Keep these considerations in mind to reap the maximum potential of your new cloud environment.
Common Challenges You Can Experience When Migrating Data
There are several common challenges businesses face when migrating from on-premise to the cloud. Let’s take a closer look at some of these challenges and how you can overcome them.
- Data integrity - Organizations must ensure data is complete and consistent before migrating to maintain data integrity throughout the process. Data should also be monitored for accuracy as it comes through and after the migration is complete.
- Security - As mentioned, the shared responsibility model means that organizations must have their own security measures in place to protect data from hacks and other threats.
- Technical issues - Migrating data is a resource-intensive process, and organizations may run into bandwidth constraints, incompatibility with legacy systems and other technical issues during the process. Make sure you have properly planned for the migration to prevent technical errors.
- Cost overruns - Migrating to the cloud can be costly, and the proper amount of funds must be allocated to the project. Remember to lay out a budget plan and choose a provider that fits that budget along with your other needs.
- Downtime - While data is migrating, there will be some downtime that may impact business operations. Plan to migrate data during non-peak hours or even over holidays to minimize the impact of downtime.
Understanding the challenges involved in migrating data can help organizations plan a successful migration and ensure that their data remains secure and protected.
Tips To Follow for a Successful Data Migration
If a cloud migration is right for your business, it is well worth the planning and effort required for data migration. Keeping all of the above steps in mind will help make the process as seamless and pain-free as possible. To wrap up, here’s a quick recap of some best practices to keep top of mind when conducting an on-premise to cloud migration:
- Create a comprehensive plan - Make your plan for migration as detailed as possible, including timelines, dependencies, resource necessities and more. This will help make the migration easier.
- Choose the right approach - Consider the rehosting, revising, refactoring, rebuilding and replacing approaches and choose the best fit for your organization.
- Choose the right provider - Weigh your options for third-party cloud providers and choose the best one based on your needs and your budget.
- Audit and backup data - Ensure your data is clean and consistent, and then back it up before the migration process begins.
- Use migration tools - If possible, use migration tools if a provider makes them available. These can help avoid errors and streamline migration.
- Monitor the process - Monitor the migration process and address errors as they arise.
- Follow your post-migration checklist - Remember to validate data for accuracy, performance test and train your users on the cloud environment. Post-migration tasks help verify that the migration was a success.
Try Secoda for Free
Migrating your data to the cloud is a great option for many organizations. Once you have your data where it needs to be, implementing data management tools can help you maximize the potential of that data.
If you want to centralize your data and enable self-service analytics, Secoda is your all-in-one data management solution. With Secoda, you get a data catalog, data discovery, data lineage, data documentation and more. Ready to learn how Secoda can help you make the most of your data on the cloud? Schedule your demo or try Secoda for free today.