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Cloud Migration Strategies, Deployment Methods & Solutions

As customer habits evolve and new technologies emerge, businesses reposition to be part of the digital economy.

They adopt a digital transformation strategy by innovating, changing business models, and integrating emerging technology.

This includes deploying Cloud Computing technology and solutions that transform how businesses operate and deliver value to customers. Companies are adopting the “cloud-first” approach, a practice of favoring the Cloud platforms as the primary option for their programs and applications.

Cloud Computing and Cloud Migration are sophisticated IT fields that require expertise in Cloud Architecture. Cloud Architecture is how different technologies, software capabilities, and databases combine in an on-demand cloud platform.

The Cloud server pools resource through virtualization, sharing them across the network for uninterrupted access by users.

A Cloud Architect is responsible for the management of a company’s Cloud computing strategy. This includes Cloud adoption or migration, Cloud application design, and Cloud monitoring.

An IT professional who takes a Cloud Architect certification has the skills needed for Cloud usage and management. To begin with, however, the wannabe Cloud Architect must learn about Cloud Migration strategies and their role in the business transformation of companies.

What is Cloud Migration

With the digital transformation of businesses, companies are embracing the power of the Cloud for success and growth. They are moving their IT assets to the Cloud infrastructure of providers like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. According to Gartner, by 2024, more than 45% of IT spending will shift from legacy solutions to the Cloud.

The process of shifting digital operations to the Cloud computing environment is Cloud Migration. It includes moving data, applications, and IT processes from on-premises or legacy infrastructure to the Cloud. The result is cost savings, scaling up, self-service provisioning, and a flexible pay-per-use model.

Types of Cloud Migration

There are various types of Cloud Migrations that organizations can execute.

  • Moving data and applications from an on-premise infrastructure or data center to the public cloud.
  • Moving data and applications from one Cloud provider to another, called Cloud-to-Cloud Migration.
  • Moving out data or applications from the Cloud back to local on-premise infrastructure or data center, termed reverse Cloud Migration or Cloud exit.

With the prioritization of business transformation, the first two types of Cloud Migration are the most popular approaches. Cloud exit migration is implemented when the business wants to store its IT assets in its own data center.

Mapping your Cloud Migration Strategy

Cloud Migration is part of the digital transformation roadmap of an organization. It is a complex process requiring a well-mapped Strategy. Cloud Migration Strategy can be described as a documented plan of an organization, mapping the entire migration path of its IT assets from legacy to cloud infrastructure.

A Cloud Migration Strategy illustrates how a business plans to execute its migration to the Cloud. It calls for a well-thought-out strategy that considers the goal of Cloud Migration and the choices available. Questions need to be asked to tackle the challenges of migration. What type of data or application should move? How much data to shift? How soon it must be executed? What type of migration to perform? What are the cost considerations?

Cloud Migration Strategy is a complex plan that considers the challenges of management, technology, and resource realignment. It begins with a detailed inventory of data and applications and the dependencies. Examine the ways to replicate these in the Cloud or possibly re-architecting them. Prioritize the business-critical applications and consider whether you want to store them locally. Examples are applications with high throughput and low latency. Finally, select the Cloud deployment type and the Cloud architecture that matches your business goals.

What Cloud Migration Strategies and Solutions should businesses adopt

Cloud Migration Strategy maps the process of moving some or all digital assets to the cloud.

Gartner has laid down a “5Rs” model that identifies the Cloud Migration Strategy techniques. Organizations looking to migrate application workloads must consider which migration Strategy best addresses their needs.

The following are the five Cloud Migration strategies:

1. Rehosting

As the term suggests, it involves the recreation of the application architecture on the host Cloud server. This strategy is considered when a business needs to redeploy data and applications to the Cloud server. It is suitable where code modification is not possible for the migration of applications. An IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) provider is the best option for organizations

2. Refactoring

Refactoring involves tweaking and optimizing applications for the shift to the Cloud. Existing code and frameworks are reused while the core architecture remains unchanged. It enables flexibility, as changes can be made to the architecture using cloud-based tools. A platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provider is employed in this strategy.

3. Revising

Revising strategy builds upon existing or prior plans and involves partial rewriting of the code or extension of the codebase. It is done before deployment on the Cloud server using rehosting or refactoring. The strategy calls for complete knowledge of the codebase and detailed planning of the migration path.

4. Rebuilding

The rebuilding approach takes a complete rebuild approach by discarding the existing code base to replace it with new code. Besides rewriting the code, the native application is completely re-architected when moving from on-premise to a PaaS provider’s platform. As it is time and labor-intensive, businesses adopt this strategy only when the current solutions no longer meet business needs or when they want to gain from the sophisticated features in PaaS platforms.

5. Replacing

This Cloud Migration Strategy takes a revolutionary approach by completely discarding existing applications and replacing them with built-in solutions offered by SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) applications of third-party vendors. Instead of reworking or redeveloping native applications, the company adopts the strategy of migration to third-party, prebuilt Cloud applications. The only IT asset unchanged during the migration is the data.

What are the various Cloud Deployment Methods?

User-friendly solutions, time-saving features, easy access and implementation, improved security, and flexible licensing options are encouraging business owners to invest in the Cloud.

However, Cloud Migration involves more than a Migration Strategy. Organizations also need to decide how best to adopt Cloud deployment and which method to apply.

There exist three common types of Cloud deployment:

A. Hybrid Cloud

This method combines two or more types of cloud environments, for instance, a mix of public and private clouds, or on-premises data centers.

B. Multi-Cloud

A Multi-Cloud deployment combines two or more public clouds. The advantages are redundancy, cost savings, and benefits of features from different Cloud providers.

C. Single Cloud

Deployment is done on just one Cloud vendor, either a private or a public cloud provider. The choice of deployment depends upon the business goals.

Summary

A robust Cloud Migration Strategy requires a detailed and well-planned roadmap for a flawless migration. Cloud service providers offer Cloud Migration tools to help automate the transition and make the data shift more seamless. Your Cloud Migration Strategy must consider all available options while choosing the Cloud deployment method and the right third-party vendors.

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