Recently, a Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) report revealed a shocking fact. It suggested that 90% of CIOs had faced failure or disruption during their cloud migration and data migration journeys. Such a massive percentage of failed cloud migrations in a year that witnessed a phenomenal surge in the expansion of cloud technology calls for a reassessment of the migration process as well as cloud migration challenges.
But why do cloud migration journeys meet with the dreaded failure instead of success? According to the same CSA report, CIOs cited complexity as one of the key reasons. What could be the other reasons?
The above question brings us to dive a little deeper into the matter and search for the solutions. Today, we will focus on AWS migration as AWS is the perennial behemoth that currently captures 34% of the global hyperscaler market share and dominates the public cloud arena.
Common cloud migration challenges in AWS
Let's take a look at the five of the most common cloud migration challenges enterprises face while moving their data, infrastructure, and applications to AWS. Don't worry, we will also discuss how to overcome cloud migration challenges as well. So, let's get started!
Challenge 1# How much and What to migrate
There’s a common misconception that AWS migration means abandoning your existing legacy platform, architecture, existing network environment, and even business processes altogether, which is far from right.
Equally difficult is determining how much of the existing infrastructure to move to AWS. Usually, the maintenance cost of the new cloud infrastructure, availability of skilled resources, data security risks of public cloud, the risks of data loss and data recovery measures are the key factors that influence this decision-making.
A cost-benefit analysis of your existing on-prem infrastructure and cloud environments ideal for your business needs in advance is the first step to ensure a successful migration.
Start by calculating the annual cost of running your existing on-prem infra and legacy systems followed by calculating the cost of a hybird cloud environment. It’s important to seek guidance from an experienced migration specialist or MSP cloud vendor to get the right direction.
This analysis will give you visibility into the estimated cost of running your entire tech stack on AWS. Choose the options that are most economical, promise the best performance, and guarantee minimal disruption.
Challenge 2# Creating the right cloud migration strategy
If AWS cloud migration is a home, the right cloud migration strategy is the foundation for it. And just the way a stronger foundation keeps a house from sinking, a detailed cloud migration strategy will keep your migration process on track and put your digital transformation goals on the path to success.
The trick here is to start small. When we say ‘cloud migration strategy’ we don’t mean the entire end-to-end cloud roadmap. It’s always better to start your cloud migration process with a single non-mission critical application or service. Gradually, work your way up. Once you achieve successful migration of multiple individual components, creating an entire strategy to migrate the complex and mission-critical applications will seem less daunting.
However, remember whether you are migrating one small application or your entire data center, having a migration strategy in place is an imperative. Every migration journey must be planned carefully and in absolute detail, well in advance. Every unforeseen consequence should be taken into account to avoid any downtime. E.g., if you plan to migrate one of the database instances to Amazon RDS, the capacity factor should be thought out to support peak loads. Give your cloud migration process ample time to accommodate any time loss due to unforeseen data or other cloud migration challenges.
Challenge 3# Fail-proof Data migration
One of the biggest and most daunting cloud migration challenges is data migration. In recent times, all the data compliance guidelines such as GDPR, PCI-DSS, HIPPA, and more have made cloud data migration challenges even harder for businesses across the globe. While this extra layer of data security protects the interests of both consumers and business organizations, the lack of knowledge and skilled resources compounded by the complexity of these constantly-evolving regulations and harsher penalties and reputational damage make data migration process an intensely time-, resource-, and cost-extensive project.
To be able to successfully moving data to AWS and extract the maximum value from it, a business must follow certain measures, which include:
- End-to-end encryption for sensitive data and private data
- Choose only trusted third-party vendors
- Leverage security protocols wherever required
- Block unauthorized access to your customer data by implementing correct access management
- In the case of using Amazon S3 buckets, implement the right bucket policies to avoid unplanned deletion of confidential data
- Make sure you take cognizance of compliance risks and remain fully compliant with relevant data security and guidelines across geographies
- You can also include data protection impact assessment or DPIA in your security measures
Challenge 4# Top Notch Cloud performance
Call it the elephant in the room or a key driver, performance is everything when it comes to cloud migration. From CTO to innovation leaders, everybody must show the results of their digital transformation drives. That's why one of the quickest ways to overcome cloud migration challenges is to figure out how to deliver performance consistently.
So, what factors usually affect the application performance on cloud platforms? Hardware. Instance type. Lack of testing.
Also, take note of the instance type. Choose from t3.micro, m5.large, m5.xlarge, m5.2xlarge, c5.large, c5.xlarge, r5.large, r35.xlarge, r5.2xlarge, i3.large, i3.xlarge, g5.xlarge, and g5.2xlarge.
EC2 spot instances wherever application as these instances are not just cheaper but also come with certain caveats. But please note these spot instances are not ideal for production workloads. However, the right instances can earn you up to 80% savings on on-demand pricing.
And last but not the least, perform testing of the cloud environment as much as possible. Extensive testing not only saves you from failures but also ensures your applications, environment, and infrastructure are perfectly mapped to deliver the desired outcomes.
Challenge 5# Legacy systems and application migration
We all talk about the 7Rs of cloud migration, especially, application migration. So much has been written on the lift and shift approach that we are not elaborating on that.
What makes it a challenge is that organizations often get confused with so many options which just get more complex as you start your cloud migration journey.
Partnering with a cloud provider (managed services provider) who can help you choose the right migration path is one of the surefire ways to overcome this cloud migration challenge. While you can hire cloud talent but training resources and ensuring they are aligned with your exact business objectives can be a cumbersome task. Whereas a managed cloud service provider can perform a quick analysis and tell you whether the lift and shift model will work for your infrastructure or whether you should refactor your cloud environment.
Cloud technology is promising, and so are cloud solutions. But, to maximize your returns on cloud, you must learn to overcoming cloud migration challenges before starting off the path. Cloud4C has been guiding enterprises, 60 of which are Fortune 500, with an extensive suite of managed services to accelerate their AWS migration journeys. You can learn more here.