Businesses are learning they must adopt the cloud if they wish to remain ahead in the ever-changing market. For many organizations, however, cloud migration is the most difficult step in this process. Of the 1,300 IT leaders surveyed for the 2012 Cisco Global Cloud Networking Survey, 39 percent claimed that they would sooner “get a root canal, dig a ditch, [and] do their own taxes” than face a challenging cloud migration at their companies.
While it’s true that organizations face an array of challenges when migrating to the cloud, there are a number of ways to overcome these issues and move forward with a successful cloud implementation. Read on to explore a few of the biggest cloud migration challenges and how you can move past them.
Finding the right provider
Choosing a cloud vendor is one of the most important aspects of cloud migration—and one of the most challenging. Each provider has something different to offer, so it’s difficult to determine which one will be the best fit for your company. However, the provider you select must meet your company’s needs in regard to more than just cloud services. You should ensure that the vendor you select will have the tools required to migrate your organization’s data to a cloud environment.
Keeping downtime to a minimum
Due to the nature of technology, it’s impossible for cloud vendors to guarantee that their systems will be always safe from outages. Still, you can mitigate the risk of experiencing downtime during your cloud migration process by choosing a reliable provider.
Not all outages occur on the vendor side, however. All cloud processes (migration included) rely on a strong Internet connection. To prevent your own organization from experiencing downtime during the cloud migration process, you should guarantee that your web connection is reliable before you initiate the move.
Lack of interoperability
When using multiple digital systems at once, you must always ensure that they are capable of communicating with one another. Also known as interoperability, this concept is particularly important—and difficult—when it comes to cloud migration. As you move to the cloud, you may find that your systems are incapable of communicating with your cloud service. To facilitate better cloud interoperability during migration, you must utilize a cloud environment that can adapt to any cloud provider.
It is easy to underestimate the budget that cloud migration will require. As you move your company to the cloud, you will need more bandwidth, which will incur more costs. Moreover, you may also see your cloud migration costs rise due to staff training, system complexity, and other hidden expenses.
You won’t have to worry about many of these costs if you implement a clear plan for migration. It is highly likely that you will encounter unforeseen circumstances that will affect your cloud budget, so it’s best to accommodate for them beforehand. Your budget should be flexible and ready to accommodate any changing costs. Once you move past the cost hurdle of migration, you will begin to see the many money-saving benefits that the cloud can bring.
There is no way to be certain that cloud migration will give your organization the performance boost that you expect. On the contrary, migration can bring about a number of issues regarding the performance of your workloads and applications.
Performance monitoring is a major challenge that your company could face during the migration process. As you move workloads to the cloud, you must ensure that they are optimized for use. However, monitoring their performance can be difficult if you do not have an automated system that looks for performance issues. Thankfully, most cloud platforms deliver the automation that you will need to optimize the performance of your workloads efficiently throughout migration.
If you are experiencing other issues with workload and application performance, then you should consider taking a streaming-based approach to migration. Instead of replicating your information and moving it all at once, you can “stream” the data that you will need for productivity right away and migrate other processes over time.
Reducing time requirements
Cloud migration won’t happen overnight. The average company takes between three and six months to complete a successful migration, on top of the time that it needs to test its systems. Think about how much data you have and what size it is. A single terabyte (TB) of data takes between one and two days to migrate to the cloud. If you have applications that are 10 or even 100 TB in size, then you are looking at a much longer migration process.
To reduce your migration time, you should move your information in pieces. Workloads can go live in as little as a few minutes, which will leave more time for you to migrate other data over time. You can also implement caching tools and optimization to run applications in the cloud before your other information is finished migrating.
Starting the migration process by conducting a review of all your data is another way to expedite the process. By gaining a comprehensive review of your information, you will identify any offenders (e.g., legacy systems) that could slow down the migration process.