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The How and Why of Moving Data to the Cloud

October 12, 2021

The modern world is at an important stage of digital transformation. This requires flexibility on the part of  businesses and a readiness to adopt new technology. For many large companies, digital transformation is an ongoing process accompanied by the implementation of many complex applications. It is often necessary to either create or purchase special software. One important step toward ultimate digital transformation is moving applications and data to the cloud.

Moving data to the cloud means migrating digital assets, IT resources, and applications to the cloud infrastructure. Businesses decide to move data to the cloud for a variety of reasons, the most common one being the nearly limitless computing resources offered by the cloud. What other advantages does it have? 

Top five benefits of cloud services

The first step on the way to transferring information to the cloud is conducting a preliminary analysis. What business goals would you like to achieve with its help? Would you like to cut costs? Or are you looking for new opportunities? Perhaps you want to get access to real-time data and analytics or improve scalability. Maybe you are interested in better performance. The cloud can provide all of this, as well as improve security. The main benefits of cloud services include:

  1. Flexibility and scalability
  2. Cost saving and efficiency
  3. High productivity
  4. Reliability
  5. Security

Applications can be migrated to the cloud in stages. It is not always necessary to redesign them, although doing so often allows taking full advantage of the cloud. There is also a faster way—you can just move the application to the cloud along with its databases. But this approach has its drawbacks.

What are the steps a company needs to take when migrating information to the cloud?

Even if moving applications to the cloud is challenging and costly, it is still worth doing. A company needs to assess which applications should be moved to the cloud in the first place. There are many parameters to consider, such as database architecture and cloud compatibility. Data migration usually involves three main steps:

  1. Extracting the data
  2. Transforming the data
  3. Downloading the data 

Here is an approximate checklist for the data-migration process:  

  1. Select the desired level of cloud integration.
  2. Establish performance baselines.
  3. Create a data-migration plan.
  4. Move the data.
  5. Check the application’s resource allocation.

The first task to perform, however, is forming a team. It should consist of a business analyst, a project manager, a data architect, an infrastructure or applications specialist, and a security specialist. Once you’ve identified your cloud-migration goals, you need to conduct a comprehensive business and technical analysis of your current environment, applications, and infrastructure. The process of moving applications to the cloud differs depending on the particular case. There are common stages, however, including:

— assessing performance and safety requirements

— choosing a cloud provider

— calculating costs

— evaluating the process—and necessity—of reorganization

To prepare for moving data to the cloud, you need to take an inventory of all your applications, hardware, and infrastructure, and also talk to application managers and users to understand how they are using them. Give analysis and preparation proper attention.

Testing and data migration

Testing plays a critical role in data migration. Even after extensive testing in a test environment, things can go wrong. Testers help identify problems before final launch. The more complex the data architecture, the more caution is required during the implementation of something new.

Some people mistakenly assume that testing is unnecessary when the only thing you have to do is move applications to the cloud. This assumption is wrong. Even small changes require performance checks to ensure quality. There is no other way to make sure everything is working correctly.

After migrating applications to the cloud, you need to measure performance and response time, test the user interface, and so on. The application should still work in a way that is convenient for the consumer and as intended by the developer. Is anything wrong with the program? The tester answers this, as well as many other questions.

Testing should simulate real-life working conditions. Sometimes they are difficult to reproduce, especially if the application under test needs access to databases on the server, third-party APIs, etc. Simulation allows testers to receive a “virtual” response from the system; this approach saves both time and money.

Conclusion

Data migration is not always easy, but having a smart plan will help you minimize the time and cost of moving your data to the cloud. Effective, high-quality testing helps developers make faster decisions and build quality applications. The earlier the testing phase begins, the better. Using a cloud-based testing platform is a good solution, too, no matter how you go about the transformation process itself.



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