How Difficult is it to Move from One Cloud Provider to Another?

The “cloud” usually means the servers that are accessed over the Internet along with the software and database that run on these servers. These cloud servers are situated in data centres all across the world. Therefore, by using cloud computing, the users and companies do not have to deal with physical servers themselves or run software apps on their own devices.

The word “cloud migration’’ generally refers to a corporation moving their data and systems from their own internal architecture and transferring it to the cloud. But, what would you do if a company is already in the cloud? Also, what if they want to move to a new platform of cloud and migrate from one SaaS (Software as a Service) application to another. These examples are all cloud-to-cloud migrations. It seems much easier to switch to another cloud once you are already in the cloud, but it still takes some hands-on experience to develop a project like this without the unexpected problems. There can be plenty of reasons to migrate between clouds, so make sure you know what you are signing up for before committing to a cloud platform.

When Do You Need Cloud Migration?

When you first opted for a cloud service, you had to decide as to which cloud platform you would use. Maybe you already had tech giants like Google, Microsoft and Amazon (AWS) in mind or maybe you went with some other cloud providers. During that time, you must have based your choice on any number of business factors. Some of these factors may have been cost, reliability, security or even feature and compatibility you require.

With that being said, we all know that our business environment is constantly evolving. Therefore, those factors – which helped you decide the cloud platform to choose – must have changed as well so that now you are considering a new provider. Changed business needs and priorities may also deem a new platform a better fit.

Suppose some years ago you hire a cloud migration services provider who migrated the first systems of your company to an AWS cloud platform and the main reasons behind you doing so were reliability and risk mitigation. After that, your company starts thriving and you have grown more and more comfortable with Google’s productivity tools. Later on, you also realize your supply chain partners are on the Google platform and are going through integration capabilities there. That is when you start considering the possibility of cloud-to-cloud migration so as to take advantage of the Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

In the above example, varying software usage and the relationship with your partners might help in switching from one platform to another, along with factors like cost, security and performance which can be easily applied. Given below are some factors which lead to cloud-to-cloud migration.

  • For performance improvement
  • Additional tools and functionalities to help your business
  • Better pricing to reduce your costs
  • Better APIs, integration capabilities, service-level agreements and uptime
  • If the current platform is not satisfying your needs as a client
  • You require large scalability to accommodate your business growth
  • Reduce your DevOps and deployment timelines

Keeping in mind the size and complexity of your cloud operations, many of these factors might be credible enough to make you shift to a new platform.

 

Why Cloud-to-Cloud Migrations can be Difficult Sometimes?

Cloud is all about the architecture.

The platforms in cloud invest heavily in intricate architecture so that you do not have to. They will also provide the hardware, operating systems, storage and even certain software. They will also provide the maintenance and update on all the architecture which will save you time cost and the effort of doing it on your own. Along with this investment, comes a robustness and scalability. However, it also originates problems when you decide to migrate between clouds. As each platform is built upon its own stand-alone proprietary architecture, very little part of it is suitable enough to port its applications to the other clouds. The things like operating system, networking architecture, virtual machine configuration, database options and system management tools are taken into consideration while choosing a cloud platform and building cloud-based applications.

These are just a few of the areas where your choices are limited by platform. Without saying much, you cannot expect to pick an application from one platform and expect it to run on another and also expect to gain all the added advantages that possibly made you take up the project in the first place. For instance, if you develop an application for Microsoft Azure, you should try running it on Microsoft Azure. If you later on decide to port it to Google App Engine instead, then it will be wise of you to expect heavy-duty re-architecturing of the code of the application to harness the full value of the platform.

Potential Benefits of Cloud-to-Cloud Migration

We will talk about some typical scenarios that will benefit from cloud migration.

  • If your application is experiencing a lot of traffic and it becomes difficult to scale the resources to meet the increasing demand.
  • You want to reduce the operational costs while improving the effectiveness of IT processes.
  • The clients need fast application implementation and deployment, thereby focusing more on development and reducing infrastructure costs.
  • If you want to expand your business geographically, but still doubt that setting up a multi-region infrastructure along with all the maintenance, time, human and error control effort is going to be a challenge.
  • The growing storage need is becoming more difficult and expensive to keep up with.
  • You are interested in building a widely distributed development team, where cloud computing environment enables you to remotely locate employees and gain access to applications and work through the internet.
  • You need to build a cloud disaster recovery

Potential Risks of Cloud Migration

Here are some general drawbacks related to cloud migrations that you need to consider.

  • If your application is supposed to store and retrieve very sensitive data, then you would not be able to maintain it in the cloud.
  • If your existing setup meets all your needs, does not ask much maintenance, scaling, availability and even your customers are happy, it would be foolish of you to switch to another cloud platform.
  • If the current technology you rely upon is proprietary, then you would be unable to deploy it to the cloud.
  • Some operations will suffer added latency when you use cloud applications over the internet.
  • Third party applications on the cloud can make themselves “heard” through their shared resources.

Is Cloud-to-cloud migration worth the trouble?

When you migrate from one cloud provider to another, you will have to analyze the costs, risks and the benefits of this migration. You should see whether it makes sense technically, operationally and financially. It is quite simple to look at the upfront efforts and think it is not worth switching the cloud platform. But when you deal with a large cost over time, meeting client requirements or enhancing your overall reliability and performance, the sooner the switch, the better it will be. This is because with every application you keeping adding into your cloud, the more difficult cloud-to-cloud migration will become.

Conclusion

Moving your business applications and information to the cloud can be an extraordinarily vital move that gives you an aggressive edge by diminishing IT costs, empowering application versatility and different advantages.

The intricacy of the cloud migration process relies for the most part upon the size and multifaceted nature of your business tasks. In this article, we have covered the essential steps you need to take when moving to the cloud.