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Four Strategies to Simplify Cloud-to-Cloud Migration

How a flock of birds can guide you on your cloud-to-cloud (C2C) migration flight

In the storage industry, we hear the term "migration" all the time - almost every day. One of the first visuals that comes to my mind whenever I hear that word is a neatly formed "V"-formation of geese or ducks flying south for the winter. The "V" formation is a very efficient way to fly long distances. One bird's wing-flapping causing a vortex, giving the bird directly behind effortless lift. The group works together in this way to migrate vast distances in a short amount of time while expending as little effort as possible.

Just as bird migration is inevitable, so to is data migration - no matter what form it's in. In the storage world, this might mean you need to migrate older tape formats to a more current one to support the new tape drive you've just bought, or migrate data from an older storage array to a new one.

Too often, storage strategies are developed without migration in mind. The reality is that regardless of the storage solution you've deployed, migration is a normal part of the lifecycle, and you need to design and incorporate a migration strategy into your storage environment.

Cloud storage is no exception to this rule. The cloud storage industry moves fast, and cloud storage providers are constantly improving their offering, increasing performance, security, affordability and accessibility.

There will always be another bigger, better, faster, cheaper cloud storage provider, and you'll benefit greatly if you're able to avoid vendor lock-in and migrate efficiently with little or no downtime. Below are some basic rules of thumb for cloud-to-cloud migrations (C2C) for those that use some kind of cloud enabler such as a cloud storage gateway or cloud-integrated storage solution:

  • A direct, non-stop flight is always preferable to a layover - Use the cloud for C2C migration - Using an on-premise network pipe for larger migrations is very disruptive to the on-premise environment. Using the cloud to do C2C migration is the way to go. It avoids other applications paying the networking hit a large migration would cause.

  • Caching is key - Having the data in cache for smaller environments allows you to avoid pulling it all down from the "from" copy. On the upload side, you can take your time and not eat all of the on-premise bandwidth - the data is already in two places while you copy up to the third.

  • Only the insecure strive for security - Data needs to be encrypted in-flight and at rest at all times. It should not be something that has to be worked at to accomplish. If you have to work at it to make it happen, you're doing it wrong.

  • Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - The migration solution should be kept simple. If you find that it requires building a product to do it  - call us - we have one already.

Just as with the birds V-formation, each of these considerations impact the rest. By deploying them all, you'll fly faster, farther and with less effort than you'd otherwise be able to do.

Simply stated, no matter what storage solution you are using you will be migrating at some point, so be sure to have your ducks in a row, or rather a "V".

More Stories By Nicos Vekiarides

Nicos Vekiarides is the Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of TwinStrata. He has spent over 20 years in enterprise data storage, both as a business manager and as an entrepreneur and founder in startup companies.

Prior to TwinStrata, he served as VP of Product Strategy and Technology at Incipient, Inc., where he helped deliver the industry's first storage virtualization solution embedded in a switch. Prior to Incipient, he was General Manager of the storage virtualization business at Hewlett-Packard. Vekiarides came to HP with the acquisition of StorageApps where he was the founding VP of Engineering. At StorageApps, he built a team that brought to market the industry's first storage virtualization appliance. Prior to StorageApps, he spent a number of years in the data storage industry working at Sun Microsystems and Encore Computer. At Encore, he architected and delivered Encore Computer's SP data replication products that were a key factor in the acquisition of Encore's storage division by Sun Microsystems.