The Cloud Migration Process

Cloud migration process in action by IT business specialist

The cloud—short for cloud computing—refers to servers you access over the internet and the software and databases that run on those servers. By using the cloud, an organization can avoid paying for and managing its own hardware. It also enables a company to conveniently access files and applications from any internet-connected device.

There are many benefits that come with cloud computing, which is why a growing number of businesses rely on the cloud for their operations. However, before you can take advantage of said benefits, it’s necessary to move your digital assets over to those remote servers. This process is known as cloud migration.

The Cloud Migration Process

There is an abundance of reasons a company may choose to migrate to the cloud. One of the leading motives being the ability to access virtually unlimited computing resources. When an organization decides to switch to a cloud model, they often work with a cloud migration service. This is because transitioning to the cloud comes with certain risks.

As you proceed through this process, your data, applications, and other business elements are going to be temporarily vulnerable. A mistake could result in troublesome consequences like data loss. Additionally, if migration is unsuccessful, you won’t be able to get the full benefits the cloud has to offer.

With an experienced managed services provider (MSP), cloud migration consultants guide you through the procedure to ensure everything goes smoothly. But how do consultants help your business migrate? What should you expect from the process? Well … an MSP starts the process by helping you create a cloud migration strategy.

Cloud Migration Strategy

Like with any other venture, the last thing you want to do is go in unprepared. Without a well-thought-out plan, the more likely you are to hurt your chances of receiving the desired results. So the first step is to create a strategy. Part of this strategy includes making a cloud migration checklist.

A checklist considers three fundamental factors:

  • Why: Leadership needs to be clear as to why they want to migrate.
  • What: Some assets may be ready to migrate immediately while others may need some reworking. It’s necessary to figure out what applications you want to be moved.
  • How: There are a few different ways to transfer your information to the cloud. It’s up to you and your MSP to discover the best cloud migration solution.

Outside of the checklist, a migration plan takes into account hurdles you may run into during the journey. This could include compliance issues, incompatible programs, and more. Identifying these challenges gives you time to prepare workarounds that can minimize downtime.

Types of Cloud Migration

As mentioned earlier, there is more than one reason to migrate to the cloud. There are three main types of migration: lift and shift, move and improve, and rip and replace. Here is what each migration type entails:

  • Lift and Shift: Also known as rehosting, this a bare minimum process where small changes are made. Essentially, applications and their data are lifted and moved to a cloud infrastructure. Since this is done without redesigning the app, you may miss out on certain benefits you’d get if the program were on the cloud natively. However, this is the easiest and fastest way to migrate.
  • Move and Improve: Also known as replatforming, this process makes a few modern updates to your assets without throwing the whole thing out. For example, a program may gain the ability to scale and be automated. This solution offers a few benefits, but it can potentially leave you with the same technical debt.
  • Rip and Replace: Also known as refactoring, this is the slowest and most complex migration method. However, it provides the maximum benefit. Rip and replace is the process of rebuilding your workload from scratch to run natively on the cloud.

There are a few other migration methods like cloud-to-cloud if you want to transfer to a new cloud solution. Reverse migration is also an option if you want to move back to a local data center.

Choosing the Right Platform

The next step in the migration process is to choose the platform you want operations to run in. You have a choice between four different cloud models, including:

  • Public Cloud: A public cloud is a platform that’s owned by a third-party vendor and is publicly available. Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are two popular examples of public clouds. These services are often free or pay-per-use for anyone that uses them. This is the least secure cloud solution, but it offers a high level of scalability.
  • Private Cloud: Contrary to public clouds, a private cloud is an environment that’s owned by the organization. For businesses that are interested in having full control and customization over their platform, this is an ideal model. This is the most secure solution, but it lacks scalability.
  • Hybrid Cloud: By combining elements of public and private environments, you can have a hybrid cloud. This is where resources are shared between both platforms. Sensitive data can stay in the private cloud, and other apps can run in the public cloud.
  • Multicloud: This is where you are using multiple cloud services in one environment. A hybrid cloud is an example of a multicloud solution. It can also include using multiple public cloud services.

Transferring Your Data

Last, but not least, comes the transfer of your data. After a plan is in place, the MSP begins managing the migration of your data to a remote server. Depending on what the MSP offers, this process can be done all at once or staged over time. All at once is the quickest solution, but you won’t be able to use your network until it’s done. With a staggered migration, your infrastructure is moved over piece-by-piece, allowing you to continue working during the process.

Cloud migration doesn’t have to be a daunting task for you to complete on your own. Our experts orchestrate a seamless process for your company.

Start Migrating Today

If you’re ready to start taking advantage of the cloud, let The Millennium Consulting Group help. Our experts make cloud migration easy by guiding you through the process and providing advice through every step. We make it so that your infrastructure is carried over with minimal disruption to your business.

Contact us today to learn more about this topic and our IT solutions for Colorado businesses.