Let’s face reality, IT architectures are complicated enough without considering the vast challenges that a migration to the cloud can bring. It’s a valid concern as this can bring challenges that could eventually affect how we deliver to clients. But – although there are obstacles – ‘no pain, no gain!’ So let’s highlight six common cloud migration challenges that will need to be planned for in good time.
Challenge one – time
It can be difficult to estimate how long it can take for data to be transferred to the cloud. This can all depend on the application, type of data and cloud provider. Be sure to think about the time it may take to sync your data from a primary node to a secondary node. Data replication here can take its toll on your schedule, disabling other processes that could be in effect during a migration.
Also, what about trying to move everything onto the cloud at once – saving time? Avoid at all costs! A good general practice is to start migrating non-essential or redundant data first. This tests the waters when starting the migration process. For example, imagine our staff making an error that could erase, corrupt, or expose critical data!
Challenge two – cost
Data transfer within a region is free. Data transfer between regions is not, so it would be good to project the financial impact of a migration, whilst still remembering that it will be cost-effective in the long term. The following considerations can affect the cost of a migration:
- Amount of data being moved
- Cost of training staff on new technology
- Cost of writing/replacing data to be compatible with cloud architecture
Challenge three – region replication
The replication type matters here – asynchronous or synchronous? The primary difference between synchronous replication and asynchronous is the way in which data is written to the replica. Most synchronous replication products write data to primary storage and the replica simultaneously. As such, the primary copy and the replica should always remain synchronized.
Remember that data replication will experience some latency when crossing between regions. Asynchronous replication between regions typically reduces the impact of that latency.
Challenge four – security
Probably the top priority consideration. When we migrate to the cloud, we are, in effect, asking another party to look after your data. It’s wise to be made aware of our cloud provider’s security practices.
In a public cloud, we may need to adopt new identity and access management technologies that we didn’t have before.
Challenge five – training
New technology means adopting new skills among our staff members. Ensuring that everyone is swinging from the same branch when it comes to using it is essential. Assume that all are beginners to cloud migration. Yes, there are those that have experience of cloud migration, but every situation is unique and can pose different problems.
So, it’s a good idea to get employees up to speed on the cloud and the solutions our business is integrating.
Challenge six – apps requirement
Perhaps the easiest part of this process is to identify apps that aren’t needed. There could be a lot, and unworthy of the effort to migrate them over. For example, do we really need to support our own Exchange server, an out-of-date HR system, or homegrown sales automation tools?
In conclusion, again – hard work, but worth it in the end as many enterprises have achieved massive savings by just preparing to face six common challenges when migrating to the cloud.