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Cloud Migration Strategies, Process, and Tools: The Ultimate Guide

Roman Kolodiy
Delivery Manager, AWS Expert at TechMagic, big fan of SRE practices. Helps teams to improve system reliability, optimise testing efforts, speed up release cycles & build confidence in product quality.
Cloud Migration Strategies, Process, and Tools: The Ultimate Guide

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, more than 100 Zettabytes of data will be stored in cloud data centres and worth USD 448.34 billion by 2025. These numbers demonstrate how the cloud market will expand in the coming years.

Success in the current digital world requires embracing the power of the cloud, particularly as businesses increasingly move their apps to the cloud to spur growth. WebTribunal Cloud Migration reports that global spending on public cloud services will increase to $623.3 billion in 2023. More than 45 per cent of IT investment will move from conventional solutions to cloud-based services by 2024.

Despite significant investments in the cloud, one in three businesses never reap the rewards of cloud journey. According to the Unisys Cloud Success survey, 33% of firms have experienced little to no improvement in organizational effectiveness since adopting the cloud. Moving to the cloud is a complex and expensive process. So how to avoid a cloud migration failure?

Planning effectively and choosing the best cloud migration strategy for your IT assets are the key to finding the solution, developing a path for migration, and making the switch to the cloud more easily.

We will cover everything you need to know about cloud migration strategies, including their use cases, challenges, benefits, and best practices to ease your cloud migration process.

Let’s get started with discovering what cloud migration is.

What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration is moving data and applications from on-premises architecture to the cloud. Not all workloads benefit from running on cloud-based infrastructure, so validating the most efficient way to prioritize and migrate applications before going live is essential. The migration strategy will answer the questions of what, how, and in what order to move these components.

Most plans include a cloud migration strategy where the target is Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, or other cloud providers. Data centres are facilities devoted to housing computer equipment, as opposed to a server room or server closet, the storage units for computer systems you could find behind a locked door in any given office. They are typically enormous and built primarily to maintain a lot of technology functioning at its best.

What Are the Main Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud?

The advantages of cloud computing are frequently centred on efficiency, getting the most out of resources while spending the least money. Here are the main benefits of migrating to the cloud.


Scalability is the power to rapidly increase or reduce computing, memory, and storage resources to satisfy changing demands without worrying about cloud capacity planning. A corporation can effectively scale its IT requirements up or down depending on its current needs by migrating to cloud platforms.

By moving to the cloud environment, organizations are no longer limited to swiftly degrading equipment and can significantly adjust their operations and architecture to accommodate future growth and current demands.

Cloud computing can scale up to support larger workloads and more significant numbers of users far more quickly than on-premises infrastructure, which requires companies to purchase and set up additional physical servers, networking equipment, or software licenses.

Cost savings

According to the Microsoft Office 365 report, 82% of SMBs account reduced costs due to cloud technology, and 70% reinvest the saved money into their company.

Thanks to the cloud service providers, you can only pay for the resources you utilise. It allows you access to resources that would be far too expensive and time-consuming for you to maintain on your own, related to scalability. Companies can allocate more resources to their business needs, such as creating new goods or upgrading their current ones, rather than maintaining operations.

Following the report by BCG, migrating strategy may save businesses 15-40% on infrastructure expenditures, with the top three reasons being reduced IT costs, more agility and flexibility, and improved disaster recovery.

Cloud migration strategy adopted helps your company to identify and execute the fastest, lowest cost, most minor disruption transition from on-premises to the cloud. The top initiative mentioned by enterprises is optimising the current usage of the cloud, followed by moving additional workloads to the cloud.


Using the cloud environment also enables you to adapt to changing circumstances quickly. With a few clicks, it is easy to access new services, making it feasible to act immediately when a new need, challenge, or opportunity arises. Users can access the cloud services and data they require from any location.

Moreover, migrating to the cloud can improve software performance and end-user experience, grow into new markets and provide its services to clients worldwide. Since every organization is different, an enterprise's successful cloud migration strategy should be tailored to its needs to achieve the desired business and technical outcomes. It requires knowledge of the business operations and goals and the application needs that can provide visibility for undertaking a migration.

Advanced Security

Cloud platforms take care of security and compliance, including keeping up with upgrades and market trends to guarantee the protection of sensitive data in the hybrid cloud environment. Regularly releasing security upgrades prevents unauthorized users from accessing your data, allowing you to focus on what matters to your business without worrying about security risks.

The policies, technology, and controls that cloud vendors typically offer substantially improve the security procedures used by most organizations. Additionally, storing data on the cloud rather than on your hard drive can prevent data breaches if a device is lost or stolen.

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Discovery Recovery and Failure Processing

If something happens to their physical equipment, operations won't stop. Without the need for a team to be present, issues can be promptly discovered and fixed when these protocols are included in routine processes. You can manage built-in, automated backup and recovery procedures, including the choice to store backups in various geographic locations.

What Are the Common Cloud Migration Challenges?

Transferring large databases is time-consuming and difficult. Sometimes, companies must slowly move data long before the on-premise system can be dismantled. Keep reading about the major cloud migration challenges.

Data Security and Compliance

Data security and compliance are two main barriers to cloud migration. The cloud service provider handles the security of the infrastructure, while the client is in charge of protecting data and workloads, data retention, and data privacy.

Therefore, even though the cloud provider might offer robust security measures, your firm is responsible for setting them up properly and ensuring that all services and apps have the proper security controls.

Correct cost estimation

Cloud can result in cost savings; however, it can be challenging to estimate cloud costs. ot only should the relocation costs be taken into account, but also the costs of the migration services, the need for more bandwidth, and recurring expenditures.

Many firms have not defined KPIs to determine what they plan to spend or save after shifting to the cloud. Because of this, it is challenging to determine whether migration was profitable. Additionally, cloud environments are dynamic; expenses are subject to quick changes when new services are adopted, and application demand increases.

How Does Cloud Migration Strategy Work?

Organizations should consider the design and requirements of each application before deciding on migration options, as well as the skills, resources, and timeline needed to achieve the desired results. To evaluate the maturity of cloud solutions for each workload, cloud migration teams must first assess what is already in place. For each instance of every application that is currently in use, this might necessitate a thorough discovery stage phase.

The workload migration process should be planned with milestones, distinct targets, appropriate timeframes for each activity, and an awareness of potential dangers.

Every migration project should start with a pilot effort, perhaps relocating or rehosting. It makes it easier to spot any gaps and make necessary adjustments.

The company should concentrate on three crucial areas of optimization to carry out a smooth migration process at scale:

Cloud migration planning

It's crucial to evaluate your environment and identify the variables controlling the migration, such as critical application data, legacy data, and application interoperability. Assess your dependency on data: do you have non-critical data that might be transferred during the first few migration rounds.

Migrating your apps and data

Determine the operational gains, cost savings, and architectural improvements along the three dimensions of the predicted cloud usage and migration benefits. In exchange for a long-term commitment to cloud resources or a commitment to a specified amount of cloud spending, cloud vendors provide a variety of pricing schemes and savings plans.

Choosing your cloud environment

Choose the cloud model you want to use now that you have the visibility you need to succeed. Depending on which best meets your immediate and long-term goals, you should select a public cloud, hybrid cloud, private cloud, or multi-cloud (or services like Google, Azure, or AWS). Just make sure your APM solution includes the provider you've chosen.

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Types of Cloud Migration Strategies

There are six types of cloud migration strategies. However, this does not mean that they are the only solutions. Your cloud first strategy should fulfill your needs and capabilities. Each cloud migration will be unique, and these strategies are not definitive. Use this guideline when you create a cloud migration strategy.

A project can easily include elements of all or some of these strategies at different stages:

Rehost - known as “lift-and-shift”

Rehosting entails transferring software, virtual machines, and server operating systems unchanged from the current hosting environment to public cloud infrastructure.

If you decide to adopt lift-and-shift, you should be aware that it has a short-term downside: limited utilisation of cloud efficiency. Cloud-native features, such as cloud capabilities such as monitoring systems, automated recovery, self-healing, or open-source compatible services, are not operated merely moving an application burden to the public cloud. You will be able to reduce the time spent on system management and free up some time so that engineers may once again concentrate on resolving business issues and product optimization.

When businesses need to change their on-premise infrastructure quickly, this cloud migration can also serve as the beginning point for large-scale optimization projects. For instance, if your data centre lease is about to expire, you could need to rehost your current workloads swiftly.


The move-and-improve strategy for migration is updating your program with contemporary features, such as scale or automation, without completely replacing it. The cloud to cloud migration strategy may first appear the best choice, but it may lead to migrations where you retain all of your technical debt and receive none of the advantages of cloud-native development.


This strategy entails starting over your workload to make it "cloud-native." While every business and workload is different, if your goal in shifting to the cloud is to profit from its unique features and advantages, you should adopt cloud-native design principles. It entails planning and doing things correctly, including ensuring your staff is equipped to handle the transition and rewriting your code.

Repurchase - moving to a different product

This strategy means moving your applications to a new, cloud-native product, most commonly a SaaS platform. Repurchasing might be your most cost-effective option if you are moving from a highly customized legacy landscape.

It relates to the decision made by the company to switch to a different product, which occasionally entails terminating current licensing and repurposing services on a new platform or service. It is frequently unnecessary with apps created using modern application code because moving the code from one provider to another is unimportant.

Retire - get rid of

Once you have disclosed everything in your explicit environment setup, finding out who controls each functional area's application is best. This method simplifies obtaining savings to strengthen the business case and focus the team's scant attention on the team's human resources. Additionally, this situation aims to reduce the security's visible perimeter.

Retain - means “revisit” or do nothing (for now)

There can come a time when you're not prepared to prioritize a recently enhanced application. Additionally, there's a potential that you won't want to move all of your applications. At this stage, the best course of action is to relocate only what is necessary for the business. You will have fewer reasons to hold on if you realize the portfolio's focus has shifted from on-premises to the cloud.

Cloud Migration Services and Tools

What platform is employed for cloud migration strategy? There are many more than one! Large cloud providers like AWS, GCP, and Azure want you to migrate to their portion of the cloud; they provide many tools to make the process as easy as possible.

Before moving, you can estimate the cost of your setup with the use of cloud cost calculators. Examine the one that your cloud provider provides. Examples include the Google Cloud Pricing Calculator, the AWS Pricing Calculator, and the Azure Pricing Calculator.

Other tools to look into are Microsoft Azure Advisor for Azure and AWS Trusted Advisor for AWS. These give you in-the-moment advice on best practices for the cloud and can also assist with cost reduction, cost optimization, security, and performance.


With a 53 percent acceptance rate among SMBs, Amazon Web Services is the market leader in cloud services. If you’re looking for Amazon cloud migration services, the cloud platform has a range of solutions — including plenty of free ones — to help you kick off your migration

The AWS migration tools are software tools, including command-line, code generation, and graphical programs, that you can use to migrate data, applications, and development environments from on-premises and non-EC2 infrastructure to AWS.

  • AWS Migration Hub: track the progress of migrations across AWS solutions, helping you pick the right tools, track metrics, and more.
  • AWS Application Delivery and Migration Service: plan your migration; collected data are encrypted and accessible from the Migration Hub. Also, this service makes it easy to move workloads to AWS.AWS Database Migration Service: Quickly and securely move your databases to AWS. Bonus: The source database remains functional throughout the migration, minimizing downtime.

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The migration tools automate the migration of your development teams and software assets to AWS.

AWS Application Discovery Service

AWS Application Discovery Service is a web service that provides a simple yet powerful way to discover AWS resources, public and private, running in any environment (virtual or physical). The AWS service leverages the AWS Discovery API, a specific set of web services that describes resources and the discovery parameters you can use to discover them.

AWS Migration Acceleration Program

The AWS Migrating to AWS tool is a web application that helps you migrate from on-premises environments to AWS. The tool uses a wizard to guide you through the steps involved in moving your on-premises systems to AWS.

Get more details on the specifics of AWS cloud migration and AWS services we provide here.


Azure Migrate, a built-in migration solution from Microsoft, acts as a focal point for resources, progress monitoring, insights, and advice for organising and carrying out effective cloud migrations.

VMware, Hyper-V, public clouds, and other VMs may all be assessed and moved to Azure using the Azure Migrate: Server Assessment and Server Migration.

The Data Move Assistant assists in identifying compatibility problems that can prevent your migration. It identifies new features and helps you determine the best course for database conversion.

GCP cloud migration tools

Google Cloud Provider is one of the major cloud providers that offers two options for streamlining cloud migration planning. Google Cloud Rapid Assessment & Migration Program, which the company refers to as a "holistic, end-to-end migration program," is the first.

  • Transfer Appliance – securely capture, ship, and upload data utilizing 100TB or 480TB models with Transfer Appliance for offline bulk data migration.
  • Anthos – modernize and migrate existing workloads to containers.
  • Data Transfer Service – organize and automate data transfers from the app while laying the groundwork for a BigQuery data warehouse.

Get business apps functioning in the Google Cloud as data is migrated in the background by migrating for Compute Engine. Applications may be tested, operated, and migrated without needing change.

Best Practices for Successful Cloud Migration Process

There are different technical processes and recommendations for moving different workloads and creating different cloud configurations, but this step-by-step guide can serve as a strong foundation for cloud migration strategy:

Define goals

Creating goals is a crucial phase in every cloud migration strategy. The objectives of your cloud migration strategy should be formalized and recorded. When creating your migration plan, consider the current infrastructure and business objectives, technical details, and key performance indicators (KPIs).

Finalize which assets are moving and when

By assessing each investment in terms of cost, performance, size, complexity, and internal dependencies, this practice—an essential component of the portfolio discovery and planning phase—allows you to understand the current environment better.

Afterward, a business case and KPI metrics can be created using the evaluation to evaluate the performance of each asset both during and after transfer. Companies relocate the less-important components first and only move the important ones once the proper support infrastructure is in place. The chosen cloud migration strategy must be used to create, migrate, and test new applications.

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Prepare existing IT environment for the transition

Working with cloud technology differs from working with in-house technology, particularly if a company is switching from traditional infrastructure to the desired cloud infrastructure for the first time. To operate with a particular cloud provider, employees must receive training. Because there are ongoing updates, this training cannot be done once.

Additionally, you must prepare for the current IT environment by strengthening the network connection, allocating resources, controlling access, and implementing a system for security, compliance, and governance.

Select the right partner for your cloud migration journey

Choosing the right cloud vendor for the organization is essential since this is a long-term relationship. Selecting a cloud vendor depends on its current services and future technology roadmap. Your cloud provider must understand costs, tools, compliance, security, governance, and cloud-skill requirements.

Document everything

A formal, business continuity process, a cloud migration, requires documentation at each stage. The objectives, resources, migration tactics employed, cost analysis, and testing and training plans should all be included in this documentation. All parties will use the document as a reference for compliance audits.

Test and validate for optimization

Use the same business objectives, and unique application KPIs specified during planning to assess and evaluate the cloud migration approach's success accurately. For instance, you can decide that a cloud-hosted version of an application first rehosted is necessary. The foundation might need to be improved as cloud workloads change over time. The cloud migration strategy must include the testing timetable. After testing, short- and long-term success must be evaluated using the KPIs established during goal-setting.

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Migrate Data To The Cloud With TechMagic

A cloud migration strategy requires careful planning, testing, and resourcing. The stakes are high when a cloud migration process kicks off.

A good cloud migration strategy needs to ensure that this aspect is taken care of and that the organization leverages the cutting-edge technology of the cloud to stream ahead. Cloud migration might be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be with the proper knowledge and direction; you need a solid migration plan to achieve critical business goals.

These methods are dependable but not conclusive approaches to preparing for a move. Which cloud migration strategy you select or already have in place for your business will also influence the strategic decision. There is no one-size-fits-all method, so your migration strategy can incorporate any combination of these tactics or even all of them.

TechMagic provides excellent cloud migration consulting services and has proven experience in helping organizations develop efficient cloud migration strategy for their move to the cloud. Contact our cloud experts today to get a result tomorrow!

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  1. How to avoid cloud migration pitfalls: strategies for success?

    Cloud computing continues to increase in the years to come. However, as mission-critical enterprise applications migrate to the cloud, companies must pay special attention to two critical aspects to ensure success in cloud adoption: security and organizational readiness.

  2. What are the 5 cloud migration strategies?

    The five cloud migration strategies are Application Migration, ETL Data Migration, Database Migration, Cloud Consolidation, and Hybrid Cloud Migration.
    1. Application Migration: Applications already running on-premises can be migrated to the cloud, providing users access to applications from anywhere.
    2. ETL Data Migration: Extract, transform, and load (ETL) data can also be migrated to the cloud to create a seamless end-user experience.
    3. Database Migration: Databases can also be migrated to the cloud, creating additional space for data and applications.
    4. Cloud Consolidation: This methodology allows you to consolidate the workload from multiple cloud providers into a single, centralised cloud, lowering operational and capital costs.
    5. Hybrid Cloud Migration: Hybrid cloud migration simply means migrating or “lift and shifting” to the cloud.

  3. How do I ensure the right users have access to post-migration?

    You don’t want to accidentally cut users off from the data they need to do their job. On the other hand, you have to ensure you don’t unintentionally open up access to people who don’t need it.

  4. What are the advantages of cloud computing over local infrastructure?

    Cloud computing enables organizations to accelerate innovation and provide access to flexible resources, as well as greater resilience than local resources. You usually only pay for the help you need when using cloud services.

  5. How long does it take to migrate to the cloud?

    The time required for a cloud migration depends on factors like the scope, complexity, and size of your infrastructure, ranging from a few weeks for small-scale migrations to several months or more for larger, intricate projects.

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Ross Kurhanskyi
Head of partner engagement