What is Cloud Migration: The Definitive Beginner’s Guide

What is cloud migration? From the benefits to the steps, this article guides you on everything you need to know about migrating to the cloud.

With the rise of cloud computing, organizations are under pressure to migrate their workloads and data to the cloud. 

Cloud migration has become a top priority for many IT decision-makers, as the benefits of cloud computing are becoming more and more apparent.

However, migrating to the cloud is not a simple process, and several factors must be considered (including additional aws support plans) before moving. 

This guide will give you an overview of cloud migration, the different types of cloud migrations, and the steps involved in migrating to the cloud.

What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration is the process of moving data, applications, or other business elements from an on-premises environment to a cloud computing platform. The main goal of cloud migration is to improve business agility, scalability, and cost-efficiency.

Of course, before migrating to the cloud, it’s important to carefully consider which cloud platform is right for your business. There are three main cloud platforms: public, private, and hybrid.

Why Migrate to the Cloud?

There are many reasons why organizations choose to migrate to the cloud. The most common reasons include:

  • Improved business agility: With cloud migration, businesses can quickly scale up or down as needed without investing in on-premises hardware.
  • Cost savings: Moving to the cloud can help businesses save on upfront costs, as they no longer need to invest in on-premises infrastructure.
  • Increased efficiency: Cloud migration can help businesses improve their operational efficiency by reducing the need for manual processes and increasing automation.

Types of cloud platforms

Public Cloud:

A public cloud is a shared environment owned and operated by a cloud provider. The most common type of public cloud is the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model, which provides users with access to storage, networking, and computing resources.

Private Cloud:

A private cloud is a cloud environment owned and operated by a single organization, like a company or government agency. A private cloud can be hosted on-premises, off-premises, or in a hybrid cloud environment.

Private clouds offer greater security and control than public clouds, but they can be more expensive to set up and maintain.

Hybrid Cloud:

A hybrid cloud is a mix of public and private cloud resources. In a hybrid cloud environment, some data and applications are stored on-premises, while others are stored in the public cloud.

The main advantage of a hybrid cloud is that it offers the best of both worlds: the flexibility and scalability of the public cloud, with the security and control of the private cloud.

Popular cloud providers

If you’re considering migrating to the cloud, you’ll need to choose a cloud provider. Some of the most popular cloud providers include:

AWS (Amazon Web Services):

AWS is a comprehensive cloud platform that offers a wide range of services, including storage, networking, computing, and development tools. The advantage of AWS is that it’s a one-stop shop for all your cloud needs.

AWS also offers a wide range of features and tools to help you with your cloud migration. For example, AWS Migration Hub is a centralized console that allows you to track and monitor your AWS migrations.

Many additional support options are available, including AWS Support and AWS Professional Services.

Microsoft Azure:

Azure is a cloud platform that offers various services, including storage, networking, computing, and development tools. Like AWS, Azure also offers a wide range of features to help your cloud migration.

These include the Azure Migration Center, which provides guidance and tools for migrating to Azure, and the Azure Site Recovery service, which helps you to recover data and applications in the event of a disaster.

Google Cloud Platform:

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a cloud platform that offers a variety of services, including storage, networking, computing, and development tools.

GCP also provides many features to help with cloud migration, such as the Google Cloud Migration Assistant and the Google Cloud Storage Transfer Service.

How to migrate to the cloud: Approach

migrate to the cloud

There are three main approaches to cloud migration: lift and shift, re-platforming, and re-architecting.

Lift and shift:

The lift and shift approach is the simplest and most common way to migrate to the cloud. With this approach, you simply move your existing data and applications to a cloud platform without making any changes.

Lift and shift are often used for test and development environments or workloads that are not mission-critical.

It’s also often used as a first step in migrating to the cloud, as it allows you to get your data and applications into the cloud quickly and without making any changes.


Re-platforming is a more complex migration approach that involves making some changes to your data and applications before moving them to the cloud.

For example, you might need to re-architect your data to make it compatible with a cloud database. Or you might need to rewrite some code to take advantage of cloud-specific features, like auto-scaling.


Re-architecting is the most complex migration approach and involves making significant changes to your data and applications.

With this approach, you’ll need to carefully consider your application architecture and decide how to redesign it for the cloud. This might involve breaking up your monolithic application into smaller microservices or using a different database system.

It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to choose just one migration approach. In many cases, it makes sense to use a combination of approaches. 

How to migrate to the cloud: 6 Steps

1. Assess your current environment:

Before you can migrate to the cloud, you need to assess your current on-premises environment. This includes understanding your workloads, applications, and data.

What this assessment will do is help you determine which cloud platform is right for your needs, and what kind of approach you need to take for your cloud migration.

For example, a business with a lot of legacy applications may need to take a lift-and-shift approach, while a business with modern applications may be able to re-platform or re-architect them for the cloud.

2. Choose your target cloud platform:

Once you’ve assessed your current environment, you need to choose which cloud platform you’re going to migrate to. There are several factors to consider when making this decision, such as cost, features, and support.

AWS, Azure, and GCP are all popular choices for cloud migrations, but there are other platforms available as well.

3. Prepare your data and applications:

When you’re ready to start migrating your data and applications, you need to prepare them for the move. This might involve changing your data format, re-architecting your application, or rewriting some code.

4. Migrate your data and applications:

The next step is to migrate your data and applications to the cloud. There are several ways to do this, depending on your data and applications.

For example, you might use a tool like AWS DataSync or Azure Site Recovery, or you might manually transfer your data using SFTP.

5. Test and optimize:

Migrating doesn’t mean your work is done. Once your data and applications are in the cloud, you need to test them to ensure they’re working as expected. You may also need to optimize your application for performance or cost.

If you’re having trouble, AWS partners like IGroup can help you with AWS cloud migrations. Check out AWS management for more info. 

6. Monitor and adjust:

Last but not least, you need to monitor your migrated data and applications and make adjustments as needed. This might involve adding or removing resources, changing configuration settings, or scaling up or down.


Migrating your data and applications to the cloud is a complex process, but it’s worth it for the many benefits that cloud computing can offer. 

With this guide, you should have a better understanding of what cloud migration is, the different types of migrations, and the steps involved in migrating to the cloud.

Sandy Villamor

Call me Sandy, a writer, and blogger of LifeStyleConvo & UrbanHouses, who worked as a full-time content creator. A writer by day and reader by night.

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