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Cloud Migration Strategy - Benefits, Processes and Tools

Gursimran Singh | 28 Mar 2023

Cloud Migration Strategy

Introduction to Cloud Migration

Cloud is the network of remote servers over the internet used to store and retrieve data. In layman's terms, the cloud is the virtual platform over the internet, allowing you to store and retrieve data. Cloud provides several services like servers, databases, storage, software, and networking. The companies which provide the above-given services are known as Cloud Providers. The major cloud providers are AWS (Amazon Web Services), AZURE from Microsoft, and GCP (Google Cloud Platform). Cloud enables on-demand access to IT resources (computing, storage, software, and networking).

What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud Migration is the process of shifting a company's digital assets, services, databases, IT resources, and applications into the cloud, either partially or entirely. Moving from one cloud to another is also part of cloud migration. Cloud migration can be completed by transferring from one cloud computing provider to another. This method of migration is known as cloud-to-cloud migration.

What are the benefits of Cloud Migration?

The cloud is a common virtual space where you can place all your data and applications. Any authorized person can access it or work over it without any hustle. Cloud helps organizations increase their capabilities by providing them with powerful resources, enabling organizations to do machine learning like heavy stuff. Cloud provides high-end resources and a production-ready environment.

1. Cost-Effective

If you plan to buy hardware for a specific requirement, it becomes complicated to pick the appropriate hardware. If the hardware doesn't suit the requirement, then you have to live with that purchased hardware. But the cloud gives relief from this trouble by providing a variety of resources with different powers. You can choose as per your requirement, or if in a future requirement increases, you can upgrade your hardware resources(CPU and memory). Just need a few clicks, and you will get a production-ready environment.

2. Accessibility

You need a good internet connection, and you can access resources, hardware, and services from anywhere you want.

3. Security

Security is the first concern for any business, and so is a cloud provider consider. Cloud provides highly secure storage for customers' data by storing it in encrypted form. Also easy to access authorized users at any time.

4. Scalability

Cloud provides a secure way of scaling your resources. Allows you to set a monitoring tool that will automatically scale up or down resources as per the requirement/need. Now we get the overview of what the cloud is and what its benefits are. Now we have to consider the below-given points to migrate your workloads over to the cloud efficiently.

98% of companies are running their own on-premises hardware servers to maintain IT infrastructure, the pandemic has made some adjustments. Source: Why Migrate To The Cloud?

Key Elements of Cloud Migration?

1. Strategy Planning for Migrating to the Cloud

Moving to the cloud is simple if you intend, set up, and plan accurately. As you move your entire business from an on-prem/legacy system to a new system, problems may occur. Mishandling a cloud migration results in potential information loss, security and privacy breaches, etc. That is why you should prepare a good cloud migration strategy/roadmap that fulfils all your business requirements and objectives along with the technological side. More broadly, you should be focusing on two components, that is: The migration of Applications: which involves moving existing applications to your new cloud platform. You might need to modify some apps to make them cloud-friendly, like serverless computing, cloud storage, etc. Migration of Data/Information: Existing data/information needs to migrate to the cloud and be used with your migrated applications. Migrating the data also includes conversions, schemas, databases, and many more.

2. Finding/Selecting the Right Cloud Migration Service Provider

Moving forward, you want to opt for the right cloud platform provider for your desired environment and requirements. You will need support/advisors who help you in the process, look for the facilities, tools, and services available for easy migration if using that particular cloud platform. Your responsibilities will be based upon the type of cloud services you want to choose and use, be it IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS.

3. Identify Applications to Migrate

There could be cases where not all the applications come out to be cloud-friendly because every application is different. Some might run optimally on the private cloud, and some will work optimally on hybrid or public. So it's your task to do a proper analysis of the application before actually migrating it. You should look into your existing infrastructure regarding the applications running, the resources allocated/assigned, configuration, and other details. This way, you can better examine your infrastructure and provide you ease while migrating the data over the cloud. Here are some of the evaluations:

  1. What services/applications can be moved directly?
  2. Level of complexity while doing modifications to the application to make it cloud-friendly.
  3. Check for the services and tools available with the cloud provider that ease out the process of modification workloads, if any.
  4. If migrating the system from on-prem to the cloud, the cost analysis also needs to be done to check whether the investment in cloud infrastructure is worth it or not, and whether the productivity increases or not.
  5. The choice between opting out of the best cloud environment (hybrid, public or private) needs to be completed after the analysis based on security and cost-effectiveness.
  6. Proper validation and review of the architecture need to be done, and create a checklist of applications that should be migrated and don't need to be migrated.

4. Security of Data

Be careful while migrating. For that time, your data will be under threat or breaches, as during the migration from the on-prem system to the cloud environment, the vulnerability to breach increases. There should be a migration team that should recognize all your business's compliance needs and requirements while handling the important data/information. The industries like finance and e-commerce businesses, the cloud resolution provided by your migration team should give the correct security measures to match the business rules. Most of the cloud providers deliver encrypted data after the successful upload. Manage Data Access: Additionally, you should also take the user access to your notice. With proper RBAC(Role-Based Access), you will be able to carry the information about users you want access to provide access so that they will complete their jobs.

5. Execute the Strategy

Migrating from legacy systems/on-prem to the cloud is very amusing and exciting; however, it could be a very large job/task. Everybody should start the migration in smaller, manageable steps to ensure business continuity and consistency. Small and planned steps could help learn the workings of an application and its sub-applications. While most of the data will be managed on a legacy system and the applications are starting to migrate to the cloud would help the business as consistency will always be there. In the initial phase of migration, some useful tips are migrating less essential data first to the cloud.

6. Evaluate Migration

Post-migration evaluation is also necessary to check what went successful and what causes the issues in between. You also need to find a solution to those issues that occurred in the migration process. That's where the migration in small parts becomes helpful as you will have all the records/tracks of the migration process. Resource optimization after post-migration is something you should always keep track of. As you move forward in the cloud, make sure the plans are proper for distributing the migrated application resources.

However, finishing a cloud migration isn't that simple, and several other things might get it wrong. In this blog, we will glance at some of the key components you must adhere to while planning cloud migration.

11 Steps for successful Cloud Migration

Xenonstack helps businesses migrate to the cloud and provides best practices for modernizing their applications. Migrating your IT infrastructure to the cloud takes a disciplined approach with a thorough plan. 

  • Step 1- Establish the Cloud Migration Architect Role.
  • Step 2 - Assess your Organization's Readiness 
  • Step 3 - Estimate the Costs and ROI
  • Step 4 - Analyse the Complexity of your Data and Applications
  • Step 5 - Choose the Right Cloud Vendor 
  • Step 6 - Develop a Cloud Migration Strategy
  • Step 7 - Select the Right Solution Partner
  • Step 8 - Prepare for the Move 
  • Step 10 - Production SwitchOver
  • Step 11 - On-demand Scalability and Cost Optimizations

Step 1 - Establish the Cloud Migration Architect Role.

Before beginning with the cloud migration, your organization must have a Cloud Migration Architect Role who will lead the entire migration process - from pre-migration planning to post-migration monitoring and optimization.  

During the entire process of a large-scale migration project, the migration architect will be responsible for critical decision-making and technical planning and designing. Thus, it is essential to establish such a role within your organization to ensure your migration project's success.

Some of the significant responsibilities of the migration architect would involve:

  1. Analyzing the organization's readiness and migration complexity
  2. Designing the migration strategy
  3. Defining the solution requirements
  4. Prioritizing the applications and data for migration
  5. Determining the mechanism for production switchover

Step 2 - Assess your Organization's Readiness 

The next step in your cloud migration journey is checking for your organization's readiness. This includes the IT framework and the business process and structures. Some of the questions you should be asking are:- 

  1. What is the aim of cloud migration? 
  2. Which applications should we be moving to the cloud? 
  3. Why do some applications need to be migrated?
  4. Is there any data that must not be migrated for regulatory and legal reasons? 
  5. Would the migration of these applications impact data security, disaster recovery, governance, and accessibility?
  6. What resources are required for the migration, and do we have them? 
  7. Do we have enough capital and resources to migrate?
  8. How do we ensure compatibility between our on-premise and cloud deployments? 

With this assessment, enterprises can understand the existing infrastructure and organization's capabilities and get insights into leveraging the best practices for security, automation, and scalability of cloud infrastructure with the right resources.

Step 3 - Estimate the Costs and ROI

The decision to embark on a cloud migration journey heavily relies on the rigorous analysis of Cost and Return of Investment (ROI).

  1. Assess the costs of your current IT infrastructure and applications to have a baseline for comparison
  2. Use Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculators to forecast your cloud solutions' costs and compare them to the current state.
  3. Gather data about your business case's potential ROI on the cloud infrastructure.
  4. Few cost drivers that are necessary to be considered during the estimation and analysis are:
    1. Capital Expenses
    2. Design and Deployment
    3. Ongoing Infrastructure Maintenance
    4. Operating Expenses
    5. Training and Support

Step 4 - Analyse the Complexity of your Data and Applications

This is a critical analysis for the success of your cloud migration project. This analysis will help you prioritize your applications and data for the migration project. 

Remember, "Applications having more dependencies are the most difficult ones to migrate and shall be considered for migration in later phases."

  1. Get detailed data on your requirements through a focused assessment process.
  2. Understand the interconnection and intercommunication among your applications 
  3. Analyze the multi-tier dependencies and map your applications accordingly.
  4. Get clear visibility into the entire working, communication, and dependencies between your applications and data.

Step 5 - Choose the Right Cloud Vendor 

Some of the potential cloud vendors that can be considered for your migration onto the cloud include:

  1. Amazon Web Services
  2. Microsoft Azure
  3. Google Cloud Platform

While evaluating the possible alternatives while choosing your right cloud vendor, consider the below factors:

  1. Your Workforce 
  2. Security and Compliance Needs
  3. Cost 
  4. Scalability Requirements
  5. Service Level Agreement 
  6. Support and Maintenance

All of the above factors need to be considered and analyzed before making the final decision. 

For each cloud mentioned above, vendors also have strategies for successful cloud migration on their respective platforms. 

Step 6 - Develop a Cloud Migration Strategy 

Now that you have finished the required steps and decided on a cloud vendor after considering your business, cost, and other factors, let's start putting the strategy in place. Gartner pointed out one mistake that many organizations make is to confuse cloud strategy with a cloud implementation plan. So what does cloud migration strategy entail?

  1. Prioritize the application that needs to be migrated
  2. Identify the right service provider 
  3. Decide on the Timelines

Formulating the strategy with a service provider or partner can accelerate the migration process and align you with a plan to enhance your business benefits. 

Step 7 - Select the Right Solution Partner 

Most of the time, organizations find it difficult or overwhelming to manage migration internally; choosing the right partner can ease the journey. This collaboration allows service providers to be responsible for structuring an end-to-end cloud migration journey, i.e., assisting you with an assessment to complete execution and support. Some factors that you should consider inevitably are: 

  1. Business Objectives and Requirements
  2. Provider's Experience and Expertise 
  3. Provision of clear and responsive SLAs
  4. Adherence to the responsibility of security and integrity
  5. Pricing Structure and details 
  6. Level of availability and support 

Step 8 - Prepare for the Move 

Your strategy is in place! But the big question is whether your team is ready to use the technology? Do they need any training? The focus should be on the change management required for your employees, like reskilling or upskilling. Next would be to put together an adequately trained team in the cloud environment, revisit their responsibilities, and enable seamless Cloud transition. 

Step 9 - Establish KPIs for the Cloud

KPIs are Key Performance Indicators used to gather metrics about your applications to help you measure the performance of your applications as per your expectations.

  1. Analyze the existing KPIs of your applications and services, and identify if they are still suitable once your applications are migrated to the cloud
  2. Define the best possible KPIs for your cloud migration project and gain detailed insights into your migration process and the problems that might be lurking during the process.

Cloud Migration KPIs help you determine the completion and success of your migration. 

Step 10 - Production SwitchOver

Once you are ready with everything in place, follow one of the below-listed approaches and switch from your legacy on-premises application version to the brand new cloud version:

  1. Move the entire application and tech stack to the cloud, validate the working and switch the existing traffic from your on-premises environment to the cloud.
  2. Move your customers gradually and test the working at every move. Continue the process till all your customers have been successfully moved to the cloud-based applications.

The choice of your approach entirely depends upon the architecture and complexity of the applications and services. 

Step 11 - On-demand Scalability and Cost Optimizations

Once you are on with your migration process, you can focus on potential savings with your selected cloud vendor's most cost-effective offers. Just migrate all your workloads confidently with the recommended best practices, guidelines, and tools available for cost optimization. Experience the increase in agility by taking the most out of the cloud capabilities and scaling your workloads on-demand as per your business requirements. 

These Key Components of Infrastructure Modernization can ensure that your cloud migration strategy not only focuses on moving your applications to the cloud but also on transforming and optimizing your infrastructure for the future. This holistic approach will enable you to maximize the benefits of the cloud and drive innovation and growth for your organization.

How to Choose a Cloud Migration Strategy for Applications?

Choosing the right Cloud Migration Strategy is crucial and critical for any organization. When a company is ready to migrate its applications to the cloud,  various strategies need to be considered for applications targeted in the migration program. These six approaches shall be considered while migrating your applications onto the desired cloud platform.

Prioritize the Applications for Migration

Suppose you have a large volume of applications, but not all applications need to be migrated over to the cloud. For example, if an application contains credit card information or some highly confidential material, it should be kept in a private cloud. So the first step of the checklist is to make a journal of applications in your organization and migrate accordingly.

  1. Re-hosting
  2. Re-platforming 
  3. Repurchasing 
  4. Refactoring 
  5. Retaining
  6. Retiring

What is the Cloud Migration Architecture?

The very next step is you need to specify the Cloud Migration Architecture according to the needs of your applications. A Special team of cloud will work on this point and specify the architecture the organization needs. There are four types of cloud architecture:

  1. Public
  2. Private
  3. Hybrid
  4. Multi-Cloud


The multi-tenant environment allowed access to IT resources over the Internet. If your organization is of a small scale, then you can choose the public cloud.


This environment is organization-specific. If you have confidential data and want to restrict access to the outer world, you can choose a private cloud.


Hybrid cloud is a mix of both public and private clouds. Sometimes there is a need for both platforms, some data is shifted to private, and some are shifted to the public cloud.


The mixture of two or more public clouds. There is a scenario where you find variation in the pricing of cloud service, so you analyze this information and plan thing accordingly.

Know the Difference: Multi vs Hybrid vs Hybrid Multi-Cloud vs. Private Cloud

Which Cloud Service Provider to Choose for Cloud Migration?

But keeping in mind your business needs and objectives is of utmost importance.

The next item from your checklist is to select the right cloud provider. The major cloud providers are AWS, GCP, and Microsoft. The main parameters to consider while choosing a cloud provider are:

  1. Cloud provider company profile: During the planning phase, you have to look around the cloud providers present in the market. The major ones are AWS, GCP, and Azure. Then plan things accordingly.
  2. Data Security: Ensure the security provided by the cloud providers.
  3. Pricing: Inspect your project's cost with respect to each cloud provider and choose the economic one.
  4. Support: This point is about the customer support provided by the cloud provider. Ensure that customer support is easily reachable.

Now that you have started developing your strategy, consider the following migration strategies for these famous cloud vendors.

AWS Cloud Migration Strategy 

AWS is currently helping 1000s of organizations in successfully migrating their significant workloads onto the cloud platform. It believes in acquiring a three-phased strategy for the success of the migration process. These 3 phases include:

  1. Assess: AWS provides organizations with Cloud Adoption Readiness Tool to evaluate and assess the organization's current readiness for operating in the cloud. It also provides a migration evaluator that provides an AWS projection of TCO based on your workloads' existing resource utilization on-premises.
  2. Mobilize: This refers to creating the migration plan and refinement of the organization's business case by using the AWS Application Discovery Services, Migration Partner Solutions, and AWS Management and Governance Services.
  3. Migrate and Modernize: This refers to the phase that includes the designing, migration, and validation of every application by using the various migration services provided by AWS.
Enterprises that embrace AWS Cloud can effectively align their business and IT strategies, resulting in improved agility and resilience. Transform Apps with AWS Cloud Services

Holistic Strategy to Google Cloud Migration

Leverage the Cloud Adoption Framework, Migration Services, and Migration Solutions provided by Google to embark on your journey on the cloud and achieve the desired business benefits by:

  1. Planning out a roadmap for your journey toward the cloud in some simple steps
  2. Migrating your workloads into GCP with confidence
  3. Lowering the risks and costs and reaching the cloud ten times faster 

Strategy to Migrate to Azure Cloud 

Microsoft recommends the organizations use the Cloud Adoption Framework that it has provided for Azure to define a standard methodology for the planning and implementation of the cloud migration process with all the required best practices.

Azure believes in taking the holistic approach for a successful migration that includes:

  1. Before the Migration Process: Define a migration approach and build a holistic plan
  2. During the Migration Process: Prepare your organizational workloads for the migration and adopt the cloud environment
  3. After the Migration Process: Implement the best practices of security and governance, and focus on cost optimization
Modernize workloads with Azure Cloud Services to improve operational efficiency, deliver software faster and manage applications from anywhere.

How to test the success of a Cloud Migration?

After migrating all the applications, you need to test that the application is working as expected. For testing, you can specify the following parameters to match the expectations:

1. Performance Testing

Performance testing is a crucial aspect of cloud migration that helps organizations evaluate the efficiency and responsiveness of their applications in the cloud environment. By conducting performance tests, businesses can identify any bottlenecks or performance issues and optimize their applications accordingly. This involves measuring various parameters such as response time, throughput, and scalability to ensure that the application can handle the expected workload and deliver a seamless user experience.

2. Security Testing

Security testing plays a vital role in ensuring the safety and integrity of applications during the cloud migration process. It involves assessing the vulnerabilities and potential risks associated with the application's security posture in the cloud environment. By conducting comprehensive security tests, organizations can identify and address any security loopholes or weaknesses, such as unauthorized access, data breaches, or vulnerabilities in the application's architecture. This helps in safeguarding sensitive data and maintaining compliance with industry regulations.

3. Functional Testing

Functional testing is an essential part of cloud migration to ensure that the application's core functionalities are working as expected in the cloud environment. It involves verifying whether all the features, modules, and integrations of the application are functioning correctly and meeting the required specifications. By conducting thorough functional tests, organizations can identify any functional defects or inconsistencies and make necessary adjustments to ensure the smooth operation of the application in the cloud.

4. Disaster Recovery Testing

Disaster recovery testing is crucial for organizations to assess their ability to recover data and restore operations in the event of a disaster or system failure in the cloud environment. By simulating various disaster scenarios, such as hardware failures or natural disasters, organizations can evaluate the effectiveness of their backup and recovery mechanisms. This helps ensure that the necessary backup systems, processes, and protocols are in place to minimize downtime, data loss, and ensure business continuity.

If all the parameters are checked and verified, it means the application migrated successfully. Now you can take advantage of cloud services which will provide more flexibility to your applications.

Java vs Kotlin
Customised Cloud adoption and migration plans to optimize business processes and shifting a company's digital assets, services, databases, IT resources, and applications into the cloud. Cloud Migration Services

A Holistic Cloud Migration Strategy

From an expert's perspective, it is important to highlight the significant advantages of migrating to the cloud. One of the key benefits is the enhanced security it provides for your valuable data. Additionally, cloud migration increases the accessibility of resources and enables the setup of dynamic production-ready infrastructure. If you are considering a cloud migration, it is imperative that you have thoroughly considered the points mentioned above.