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What is Cloud Migration? Benefits, Strategies, Types

Cloud services help businesses become more flexible and successful, so they are actively used both in large corporations and in startups, and small and medium-sized enterprises. But to avoid difficulties during migration, it is important to carefully plan the transfer of a large number of workloads from the local data center to the cloud. We tell you how to safely transfer data to the cloud and what nuances should be taken into account when moving.

What is migration to the cloud and its benefits for business?

Migration to the cloud is the process of moving business applications and data from local architecture to a virtual pool of scalable computing, network, and storage resources. The transition to the cloud using cloud migration services is most often carried out by companies that want to increase the speed of reaction to external and internal changes, ensure data security, simplify scaling processes and reduce costs; in other words, cloud migration contributes to the concentration of business on innovations and strategies and at the same time makes the management of IT infrastructure and its costs more efficient.

Cloud migration is the most popular among e-commerce companies, training platforms, service businesses, information portals, and geographically separated branches of enterprises.

Migration allows you to:

  • increase the flexibility of the IT infrastructure;
  • maintain high service performance;
  • optimize IT infrastructure maintenance costs;
  • protect data from vulnerabilities, taking into account security standards;
  • reduce business risks.

Moving to the cloud is necessary for companies that need to scale easily, react quickly to changes, and at the same time keep data safe and optimize their budget, reducing costs through cloud solutions. Thus, migration allows businesses to focus more on strategy and innovation, as well as manage IT infrastructure more efficiently.

Type and model

When migrating to the cloud, you have a choice of three types of migration:

  • The entire IT infrastructure is being transferred, including data, applications, settings, and terminal station capabilities. For small and medium-sized businesses with a relatively simple system, the process will take several days.
  • Infrastructure is transferred selectively. For example, services and information systems go to the cloud, and applications tied to specific hardware parameters remain on physical servers. Or critical. Or requiring compliance with regulatory requirements. The option with a partial transition is often chosen by large enterprises with an extensive IT infrastructure. The process is not fast, it requires a thorough audit and a detailed roadmap.
  • Hybrid relocation involves simultaneous modernization of the IT infrastructure. For many large companies, this is the only possible option. When an audit of information systems reveals significant gaps and problems, it is impossible to transfer everything “as is”. Otherwise, the old difficulties will move to the cloud. Simultaneously with the transfer of the IT landscape, systems are being restructured, and routing, bandwidth, and security parameters are being optimized.

There are also three migration models. In the first case, you switch to a public cloud deployed on the servers of the data center. The advantages of this option are most noticeable for small businesses with a simple IT infrastructure: low costs, simple management, and basic technical aspects are taken over by the data center.

The second model involves moving to a private (private) cloud. Private is your own, deployed on your server. The server can be located both on the company’s premises and in the data center. This option selects the business for which the critical: high level of security, configuration flexibility, and extensive scalability.

The hybrid model combines the advantages of public and private solutions: own capacities are used for the main tasks and current processes, and data center resources are connected for testing, launching new projects and advertising campaigns, and increasing resources for peak loads.

The key strategies for migrating to the cloud

There are several migration approaches that you can use while moving to the cloud. These are the following:

  • rehosting (lift and shift). Migration using this strategy can be carried out as simply and quickly as possible, and this method is suitable for simple workloads that can be refined and optimized after the transfer to the cloud;
  • replatforming – this option provides for the introduction of innovations in portable applications (for example, scaling or automation capabilities);
  • refactoring (rearchitecture) with rebuilding workloads from scratch to transfer them to cloud-native infrastructures. This method is the most expensive, since it requires retraining of specialists, but all costs are paid off by the advantages of working in the cloud.

In addition to the listed options, there are strategies for “redemption” (purchasing a new product in the cloud to replace an outdated application), “retirement” (eliminating tools that are impractical to transfer to the cloud), “saving” (additional time to review infrastructure elements that cannot be transferred to the cloud, but it is not worth “sending retire”).