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What are some cloud migration challenges or limitations?

It's not uncommon to run into challenges when migrating data to the cloud. Here are some roadblocks to keep an eye out for.

There are two things you need to look at when addressing cloud migration challenges: network speed and the amount of data migrated.

There are limitations around network speed -- some networks are better at downloading vs. uploading. So, if you send data to a cloud provider -- whether it is Amazon, Rackspace or Microsoft -- and use just their regular networks to get in, you might be constrained by the bandwidth quality of service.

The other big constraint is the amount of data you migrate in a given time period. Are you sending it over the network? Or are you physically putting it onto a hard drive, tape or some other media and physically shipping it to the cloud provider, which ingests it, puts it onto its cloud storage, then allows you to synchronize the data with your environment?

To overcome these cloud migration challenges, here a couple tips:

  • Pre-ship data that is fairly static and not used very often. Think of it as avoiding baggage fees by sending items ahead, and then bringing what you need an applying the update.
  • Apply data footprint reduction technologies. Deduplicate data, compress it, then archive it to be pre-shipped. Most providers offer various ways to get your data into their services. There are network constraints, but if you have a big enough budget, you can get a high-speed direct connection to move a lot of data in a small amount of time.

Next Steps

Cloud gateway market extends to major storage arrays

Steps to an effective cloud migration project

This was last published in August 2014

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What roadblocks have you experienced when migrating data to the cloud?
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I think one of the biggest obstacles that we experience the amount of data that we would want to migrate and the rate at which that data grows. We have a large number of media assets stored at a very high bitrate. Our on premise storage needs have continued to outpace our expectations, and we spend a great deal of time addressing those at the neglect of a cloud migration.
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As I recently read in another Techtarget article, the cloud migration tools often fail to meet the needs of the customers when it comes to some of the larger, more complex migration tasks. This forces much of the cloud migration effort to rely on manual processes, increasing the length of the process and the costs.
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