Key Considerations for an On-Premise to Cloud Migration

Allison Bokone
Allison Bokone
·
Last updated on April 3, 2024

On-premise hosting is the traditional type of server hosting where a company has its own physical servers in a data center that it runs, manages, and maintains. Cloud hosting is where companies leverage a third-party cloud service provider (CSP) such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud. 

Given the complexity and variety of on-premise infrastructure, there are several factors you need to consider, including what benefits you are looking for, the type of migration your company needs, and the migration approach that will set you up for long-term success.

What Are the Benefits of a Cloud Migration?

Performance & Accessibility

With cloud hosting you rely on the CSP to keep the hardware up to date and are guaranteed performance and uptime. Your services are no longer bound to a physical location and CSPs enable fast, equal access to teams around the world. By having data centers in worldwide locations, CSPs reduce latency and offer additional features like mirroring and backups to ensure your data is always available where you need it.

Scalability

Most CSPs offer auto-scaling, which allows you to scale your resources up and down depending on business needs. And, of course, you also have the ability to make custom changes quickly. If you have a business with anticipated surges or rapid growth, you can leverage a CSP to get scalability without having to manage the addition of new servers and software licenses.

Security & Compliance

CSPs offer high security environments that are compliant with many industry standards and government regulations, such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). They offer cloud-native security features and tooling that your company may not have the resources to make or run on-premises. Top tier CSPs are heavily invested in keeping their security and compliance measures up to date to ensure success for all of their customers.

Cost

When your systems are all in the cloud, you no longer have to worry about the upkeep and expense of physical servers. This is especially helpful if you have growing or unpredictable demand, where supporting those fluctuations would require additional hardware or leave some hardware underutilized. You only pay for what you need. You also save on staffing costs and can redirect those individuals to more valuable projects.

What Are the Types of Cloud Migration?

There are several types of cloud migration, depending on what your starting and ending environments look like. 

  • The first is a complete data center migration, where you start with data, applications, and services in an on-premise data center and move everything to the CSP.
  • The second option is to do a hybrid cloud migration. In this case, you would move some of your software and services to a CSP, but leave some of your resources on the on-premise servers. If you have already invested a significant amount in on-prem hardware then this setup gives you a way to continue using that hardware, while also getting the benefits of the cloud in key areas. You can also use the cloud to backup on-prem data to mitigate the risk of data loss.
  • Finally, if you already have content in the cloud you might want to do a cloud-to-cloud migration and switch CSPs to get access to better pricing or features.

What Are the Different Approaches to Cloud Migration?

There are four main types of cloud migration: rehosting, replatforming, refactoring, and replacing.

Rehosting

Rehosting – also known as lift & shift – is when you move your applications and services to the cloud without making any significant changes. While this is the most straightforward type of on-premises to cloud migration, it can become complicated or even blocked if your existing applications are not compatible with running in the cloud.

Replatforming

Replatforming involves partially changing your application to allow it to run more effectively in the cloud. As an example, you may have a frontend application that is designed in a way that migrates easily to the cloud, but a backend system that doesn’t. Replatforming would involve rewriting the way the application talks to the backend database. A benefit of this approach is that the migration to the cloud will not be as big of a change for your frontend users.

Refactoring

Refactoring is a more significant redesign of your systems and applications. In some cases, this work must be done pre-migration in order to make the applications compatible with the new cloud environment, but often you can migrate first and then quickly shift focus to replacing applications and services with their redesigned versions. While not always necessary, often your systems and tools will run better once they are updated to be cloud-native and they will be easier to maintain long-term.

Replacing

Replacing is an alternative to refactoring where, instead of rewriting your applications to run in the cloud, you adopt third party solutions as part of your migration strategy. This can be a good approach if you don’t have the resources to maintain your internal tools or if there are newer SaaS products that could meet your needs at a lower cost.

What Are the Steps for Cloud Migration?

The steps for cloud migration typically include:

  1. Assessment: Evaluate your current infrastructure, applications, and data to determine what needs to be migrated and identify any dependencies or potential challenges.
  2. Planning: Develop a comprehensive migration plan that outlines the scope, timeline, resources, and potential risks involved in the migration process.
  3. Choose a Cloud Provider: Select the appropriate cloud provider and determine the type of cloud deployment (public, private, or hybrid) that best fits your needs.
  4. Data Migration: Transfer your data to the cloud using methods such as bulk transfer, incremental replication, or data synchronization.
  5. Application Migration: Move your applications to the cloud, either by rehosting, refactoring, replatforming or replacing them to run efficiently in the cloud environment.
  6. Testing: Conduct thorough testing to ensure that all migrated data and applications function as expected in the cloud environment and meet performance, security, and compliance requirements.
  7. Deployment: Deploy the migrated applications and data in the cloud, and make any necessary adjustments or optimizations based on testing results.
  8. Monitoring and Optimization: Implement monitoring tools and processes to track performance, security, and costs in the cloud, and continuously optimize your cloud resources for efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
  9. Training and Support: Provide training and support to your team members to ensure they are familiar with the new cloud environment and can effectively manage and use cloud resources.
  10. Post-migration Review: Conduct a post-migration review to evaluate the success of the migration, identify any lessons learned or areas for improvement, and make adjustments as needed.

It’s important to note that the specific steps and considerations involved in cloud migration can vary greatly depending on factors such as your current infrastructure, applications, data, and business requirements, as well as the destination cloud environment you’re migrating to. 

Therefore, it’s essential to have knowledgeable staff on hand or to consult with a managed cloud provider who can offer expertise and guidance tailored to your specific migration needs and goals.

Why Choose a Managed Cloud Setup?

You can save even more by moving to a managed cloud hosting solution – in terms of cost, staffing, and peace of mind. Rather than training or hiring IT staff to manage your new cloud instances, a managed service provides a ready-to-go team of experts that can advise and assist you before, during, and after migration. 

A managed service that has helped many customers migrate will be able to help you estimate and manage costs more accurately and plan for long term growth based on your requirements. They also add an additional layer of security and reliability, without your team needing to invest in its own 24×7 monitoring and regular backups.

Managed Cloud Infrastructure from Assembla

Assembla is one of the leading providers of cloud-based Perforce, SVN, and Git. With our industry expertise and dedicated DevOps teams, we can help you save costs and improve performance without sacrificing security. We will help you plan and execute your cloud migration and monitor and support your instances going forward so that you can focus on building great products. For an intro to our migration process, check out our Guide to Enterprise Source Code Migration with Assembla.

Start a Free Trial of Assembla

To try out Perforce, Subversion, or Git in the cloud, sign up for a two-week free trial.If you’re ready to talk to our experts about how we can help you migrate from on-premises to the cloud, request a Subversion or Perforce quote to start the conversation.

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Allison Bokone
Allison Bokone
Allison Bokone is an instructor at Miami University in Ohio for the Computer and Information Technology department, specializing in process and DevOps. Prior to teaching, Allison worked at Microsoft for 18 years, first as a Technical Writer, then as a Program Manager and Director at Xbox. In her last role she was a regular contributor to MicrosoftGameDev.com.
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