DATA MANAGEMENT

The Ultimate Guide to Cloud Data Migration and Cloud Migration Tools

February 12, 2024

Leveraging cloud technologies can be a game-changing decision for any organization. However, the process of migrating to the cloud can raise concerns. Some people may think they don't have enough time or expertise to move large amounts of data to the cloud, while others worry about losing valuable data during the migration process. Some may even think that cloud storage is too costly. The reality is that modern technologies and digital warfare are constantly evolving, making it more important than ever to move to the cloud. 

What is Cloud Data Migration?

Let’s take a second and go back to the basics. What exactly is “Cloud data migration”? Simply put, it is the process of transferring data, applications, and workloads from on-premises systems or other local environments to a cloud-based infrastructure. It is an extremely crucial component of digital transformation initiatives as organizations modernize their IT infrastructure and leverage the scalability, agility, and cost-effectiveness offered by cloud technologies.

How you migrate is not nearly as important as where you migrate to. In the healthcare industry, security and compliance are essential to day-to-day operations. The progression of modern health technologies has generated plenty of data — and data regulations along with it. For businesses in this industry, it’s essential to meet specific compliance regulations to keep patient data and information at its highest form of confidentiality and security.

Different types of cloud migration?

When starting your migration journey, you may hear about the “six R’s of migration”. These strategies include… 

Rehosting ("lift and shift")

Rehosting is a straightforward option that involves lifting your stack and shifting it from on-premises hosting to the cloud. It can be the quickest way to achieve ROI, as you transport an exact copy of your current environment without making extensive changes. Rehosting is best suited for companies with a conservative culture or no long-term strategy for harnessing advanced cloud capabilities.

Replatforming

Replatforming is a variation of "lift and shift" that involves making a few further adjustments to optimize your landscape for the cloud. The core architecture of applications remains the same. It is a good strategy for conservative organizations that want to build trust in the cloud and achieve benefits like increased system performance.

Repurchasing

Repurchasing is a cost-effective option that means moving your applications to a new, cloud-native product, most commonly a SaaS platform (for example, moving a CRM to Salesforce). Even though it requires losing the familiarity of existing code and training your team on the new platform, repurchasing can be the most suitable option when moving from a highly customized legacy landscape.

Refactoring

Refactoring (or rearchitecting) means rebuilding your applications from scratch. It is the most compatible option with future versions and is generally driven by a business need to leverage cloud capabilities that are not available in your existing environment, such as cloud auto-scaling or serverless computing. Refactoring can be the most expensive option, but it is necessary to keep up with the changing market trends.

Retiring

Once you have assessed your application portfolio for cloud readiness, it is essential to retire the applications that are no longer useful. Simply turn them off and use the resulting savings to boost your business case for applications that are ready for migration.

Retaining

For some organizations, cloud adoption does not yet make sense. Perhaps you are unable to take data off premises for compliance reasons or you are not ready to prioritize an app that was recently upgraded. In this case, plan to revisit cloud computing at a later date. You should only migrate what makes sense for your business, and not just because of the market trends.

Benefits and Challenges of Cloud Data Migration

Now listen up, stop scanning through my highly intricate and extremely well-edited blog. You want me to sell you on migration? Here it is. 

Costs

Now that you are in the cloud, gone are the days have to worry about the operational costs and maintainance of keeping those dusty and unprofitable physical servers running. The cloud service provider manages the servers, more than likely on a subscription-based model that cuts out a massive chunk of expenditure. 

Agility/ scalability

Cloud-based services offer the advantage of providing automatic scaling up or down of capacity to accommodate fluctuating demand. They also enable teams to collaborate on projects or issues from anywhere, thereby eliminating the need for on-site work. This level of continuity can provide businesses with a significant competitive edge.

Decreased footprint

By optimizing server capacity to match your cloud needs, you can confidently say goodbye to unnecessary consumption of energy and resources. With this approach, you can even consider reducing your data center footprint.

Disaster recovery

It is imperative for businesses of all sizes to have an efficient offsite backup and recovery solution in place, and with the advent of cloud technology, it has become more cost-effective and feasible for even smaller organizations to implement such solutions.

Security

It is crucial to store your sensitive data and applications on the cloud since it offers far greater physical and data security as compared to traditional private data centers. Cloud providers regularly roll out robust security updates that help protect your data from unauthorized access and other security threats. By leveraging the power of cloud services, you can spend more time focusing on your key organizational priorities without worrying about data security.

These benefits of course come with its challenges. This is why I cannot stress enough how important it is that you choose the right cloud migration strategy and the correct tools. The most common challenges are…

Downtime

Rest assured that with proper planning and resource allocation, the migration process can be managed effectively, even if it requires temporary downtime for in-house servers. .

Interoperability

Successfully adapting your existing applications to newer cloud environments can be challenging, but by adjusting your processes to align with those of your cloud provider, you can ensure seamless communication.

Resource management

The cloud is a remarkable technology, but not all IT professionals have complete trust in it. There may be employees who used to manage physical servers and now require training on the new infrastructure. In some cases, introducing new IT management roles or transforming the backbone of business operations is necessary for successful cloud adoption. However, as I stated above, with the right approach the cloud can be a highly effective tool for businesses looking to streamline their operations and stay ahead of the curve. 

Without a doubt, the benefits of migrating to the cloud far outweigh the challenges. As long as you choose the right strategy, these challenges can easily be mitigated.

Preparing to Migrate

When choosing your Cloud Migration Tool, you have to keep something in mind: your Migrations Plan. The planning process of migrating to the cloud can be broken down into five phases: prepare, plan, migrate, operate, and optimize. These phases offer a comprehensive approach to shifting workloads and data to the cloud, minimizing disruptions, and maximizing benefits.

Preparation Phase

In the preparation phase, organizations establish their business objectives with utmost clarity and ensure they are aligned with their cloud migration strategy. These objectives could be focused on increasing agility, achieving significant cost savings, improving overall performance, or attaining better scalability. In this phase, organizations conduct a comprehensive assessment of their IT infrastructure to identify the resources they already have. By doing so, they can make informed decisions and design a robust plan for their cloud migration journey.

Planning

Once an organization has established its objectives and determined its cloud readiness, creating a detailed migration plan is the next crucial step. The plan must include a roadmap for the migration process, outlining which workloads will be migrated and in what order. The organization must also confidently decide on its preferred cloud architecture and identify any necessary modifications to its existing applications or data. During this phase, it is of utmost importance to address any compliance or security requirements related to the migration. It is essential to assess the environment and determine the factors that will govern the migration at this stage. Critical application data, legacy data, and application interoperability must be carefully considered. Additionally, the organization must confidently determine its reliance on data: Is there data that needs to be resynced regularly? Are there data compliance requirements to meet? Or is there non-critical data that can be migrated during the first few passes of the migration? Identifying these requirements will help the organization confidently determine which data needs to be migrated and when, whether the data needs scrubbing, the type of destination volumes to use, and whether encryption of the data is necessary both at rest and in transit.

Migration Phase

The migration phase is the phase where the actual process of transferring data, applications, and other workloads to the cloud takes place. This phase can involve a variety of techniques such as lift-and-shift, refactoring, or even completely rebuilding applications. It is essential to monitor migrations closely to ensure they are proceeding according to plan and that any issues are immediately addressed. Data migration is a critical part of this process, as inaccessible data during a migration can have a severe impact on your business operations. The same applies to syncing and updating systems after the initial migration. Every workload element individually migrated should be thoroughly tested to guarantee it is functioning as intended.

Operation 

Once workloads are successfully migrated to the cloud, organizations enter the operate phase. In this phase, they need to confidently manage their workloads in the cloud environment, which involves monitoring performance, managing resources, and maintaining security and compliance. Refining operations based on feedback and performance data is crucial to optimize cloud operations confidently. Organizations should also confidently assess the security of data stored in the cloud, ensuring that working in the new environment meets regulatory compliance laws, such as HIPAA and GDPR. It's essential to confidently meet ongoing performance and availability benchmarks to ensure Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) are met should they change.

Optimize

The ultimate stage of cloud migration is optimization, where organizations confidently aim to boost the performance and efficiency of their cloud environment. This involves taking decisive action to refine cloud operations, identify cost-saving opportunities, and integrate cloud-native features or services to optimize performance. The optimization phase is an ongoing process, as organizations confidently seek ways to elevate their cloud operations and drive unprecedented business value.

These phases can give you a solid look into the timeline from the very idea to the execution of the cloud migration. While looking mapping out your plan, comes with figuring out exactly what tools to use… 

Cloud Migration Tools Overview

There are three types of Cloud Migration Tools. They are Public Cloud Providers’ Tool (PCP), Third-Party Tool (TP), and Open-Source Tools (OS). 

Public Cloud Providers' Tools:  

Cloud service providers offer robust tools that are specifically designed for their platforms, ensuring seamless integration with their infrastructure, and providing native migration capabilities. 

  • Ex: Wasabi Migration Tools: Wasabi's three migration tools facilitate the effortless transfer of data to the Wasabi cloud storage platform, providing high-speed data transfer, cost-effective storage options, and robust security features. Wasabi’s relationship with hundreds of technology alliance partners means that there are hundreds of verified integrated solutions that are 100% S3 API-compliant, have made it possible to implement true multicloud strategies.

Third-Party Tools:  

Independent software vendors (ISVs) have developed third-party cloud migration tools that offer advanced functionality and greater flexibility compared to native provider tools. These tools support multiple cloud platforms and are equipped with additional features to cater to heterogeneous environments, providing businesses with a seamless migration experience.

  • Ex:Carbonite Migrate: A migration solution that supports heterogeneous environments, allowing organizations to migrate workloads between on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments. It offers agent-based and agentless migration options and supports physical servers, virtual machines, and cloud platforms.

Open-Source Tools:  

Open-source cloud migration tools can be a fantastic solution for organizations that want to customize their cloud migration projects while keeping costs low. These tools are developed by a community of volunteers who make the source code available for free. This allows users to tailor the tools to fit their specific needs and add new features as required. By using open-source migration tools, organizations can benefit from cost savings, transparency, and community support, making it a smart choice for successful cloud migration planning.

  • Ex.Terraform: An open-source infrastructure-as-code (IaC) tool that enables organizations to define and provision cloud infrastructure using declarative configuration files, facilitating cloud migration and automation. It supports multiple cloud providers, including AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and others.

Key Features to Look for in Cloud Migration Tools and How to Choose Them.

After gaining a solid understanding of what the tools are and how they can be applied, the next step is to choose the right one. There are a few things you should consider when making your choice. 

  • Flexible and scalable infrastructure. 

Is it providing a range of services that can grow with your business?

  • Transparent pricing and cost-efficient offerings. 

Are you aware of all of the fees and can you get a clear reading on what you’ll be paying without any surprises?

  • User-friendly interface. 

Was navigating through your cloud infrastructure has easy? Can you manage your resources without a steep learning curve?

  • Robust security. 

Are there implementations of advanced security features and protocols that can help protect your business from potential threats?

  • 24/7 support and comprehensive documentation. 

Do they provide round-the-clock customer support to address your concerns. Are documentation, tutorials, and community resources available at your discretion?

  • Migration support. 

Are there any partners who will offer support to those who are considering cloud migration? Can the partners provide you with the tools and expertise necessary to migrate your cloud infrastructure successfully?

When evaluating and comparing tools to decide which works best for you, here are some additional questions you can ask yourself. 

  • Does this meet my requirements fully?

  • Do the features meet my needs, and can they accelerate my performance?

  • When testing functionality, are there any flaws or anything to be concerned about?

  • How are each migration tool integrating with your existing IT ecosystem, including cloud platforms, management tools, and third-party solutions?

Wasabi Data Migration Tools

Wasabi migration tools tackle every challenge that we just addressed and even enhances some of the benefits. Wasabi is the ultimate solution for organizations looking to migrate large volumes of data to the cloud quickly and efficiently. Our high-speed data transfer capabilities enable organizations to transfer vast amounts of data with little delay. Our low-cost storage solution aids in minimizing migration expenses while providing reliable and durable storage for your data. We take security and compliance very seriously and maintain the highest level of standards. With Wasabi's data encryption, access controls, and compliance certifications your data remains secure and compliant throughout the migration process. Lastly, our immutable storage feature ensures that your data remains protected from accidental modification or deletion, maintaining data integrity during and after migration. By utilizing Wasabi migration tools, organizations can overcome common challenges in cloud migration, including data transfer speed, cost efficiency, security, and data integrity, ensuring a smooth, successful, and hassle-free transition to the cloud. 

Our range of powerful migration tools are specifically designed to simplify and streamline the process of migrating data to the Wasabi cloud storage platform. With our tools, you can enjoy secure, efficient, and cost-effective solutions for transferring large volumes of data to the cloud. Our tools cater to the diverse needs of organizations across various industries, making the process of data migration hassle-free.

Wasabi Ball

Wasabi Ball is a physical data transfer appliance that enables organizations to migrate large datasets to the Wasabi cloud storage platform quickly and securely. It provides a simple and cost-effective solution for transferring terabytes or petabytes of data without relying on internet bandwidth.

Key Features:

  • High-Speed Transfer: 

Wasabi Ball offers high-speed data transfer capabilities, allowing organizations to migrate large volumes of data quickly and efficiently.

  • Offline Transfer:  With Wasabi Ball, organizations can transfer data offline, eliminating the need for high-speed internet connections and reducing transfer times.

  • Secure Encryption:  Data transferred using Wasabi Ball is encrypted with AES 256-bit encryption, ensuring data security and confidentiality during transit.

  • Ease of Use:  Wasabi Ball provides a user-friendly interface and simple setup process, making it easy for organizations to migrate data to the cloud with minimal effort.

Wasabi Cloud Sync Manager

Wasabi Cloud Sync Manager is a cloud-native data migration tool that enables organizations to migrate data between other cS3 compatible loud storage systems and the Wasabi cloud storage platform.

With Wasabi's low price per-TB, it is an ideal option for an alternative to storing data in AWS S3. Organizations that migrate data from AWS S3 to Wasabi save money in as little as a month and a half. Migrating a petabyte of data from AWS S3 can save a customer close to $200,000 in storage charges in the first year. Additionally, our S3 compatibility and lack of egress fees provide you with the flexibility to store data in our cloud and run your application in another.

Wasabi Direct Connect:

Wasabi Direct Connect is a dedicated network connection service that enables organizations to establish private, high-speed connections between their on-premises data centers and the Wasabi cloud storage platform. It provides a secure and reliable connectivity solution for migrating data to the cloud and accessing cloud storage resources with low latency and high throughput.

Key Features:

  • Private Connectivity:  Direct Connect establishes private connections between on-premises data centers and the Wasabi cloud, bypassing the public internet and ensuring secure and reliable data transfer.

  • High Bandwidth:  Direct Connect offers high-bandwidth connections, enabling organizations to transfer large volumes of data to and from the cloud quickly and efficiently.

  • Low Latency:  Direct Connect minimizes latency by providing dedicated, low-latency connections between on-premises environments and the Wasabi cloud, ensuring optimal performance for data-intensive workloads.

  • Secure Encryption:  Direct Connect encrypts data in transit using industry-standard encryption protocols, ensuring data security and confidentiality during transfer.

Organizations can make use of our three powerful tools – Wasabi Ball, Wasabi Cloud Sync Manager, and Wasabi Direct Connect – to simplify and speed up the process of migrating data to the Wasabi cloud storage platform. These tools ensure security, reliability, and cost-effectiveness. With Wasabi Ball, data migration becomes an easy task even when offline. Wasabi Cloud Sync Manager migrates data from other cloud storage services to Wasabi. Wasabi Direct Connect provides a secure and high-speed data transfer by using dedicates, private connectivity. These migration tools offer efficient solutions to organizations for a hassle-free data transfer to the Wasabi cloud storage platform.

So, make it fast, easy, and safe for yourself. Choose the right Cloud Migration Tool. Choose Wasabi

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