3 tips for successfully migrating data to the cloud

Hosting your enterprise's data in the cloud offers huge savings potential, but only if you do it right

3 tips for successfully migrating data to the cloud
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If your enterprise is ready to move data to the cloud, you need to think long and hard about how to migrate the right way.

The use of public cloud providers as hosts for big data or transactional data is the real killer use of public clouds. Consider how much enterprises spend on data management these days, which can be as high as 70 percent of IT spending. The use of public clouds can drastically reduce those expenditures.

But enterprises often underestimate the amount of work needed to do the data migration, as well as the amount of planning needed before doing the work. Many fail a few times before they succeed. You don’t want to be in that situation. 

Here are three tips for avoiding that trap and doing it right:

First, consider the data volume early in the process. You cannot simply upload terabytes and petabytes to public clouds. You need to consider shipping physical drives to the cloud provider for the initial data loads. This is a huge headache and takes close coordination between you and the cloud provider, so start early and put a plan in place.

Second, don’t always look for the same database in the cloud as you have on-premises. For example, if your data center uses an Oracle database, that does not mean you are required to use an Oracle database in the cloud. In fact, the cloud migration is a good time to consider new databases and new data models, such as SQL and NoSQL.

You also need to plan for changes to the applications connected to the database as well as for changes to database operational and admin skills. Migrating to the cloud is a great time to make these changes.

Third, security and governance are systemic to everything: your data, applications, network, and storage. You need to put cloud-resource governance in place as well as service and data governance. For most migrations, security and governance are the most important part of the process.

But you should not merely replicate your current on-premises security and governance in the cloud; instead, use the migration as a motivation to improve both.

In a nutshell: Define your data early in the process, find the databases that best meet your operational needs, and establish a solid plan to take advantage of big data opportunities in the public cloud.