10 Questions To Ask Before Migrating Data To Cloud Infrastructure

10-questions-to-ask-before-migrating-data-to-Cloud-Infrastructure

The shift to cloud-managed services with appealing benefits, such as scalability and agility, is a trend you can’t ignore. However, before adopting cloud technology, you need to know if your business is ready for the cloud. For example, you may want to assess your software needs for sustaining your operations in a virtual infrastructure. 

There is no denying that the transition from the on-premise database or a data warehouse to a cloud platform is a highly detailed process. So how do you prepare yourself for the journey? What questions should you ask? Is there a way to determine the migration timeline? Below you will find the answers.

How Do You Prepare For Cloud Migration?

Migration to the cloud requires thorough preparation. The checklist below intends to ease this task on you by listing some key steps that you need to take.

  • Evaluate applications and data: Not everything is suited for the public cloud, like legacy applications, mission-critical workloads, and sensitive data. Resources consumption is also a key factor in determining whether or not an application is suitable for the cloud.
  • Choose your cloud environment: Public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, or multi-cloud – the right choice depends on your business goals.
  • Rethink governance and security: Cloud data management may render your existing governance methods outdated. Since more responsibility is now on your vendor, you will have to rethink the need for internal security and control. Cloud security is a major concern, which means you may need to invest in additional security tools.
  • Plan for cloud-to-cloud migration challenges: Moving to a new cloud platform can require heavy manual labor. You may also need to test applications and configure your virtual machines, operating systems, networks, and more.

Important Things To Consider When Migrating To Cloud

10 questions to ask before migrating data to Cloud Infrastructure

Here is a list of 10 important cloud migration questions that will come in handy in preparing for a successful cloud move.

(1) What is my migration goal?

Working out your objectives with respect to the cloud migration upfront will make the migration process more valuable and manageable.

Since the move will impact your budget, security, and many other factors, you need to determine what aspects are the most important for your business. This understanding will help you dispense the resources earmarked for the transition. 

(2) Where is my data stored?

Having data ‘in the cloud’ doesn’t mean that it has no geographical existence. Your cloud provider’s ‘virtual data center’ can be anywhere in the world. Hence, it is important to know the exact location where your data is stored in order to meet the legal obligations that vary across countries. 

With some cloud providers, you may get to choose your storage location. You would want to ensure that the location is agreeable to you.

(3) Who can access my data?

The cloud management platform allows you to authorize, restrict and prevent access to your data. However, your cloud service provider will inevitably have some degree of access to keep your data safe and organized. 

It makes sense to learn about the parties that will get access on their behalf. While it might not be feasible to get all the details, you can certainly learn about their hiring practices and the process through which access to customer’s data is granted.

(4) Who owns my data?

Similar to the question of access, it is important to define ownership before entrusting your data to a cloud service provider. It is crucial to know who owns and controls your data in the cloud. 

Some cloud service providers may mention in fine print that with placing your data in the cloud, you agree to surrender it. You may also want to read the paperwork carefully for any red flags or vague terms.

(5) How are charges calculated?

All cloud pricing models are consumption-based. However, the structure varies from one cloud vendor to another. You can obtain the right visibility into your pricing model by understanding how the charges are calculated and the metrics used. 

Also, work with your service provider to integrate some kind of monitoring plan that allows you to set limits and get alerts on possible overruns. This will help you avoid unexpected cloud costs or allow you to prepare to meet additional costs, whichever is the case.

(6) How is the SLA determined?

Similar to the cloud pricing model, every service provider has a unique cloud Service-Level Agreement promising a minimum level of service with respect to availability, response time, uptime, recovery time, etc. 

Carefully consider what the SLA does and doesn’t promise and the metrics in place. You may also want to get familiar with the recourse to be taken in the event your vendor fails to uphold the SLA.

(7) How compliance standards are determined and met?

For businesses in a heavily regulated industry, it is important to make sure your cloud service provider understands the compliance standards. They must have set standards in place that, in turn, enable you to ensure compliance when you place your data on the cloud. 

You can also prepare a list of standards relevant to your business and have your potential cloud service providers conform to each of them.

(8) Are All Necessary Securities in Place?

A business’s top priority is security. In regulated industries with strict compliance standards, it is important to take proper precautions to safeguard data during and after the migration cycle. 

Personally identifiable information like credit card numbers, which is not always necessary for data analysis, must be kept out of the cloud. Also, find out about the security measures your vendor has in place to protect private data.

(9) What is the procedure for canceling?

With most cloud service providers, you use their services through a subscription model that allows the user to cancel easily at any time. However, learn about how to cancel and the process of transporting your data to a new location. 

Be wary of the complex cancelation process and data moving procedure that can be costly or time-consuming, making your cancellation an ordeal.

(10) What happens to your data when you exit?

When moving to a different cloud platform, you will not want to leave any data footprints behind. Cloud features like embedded redundancy mean that your data is duplicated. Hence, it is imperative to find out how your cloud service provider removes all the data from their platform. 

How To Determine The Cloud Migration Timeline?

The timeline for the competition of your cloud migration process can be the biggest concern. Although there can’t be a definitive answer, it helps to have an estimated timeline to be able to plan accordingly. Think about each step listed below to determine your cloud migration timeline:

  • Assess: Think about the gains and how the migration process will impact the business and users.
  • Plan: You will need to have a well-rounded migration strategy in place while evaluating all the steps that will take you to your objectives. 
  • Prep: Getting your data and environments ready for migration takes time, and so it does to get your team in place.
  • Test: You will need to test your migration for performance and do any necessary troubleshooting.
  • Migrate: Once you are done creating and modifying the runbook and the above key jobs, you are ready for production migration.
  • Launch: Before launching your new site, you have to ensure that your users are prepared and have access to information and support channels.

Conclusion

The point of the cloud is to increase efficiency in operations and save time, money, and effort of maintaining traditional data centers. Although many businesses from different industries are reaping the benefits of cloud-managed services, the cloud is still not beneficial for everyone. Furthermore, the migration process in itself can prove to be a serious venture for some businesses.

Trust VLink to help you determine if the cloud is right for your business. Our goal is to ensure that your cloud migration process is as seamless and beneficial for you as possible and doesn’t disrupt your current operations. We are here to help you find critical cloud migration answers, build the migration roadmap, and securely take you to the cloud. If you are ready to position your business for tomorrow, book your consultation to get a customized cloud migration solution for your business and industry. Let’s connect!

February 17, 2020


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