What is Cloud Migration? A brief introduction to Cloud services

Cloud computing technologies are commonly used by the general public and widely adopted by all kinds of businesses.

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Cloud migration is the process of moving all, or part of your data, workloads, and applications to a Cloud infrastructure.

Cloud technologies work in the most various ways, are used for various reasons. Many people can easily associate “the cloud” with some of the technologies he or she relies upon every day (as iCloud to store pictures and videos from the phone): as I take a picture, it is copied in the cloud, and I will be able to call it back to Earth from any smartphone with an internet connection.

Some might not know that many platforms we daily engage with are, in fact, cloud-based technologies. Data storage platforms (Google Drive), music apps like Spotify and social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Cloud Computing technologies are becoming more and more popular: this industry is expected meet an exponential growth in the next few years and generate a revenue of USD 411 billion by 2020.

Companies move their data or run their software in the cloud for multiple reasons, amongst all, scalability, fast implementation, and disaster recovery.

In this article, we are going to outline what are the main Cloud services in use and what type of operations are usually hosted by cloud services providers. What are the Cloud solutions available out there? 

Cloud assets

Saas (Software as a Service)

This is the most used one. The software is provided from the vendor to the user. You will not write the software, buy it or install it on your server. The program will be accessible, most of the times, through a web browser.

The user interacts with a program that runs on the vendor’s computer, and what you get is similar to a screen capture of what happens in the provider’s computer. SaaS allows companies to use the software needed without heavily impacting the organization’s cashflow, as the payment is usually recurring.

One of the limits of this model, if compared to an on-premises management of the software you use, regards the strong dependence on the vendor’s capabilities and business continuity: all your data are held by the provider, and the migration from a vendor to another one is often a tricky task to accomplish.

PaaS (Platform as a Service)

PaaS is used, specially, by developers. It is a complete platform, with an OS and multiple development tools (from application design to testing) that the user can deploy to build software. It can be seen as a workshop where a developer can find all the instruments needed to craft a business application.

Your programs can then be hosted in the provider’s platform and be accessed through a web browser.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

IaaS is a whole infrastructure provided by the vendor. The user can access the hardware and use it for whatever reason, whether it is to store data, develop applications or run software.

There are many types of infrastructures your organization can move to the cloud: it can be a computer, a firewall, a telephone system. The infrastructure is hosted in the cloud, and the user is relieved from the purchase, management and maintenance of the hardware he has leased. The machine is shared with other users, and your organization pays for the time the infrastructure is used, reducing the overall costs.

 

As the internet bandwidth became cheaper, companies can sustain the costs of a powerful network to transfer a high amount of data simultaneously. This is one of the reasons why IaaS services are growing in popularity. 

What aspects should you consider, before moving to the cloud?

In the next post for our Cloud Migration series of articles, we will analyze in depth the benefits and risks related to Cloud Migration

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