Myth-busting about cloud migration

Analysts see migration to public clouds as an essential part of digital transformation. According to statistics, by the end of 2020, 67% of enterprise infrastructure will be cloud-based. Over the past five years, more and more organisations have migrated to the cloud. However, while interest in public cloud is growing, the pace of migration is slower than predicted. A large proportion of workloads still remain on-premises. 

Both SMBs and large enterprises see the obvious economic benefits of cloud migration. For example, with Infrastructure-as-a-Service, SMBs can reduce capital expenditure and the cost of maintaining on-premises infrastructure. For large enterprises, these factors are less important, and the driver for cloud migration is the ability to instantly build and scale infrastructure. The public cloud provides access to a stack of technologies that are difficult and expensive to deploy in-house, and very expensive to manage.

There are a lot of myths about cloud technologies, so there is still some suspicion about them. In this article we will dispel some of them.

Cloud migration is difficult and causes business downtime

Moving your systems from on-premises to a virtual server in the cloud can be challenging, but do not treat it as a disaster: in fact, the majority of migrations go smoothly with minimal downtime. The key to success is to develop a strategy and implementation plan that meets business needs without downtime or disruption to critical business processes. During the cloud migration process, providers offer full technical support. In addition, migration can be done in stages, during days and hours when your applications are at minimum load (for example, at night). With careful planning and the support of an experienced professional, migration will be successful even for business-critical applications where downtime is not an option.

You do not need to move your entire infrastructure to the cloud. You can move just part of it, such as the most heavily used nodes. This allows you to offload your own infrastructure, while ensuring that critical nodes can be scaled up quickly if required.

Deploying Company Assets in the Cloud will cause compliance issues 

Deploying corporate assets in the cloud raises compliance issues 

Data residency is an important consideration. Many countries do not allow personal data to be exported or stored in another country. To overcome this challenge, choose a provider that offers services that comply with the requirements of local laws, as well as services to protect personal data.

For example, if you offer services to Russian nationals, according to the Law on Personal Data no.152-FZ you must protect their personal data.

Some people think that such data should only be stored in-house. In fact, there is no prohibition on storing data in the cloud, it just needs to be properly protected.

Enterprise cloud providers ensure data security - they install expensive software and sophisticated equipment, hire information security specialists. It turns out that data in the cloud is even more protected than on the company's own servers. 

The risk of violating the law on personal data is much higher if you store personal data on your own server.

The cloud is insecure

With an increasing number of data breaches reported worldwide, concerns about the security of cloud computing are becoming more pressing. It may seem that on-premises security is more robust than cloud security. In fact, the cloud is much more secure. When data is placed in a public cloud, it may seem more vulnerable. But think about how many people in your organisation currently control your data. The cloud provider is a team of experts who protect the data stored in the cloud.

Since all data and business-critical workloads are stored in virtual environments, the impact of a single attack is significantly reduced with robust disaster recovery and business continuity strategies. As cloud security requirements become more stringent, providers have a wide range of policies, technologies, and controls that ensure a high level of security for data and applications. 

Remember that the level of responsibility of providers and operators varies depending on the service. For example, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) places the greatest responsibility on the customer, who is in full control of the cloud load. The cloud provider is responsible for managing the infrastructure itself - from the physical security of data centres to components of virtualisation and service availability - while the customer is responsible for ensuring security within a cloud environment. This is known as a shared responsibility model.

When moving workloads to the cloud, discuss your security concerns and how to mitigate risks with a provider. Understand what security measures are in place, how data is encrypted, and what access control measures are in place to ensure that only authorised personnel have access to business-critical data.

The cloud is only for big businesses, it is extremely expensive

This is one of the biggest myths about cloud computing. But it's not entirely true. Yes, the initial investment may seem significant, so you can move your workloads and applications iteratively: first move email or storage, then more complex business-critical applications. However, once your business is running in the cloud, the capital cost is close to zero and the operational cost is nominal.   

Because you only pay for what you use, your investment is not tied up in expensive on-premises servers and data centres; it also helps you avoid high data centre costs - including space, power, cooling and maintenance. Your cloud applications can be optimised to scale on demand, giving you much greater control over your IT costs.

Global providers are always better than small local ones

Providers such as AWS, Microsoft, and Google have been in the market for much longer than small service providers and have considerable experience in developing client services.  

However, apart from the technological maturity of the cloud platform, when choosing a provider it is worth assessing the quality parameters of services provided. From a large provider, you will not be able to get a high level of technical support.

For clients entering the unfamiliar market, it is important to establish a partnership with a provider that not only provides the necessary infrastructure, but also assists with technical issues and anticipates opportunities for business growth and development.

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author: Martin Evans
published: 10/26/2020
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