A complex migration compromise for higher education & research institutions
Driven by several cloud collaboration vendor cost increases, many higher education and research institutions are ditching their platforms in droves for Microsoft Office 365. For many of these institutions embarking on large cloud-to-cloud file migrations, the decision for a cloud migration vendor generally comes down to selecting two of the following options: fast speeds, minimal organization disruption, and a lower price tag.
When it comes to budgeting for a migration project, there are several considerations: the cost of the new platform, the human hours required to complete a job and remediate file transfer errors post-migration, any additional infrastructure expenditures, and the software to move the content.
For most cloud-to-cloud migrations, organizations should typically deploy cloud hardware to take advantage of cloud bandwidth to speed up the migration; pulling content from the cloud to on-premises hardware, then pushing it back up to the cloud just adds time. Many of today’s migration vendors are SaaS solutions, solving this issue of a cloud deployment right out of the box.
Security & scalability come with a cost
SkySync, on the other hand, is not a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering. As a vendor, we made a conscious decision to design our migration platform to be deployed inside the customer’s security context. Throughout our experience participating in information security questionnaires, it has become painfully clear that the risk of running data through a black box out on the internet can be a scary thing for many institutions. By installing within an organization’s existing infrastructure, SkySync offers the most secure and scalable migration on the market.
However, because of this decision and SkySync’s emphasis on security, SkySync customers often need to also fund Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) VM hardware to execute a rapid cloud-to-cloud migration.
Despite the added cost, however, this option does provide the customer a unique level of control over their migration – and time is money, particularly when you are up against a contract renewal deadline and a price increase. But we understand that this additional cost can cause added stress on organizations with strapped IT budgets.
Can higher-ed & research institutions have it all?
But there is a solution unique to research organizations and higher-ed institutions on the Internet2 Network. Leveraging this high-bandwidth network and existing hardware, Internet2 member organizations can implement SkySync for a high speed, high fidelity, and a very low-cost migration.
Let’s see how this option stacks up against traditional migration offerings.
Typical SkySync cloud-to-cloud migration value chart
SkySync was architected from the ground up to be extremely hardware efficient and scalable while also minimizing platform friction, minimizing end-user disruption, and maximizing migration fidelity. With as much analysis as we can perform, we are still finding SkySync can execute a higher fidelity migration with lower end-user disruption than any other platform out there.
Ultimately, while some of our customers need to include additional hardware in project costs (increasing the price tag upfront), they will often spend LESS on the overall migration solution by reducing pressure on staff, limiting time end users waste during the transition, and maximizing the percentage of content that is successfully migrated. At SkySync, we understand that we are not the cheapest migration vendor in the market – and we are okay with this. The sticker price is not the whole story when it comes to migration vendor costs.
Comparing third-party file migration options
Free Migration Services
If, like many other higher education and research institutions, an organization is executing a migration to Office 365, Microsoft provides in-house migration services for “free.” But as it turns out, “free” does not always mean no cost. These affordable resources can ease some budget pains upfront, but they do have the potential to cost the organization in other ways.
For example, there is a lot more up-front preparation and overall time investment for institution IT staff. Also, lower migration fidelity and limited delta migration capabilities result can result in significant end-user impact – which translates to lost productivity, a very real cost to the business.
In this scenario the customer gets to pick two migration features. Using the free option, the customer can get decent speed and maybe a little lower up-front cost, but migration fidelity is absolutely going to be impacted.
SaaS Migration Vendors
Perhaps once the customer realizes that “free” does not really mean free, they continue their search. As they begin to research other paid options, they will come across several SaaS migration vendors. In addition to the security concerns of migrating through SaaS solutions, these may come with either a higher cost or a lower speed. One popular cloud-based option has challenges with both speed and migration fidelity, which really makes that solution only viable for small organizations with fairly straightforward migrations. With yet another, higher-caliber SaaS migration vendor, the customer can get decent speed and a reasonable level of fidelity, but cost may be a challenge. Somebody must pay for that SaaS hardware, right?
The Internet2 + SkySync Advantage
Finally, let us look at the value chart for higher education institutions, research facilities, and any other generally any organization that has access to the Internet2 network.
Internet2 provides extremely high-bandwidth access between organizations on the Internet2 network. Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Azure, Box, Dropbox, and Google as well as other platform providers are also connected to Internet2. This means that institutions with Internet2 access can leverage existing or low-cost, on-premises hardware to execute cloud-to-cloud migrations while reaching the same incredible throughput levels that SaaS vendors or added IaaS investments can offer.
If your organization has access to Internet2, you will be happy to know that SkySync is Internet2 compatible. This means that migrations can be high speed, high fidelity, and very low cost for higher-ed institutions or research facilities using SkySync.
The bottom line: no compromise required for cloud-to-cloud migrations
If your organization places a high value on minimizing end-user disruption, migrating content without losing data or fidelity, as well as achieving the highest speeds possible, then the Internet2 + SkySync Advantage is undeniable. You no longer have to just pick two; you can have the value trifecta of high speed, high fidelity, and low-cost enterprise file migration.