Cloud Data Migration: How to Bring Data from On-premise to Cloud?

In this blog, we are going to explore deeply about cloud migration process like How to bring data from on-premise to Cloud? with steps.

When you first decide to migrate on-premises data and applications to the cloud, it can seem like an overwhelming process.

However, if you take the time to follow these key steps to ensure you’re getting the best possible results from your cloud migration.

The process will be easier than you ever thought possible and your business will get off to the best start possible.

The below five steps you need to consider when transferring on-premise data and applications to the cloud

Related Article: Data Migration From On-Premise to Cloud: How it Works?

What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud Migration is the process of moving data and services from an existing IT infrastructure (typically an on-premise solution) to one or more public, private, or hybrid clouds.

Depending on your business’ needs, there are many different options you can choose from when considering how you want to move forward with your cloud migration.

Related Article: Cloud Migration in Cloud Computing: Complete Guide

What is an On-Premise Solution?

An on-premise solution, sometimes referred to as offsite hosting, refers to any type of software that has been installed within a company’s physical premises and servers which is different from the cloud.

The on-premise term specifically indicates those types of solutions that have not been moved into any kind of cloud environment.

They run off hardware located inside your own building rather than being dependent upon internet connections or third-party computing systems.

If you decide to hire an outside service provider for help with your on-premise solution, it may also be called managed services.

Related Article: How to Perform On-premise to Cloud Migration in Azure?

Different Types of Cloud Migrations

Before you can migrate your data from on-premise servers to cloud servers, you first need to decide what type of migration is right for you.

There are three different types of migrations on-premise to private cloud, on-premise to the public cloud, and side-by-side.

Each one will depend on your individual needs and goals. For example, if you’re migrating to improve security or boost flexibility, then a move to a private cloud might be best.

If cost reduction is key, then moving to an IaaS provider like Google or Microsoft Azure might be best.

Whatever your reason may be (and there are many!), it’s important that you know how much time and resources each option requires as well as its risks involved so that you can make an informed decision about which migration is best for your company.

Related Article: On-premise Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud: What is the Difference?

Steps of Cloud Migrations

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you are either considering moving some, or all of your systems to the cloud.

If that is indeed your goal, there are five steps you should take to make sure your transition goes smoothly and successfully.

These steps include planning; preparing; transferring; implementing and testing, and maintaining your system in its new environment. To learn more about these five steps in detail below.

1. Planning: Assess Your Needs

Before you make any decisions about which workloads you want to migrate how to take some time to assess your needs. Take stock of what’s running on-premise, how it’s being used, and why it’s there in the first place.

You may find that some of your infrastructures aren’t as necessary as you once thought, or perhaps there are workflows that could be handled more effectively by third parties.

Think carefully before making choices like these they can have significant impacts on costs and resource utilization down the road.

If you decide that a move is appropriate for certain functions, don’t forget to weigh different vendor options and think about whether on-premises software should be replaced entirely or simply retired for specific tasks.

And keep in mind that just because something can go into the cloud doesn’t mean it should some processes might require security protocols that are easier to meet when information stays inside your own data center walls.

2. Preparing: Choose Your Tools

Before you begin your cloud migration, it’s important to choose tools that will best help with your project.

First and foremost, it’s critical that you select an experienced, qualified partner who can make sure all of your data is transferred successfully without any major issues or complications.

Some companies may be new to cloud migrations and others may not have experience with specific types of information, such as medical records.

Make sure to choose a company that specializes in your industry. It’s also crucial that you use secure methods for transferring your data so sensitive information doesn’t fall into hands where it could be compromised.

In some cases, it may even be required by law to encrypt and secure your data during transfer. For instance, healthcare providers are required by law to protect all patient information during a migration.

Last but not least, you should enlist third-party validation services if you think there’s any chance of errors occurring during your cloud migration.

3. Transferring: Migrate as Little or as Much as Possible

There are two basic ways of migrating from on-premise servers to cloud servers. One is by transferring all your data, applications, and configuration settings from your old servers, which is a highly recommended approach for any migration.

However, it’s not always possible or practical for example, if you have many on-premise servers in different places that do not interface with each other.

To ensure your migration goes smoothly, determine what can be migrated before transferring anything.

If at all possible, migrate everything onto one cloud server first; once everything has been transferred successfully, you can then break up whatever remains among your other cloud servers.

And, even after breaking things into smaller pieces, transfer them all onto a single new server (or just a few) rather than spreading things across multiple cloud servers.

The best method of transfer will vary based on your situation, but transferring everything as one major task helps make sure no part of your transition gets neglected and makes it much easier to troubleshoot problems quickly.

4. Implementing

Once you’ve decided on and purchased your cloud application, it’s time to integrate. To maximize results from your investment, follow these best practices for implementing your cloud solution.

First, don’t implement all of your users at once, Pick one or two power users first and let them become early champions of the system.

Their experience will help spread awareness throughout other parts of your organization and make implementation much easier when they finally do come online.

Make sure all employees are aware of resources available to help during implementation, such as training materials or user forums where they can get support in real-time.

4A. Pick the Right Time

According to a survey by Spiceworks, one of today’s biggest challenges for IT administrators is determining when is the right time to move their business to the cloud.

It’s an important question—one that needs detailed consideration if you want your migration project to succeed.

The answer? A successful migration requires careful planning and preparation, so you want to choose a time when your team will be able to focus its energy on managing transition rather than responding urgently to other priorities.

For example, it might make sense to delay your efforts until after a major event like tax season or deadline-driven projects have passed.

Or perhaps choose a slower period like Q1 or summer vacation where employees are less likely to notice changes while they get settled in new environments.

No matter what you decide, take some time upfront to reflect on how your enterprise can use its resources most effectively during different periods of the year; it’ll pay off in spades later down the line as timelines shift and priorities change.

4B. Perform Migration

When moving your company’s data, you have two options: perform a migration or an upgrade. If you’re bringing over just some of your data, upgrade it.

If all of your business data is going into cloud storage, migrate it. Either way, think carefully about how much of your previous system needs to change in order for everything to run smoothly in its new home.

In many cases, it will be possible to import old code and use old schemas directly with cloud applications; that makes for an easier transition than re-writing or re-imagining everything from scratch.

Migrations are likely to require more work but they also provide a smoother experience overall. Transfer on-premise to Cloud.

5. Testing

Before you decide to go all-in with your cloud migration, make sure your infrastructure and applications are solid by testing them on your staging environment first.

Doing so will help you identify potential issues and fix them before they affect production.

This isn’t always easy: test environments don’t match up exactly with live systems, which can lead to problems down the line if both environments aren’t running exactly in sync.

However, creating an automated system for transferring data from on-premise systems can help ensure that proper transfer is happening and that it’s successful.

5A. Follow Best Practices

Before you migrate, there are some best practices that can help you make sure your data is safe and secure. The two biggest best practices in IT today are virtualization and cloud computing.

By leveraging these two techniques, you can ensure that your migration goes smoothly. For example, by implementing snapshot technology when migrating from on-premise storage to public cloud storage, you’ll be able to ensure that your data is always available and consistent with no downtime or disruptions.

When it comes to planning for end-to-end cloud migration, it makes sense to follow one simple step: measure twice, cut once.

When in doubt about any aspect of your new solution (be it hardware, software, or otherwise), ask yourself if you need it before making a decision because once your initial investment has been made and things have moved forward, there may not be time to reverse course.

6. Maintenance

Planning for maintenance is important for any enterprise, but it’s even more critical when you’re moving from an on-premise environment to the cloud.

Remember that there are no benefits of downtime and little room for error when everything is virtualized.

With that in mind, here are some best practices for maintaining your migration process and ensuring success.

Backup First: Backup first before switching to a new platform. When things go wrong, having backups will help minimize data loss.

Make sure backup files are stored securely in multiple locations; most professionals recommend using different media formats with several physical copies so if one gets corrupted or damaged, you have others available for recovery.

There are many ways to do backups (hard drive or tape), just make sure they don’t reside on your primary server so that in case of a disaster, there is at least one copy that can be accessed outside of where it was originally located.

Keep Them Updated: It doesn’t matter how safe something looks if the software isn’t kept up to date.

What are the Benefits of Moving Data to the Cloud?

For most organizations, there are numerous benefits to moving data from on-premise systems to cloud platforms.

Here are some of our favorites When your data is in one place, it’s easier for everyone to find what they need which means less time spent looking for information and more time spent using it.

After all, the whole point of storing your files in cloud services is so that you can access them wherever you are from home or work, on your tablet or smartphone; or even from different types of devices like PCs and Mac computers!

1. Scalability: 

The scalability factor goes beyond just getting things done faster. If you don’t know how much (or if) your business will grow in years to come.

Then it makes sense to spend as little money as possible right now and allow yourself room to grow when necessary. Since cloud storage expands with demand, there is no additional hardware investment required.

2. Security: 

Moving data to the cloud increases security since you won’t have sensitive information stored on an internal server.

This way, only authorized users will be able to get access – keeping your company’s valuable assets safe.

3. Reduced IT costs & footprint:

It’s not easy to look at your current infrastructure and determine whether it aligns with future requirements.

One thing that enterprises quickly realize after shifting to the cloud is increased agility, which reduces IT infrastructure costs while simplifying ongoing maintenance tasks.

Organizational resources can focus on driving innovation rather than doing routine maintenance activities.

4. Mobile Readiness:

On-demand access across multiple device platforms allows businesses to make better use of their mobile workforce.

5. Upgradability:  

With cloud computing, companies often avoid having to purchase new software outright due to licensing agreements between vendors and service providers who sell subscriptions; instead, customers pay a monthly fee for whatever amount of capacity they actually require.

6. Service-level Agreement (SLA):

What happens if a cloud vendor experiences downtime? Most cloud providers guarantee 99.9% uptime availability.

7. Disaster recovery capabilities:

An obvious benefit of transferring data to the cloud is disaster recovery; we’ve all heard about major weather events and other events that impact heavily populated areas, causing power outages and disruption within companies.

Top 3 Cloud Platforms

While there are many cloud hosting providers out there, picking one can be tricky. A number of factors come into play, such as cost structure, location, industry specialization, and more.

So, how do you make an informed decision when choosing your new host? We have put together a list of our top three cloud platforms AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

Related Article: IaaS, PaaS, SaaS in Cloud Computing: Complete Guide

1. AWS: 

Amazon Web Services has become one of the leading cloud providers since launching its Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution in 2006.

Originally focused on developers, it’s since grown into a comprehensive suite of tools for all kinds of businesses.

It also now offers Platform as a Service (PaaS) with its Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud and even Dedicated Hosting for legacy applications.

2. Microsoft Azure:

Launched in 2010, Microsoft’s Azure platform was created as an alternative to AWS; it includes support for PaaS and IaaS and is available in more than 90 countries.

It supports .NET, Java, Node.js, and other programming languages out of the box, making it easy for developers already working with these technologies to port their apps over quickly—and even offers cross-platform support for Windows/Linux hybrids.

3. Google Cloud Platform:

Launched in 2008, Google’s cloud platform is similar to AWS and Azure; it supports PaaS and IaaS, with both Linux and Windows support out of the box. One big difference between it and other platforms?

Related Article: What’s Google Cloud? – How It Is Different From Others?

It also offers G Suite integration for easy file sharing, which makes it a particularly good choice for businesses already using G Suite tools like Gmail and Drive.

Related Article: Top 14 Example (s) for IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

How to Choose Your Cloud Provider?

The first decision you need to make when planning for your migration involves which provider should host your cloud solution.

There are plenty of choices out there in every category public, private, and SaaS so take some time to get familiar with them all before making a final selection.

While going public might seem like a good idea if you’re worried about confidentiality issues, keep in mind that having access to features like load balancing and global failover may come at a steep price depending on what your specific requirements are.

Choose wisely! Getting Data Ready: No matter what kind of transfer method you use, you’ll probably need to back up your data so that it doesn’t get lost along the way.

Related Article: What Is SaaS In Cloud Computing?

Practical Steps of Cloud Migration

Step 1 – Migrate Existing Data

The first step is to make a duplicate copy of your data and store it in a cloud data warehouse. You will need to choose the right data warehouse and do the work of moving all your transactional company data.

Before continuing, two challenges must be addressed, Starting with your organization’s needs.

Starting Smaller this, you might pick a small dataset and move it to several different data warehouses. Another obstacle is copying all of your data.

When you have large amounts of data, like hundreds of terabytes, the transfer is too big to use the internet to send it to the cloud.

Amazon and Google provide physical ways to transport the hard drives to the cloud, which you can use to complete your online backup.

The process is incomplete if you copy the raw data without inspecting it, You must confirm the export data is formatted properly and adjust your on-premises warehouse before moving it to the cloud.

You must also set the time that the exported snapshot was taken as the starting point when creating ongoing replication mechanisms.

Step 2 – Set up Ongoing Replication

Following the export of the first snapshot of your on-prem data warehouse, it is necessary to set up an ongoing synchronization process between the two.

Continuous replication is more complicated than a single copy operation since it consists of incremental copy jobs.

To update a cloud data warehouse, you need to capture the changes to the data and its schema and apply them to the cloud data warehouse.

Sometimes, certain changes to the data, like deleting or altering columns, may require tailor-made solutions to update the cloud data warehouse, Challenges that are more technical will be addressed later in this post.

Every synchronization solution should be carefully benchmarked for latency and reliability, as these parameters are vital to the success of an organization’s migration to the cloud.

There are two options – you may either create your own sync solution or rely on a data pipelining service to handle the continuous replication of data and schematization.

Once you have secured your foundation level, you may go about migrating the rest of your infrastructure component by component after another.

Step 3 – Migrate BI

What we’ve seen, the first component of an organization’s infrastructure that they are willing to move to the cloud is its analytics infrastructure.

And another reason why starting small is good, there are various data analysis teams in every organization, and it will be easier to start with a small, innovative group to lead the change.

Find this group, and work with them on setting up a BI tool that will work with your cloud data to assist with data storage.

With using tools like Tableau, Power BI, Looker, Periscope, Chartio, and even Redash, which is open source.

With a team of leading analysts and a fully synchronized cloud data warehouse, you can create ported reports and dashboards to demonstrate the value of the cloud data warehouse.

If done properly, this will produce a trickle-down effect on customers and will make them want to move to the cloud.

Step 4 – Migrate your Legacy Data Applications

Towards the end of the migration, your organization should be booming with a new cloud data warehouse that runs 5x more reports, each at least 10x faster than the on-prem data warehouse.

With such good fortunes working in your favor, you may have time to migrate all BI teams to use the cloud BI tools and then focus on migrating your custom reporting tools and data to cloud applications.

Consequently, changes may be required for ODBC drivers, queries, or the data model in order to fully utilize the performance benefits of your cloud data warehouse.

If you rely on a data synchronization mechanism that accommodates transformations, it will make data model changes more dynamic and flexible.

Work with data engineering teams at your organization to help them understand your company’s new cloud data warehouse and the migration tools you used.

Give them as much detail about the migration process as possible to empower more change agents in the organization.

Starting with a rollout schedule that gradually releases new applications and creates a rollback safety net to minimize disruptions to efficiency.

Step 5 – Legacy ETL Processes Migration

Once you have migrated all legacy data to your cloud, the last step is to adjust your ETL processes to point to your cloud data warehouse.

Depending on the change in configuration, this may require a complete re-write. There are several cloud ETL services that can help make this step simple, rendering your on-prem data warehouse obsolete.

Conclusion

You’ve evaluated your needs, chosen your target systems, and begun planning for your cloud migration. Now all that’s left is execution.

But don’t let yourself forget that while there are certainly challenges involved in transferring data between on-premise systems and cloud solutions, there are many built-in benefits to moving operations into virtual environments as well.

And with these five tips in mind, you can be sure that you’re making your business transition as successful as possible.

In the conclusion it says transfer on-premise to cloud twice but I think it means transfer from local storage/network services to ones that are hosted (Cloud-based) by a service provider (which if it’s right it should say Transfer from local storage/network services to Cloud-based storage/network services).

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