In the constantly evolving technology landscape, businesses always look for new ways to enhance their operations and stay ahead of the competition. One trend that has been gaining high momentum since the last decade is cloud migration i.e. the move from on-premise to cloud. This shift is driven by the need for greater scalability, flexibility, and cost savings for businesses.
Today, more than 70% of the IT businesses have either partially or completely migrated their on-premise operations to the cloud, according to Gartner research. Another report generated by Gartner shows that in 2021, only 30% of new digital workloads were deployed on cloud-native platforms, however, by 2025, this number is expected to rise by 95%. It is evident from these staggering numbers that organizations are rapidly turning towards cloud adoption. In fact, the cloud has become the new normal for enterprise IT.
To get a deeper understanding of the topic, let us take a look at what is cloud migration, why one should switch to the cloud, along with the step-by-step process to perform cloud migration.
Cloud migration is the transfer of assets like data, applications, and other IT services from on-premise installations to the cloud. There are several reasons why businesses are moving to cloud; the primary driver is cost savings as businesses no longer have to invest in expensive hardware and software, as all computing resources are provided by the cloud service provider. This means that businesses can reduce their capital expenditures and operating expenses, freeing up resources for other important initiatives.
There are four types of cloud environments to know about, before migrating to the cloud, which can be categorized as the below:
This is a model in which a cloud provider offers its services to several consumers. Its examples include giants like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), etc.
This is a kind of model in which cloud resources are owned and utilized by one organization exclusively, instead of the general public. Oracle, Dell, IBM, HPE, etc. are the organizations preferring private cloud.
This model represents the combination of both- public and private clouds. For instance, a company may host their application and its logic on the public cloud and run its warehouse data on a private cloud.
A multi-cloud approach integrates a minimum of two public clouds.
One of the biggest advantages of cloud adoption is scalability. With on-premise infrastructure, businesses are limited by the hardware and software resources they have in-house. In contrast, migrating to the cloud allow businesses to scale up or down as required, without having to worry about the costs and complexities of adding new hardware or software.
Another advantage of cloud migration is flexibility. With on-premise deployments, businesses are tied to a specific location and have to deal with the limitations of their physical hardware. But, cloud deployments allow businesses to access their data and applications from anywhere, at any time, and on any device. This also makes it easier for businesses to work remotely and collaborate with colleagues and partners.
One of the biggest drivers of the move to the cloud is cost savings. On-premise deployments require significant upfront investments in hardware, software, and personnel. On the other hand, the cloud is typically priced on a subscription basis, which allows businesses to pay only for what they need. Besides, cloud providers handle upgrades and maintenance. This reduces their IT expenses subsequently.
Security is a major concern for businesses, especially when it comes to sensitive data and applications. For on-premise infrastructure, businesses are responsible for securing their own hardware and software, which can be time-consuming and expensive. But for cloud, deployments are typically hosted by third-party providers that have the resources and expertise to provide robust security measures. This can help businesses to reduce their risk and ensure that their data and applications are protected.
Assessment and Planning: The first step is to assess the current on-premise deployment and determine what needs to be moved to the cloud. This includes an assessment of the hardware, software, and data that needs to be transferred. Accordingly, plan for the migration process, and considering the security measures, and regulatory compliance.
Investigate about the offerings of different vendors. Also consider the resourcing and logistics requirements that may be necessary.
To reduce the risk of on-premises data being exposed while in transit, deploy a cloud firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS) before you actually migrate.
Test the cloud's capabilities before starting the migration by shifting a small workload that isn't mission-critical in real-time. Continue the migration as planned, after you are certain that the applications and data are in order on the cloud. The procedure might cause delays in business operations, particularly for re-factoring migrations that are not well prepared for and tested beforehand.
Once the migration is accomplished, carefully synchronize and update applications as required. On-premises systems can be deactivated if you're performing a cloud-only migration. However, there are several circumstances, such as hybrid cloud deployment, in which retaining these systems will be advantageous.
Data migration can be a daunting task, however, it provides businesses with a wide range of benefits. Whether you're a small business or a large enterprise, this transition can help you to streamline your operations, reduce costs, and stay ahead of the competition. There are some challenges as well involved in this process, such as lack of expert knowledge, difficulty in migrating massive amounts of data, insufficient pre-migration analysis, cost overruns, etc. However, the benefits of moving from on-premise to the cloud outweigh these challenges.
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