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5 Things You Need to Know Before You Start Migrating Data to the Cloud

September 19, 2017

Topics: Cloud Sync Data Migration4 minute read

It’s finally happening: your company is moving to the cloud and you are responsible for getting it done.

It’s a massive task, and one that you wanted as much control over as possible; that’s why you’ve decided on migrating data to the cloud with a DIY data migration solution using open-source tools. 

It took so long to write the lines and lines of code, and at considerable cost, but now it all seems like it’s about to pay off—the files are moving from your on-premises storage to Amazon S3—until suddenly, they aren’t.

Something’s gone wrong. You don’t know what has that happened, but you do know that you’re the one who is going to have to fix it. What your company knows is that the cloud migration is on hold until you can deconstruct and then reconstruct your homebrew solution for migrating data to the cloud so you can figure out exactly what went wrong.

As situations like the one described above show, data migrations aren’t easy, and they are definitely not the place to take risks.

This post will take a look at what you need to know before you start migrating data to the cloud, including the reasons why data needs to be migrated, the challenges that you might face along the way, and what NetApp’s Cloud Sync can do to make sure the disaster mentioned above doesn’t happen to you.

1. Moving to the Cloud Changes Everything

It’s important to remember that, first and foremost, moving to the cloud is a strategic decision. The timing of that move depends on what needs to change at your company.

When a data center end-of-life approaches, you may realize that instead of investing in upgrading or replacing legacy appliances and infrastructure, it is time to decommission the data centers and migrate workloads to the cloud. Or it may be that your data center doesn’t have adequate capacity to keep up with a business’s growing compute, storage, and networking demands.

You may also want to transition to a DevOps culture, and no environment suits the silos between teams more than the capabilities in the cloud.

The factors that influence your decision will vary, but the end result will be the same: making sure your company remains flexible in the future.

2. Migrating Data to the Cloud Can Go Wrong

As simple as that sounds, there are huge tasks involved in carrying out such a migration, and chief among them is data migration. Everything stored on-prem now has to be uploaded to the cloud. This will alter everything about how you business has operated, and also put all of that at risk.

There is so much that can go wrong—be it failure in the middle of the migration, a lack of network, the headache of introducing all new skillsets and the costs of creating DIY tools from scratch—the smarter approach is to turn to a solution that is proven to be effective at carrying out enterprise-level data migrations, such as Cloud Sync.

3. The Right Data Migration Tool Means Everything

Moving your data to the cloud or to any other storage format will require a tool that can carry out the migration. When it comes to the massive amounts of data that cloud migrations typically entail, transfer speed and security will be important factors to consider when selecting the right tool.

Some engineers would love to build their own transfer tool using rsync, rclone, or similar utilities, but the sandbox rules of DIY mean three things:

  • Untested solutions
  • Spiraling costs
  • Repeating process of trial and error failures

Cloud Sync helps companies avoid making those mistakes. By being able to move files from any NFS or CIFS file share to Amazon S3 and back, Cloud Sync makes migrating data easy. Its parallel processing also makes it faster than DIY transfer tools such as rsync.

4. You Need the Ability to Migrate from Anywhere

Planning to move your workloads to the cloud with NetApp doesn’t mean you have to have on-premises IT infrastructure and deployments running on NetApp appliances, or a preexisting deployment on AWS.

Cloud Sync offers support to move data from any NFS or CIFS share, which means no matter where your data is stored now, Cloud Sync can help you get your data to the cloud.

5. It’s Time to Give It a Try

There is a lot to learn about what Cloud Sync can bring to a migration, whether you’re currently using NetApp appliances for on-premises data storage or not.

With Cloud Sync, data transfers to and from storage in the cloud can be optimized both in terms of time and cost through parallel processing and incremental syncing, i.e., only transferring data that has changed since the previous synchronization or replication. It’s a superior way to migrate data to cloud repositories without the inherent risks of DIY solutions.

If you are ready to start migrating data to the cloud, try a free 14-day trial of Cloud Sync on AWS today, or schedule a short consult with a NetApp Cloud Expert.