Best Practices and Tools for Optimizing Cloud Migration

The cloud, armed with its promises of speed, agility, and scalability, is the idyllic destination for enterprises attempting to keep up with the demands of modern industry. Despite its potential, many questions arise about the cloud’s specificities—how much, and what, data should be migrated to the cloud? What will remain on-premises? How will we mitigate costs? What sort of skills should be empowered enterprise-wide to accommodate for the shift?

Cloud experts joined DBTA’s webinar, “Cloud Migration Best Practices: Top Strategies and Tools,” to explore the risks and potential of cloud transformation, where certain strategies, solutions, and requirements may be the difference between a successful migration and one that fails to root.

Alberto Sigismondi, lead product manager, continuous data platform at Delphix, explained that though the cloud has a wealth of opportunity for making data more real-time and efficient, there are several factors that stand in the way of its success.

Cloud costs remain a massive inhibitor of maximum cloud efficiency, where organizations face high IT infrastructure and data sprawl expenses; at the same time, cutting costs hurts development while static infrastructures delays innovation. The abundance of privacy and security risks further pose significant challenges to cloud migration.

Sigismondi introduced how Delphix is able to provide cost-effective, ephemeral databases on cloud, offering the following benefits which enable organizations to gain up to 80% cost savings (depending on workload):

  • Cloud object storage for reduced infrastructure costs
  • Cache only necessary data to ephemeral engine for consistent performance
  • Elastic storage expansion
  • Instant data deployment to new ephemeral engines
  • Simplistic compute instance resizing

Jeff Morris, VP of product and solutions marketing at Couchbase, continued the conversation by focusing on how Couchbase Capella, a distributed, SQL++ Database-as-a-Service for global applications, optimizes cloud spend while driving high-performance storage, clustering, replication, and synchronization of application data from the cloud, through the edge, to offline-first mobile devices.

Performance, TCO, agility, and mobile/IoT experiences are critical components to a cloud migration journey; ensuring that an enterprise can deliver on performance, flexibility, and experience while mitigating TCO is crucial as data sprawl and management challenges threaten to impede a successful cloud environment.

Ultimately, Couchbase Capella’s polyglot persistence design, as well as SQL for JSON query language, makes the platform familiar, fast, affordable, and versatile; faster release cycles, less duplication, easy scaling, reduced maintenance, operational costs, and infrastructure costs position Couchbase Capella as a comprehensive strategy in embarking on an effective, streamlined, and affordable cloud migration journey, he said.

JP Chen, senior director and global practice lead of SQL server services at Datavail, centered his presentation on migration types and tools which shed light on the intricacies that a cloud migration comes to bear.

 Chen explained the following migration types:

  • Homogenous, or migration that takes place on the same platform transforming to a different environment, which provides higher compatibility and lower complexity.
  • Heterogenous, or moving from one platform to another, which maximizes modernization at the cost of compatibility challenges.

Keeping these types of migration in mind, Chen argued that database migration services (DMS) and schema conversion tools (SCT) can radically improve cloud migration journeys:

  • DMSs support both homogeneous and heterogeneous migrations, while minimizing downtime, supporting a variety of source and target databases, and reducing costs to as low as $3 per TB.
  • SCTs offer automated schema conversion, providing detailed assessment report highlighting and workload qualification framework (WQF) for workload assessments.

James McClymonds, VP of cloud operations at Actian, built off of the previous speakers’ sentiments about both the challenges and opportunities of cloud migration, further arguing that innovative tools, strategies, and technologies—including cloud management platforms, Infrastructure-as-a-Code (IAC), containers and orchestration, microservices, serverless computing, and more—can make or break a cloud transformation journey.

He emphasized the following best practices for cloud optimization:

  • Right-size resources
  • Empower cost monitoring and control
  • Focus on automated scaling
  • Ensure the ability to monitor performance
  • Make room for security and compliance

These general tenets cultivate a successful cloud, as McClymonds concluded that “leveraging innovative tools, strategies, and technology is crucial to maximizing the potential of cloud computing. It's essential to keep up with emerging technologies and continuously improve your cloud implementation.”

For an in-depth discussion of cloud migration strategies, you can view and archived version of the webinar here.