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Google Cloud Migration

GCP Migration Tools You Should Be Using

As a leading hyperscaler, Google Cloud offers a comprehensive suite of features and tools designed to simplify and streamline migrations. But since every workload is different, not all those tools will be the best fit for every Google Cloud migration.

Choosing the wrong migration tool can have serious repercussions when it comes to costs, operability, and data integrity.

To help you find the migration tool that’s right for you, this article takes a look at the options offered by Google Cloud, and the benefits of migrating with NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP.

Use the links below to jump down to the sections on:

What You Need to Know Before You Migrate to Google Cloud

There are some compelling advantages to migrating to the cloud. Besides the cloud’s unparalleled scalability, agility, and cost savings, organizations also gain enhanced collaboration capabilities, access to emerging technologies, simplified resource management, and expanded disaster recovery options.

But despite this transformative potential, migrating to the cloud comes with its own set of challenges. Here are a few questions to ponder before undertaking a cloud migration:

  • How can your organization securely and efficiently replicate large volumes of data to the cloud?
  • Can downtime during migration be minimized?
  • What about data security and compliance in the cloud?
  • Does your team have all the tools and skills that they’ll need to carry out a successful migration?

Navigating the complexities of cloud migration and unlocking the full potential of the cloud environment is often dependent on the adoption of recommended best practices and using the right set of tools. While both are essential, in this article, we’ll be focusing on the latter.

When your migration target is Google Cloud, there are a number of native migration tools that can help you address the questions above and streamline your cloud adoption journey. Let’s take a look at what they are.

Meet Google Cloud’s Migration Tools

When considering the various tools that Google Cloud offers for migration, the decision on which to use depends on several factors, but your enterprise’s use case matters the most.

In most cases, a quick assessment of your use case and migration complexity can help narrow down the options so you can identify the right migration tool. Determine if your organization is attempting:

  • Complex migration projects with multiple dependencies
  • Lift and shift migrations of workloads that will only require minimal changes and disruptions
  • Application modernization through containerization, microservices, and serverless computing
  • Large data set migration
  • Optimizing costs based on insights into pricing models, resource allocation, and right-sizing

Many of these ideas are covered in detail in our blog post on the 7 Rs of Cloud Migration. Depending on how you answer, you will find tools that can help among the migration options from Google. Let’s take a look to see which tools serve each of these scenarios.

Google Cloud Migration Center

The first tool we’ll look at is the most generalized migration option from GCP, the Google Cloud Migration Center.

As a centralized hub for migration and modernization, Google Cloud Migration Center encompasses the necessary tools, resources, and best practices to help enterprises assess, plan, and navigate their migration journey with confidence.

In any of the use cases sketched out above, Google Cloud Migration Center will help provide insights into your data and applications as they stand prior to migration, and give you methods to make the move to the cloud.

Google Cloud Migration Center key features:

  • Assessment and planning help analyze workloads, dependencies, and performance metrics. This will give you valuable insights to assess the readiness of your workloads for migration, identify potential challenges, and develop effective migration strategies.
  • Automated asset discovery of on-prem or existing cloud assets. You’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the application landscape, including configurations and resource utilization.
  • Application compatibility analysis and testing to identify required modifications to carry out your migration to GCP successfully. Helps you mitigate risks, reduce potential disruptions, and ensure seamless application performance post-migration.
  • Secure data migration through various data transfer options. These include offline transfer appliances, online transfers, and database migration tools to support migrating large data sets.
  • Optimization and fine-tuning are possible thanks to insights and recommendations on workload performance, cost optimization opportunities, and resource right-sizing.

Cloud Foundation Toolkit

The Cloud Foundation Toolkit is a powerful resource that offers pre-built templates designed to embody best practices for building repeatable workflows on Google Cloud. These templates serve as ready-to-use solutions, enabling you to swiftly establish a repeatable and enterprise-ready foundation for your Google Cloud deployment.

Embracing the power of IaC, the Cloud Foundation Toolkit has a declarative approach to provisioning core infrastructure components. That allows you to focus on deploying your applications without worrying about foundational infrastructure intricacies.

The Cloud Foundation Toolkit’s key features:

  • Pre-made templates as a starting point for standardized and reusable infrastructure configurations. These are for common use cases, such as virtual machine deployments, network configurations, and load balancer setups.
  • Adopt Infrastructure as Code (IaC) principles and practices enable consistent, version-controlled, and auditable infrastructure deployments.
  • Automation and orchestration of complex workflows. This includes provisioning and scaling resources, managing access controls, configuring observability, and implementing disaster recovery policies.
  • Customization and extensibility of existing modules. This tailors cloud workflows by incorporating infrastructure configurations and business logic into the templates.
  • Compliance and security best practices are baked into templates to ensure deployments adhere to industry standards and security guidelines.

Google Cloud Transfer Appliance

Google Cloud Transfer Appliance is an enterprise-grade storage device designed to securely move large volumes of data from your existing on-prem storage environment to Google's storage buckets.

In order to streamline the migration process, Transfer Appliance also offers comprehensive solutions that address latency issues, security concerns, and network bandwidth restrictions associated with moving large workloads to the cloud.

By mounting the Transfer Appliance as an NFS volume, all it takes is a simple drag and drop operation using a copy utility tool such as rsync or FreeFileSync to move data from your NAS environment to the appliance. Another way to move your data with Transfer Appliance is to take your backup data offline using the appliance and then perform incremental backups to Google Cloud over the network.

Google Cloud Transfer Appliance key features:

  • High-speed data transfer with transfer rates of up to 480 TB per appliance. This makes it possible to migrate extremely large data sets quickly and efficiently.
  • Secure data transfers thanks to AES-256 encryption standards both for data at rest and in transit.
  • Simplified data migration by allowing appliances to connect to your on-premises environment. All you need to do is copy data onto the appliance and then ship it securely to a Google Cloud storage facility.
  • Built-in fault tolerance and data integrity checks ensure large-scale data transfers are handled accurately.
  • Support for diverse data types, including structured and unstructured data. This is a big advantage for organizations with limited internet bandwidth, or those with strict compliance and regulatory requirements.

Google Cloud Database Migration Service

Besides the complexities involved with migrating large data sets, database migration is another core aspect of a transformation journey. Whether you are switching to a new platform or consolidating multiple databases into a single one, Google Cloud’s Database Migration Service empowers you to efficiently migrate data and metadata from your legacy source databases to Google Cloud databases.

Leveraging native replication capabilities, Database Migration Service provides the freedom to work with managed services for MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, and AlloyDB, ensuring highly accurate migrations at no additional cost.

Google Cloud Database Migration Service key features:

  • Continuous data replication for near real-time replication of data changes from the source to the target database on Google Cloud.
  • Comprehensive transfer of an entire database ecosystem, irrespective of location on-premises or other cloud platforms.
  • Supports schema conversion and validation while addressing any potential compatibility issues, which simplifies the migration workflow.
  • Encrypts data in transit and at rest to keep sensitive information safe during the migration process.
  • Built-in error handling and monitoring ensure a smooth and reliable migration experience.

BigQuery Data Transfer Service

To streamline your data analytics workflow, the BigQuery Data Transfer Service is designed to automate the ingestion of data from different sources into Google’s BigQuery data warehouse. With automated, managed schedules, the platform offers you various options to perform data migration using the Google Cloud Console, the bq command-line tool, and the BigQuery Data Transfer Service API.

BigQuery Data Transfer Service makes transferring data across different regions easier while streamlining workflows and guarantees data availability where you need it.

BigQuery Data Transfer Service key features:

  • Fully managed data movement by Google takes care of the entire extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) process.
  • Support for schema and data transformations during the transfer process.
  • Incremental data transfer reduces transfer and processing times.
  • Data validation and error handling ensure transfer quality and integrity.

Because Migrations Are About More Than Just Moving Data: Cloud Volumes ONTAP

While the Google Cloud migration tools covered above are all commonly used by enterprises, there’s a growing recognition that typical transformation journeys often demand more comprehensive solutions. For NetApp ONTAP-based systems, there are other options that can provide more integrated, efficient migration solutions. 

NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP is an enterprise-grade data management solution that combines powerful features with Google Cloud and other hyperscalers to help enterprises seamlessly manage their transition to the cloud. With its native storage layer deployed on Google Cloud Platform, Cloud Volumes ONTAP enables you to streamline backup processes, optimize storage resources, and effortlessly manage your data in the cloud. 

  • Seamlessly migrate data volumes hosting critical databases from on-premises ONTAP systems to Google Cloud using SnapMirror® data replication.
  • For migrations that are taking a hybrid approach, or testing the cloud before fully committing, Cloud Volumes ONTAP allows for full hybrid functionality.
  • For data outside of ONTAP, NetApp Cloud Sync can effortlessly migrate data from any repository to Google Cloud and maintain continuous data synchronization between multiple destinations.
  • BlueXP lets you orchestrate and simplify data management and migration between on-premises and different cloud platforms, with access to all of NetApp’s cloud data services in a single console.
  • Reduce data transfer and storage costs by up to 70% or more by experiencing enhanced storage efficiencies through data deduplication, compression, and compaction

Cloud Volumes ONTAP integration with Google Cloud goes beyond data migration. With advanced features like automated tiering and intelligent caching, Cloud Volumes ONTAP also enables you to optimize performance and achieve enhanced storage efficiency of your workloads.

To find out more, check out this blog post on migrating to Google Cloud with Cloud Volumes ONTAP. For some proven success stories, read how Cloud Volumes ONTAP helped these enterprises migrate to GCP.

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Sudip Sengupta, Technical Consultant

Technical Consultant