What is Cloud Migration vs Cloud-to-Cloud Migration?
When you hear “cloud migration,” you typically think of an organization moving their content from their own physical architecture to a cloud storage provider. But what if an organization that already has their content stored in the cloud wants to migrate to a new cloud platform? Or even split up their cloud investment into a multi-cloud environment? While these are all technically a cloud migration, they’re even more specifically a cloud-to-cloud migration.
A cloud-to-cloud migration is simply a migration of content that exists in one cloud storage platform to another cloud storage platform. This could be Google Drive to OneDrive, OneDrive to Box, or Box to Dropbox – They are all simple examples of a cloud-to-cloud migration.
But wouldn’t a company who has moved to the cloud before already know how to migrate to a new one? It may sound easy if you’ve done it before, but cloud-to-cloud migrations still require some knowledge and expertise for a seamless migration.
There are plenty of reasons for cloud-to-cloud migrations, but it’s important to know what to expect from your new cloud platform.
Why Companies Are Moving to The Cloud?
Enterprises are moving from their legacy on-premises storage systems to cloud storage solutions more and more. According to Forbes, “83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020,” for example.
So why migrate between cloud storage platforms?
As these organizations migrate to cloud storage, multi-cloud & hybrid-cloud environments become unavoidable. With increasingly complex cloud storage environments becoming more common, cloud-to-cloud migrations are likely in the future for most businesses.
It’s no surprise that business environments are always changing, and you likely selected which cloud platform was best for your business based on these environmental factors. However, over time, these factors may have changed enough to the point that now another cloud provider makes more sense for those needs. Overall, business needs and priorities, as well as platform elements, change and it’s important for businesses to remain agile and flexible with their content.
Cloud-to-Cloud Migration Challenges
Each cloud storage platform has different rules or limitations on what content they’ll accept. For example, platforms may have issues with certain file types that aren’t supported, certain characters being restricted in file or folder names, or filename/path character limits. Sometimes this will result in a slightly different file name. And other times it may result in a different file type or path. These changes, however minimal at times, can cause confusion and disrupt your business users.
Think of a scenario when you are moving from a non-metadata rich platform (Network File Servers for instance) and your business users have added important metadata to their filenames – let’s say an invoice number. If a file name is changed, but your users aren’t made aware, this could greatly impact user adoption rates. You may even hear, “This new system sucks, I liked the old way of doing things,” or other word-of-mouth revolts.
Any time businesses migrate (or synchronize) data between platforms, the prospect of end-user impact will be top of mind. And, with migration, it’s important to minimize production downtime as much as possible during a cutover to the new system. To achieve a minimal or zero user impact, migration fidelity must be very high. When the file fidelity is preserved, the content stays familiar to users which supports the adoption of the new platform.
In a cloud-to-cloud migration scenario, for instance, the end-user is already experiencing change which is never comfortable. So if the data is not migrated with a high degree of perfection, the end-user experiences additional disruption.
Most migration tools can detect changes in files and folders as well as the new ones. But it can be frustrating for an end-user when they delete a file in the source system, experience a migration cutover, and then see that the file has reappeared on the destination system. This can happen because most migration platforms to not propagate delete operations during delta migration phases.
These veterans share some of the many content migration problems they’ve witnessed, and some of the key elements contributing to their failure. Learn from these examples to be able to leverage the best practices for content migration yourself.
How do you prepare for a cloud-to-cloud migration?
As organizations consider migrating content to cloud sharing services, it is important to understand that there are many business and technical considerations that can affect the quality and the duration of the migration. In our experience completing very complex file migrations for some of the world’s largest enterprises, our team has discovered seven best practices that organizations of any size should employ for a successful project. Consider these file migration tips before you start your cloud-to-cloud migration:
- Setting expectations
- Assessing the data
- Understanding business use
- Analyzing environments
- Determining the migration approach
- Building the file migration plan
- Identifying content migration risks
We take a deep dive into these seven steps so that you’re prepared with knowledge for a disruption-free enterprise cloud file migration. Learn more about each step here.
Additionally, utilize this cloud migration checklist to ensure you don’t miss a beat when planning your cloud-to-cloud migration.
Multi-Cloud to Google Drive Migration
To save on costs, Forbes moved to consolidate all of its departments onto Google Drive for cloud storage and collaboration. Before, the organization deployed Google Drive as well as another cloud storage service. As part of this consolidation, Forbes needed to migrate 15 TB of content and 325 users to Google Drive.
However, it did not take long for Forbes to realize that their initial do-it-yourself migration approach was not ideal. “The very first folder we attempted to migrate took us about two weeks,” LaBianca said. “We knew at that point that there was no way we were going to get our migration done on time.”
To read the whole story and how Forbes was able to easily migrate its 325 users and 15TB of content to Google Drive in 10 days, click here.