5 Questions to Ask Before You Migrate Data to the Cloud

 In Cloud, Data

One of the biggest challenges in adopting cloud is getting your data into the cloud. Unless you’re choosing to use cloud for a brand new application that has no associated data yet, all the existing data needs to be sent from its premises storage to cloud storage.

In some cases, the most efficient way of migrating the data is to actually put a storage device on a truck and physically deliver it to the cloud. That’s only for the very largest data stores, though. Most of the time, you can get enough bandwidth to transmit your data to the cloud. However, there are other data migration issues you need to think through before beginning your cloud migration project.

1. What kind of cloud storage should you use?

Choosing storage in the cloud requires more than selecting devices with enough capacity. You also need to choose the right kind of storage for your data. That means you need to understand how your data will be used: how often it will be accessed, what latency it can tolerate, and whether the access is primarily read-only or if there will be frequent writes as well. Using the cheapest storage may not match the storage capabilities to your access requirements. In addition, you need to decide between file and object storage.

2. Which data do you need to migrate?

Your cloud data migration costs and schedule will be greatly impacted by the volume of data you migrate. Before you move any data, consider whether you really need that data going forward. You may want to delay migrating data that’s kept for historic purposes only to focus on the data that’s used every day; you may also choose to use a different storage tier to reduce the costs of storing infrequently used data.

3. How will you validate the migration?

All IT professionals know that a successful job exit code doesn’t necessarily mean the job completed successfully. Once your data migration process is completed, you need a way to prove that the process was successful, meaning the complete data set was migrated, data was not corrupted during the process, and the data can be successfully accessed by the applications that need it.

4. How will applications work during the migration?

Most of the IT we work with on a daily basis completes almost instantaneously. Long batch jobs may take a few hours or run overnight. Yet data migrations to the cloud can take significantly longer, especially if they require physically shipping devices. You need to figure out how you will keep applications running during the migration and how you will synch up the data if the application remained running on premises while the data migration was in progress.

5. How will you ensure data security?

Data security remains your responsibility even in the cloud. Your cloud migration process must ensure the data is protected both while in transit to the cloud and once it is there. Data stores in the cloud should be encrypted and you should manage your own keys for the highest level of security. You may not be able to transfer file permissions along with the data. Also make sure you have a strategy for managing access privileges and reviewing usage.

You’ll probably only do a cloud migration once, so get help from a team that’s done cloud migrations many times before. Prescient Solutions offers complete Microsoft Azure services, from the migration process that gets you started on your cloud journey to managed services that ensure your cloud runs smoothly long after the migration completes. Contact us to learn how Prescient Solutions can help you succeed with your cloud.

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