CLOUD MIGRATION: Benefits, Examples and Tools

cloud migration

As more businesses migrate to the cloud, migrations within the cloud are becoming more common, as businesses transfer between different cloud providers (known as cloud-to-cloud migration). However, for those making their first journey into the cloud, there are a few key factors to be aware of, which we’ll go over below.

What is Cloud Migration?

The process of moving an organization’s data, applications, and workloads to a cloud infrastructure is known as cloud migration. Your company may decide to move all of its computing assets to the cloud, but in most circumstances, some applications and services will remain on-premise.

One or more clouds may be involved in the migration. Some clouds are public, with services supplied over the public internet, while others are private, with protected cloud infrastructure available exclusively to a single business. Organizations frequently employ a combination of public and private clouds in a hybrid cloud architecture that also incorporates on-premise computing assets.

What are the Benefits of a Cloud Migration?

Some of the advantages that push enterprises to shift resources to the public cloud are as follows:

#1. Scalability

Cloud computing can readily scale to serve larger workloads and more users than on-premises equipment. To scale up business services in traditional IT systems, organizations had to buy and install physical servers, software licenses, storage, and network equipment.

#2. Cost

Cloud providers provide managed services that reduce your operating overhead and make maintenance activities like upgrading easier. Companies that migrate to the cloud might save greatly on IT operations. They can commit greater resources to innovation, such as the development of new products or the enhancement of existing ones.

#3. Performance

Migrating to the cloud has the potential to increase performance and end-user experience. Cloud applications and websites can quickly scale to serve more users or have higher throughput, and they can run in geographical areas close to end users to reduce network latency.

#4. Experience with technology

Users, whether employees or customers, can access cloud services and data from any location. This adds to digital transformation, improves customer experience, and offers employees current, adaptable tools.

What are the Most Common Cloud Migration Challenges?

Cloud migrations can be complicated and dangerous. Here are some of the primary problems that many firms are facing as they migrate resources to the cloud.

#1. Inadequate Strategy

Many firms begin their cloud migration without investing enough time and attention to their strategy. An end-to-end cloud migration strategy is required for successful cloud adoption and deployment. Each application and dataset may have unique requirements and considerations, necessitating a unique approach to cloud migration. Each workload that is migrated to the cloud must have a compelling business case.

#2. Cost Management

Many firms have not set clear KPIs when migrating to the cloud to determine what they plan to spend or save after migration. This makes determining whether migration was economically effective difficult. Furthermore, because cloud environments are dynamic, charges can fluctuate fast as new services are adopted and application demand develops.

#3. Vendor Lock-In

Vendor lock-in is a prevalent issue for cloud technology adopters. Cloud companies provide a wide range of services, but many of them are not transferable to other cloud platforms.

Workload migration from one cloud to another is a time-consuming and costly procedure. Many firms begin adopting cloud services only to discover that switching providers is difficult if the existing supplier does not meet their needs.

#4. Data Protection and Compliance

Data security and compliance are significant barriers to cloud migration. Cloud services adopt a shared responsibility model in which they take responsibility for infrastructure security while the customer is responsible for data and workload security.

While the cloud provider may provide sophisticated security measures, it is your organization’s job to effectively set up them and ensure that all services and applications have the appropriate security controls.

The migration procedure itself poses security concerns. Transferring large amounts of sensitive data and establishing access controls for applications across many environments exposes you to severe risk.

What Cloud Migration Strategy Should Businesses Use?

Gartner, a well-known information technology research firm, describes five possibilities for firms considering cloud migration. These cloud migration strategies are known colloquially as the “5 R’s”:

  • Rehosting can be defined as “the same thing, but on cloud servers.” Companies who choose for this strategy will choose an IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) provider and rebuild their application architecture on that infrastructure.
  • Refactoring entails reusing existing code and frameworks while running applications on a PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) provider’s platform rather than IaaS, as in rehosting.
  • Revise – This strategy entails partially rewriting or expanding the code base before releasing it via rehosting or refactoring (as described above).
  • Rebuild – “Rebuild” means rebuilding and re-architecting the application from the ground up on the platform of a PaaS provider. This can be a time-consuming procedure, but it allows developers to take advantage of new PaaS vendor features.
  • Replace – Businesses can also choose to replace their existing applications with pre-built SaaS (software-as-a-service) applications from third-party suppliers.

Cloud Migration Plan

Once your strategy has been developed and authorized, you can move on to the migration planning stages. A migration strategy must account for all workloads that will be transferred to the cloud as well as the order in which they will be migrated.

A step-by-step approach can aid migration success by allowing your team of implementers to learn as they go. Sometimes implementers start migration with a single workload to test the procedure and evaluate the results. This allows for modifications to be made if necessary.

Migration plans contain roadmaps, scheduling, project metrics, migration tools, and services, as well as a communication strategy for organization leaders, implementers, cloud providers, and—as needed—all stakeholders. The latter contains the users who will be impacted by the migration’s changes.

The essential components of a Cloud Migration Plan

Your migration strategy should have the following components to be effective:

  • Workloads that are being migrated
  • Priorities and sequencing of migration
  • Timetable
  • Process and role definition
  • Metrics of performance
  • Stakeholder interaction

A Checklist for Cloud Migration

Prepare a checklist to assist keep the project on track by ticking off each task as accomplished to smooth the move to the cloud. A checklist can be as simple or as detailed as project managers like. The following are some suggestions:

  • Determine which workloads will be moved to the cloud and categorize them based on complexity, size, and production/non-production status.
  • Investigate and select a cloud provider that is appropriate for the workloads being migrated.
  • Determine whether your workloads will necessitate a multi-cloud strategy.
  • Create a cost estimate for the migration.
  • Set up a team to handle the migration.
  • Inform the team on the migration’s objectives.
  • Determine how much of the migration will be handled internally and how much will be handled by the cloud provider.
  • Determine which workloads should be migrated initially.
  • Prepare a plan defining the migration’s roadmap and schedule.
  • Determine whether the firm currently employs cloud-based applications and whether they should be kept or replaced by new cloud-based services.
  • Inform all stakeholders about what to expect during and after migration.
  • Prepare a migration and post-migration security plan.
  • Set KPIs for the migration.
  • Check in with implementers to review progress along the route.
  • Test, review, and make any improvements.

Cloud Migration Study Cases

More than three-quarters (link sits outside IBM) of businesses now use the cloud in some capacity. The number of use cases expands by the day as organizations seek to upgrade their IT infrastructures, boost efficiencies, and provide a better customer experience through cloud migration.

Case #1

American Airlines recently permitted travelers to rebook canceled or delayed flights through its website, kiosks, or a mobile app. Previously, only personnel had access to the rebooking system; customers were told what their best option was but had no way of verifying it. Passengers can now see and select alternatives for themselves via a cloud-based, self-service application that they can download to their mobile devices.

During hurricane season, when flight cancellations are prevalent and unavoidable, American Airlines made the application available. Cloud migration is credited with the airline’s capacity to supply technology that allows it to keep up with customer demands.

Case #2

Weston Foods used the cloud to improve its online ordering system. The company is one of only two legally approved bakers of Girl Scout cookies, with an annual revenue of USD 800 million.

With demand increasing in recent years, Weston Foods found that its online ordering system could not keep up. On Sunday evenings, when up to five orders per second were placed, performance would be very taxing. Sunday evening is the weekly cutoff for placing orders, and most unit leaders strive to order cookies at the same time.

Weston Foods implemented a new order management system that can autoscale to meet demand. If the CPU utilization remains at 80% for five minutes, the system will automatically launch another virtual machine to share the workload. Weston Food’s cookie sales have increased by 8% year on year as a result of cloud migration.

Case #3

When LiquidPower needed to become a separate company within Berkshire Hathaway, it resorted to cloud migration to update its systems and processes while maintaining customer service. Pipeline drag-reducing chemicals are manufactured and sold by LiquidPower. The products are pumped into crude oil and gasoline pipelines to improve flow while reducing energy consumption.

LiquidPower moved its SAP applications to the cloud without disrupting operations. The change boosted the company’s scalability, preparing it for future development while also boosting its capacity to satisfy the needs of customers.

Costs of Cloud Migration

One of the most difficult components of cloud migration is calculating costs. There is a tendency to underestimate the whole cost of the process. Keeping this in mind, keep in mind not only the price of moving workloads but also the tools and services involved in the transformation.

Other factors to consider include investments in network connectivity to meet rising bandwidth demands and post-migration costs to run applications in the cloud. While cloud migrations minimize upfront costs associated with implementing new technology, the cloud-based model of technology consumption introduces new and continuing expenditures that necessitate planning and budgeting.

According to a Forrester Consulting research published in 2017, “Due Diligence is the Cornerstone of Public Cloud Migration Success,” (link sits outside IBM), many firms fail to properly budget for cloud migration, frequently overlooking the requirement to regard expenditures as an ongoing, rather than finite, expense. The following were the report’s principal findings:

  • Fewer than 40% of firms reach or exceed migration and operating cost goals.
  • Almost 58% of firms discovered that running their infrastructure on the cloud cost more than they anticipated.

Future migrations would be handled differently by organizations. The most prevalent solutions were to invest in tools, improve the visibility of performance, and gain a better grasp of costs, risks, and rewards.

Read Also: CLOUD COST MANAGEMENT TOOLS: Definition, Uses, Best Tools, And Pricing

To properly anticipate your costs, use online cost calculators that lead you through the compute model and other options related to the cloud migration process.

Financial planning is essential for cloud migration success. When creating a budget, keep in mind the present costs of the workloads being transferred, as well as the cost of relocating those workloads and running them in the cloud. Proper budget planning also comes from explicitly outlining project goals and establishing a realistic migration schedule.

Many firms have discovered that working closely with consultants, cloud providers, and financial experts to undertake essential analyses and generate accurate cost predictions is beneficial for effective budget planning.

Enterprise cloud use is becoming more widespread. Currently, the vast majority of corporations use the cloud in some capacity, and in most cases, organizations employ numerous clouds.

The majority of businesses have a cloud strategy, and 85% of them use multiple clouds. The current enterprise trend is to use four to five clouds on average. The concept of mixing and matching applications to the cloud infrastructure that is best suited to each unique demand is fueling the multi-cloud movement. As a result, multi-cloud strategies enhance stability while enhancing flexibility and scalability.

Another driver of cloud migration trends is digital transformation. In order to promote innovation, fine-tune go-to-market strategies, and improve customer experience, organizations are using cloud infrastructures to speed up their digitization initiatives. Companies are exploiting the cloud’s elasticity to speed development initiatives in order to launch new services and products in their respective marketplaces.

Finally, another important driver of cloud migration is the Internet of Things (IoT), which intends to connect gadgets with other devices and humans in a variety of ways to gather, review, and act on data.

As it grows, the Internet of Things will rely significantly on cloud infrastructures to process, store, and analyze huge amounts of data collected by sensors, trackers, and monitoring devices in a variety of contexts. Enterprises wishing to jump-start their IoT initiatives are naturally turning to the cloud to expedite their rollout strategies.

Cloud Migration Tools

Many automated, cloud-based, and open-source services and tools are made possible by third-party vendors and cloud providers. They:

  • Validate post-migration success
  • Manage and track its progress.
  • Assist in the development of cloud migration

Let’s go over some fundamentals.

#1. Application Performance Management APM

Remember that cloud companies provide access to a rich collection of metrics for recognizing changes in our cloud environment. Typically, these indicators are not included in the wider application context.

For the visibility level, you will require an isolated monitoring system. With a system that integrates AppDynamics APM, we can develop real-time correlations between end-user experience, application performance, and cloud service use.

#2. Unified Surveillance

It is a new capability that provides complete visibility into our entire application supporting components, infrastructure, database, application, end-user, and ecosystem. These are available both in the cloud and on-premises. We can easily identify cloud migration concerns that typically result in war-room calls.

We must be cautious while selecting tools that integrate our platforms and operating systems. The cloud migration skills we require in the future may even determine the cloud provider we choose today.

#3. Business Intelligence Monitoring

It is the type of technology we will require to verify the profitability of cloud migration. Look for a solution, such as AppDynamics Business iQ, that can evaluate post-move and pre-move performance baselines from a business and technical standpoint. As a result, optimizing enterprise performance simulates the user experience throughout all phases of our migration effort, and tracking enterprise transactions reveals the genuine impact on our bottom line.


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