The cloud is causing the volume and velocity of data growth to accelerate. According to IDC, cloud infrastructure spend is increasing at an annual rate of 15.6% and will reach $54.6 billion total by 2019, meaning that growth will continue.

Today’s digitally-driven businesses with complex infrastructures and deployments are intensifying data integration challenges. Take legacy on-premise mission critical applications which have traditionally been siloed from the rest of the organization for efficiency and security reasons, and integrate SaaS applications, IoT, machine data, and mobile apps. Not an easy feat.

While the cloud promises to offer greater cost-efficiency and flexibility, data management is poised to become more complicated as organizations utilize more cloud applications and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platforms.

The hybrid cloud makes up the majority of cloud adoption as it marries the agility of the public cloud and the security of the private cloud for sensitive applications and data. The growth of the hybrid cloud means that organizations will need to devote more resources towards data integration.

Challenges of Hybrid IT and Data Integration

According to a study by Oracle, 73% of Oracle users integrate cloud and on-premises data. A sizeable proportion of them—42% of public cloud users—acknowledge data integration is currently a challenge, while 94% of public cloud adopters say that data integration is of critical importance for their cloud initiatives.

Data migration involves many moving pieces, and it’s easy for mistakes to occur. There is an inherent risk in moving to the cloud as some applications may not function in the cloud as well as anticipated, although pre-testing can mitigate this problem. The possibility of data leakage is also a concern.

Steps to take before data migration

Before migrating data to the cloud, organizations should take measures to guarantee their success:

  • Decide on the pace of your cloud migration process. This will be dependant upon the size of your organization and the number of workloads to migrate. Start will small successes to create a realistic timeline for large projects.
  • Establish a clearly defined cloud strategy. Which applications are most appropriate to move to the cloud? Understand how applications, workloads, and data are interconnected to determine the right platform.
  • Map out your infrastructure to determine the right cloud deployment for each application and data set whether on-premise, private cloud, public cloud, or hybrid.
  • Ensure that you meet connectivity requirements for cloud deployment.
  • Create policies for data governance, and how data is managed on a day-to-day basis.

Options for cloud migration

There are two main options for migrating workloads to the public cloud. Replication-based migration moves workloads to the cloud exactly as they are. Users then access the cloud-based workloads via a “cutover.” This remains the most commonly used option.

Streaming-based migration is a newer approach. With this method, the new workloads begin in the cloud right away, and data is moved through real-time streaming. Initially, only data necessary for running the application will be migrated. This method allows for faster migration and allows organizations to test the functionality of the cloud prior to full migration.

For help in managing the cloud migration process, consult with database experts at Ntirety. Our cloud database managed services can help guide the process of migrating to a hybrid cloud.