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How to Choose the Right On-Premises to Cloud Migration Method


When moving from on-premises to the Cloud, one of the first steps is to choose a data transfer model. There are two primary Cloud migration method options to consider, and it’s important to carefully weigh the pros and cons. An article on SearchCloudComputing by Chris Tozzi explained how to go about choosing the right Cloud migration method for you.

Offline vs. Online Cloud Migration Method

During an on-premises to Cloud migration, there are two primary Cloud migration method options for moving data and applications:

  1. Offline
  2. Online

In an offline migration, an enterprise uses physical storage media, such as portable disk drives, to move workloads and data to the Cloud. This method typically requires more planning and effort than an online migration because administrators must copy data from local systems onto a portable device and then physically deliver that device to a Cloud provider. The provider will then upload the data to the Cloud via a local network connection, which is faster than the public internet, or connect the storage media directly to its Cloud servers.

An offline migration method usually costs more than an online transfer because enterprises need to rent or purchase large volumes of storage media and then pay to relocate it.

In contrast, an online Cloud migration method uses a network – either a Cloud provider’s direct connection service or the public internet – to transfer data and applications. Online migrations are simpler overall because IT teams can copy data in one step from their local infrastructure to the Cloud. They are typically less expensive than an offline migration method because enterprises only accumulate network bandwidth and data ingress fees.

Choosing the Right Cloud Migration Method

In order to choose the right on-premises to Cloud migration method for you, you will need to calculate how much data you need to move and how quickly you need to move it.

While an online Cloud migration method might be a popular choice, it can be problematic for organizations with large amounts of data and a strict timeframe. For example, if an organization has only 1 TB of data to migrate and a 1 GBps network connection is available, the online migration should take under three hours. However, 100 TB would likely take more than 100 days to transfer over the same network connection. In this case, an offline migration would be a better approach.

Data compression is one of the few techniques that can accelerate online migrations. Data compression reduces the number of bits required to represent data, so more data can move using the same network bandwidth. In addition, enterprises can transfer the most important data first – such as mission-critical workloads – to further streamline the online migration. This technique enables users to take advantage of the Cloud more quickly, even if the overall migration takes a while.

Another factor to consider when evaluation on-premises to Cloud migration methods is the reliability of the network connection. If a network connection is intermittent or bandwidth availability fluctuates unpredictably, an online migration could take longer than acceptable.

Security is another consideration. If an online network cannot be trusted or it’s not possible to encrypt sensitive data before the migration, an offline Cloud migration method might be necessary.

Cloud Migration Tools

Of these two on-premises to Cloud migration method options, the online method remains the most popular because most organization do not have massive volumes of data to move. As a result, Cloud migration tools cater mostly to online strategies. To smooth the process, most tools have assessment and cost estimation features, as well as automation capabilities.

Many cite the main advantage of using a third-party Cloud migration tool over a provider’s native offering to be flexibility. Most third-party tools support migrations into multiple Clouds, whereas major Cloud providers’ tools are only compatible with their respective platforms. Additionally, enterprises can use third-party tools in conjunction with Cloud vendors’ native tools.

However, an offline Cloud migration method requires enterprises to acquire physical hardware from their chosen Cloud provider and are limited to the provider’s native tools.

For more information about tips, tricks, and lessons learned about Cloud migration methods, check out the additional Quest resources attached below.

Additional Resources

For more Oracle HCM Cloud resources, case studies, best practices, etc., check out Quest’s Oracle HCM Cloud Content Center. There are resources and training available for all aspects of HCM Cloud, including payroll, analytics, recruiting, and more!

For more Oracle ERP Cloud resources, case studies, best practices, etc., check out Quest’s Oracle ERP Cloud Content Center. There are resources and training available for all aspects of ERP Cloud, including risk management, financials, extensions, and more!