How does Cloud Migration work? What you need to know

If you are considering cloud migration as the next logical step forward for your business or organisation, you are on the right track. In the last few years, many people have come to appreciate the many incredible benefits of cloud migration although there are still some lingering questions, how does cloud migration work? Who does the work for cloud migration? When is the right time for cloud migration? These and other questions make cloud migration, though beneficial, appear time-consuming and complicated.

This article demystifies this belief and aims to give you a better understanding of how cloud migration works so you can be better prepared.

What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration is the process of transitioning or moving the company’s data, applications and services from on-site premises to the cloud. Cloud migration can also be used to mean moving from one cloud to another. Essentially, it is putting information and services in a virtual space where it can be accessed immediately from any location on the globe.

The key objectives of cloud migration are to help companies reduce capital expenditures and operating costs and make it easier for them to function. However, most organisations seek cloud migration for the resource allocation and dynamic scaling capabilities it offers.

Basics of Cloud Migration

Cloud migration can mean any of the following things;

SaaS Integration

SaaS, Software as a Service, is a more comprehensive meaning of cloud migration and also the most common solution. In this type of integration, the client company uses a third-party hosted and maintained software that is immediately ready to go. Users go in through the software system and make a command to perform a specific action.

IaaS Integration

IaaS, Infrastructure as a Service, is the most basic form of cloud migration. Client companies use the infrastructure and raw resources of the system to do whatever they want including storing data and creating back-ups.

PaaS Integration

PaaS, Platform as a Service, is a higher level iteration of IaaS. Users have access to the tools and resources offered in IaaS but with the added ability of building apps.

Cloud migration, therefore, can manifest in different ways to different organisations. It can be one of the ways listed above or a self-defined version unique to your business.

How Does an On-Premise to Cloud Migration Work?

Although every business has different needs and will, therefore, adopt a slightly different cloud migration process, cloud migrations often include the following steps;

Formulate Migration Goals

Establish the performance gains you want to achieve. Having goals to measure against helps you determine whether the migration was a success.

Create a Security Strategy

Cloud cybersecurity is different from on-premises security and requires a different approach. Deploying a web application firewall or a cloud firewall might be necessary to protect corporate assets.

Copy over Data

Replicate existing database with your cloud provider throughout the migration process to keep the database up to date.

Move Business Intelligence

This might involve rewriting code or refactoring all at once or piecemeal– more on that later.

Switch Production from On-Premise to Cloud

Once the cloud goes live, the migration is complete. You can opt to turn off on-premise infrastructure or keep it on as back up or as part of a hybrid cloud deployment.

Cloud Migration Strategies

Gartner describes 5 options for organisations looking to migrate to the cloud – commonly known as the “5R’s”


Essentially, rehosting is doing the same thing but on cloud servers. It involves selecting an IaaS provider and recreating your application architecture on the provider’s infrastructure.


It involves reusing pre-existing frameworks and code while running your applications on a platform provided by a PaaS provider.


Involves partially expanding or rewriting the code base then deploying it using the refactoring or rehosting options.


This involves re-architecting and rewriting the application from the ground up on a PaaS provider’s platform. While developers take advantage of modern features offered by the provider, it can be labour intensive.


It involves discarding old applications and switching to already built SaaS applications from SaaS vendors.

Cloud Deployment Styles

In conjunction with a cloud migration strategy, you also need to decide how your cloud deployment will look after completion of cloud migration.

Hybrid Cloud

Combines two or more types of environments – private clouds, public clouds or on-premise legacy data centres. This style requires tight integration across clouds and data centres.


Combines two or more public clouds. This style generates cost savings, redundancy and leverages features from different providers.

Single Cloud

Though not always feasible, it is still an option of deploying from a single cloud vendor.

Do You Need Help with Cloud Migration?

Adept offers a comprehensive and intuitive single control panel for the security and performance products required for successful cloud migration. We take time to understand your business needs, goals and long-term objectives to provide you with exactly the solutions you need within your budget. Talk to one of our experts today to learn more.

Written by Sami Malik

Marketing Campaigns Manager