6 Main Challenges of Migrating Database to the Cloud
Cloud storage and cloud computing have become popular with modern-day enterprises. By migrating data to a reliable cloud storage platform such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, AWS, etc., businesses both large and small enjoy benefits of flexibility, cost efficiency, and other advantages from cloud storage.
Migrating from on-premises data centers to cloud storage platforms comes with its peculiar challenges. While some of the difficulties stem from concerns about data security, privacy, and compliance, others are associated with changes in the availability and performance of their applications when they switch to the cloud.
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Here are some of the common challenges you are likely to face when migrating data and applications to cloud storage.
1. Selecting the Right Data Storage Options
When an enterprise decides to migrate its data and applications to the cloud, the team must vet the cloud storage options suitable for its operations. According to Forrester, enterprises are looking into ways to lower the costs, support new accelerated insights, and simplify data management when deciding on a provider. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud storages such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud provide some data class options from which enterprises can select from. For cloud users, they have to choose between variants such as regular cloud storage, nearline storage, and cold storage. Additionally, they must choose between regional or multi-regional options, local SSDs, or persistent disks along with several other options. Selecting the wrong storage option from the outset would likely hinder the effective operation of applications.
2. Connecting Old Data with New Cloud Applications
A Gartner report shows that data integration is a critical step for enterprises that are pursuing frictionless data sharing. Organizations may need to modify their data architecture to suit the cloud services offered. Legacy systems, old applications that form the backbone of many enterprise organizations, are often hard to migrate into cloud systems because of the challenge of connecting them to new cloud-based applications. It is challenging to place old, uncategorized data because employees and the technology that supports the system have been changed so many times over its lifetime that it’s very hard to create a new data architecture and optimize it. Rewriting is an arduous task and can delay the enterprise from migrating to the cloud.
3. Adapting Personnel, People, and Processes to Cloud Systems
Adapting people and processes to changes in data architecture is one of the biggest challenges companies face with cloud migration. For this reason, enterprise organizations may stagger the migration process into phases in order to ease personnel and other data users into the new procedures that come with cloud storage implementation.
There can also be a psychological side to these changes. People are often skeptical about some aspects of cloud operations such as security, availability, and other technical concerns. These doubts, which may be expressed at the management level, will need to be addressed before migrating to the cloud.
4. Time and Cost of Migration
Moving data requires a lot of bandwidth and resources but it is necessary in the data migration process. This is a tough business decision because it is detrimental to enterprises' productivity. Therefore, can affect the company’s decision to migrate to the cloud leading them to continue with a local server. Although cloud storage is generally deemed more cost-effective than local storage, it is vital to accurately determine the true cost of cloud migration, which goes beyond the cost of data storage space.
As businesses are adopting the cloud for more than file storage, they find they can use it for real-time operation of their applications. It substantiates the need for multiple, reliable ISPs and affordable mobile coverage. Unless businesses are fully equipped in this area, they will struggle with dependency on cloud computing that cannot scale.
5. Security and Compliance Adjustments
Migrating to the cloud may require businesses to change security and compliance approvals. According to research published by Solutions Review, 61% of companies listed security as a major concern for not moving to the cloud. When a company moves data to the cloud, they are required to comply with new standards and acquire licenses which could be geographical or industry-based. With an understanding of the cloud provider’s permission systems, the enterprise has to develop a comprehensive security clearance system for various levels of users that will have access to cloud data, otherwise, there could be severe consequences.
Experts suggest that when enterprises start thinking about migrating to the cloud, they should revisit their security policies and how they protect data. Some of these steps include developing a cloud-centric cybersecurity model, redesigning the full set of cybersecurity controls for the public cloud, clarifying internal responsibilities for cybersecurity, and applying DevOps to cybersecurity.
6. The Need for New IT Talent
IT personnel required for the migration to cloud storage do not likely possess the same skill set as local server management. Cloud computing, which comes with full cloud migration, requires developers with specific IT skills, and filling this skill gap can be a challenge to cloud migration. A cloud readiness survey finds that 53% of IT leaders are struggling to acquire the necessary skills to support cloud initiatives within their organizations. The demand is high for these skills and it is competitive. Most cloud providers partner with online education platforms to fill the gap.
Proper Planning Can Ease the Challenges and Accelerate the Migration Process
Undoubtedly, the process of cloud migration is often fraught with various challenges, both technical, economical, and personnel-related. To overcome these hurdles, an enterprise must engage in proper planning, which creates a cloud strategy in line with company goals and objectives. A basic cloud migration checklist can help in preparation, migration, and post-migration optimization.
At Nisum, we leverage past successes and customize technology solutions that can help you accelerate your migration process. We help clients perform assessments of applications to determine cloud-readiness and then partner with clients in modernizing applications as well as defining a migration strategy to run on a cloud platform. We design secure, scalable, and high performing applications that save money by incorporating automation and reducing resources.
Contact us today to learn more about why our enterprise database migration service is your one-stop-shop for all the needs.
About the author: Salih Sarikaya is a Lead Product Manager, advising Fortune 500 clients at Nisum. He has previously worked with Google Cloud, eBay, and growth startups. He is a technology advocate recognized as one of the key thought leaders in tech, blockchain, and data (CES 2017, Onalytica, MOZ, KLOUT, and Business Insider). He has been published in the following publications: IBM Pulse, Towards Data Science, HackerNoon, The Capital, and has spoken at several international conferences such as CryptoBlockCon, Elev8, and Blockchain Connect.