Data Migration to Cloud: What You Will Get in the End
According to McKinsey’s 2021 article, the business value that cloud migration is capable of generating for organizations worldwide stands at a whopping USD 1 trillion. At the same time, however, companies are expected to have misspent USD 100 billion on cloud migration by the year of 2024.
If executed poorly, data migration may turn out to be devastating for a company’s budget. Mapping out your cloud data migration strategy is one of the ways to organize the migration process properly and avoid that misfortunate outcome. In order to build that roadmap, McKinsey advises that you answer the following questions:
Without further ado, let us dive into the (thankfully not so un-)charted waters of data migration and integration.
Types of Data Migration
Data transfer can be carried out in two ways — big-bang or trickle. The decision about which data migration option to choose should be informed by the project requirements.
The big-bang approach means that all of your data is transferred in one sitting. If you migrate data between systems, you will have to experience at least some downtime to allow for the download of data from the source system, its processing, and uploading to the target one. Before initiating, you need to have done at least one trial run and made sure you have a backup plan in case things go south. Moreover, due to limited time, the quality of data is usually worse.
The trickle approach means that all of your data is transferred incrementally. During a phased transition of the data, the old and the new systems are operating concurrently. This method is adopted the most widely because it provides zero downtime and hence, no disruptions in round-the-clock operations. When the source and the target are running in parallel, however, a business must make sure that nothing gets lost on the way and all changes made to data in the source are appropriately tracked and reflected in the target.
What Are Common Cloud Migration Challenges?
Here, we will talk about the on-premises-to-cloud server data migration.
The main reasons lying behind decision-makers’ reluctance to adopt the cloud are security, logic, and interconnectivity.
- Security. As cloud computing is often referred to as ‘public cloud,’ the word ‘public’ is the one sounding the loudest to many large organizations. Rightfully so, security is one of the cornerstones of any business’ operations, and in the case of data, it must comply with the policies outlined within some of the strictest regulatory measures, such as GDPR. What is often not taken into account, however, is that public clouds also have access rights, specific settings and configurations, certifications and audits, and even multi-layered security. If that is not enough, one may follow the hybrid data migration model, under which the most sensitive data is left on-premises.
- Logic. Before now, we were talking exclusively about data. But behind that data, there may be entire application systems that you want to migrate. Cloud providers normally have a suite of simplified tools that let you transfer the database ‘as is’; however, they usually do not account for the business logic and calculations related to that database. And that process cannot be migrated so easily — in order to do that, a business would need to think about compatibility in advance, at the data migration planning stage.
- Interconnectivity. A narrowly-focused piece of custom software that has been developed by the company in-house is yet another issue to be addressed when designing the data migration framework. Often, these entities have been heavily invested into both in terms of money and effort. There are two main obstacles — either it is too expensive to migrate, or the code needs to be re-written from scratch. In this scenario, a company needs to do a case-by-case review with the data migration service of their choice, assessing the probability of migrating this legacy software and locating the ways to do that. Some cloud computing providers have cloud-native services, which help make your migration even faster and more affordable than straightforward re-writing.
When Data Migration Is Needed & What You Get After Transferring Data
The introduction of new systems or consolidation of those that already exist are the usual precursors to data migration.
The most vital value of data migration to the cloud is the ability to scale in a time- and cost-efficient manner.
Companies that adhere to the on-premises model have their IT infrastructure sitting in a server block or a building, and they are the ones to service that infrastructure. So any request — ‘we want to roll out a new feature,’ ‘we plan on undergoing a strategic expansion,’ or ‘we are willing to match the growth of the market and our clientele,’ to name a few — kicks off a whole cycle of processes. This cycle includes — but is not limited to — a purchase request, approval, financing, arrival, installation, and then maintenance. Apart from being lengthy in time, it is during this cycle that CTOs and decision-makers usually face most problems, among which is time-to-market, making it all even more painful.
Cloud providers solve that problem for good. Say, you have three computers (we say ‘computers’ here for simplicity, but in fact, we mean any unit of computing power, such as RAM, storage, or VM) and need an extra, fourth one. With the cloud, you no longer have to worry about looking for the right seller, waiting for the computer to be shipped and delivered safely, installing it alongside the rest, and then updating the software it runs on and fixing it in case something malfunctions. Cloud enables you to do everything smoothly, in just a couple of clicks. The same holds true for situations when you realize that you do not need one or more machines idling — you can easily remove them, paying for the resources you utilize only.
Choosing the Right Cloud Service Provider
When picking a cloud solution provider, you must do your own research. It might be helpful to:
- Pay attention to the year the company was established;
- Examine whether it has suffered security incidents, data breaches, blackouts, and congestions in the past;
- Investigate unbiased reviews left by other customers and leading tech media;
- Compare pricing and the availability of tools facilitating migration;
- Examine coverage and the operational status in your area of residence.
No matter which cloud computing provider you end up choosing, we at IBA Group will always help you migrate your data seamlessly with our data migration solutions.
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