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The Main Types of Cloud Migration For SMB Owners

types of cloud migration represented as a keyboard button

In today’s world of digital business tools for data storage, services, security and platform hosting, cloud providers have begun to dominate a wide swath. They offer most of the tools that companies of all sizes and types need. The market for different cloud providers has in fact become so large and competitive that it has something to offer even for some of the smallest companies out there, solopreneur gigs with just one owner-employee.

The good side of this is that multiple powerful tools exist in the digital landscape for just about every service or product niche your business might need to use; the darker side is that some SMBs can easily lose their competitive edge thanks to such wide cloud service availability. Then there’s the obvious danger of becoming too dependent on certain cloud services without really being 100% in control of how they treat you or your IT layout and proprietary data.

Despite these risks, the cloud is more popular than ever. What’s more, for certain things, like data storage, managed services and IT security, using a cloud service can definitely be much more practical, robust, secure and not to mention affordable than hosting your own version of these or other services. This is why cloud migration is huge, useful and often necessary. The question then is why and, briefly, how it works. Here’s a breakdown of the main reasons and techniques for sending data over to distant servers.

1. Deploying to a new cloud from your own data storage

First and most common among cloud migration scenarios is that in which you’re wading into cloud use for the first time ever and want to make sure you do it correctly. You can maximize the agility of your deployment by picking your cloud based on your needs and your provider’s qualities well in advance. Then familiarize yourself with their tech stack and upload tools. Having done this, you should conduct a test run with a small partial data migration to catch any possible flaws.

2. Deploying from cloud to cloud.

Let’s suppose that your use of cloud services already goes back a ways, but you’ve become disillusioned with one or more particular service providers. This is where you’ll be migrating from your previous provider’s cloud to the next, presumably better cloud service as needed. With a cloud to cloud migration, you’ll probably need a fairly large amount of patience and will definitely speed things up by knowing where and how to migrate right from square one. Strong connectivity and compatibility between the two cloud platforms will be a definite plus.

3. Data failure or breach emergency

In the case of both data storage failure or an in-process data breach, you’ll be forced to migrate to cloud services in a hurry and with great potential for errors. It’s a less than ideal moment to be learning about your first cloud migration. This might be a good moment to seek professional IT assistance. It would  also be nice if you developed a migration strategy well before it becomes urgently necessary.

4. Shifting from legacy cloud infrastructure

This is also often known as a lift-and-shift. It means that you simply lift your data, apps and other cloud-managed tools to a new platform as seamlessly as possible. You should ensure cross-platform compatibility beforehand for your shift and should take steps to minimize pauses or failures in your digital interface with customers as you perform this change-over.

The reasons for a lift-and-shift might be numerous. They could include the threat of a data breach, news of an active breach against your existing cloud provider or simply being tired with aspects of your old provider’s management of services and storage products.

5. Lifting and optimizing

Much like a sudden lift-and-shift, this method of cloud migration means moving as carefully and rapidly as possible from one cloud service to another. One thing you’ll need to do before performing the change-over is ensure that your legacy databases, applications and other vital business tools are all ready to cooperate with the IT of your new cloud provider.

6. Hybrid data management with cloud support

Migrating to a cloud service, either for the first time in your SMB’s history or as part of previous practice, doesn’t always have to involve a full cloud transfer. You can instead hybridize the process by keeping a part of your existing local infrastructure running some processes, data storage or handling certain customer inquiries. This graduated hybridization can be optimized by data protection measures such as frequent local data backups, recovery tools and on-premise virtual machines.

7. Cloud-based testing plans

You might also not want to use the cloud for any long-term storage or hosting of your company’s tools. In this case, you can still borrow or rent the digital space for the sake of test experiments and IT changes. With cloud-based testing, you should calibrate your tests to make sure that their performance in the cloud reflects their performance in the real world.

Best Practices for Problem-Minimal Cloud Migration

Cloud migration for any of the reasons or strategies mentioned above should always be done meticulously, as slowly as needed and with an eye towards conserving security. This means following several important practices:

  • identifying existing data process measures in your company and then finding out about additional possible data protection needs.
  • Researching a multitude of service providers to see which offer the best blend of services and IT systems.
  • Mapping out your starting point and your post-migration goals as a guide to how well you’re doing and then monitoring the entire migration process to make sure it’s working.
  • Testing all migrated data on both your previous accounts or platforms and those of the new cloud, to ensure that both sides fully match.

Managing your cloud as a small business owner means remembering that migrations aren’t just about pulling data from A to B and leaving it at that. These migrations should be conducted with a soundly reasoned plan involved, so that you can take advantage of tools in your new cloud service to expand your business as much as you want down the road.

Seeking Professional Assistance in the Cloud

It shouldn’t be at all ironic that a helpful hand in dealing with the issues of cloud service backup is available from a unique type of cloud provider. This however does happen and can be useful in many ways. Managed service providers like Integrated Computer Services offer full managed IT services for their clients. These include data management support and monitoring for digital security breaches. Contact Integrated if you need to perform one of several types of cloud backup but aren’t sure how to avoid a technical failure..

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at: (201) 720-3775

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