To paraphrase the old Joni Mitchell song, having looked at clouds from both sides, enterprises sometimes won and sometimes lost. But still somehow, they recall their many illusions about clouds and came to realize that they really didn’t know clouds at all.
That’s why they are moving workloads from one public cloud to another, sometimes moving data back in house, or opting for multi-cloud strategies for redundancy. In other words, a lot of data is migrating back, forth, and sideways into clouds and out again.
5 Top Trends in Cloud Migration
1. Going Private, Not Public
Those in countries offering socialized medicine know all about the public-versus-private debate. If you go public, it’s free, but you might wait a long while for that life-saving operation. Private is expensive, but it can be fast, and it may well be higher quality.
In the cloud arena, data has been pouring into public clouds in huge volume for years. And it still does. But now we are seeing a back current. Some enterprises have realized that not everything should live on the public cloud. As a result, they are migrating data – at least some of it – back in house. Their reasons vary.
“When a business is highly focused on security, control and performance, private cloud provides a better solution,” said Steve Wallo, CTO of Vcinity.
2. Cloud Migration Caution
Once upon a time, it was the fashion to dump everything onto the cloud. In the early days, cloud vendors pushed hard on the message that moving to the cloud was much cheaper. Not anymore.
Enterprises have learned that it often is not cheaper to have all data on the cloud due to the many charges involved. In particular, surcharges to get data back from the cloud can be both expensive, and the process can be slow. Thus, companies are more reluctant to just dump everything into the cloud. If they need the data back, they know how costly it can be.
“The growing trend is to only migrate data into the cloud as a safety measure and assume it does not need to be used again unless you are willing to pay huge costs to move it back to prem,” Wallo said.
3. Making Migration Secure
A lot of applications are being developed natively for the cloud. This has major benefits in terms of getting these apps to market fast and making it possible to get data to the cloud.
However, there can sometimes be a security downside. It is far from uncommon for security to be figured out at the end of the development cycle or at the point when a data migration is about to occur. This is too late. It opens the door to clunky security workarounds and the potential for a breach.
The moral of the story: It is vital to take into account factors such as encryption at rest and in transit, data and application access, and other security concerns at the beginning of the cloud application cycle.
“Teams should be integrating security into the early stages of application development when migrating to the cloud,” said Brendan Hannigan, CEO of Sonrai Security.
4. Using Migration Appliances to Move Data
Typically, the amount of data being migrated to the cloud or being retrieved back from the cloud can be massive. Trying to push that through an internet connection can add a lot of time and lead to bottlenecks in other areas of the enterprise.
Enter appliances such the Google Transfer Appliance and similar boxes from most of the big cloud and security vendors. These appliances are used to speed the entire migration process. Instead of using internet bandwidth to shift data, you rapidly send data to the cloud via the appliance. The appliance is shipped to the site where the data resides and shipped back to the provider to load the data into the cloud. This greatly reduces cost and avoids tying up bandwidth.
5. Migrate Workloads, Not Data
In many cases, data needs to be retained on-site. Compliance mandates, privacy regulations, and security concerns can mean it is simpler, easier, or essential to keep data in house.
In recent times, privacy laws such as the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its California equivalent, California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), have completely changed the picture on what data can be transferred where. Therefore, a growing trend is to migrate workloads to the cloud but stay in control of data by storing it on premises.
“Since data and applications don’t need to be geographically co-located, you can launch applications in the cloud, but keep the data that the application needs on prem,” Wallo said. “This removes the time, cost, and risk of moving data and applications together to the cloud.”