Migration to cloud strategy – today, it is no longer just an interesting and new alternative, but a market standard. A few years ago, this solution was reserved only for the largest players, but now cloud migration strategies are common practice also in small and medium-sized enterprises. What are the benefits of moving data to the cloud and how to choose a specific migration model?
Cloud migration approach – benefits for an organization
Cloud migration approach is not just an alternative, but a prerequisite for entering the digital world. Any company that wants to maximize the impact of its operations must bet on a cloud-suspended ecosystem. This is not only a way to modernize your business, but a necessity to adapt to market activities. What benefits does the cloud migration approach bring?
- Security – as example: moving the database to the cloud reduces the risk of data loss and limits access by unauthorized persons.
- Lower costs – a significant reduction in infrastructure costs, such as servers or additional software.
- Flexibility – possibility to quickly expand data storage space and increase computing power.
- Professional support – quick access to specialized know-how instead of a demanding process of building competence within the company. Support is mostly a paid service that can be offered by a cloud provider or a company responsible for cloud migration
What to consider at the moment of choosing cloud migration strategies?
Moving data to the cloud has many benefits, but the process itself can be very demanding. It is important to remember that the application often requires a change of architecture and adjusting it to operate in a new environment. When considering cloud migration strategies, you need to take into account several important issues.
- Scope of changes to be made to the application code
- Speed migration to cloud strategy.
- Initial investment cost and long-term project expenditure.
- Technical staff resources.
5 r’s of cloud migration – main data migration models
In 2011, Gartner identified the 5 r’s of cloud migration, i.e. the most important data migration models -Rehost, Refactor, Revise, Rebuild, Replace. Choosing the right migration to cloud strategy model will allow you to deliver an effective solution perfectly tailored to your needs.
Rehost – rapid transfer of applications
Also known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), the model involves re-deploying the application to a new hardware environment. The Rehost process consists in the rapid transfer of data from the local server to the cloud, without the need to interfere with its architecture.
Disadvantage: in spite of the quick migration, there is a risk of not fully exploiting the cloud’s potential and limited scalability in the future.
Refactor – introduction of minor changes
Data migration, also known as Platform as a Service (PaaS), involves a small modification of the architecture without changing the functionality of the application. The Refactor model does not require a major overhaul, allowing you to maintain business continuity. However, it does provide an opportunity to improve the infrastructure.Disadvantage: Inability of making major changes and using the full capabilities of the cloud in the future.
Revise – application enhancement
Another model migration to cloud strategy is Revise, i.e. modification of the existing application code, followed by rehosting or refactoring. The advantage of this approach is the possibility to introduce changes and necessary optimisations to better adapt the solution to the cloud environment. During the process, new functionalities, that were not available in the current version of the application, can also be introduced.
Disadvantage: This process requires more money and resources, and is also more time-consuming.
Rebuild – a thorough rebuilding of application
Migration in the Rebuild model involves discarding the code of the existing application and completely rebuilding and changing the architecture. This strategy provides access to innovative, previously unused solutions and functionality. Rebuild also provides the opportunity to use native cloud mechanisms on a PaaS platform.
Disadvantage: After rebuilding, the application may differ significantly from the original version. Not all functionalities can be transferred and implemented.
Replace – replacement of an existing application
The Replace model, also called Software as a Service (SaaS), consists in replacing an existing application with completely new software. You should therefore choose a new solution that has similar functionalities. This approach allows you to fully exploit the full potential of the cloud, increases scalability and reduces software development costs.
Disadvantage: The process requires careful data management, and data access issues may arise.
Each of the 5 r’s of cloud migration models has many benefits, but it also comes with limitations and concerns. Before making a decision, it is worth estimating the scope of necessary changes, considering development opportunities and defining a list of priorities.