Successful Strategies for Cloud Migration

2023/10/10 11:04

A cloud migration strategy is a comprehensive blueprint that details how an organization will move its digital assets, encompassing services, databases, IT resources, and applications, from on-premises or co-located infrastructure to a cloud-based setting. This endeavor may encompass partial or complete transitions, and it might even incorporate transferring from one cloud platform to another, commonly known as cloud-to-cloud migration.

The implementation of a cloud migration strategy generally proceeds through five key phases: preparation, planning, migration, operation, and optimization. This complex procedure extends beyond merely transferring data from local data centers to well-known public cloud service providers such as VNG Cloud, FPT Smart Cloud, or CMC Cloud; it can also involve shifting from one cloud service to a different one.

For enterprises venturing into their first experience with cloud adoption, there exist several crucial elements to contemplate. A well-crafted cloud migration strategy can furnish a distinct route map, guaranteeing a seamless shift that maximizes the operational advantages inherent in cloud platforms.

In this blog, you will gain insights into:

  • What are the Benefits of Cloud Migration?
  • What are the Challenges of Cloud Migration?
  • Cloud Migration Strategies.
  • 5 Phases of Cloud Transformation.
What are the Benefits of Cloud Migration?

Here are some of the advantages that drive organizations to transfer their resources to the public cloud:

1. Scalability

Cloud computing can easily scale to accommodate larger workloads and a higher number of users, surpassing the capabilities of on-premises infrastructure. Unlike traditional IT setups that required purchasing and configuring physical servers, software licenses, and network equipment to expand business services, cloud platforms offer effortless scalability.

2. Cost Efficiency

Cloud providers offer managed services that reduce operational costs and simplify tasks like upgrades and maintenance. Organizations making the shift to the cloud can significantly cut down their IT operation expenses, allowing them to allocate more resources to innovation—whether it's creating new products or enhancing existing ones.

Nowadays, companies are accelerating the adoption of cloud platforms, transforming operations to achieve better efficiency and innovation

Nowadays, companies are accelerating the adoption of cloud platforms, transforming operations to achieve better efficiency and innovation

3. Enhanced Performance

Migration to the cloud can lead to improved application performance and a better end-user experience. Cloud-hosted applications and websites can seamlessly adapt to serve a larger user base or handle increased throughput. Additionally, they can be strategically positioned in proximity to end-users, minimizing network latency.

4. Digital Experience

Cloud services and data become accessible to users from anywhere, whether they're employees or customers. This accessibility contributes to digital transformation, enhances the customer experience, and equips employees with modern and flexible tools.

What are the Challenges of Cloud Migration?

The process of cloud migration can be intricate and fraught with risk. Here are several key obstacles that numerous organizations encounter during their journey of transferring resources to the cloud.

The benefits of cloud migration outweigh its challenges

The benefits of cloud migration outweigh its challenges

1. Absence of a Strategy

A common issue arises when organizations embark on cloud migration without allocating adequate time and focus to their strategy. Achieving successful cloud adoption and implementation demands comprehensive, from-start-to-finish planning for migration. Every application and dataset can present unique demands and factors, potentially necessitating distinct approaches to their transition to the cloud. The organization should establish a distinct business rationale for each workload slated for migration to the cloud.

2. Cost Management

During the process of cloud migration, numerous organizations fail to establish well-defined key performance indicators (KPIs) to grasp their anticipated expenditures or savings post-migration. This lack of clarity complicates the assessment of migration success from an economic perspective. Moreover, cloud environments exhibit dynamism, with costs capable of swift alteration as novel services are integrated and application usage expands.

3. Dependency on Cloud Providers

Vendor lock-in presents a prevalent challenge for those embracing cloud technology. While cloud providers offer a wide array of services, a significant portion of these services might lack portability to alternate cloud platforms. The transfer of workloads from one cloud to another proves to be a time-consuming and expensive endeavor. Often, organizations initiate cloud service usage only to realize later that transitioning to a different provider becomes arduous if the existing provider fails to align with their needs.

4. Data Security and Compliance

Data security and compliance emerge as significant hindrances to the process of cloud migration. Cloud services adhere to a shared responsibility framework, where they handle infrastructure security while customers are tasked with safeguarding data and workloads.

While cloud providers might offer robust security measures, the proper configuration of these measures falls under your organization's purview, ensuring that all services and applications possess suitable security controls.

The migration procedure itself introduces security vulnerabilities. The transfer of substantial data volumes, which could include sensitive information, and the setup of access controls for applications across diverse environments, expose substantial risks.

Cloud migration strategies are formulated to assist organizations in strategizing, implementing, and enhancing their migration endeavors

Cloud migration strategies are formulated to assist organizations in strategizing, implementing, and enhancing their migration endeavors

Cloud Migration Strategies

There exist seven distinct strategies for cloud migration: rehosting, redeployment, repackaging, refactoring, repurchasing, retaining, and retiring. These strategies were initially termed the "5 Rs" by Gartner but have since expanded to include "7 Rs". When organizations contemplate moving to the cloud, it's essential to evaluate which migration strategy aligns best with their requirements. Here's a brief overview of each:

  1. Refactor/Re-architect: Transform an application by adjusting its architecture and leveraging cloud-native features to enhance agility, performance, and scalability. This often involves transferring the operating system and database.
  2. Replatform (Lift and Reshape): Transfer an application to the cloud while incorporating certain optimizations to capitalize on cloud capabilities.
  3. Repurchase (Drop and Shop): Shift to a different product, frequently by adopting a Software as a Service (SaaS) model instead of traditional licensing methods.
  4. Rehost (Lift and Shift): Migrate an application to the cloud without modifying it to utilize cloud-specific features.
  5. Relocate (Hypervisor-Level Lift and Shift): Shift infrastructure to the cloud without necessitating new hardware, application rewrites, or modifications to current operations.
  6. Retain (Revisit): Keep applications in their original environment. This encompasses applications requiring substantial refactoring, which can be deferred to a later date, or legacy applications that persist due to a lack of business justification for migration.
  7. Retire: Cease or eliminate applications that are no longer necessary in the source environment.
5 Phases of Cloud Migration

When viewed in a broader context, the entirety of the cloud migration procedure is referred to as cloud transformation. This cloud transformation journey is typically segmented into five distinct phases: preparation, planning, migration, operation, and optimization. These phases collectively offer a comprehensive strategy for transferring workloads and data to the cloud, aiming to minimize disruptions while maximizing advantages.

Cloud migration has emerged as a key focus for businesses of varying scales

Cloud migration has emerged as a key focus for businesses of varying scales

1. Preparation

During the preparatory phase, organizations lay down their business objectives for cloud migration. These goals might encompass enhanced agility, cost efficiency, heightened performance, or expanded scalability. Within this stage, a preliminary assessment of the existing IT infrastructure is crucial to understand available resources and their potential migration routes. Additionally, evaluating the organization's readiness for cloud adoption is paramount, revealing any skills or technology gaps requiring resolution prior to the migration process.

Construct a business rationale for each application earmarked for cloud migration, outlining the anticipated total cost of ownership (TCO) in the cloud as compared to the present TCO. Employ cloud cost estimation tools to project future expenses, taking into account practical assumptions such as storage volume, computing resources, instance configurations, operating systems, as well as specific performance and networking prerequisites.

2. Planning

Once an organization has outlined its business objectives and assessed its preparedness for cloud migration, the subsequent phase involves crafting an elaborate migration plan. This comprehensive plan should encompass a step-by-step outline of the migration journey, specifying the sequence and details of workloads slated for migration. Additionally, organizations should settle on a preferred cloud architecture and pinpoint any essential adaptations required for their existing applications or data. This phase also serves as the opportune moment to address any compliance or security prerequisites tied to the migration endeavor.

During this stage, it's pivotal to evaluate the environment and determine the pivotal factors governing the migration process. These factors encompass critical application data, legacy data, and the interoperability of applications. Likewise, it's vital to assess data reliance: Are there data sets requiring frequent resynchronization, data compliance mandates to fulfil, or non-essential data that can potentially be migrated in the initial migration rounds?

Uncovering these necessities aids in identifying which data necessitates migration and its optimal timing. It also aids in determining whether the data requires cleansing, the appropriate destination volume types to employ, and whether data encryption, both at rest and during transit, will be necessary.

3. Migration

The migration phase involves the tangible execution of relocating data, applications, and other workloads to the cloud. Within this phase, an array of techniques can be employed, encompassing lift-and-shift (moving applications to the cloud without alterations), refactoring (adapting applications to leverage cloud-native features), or even complete reconstruction of applications. Vigilant monitoring of migrations is essential to ensure adherence to the planned trajectory and to promptly address any emerging issues.

Integral to this process is data migration. Ensuring uninterrupted access to data for users throughout the migration is crucial to prevent disruptions to business operations. This concern persists during subsequent synchronization and updates after the initial migration. Every workload element migrated individually should be validated to function seamlessly in the new environment before transitioning to the migration of another element. Additionally, devising a mechanism to synchronize modifications made to the source data while migration is in progress is essential.

4. Operation

Once workloads have been successfully migrated to the cloud, organizations progress into the operational phase. This stage involves the ongoing management of workloads within the cloud environment. Tasks encompass monitoring performance, resource management, and upholding security and compliance measures. Throughout this phase, continuous enhancements to operations should be made based on feedback and performance metrics, with necessary refinements to optimize cloud operations.

Beyond real-time monitoring, it's imperative to assess the security of data stored in the cloud to align with regulatory compliance mandates like Decree No. 53/2022/ND-CP on elaborating a number of Articles of the Law on Cybersecurity of Vietnam, Decree No. 13/2023/ND-CP on protection of personal data.

Additionally, it's crucial to remain attentive to maintaining consistent performance and availability benchmarks to ensure the fulfilment of Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) goals should they undergo modifications.

5. Optimization

The ultimate stage in the cloud migration journey is optimization. During this phase, organizations actively seek avenues to enhance the performance and efficiency of their cloud environment. This pursuit encompasses streamlining cloud operations, pinpointing prospects for cost reduction, and integrating cloud-native attributes or services to elevate overall performance. The optimization process is an ongoing endeavor, with organizations consistently seeking methods to enhance their cloud operations and amplify the business value derived from their cloud investments.

Each of these phases holds a pivotal significance in guaranteeing the triumph of a cloud migration endeavor. By adhering to these stages, organizations can mitigate risks and disturbances, secure a seamless shift to the cloud, and optimize the advantages derived from their cloud undertaking.

Elevate your cloud migration using VNG Cloud's cloud-based development and migration services

Elevate your cloud migration using VNG Cloud's cloud-based development and migration services

Start your migration with VNG Cloud!

The process of migrating data to the cloud can be intricate, involving numerous intricate components. Among the most intricate elements of such a migration, particularly within sizable enterprises, is the movement and synchronization of substantial data volumes. VNG Cloud's cloud solutions present an avenue to streamline the migration procedure by offering tools designed to facilitate the swift, secure, and effortless movement and synchronization of data.