Cloud migration is no more a thing that only the big companies would consider. Of late, the trend of cloud migration has caught up with even the companies that fall under small to mid-sized categories. We all are aware of the reasons why the cloud is becoming so immensely popular among businesses – irrespective of their size.
In a nutshell, cloud migration is all about moving all the digital assets of a company from one data center to the more secure and broad environment called the “cloud”. It is quite like physically shifting goods from one location to another. The only difference here is that the cloud is digital and the movement takes place digitally.
However, estimating the cost of cloud migration is still a task – just like it is when you decide to move your assets from one place to another. In this post, I will try to help you understand and get a fair estimate of the cost you may have to pay for cloud migration and what all factors need to be considered when you think of moving to the cloud.
All set for cloud migration? Where to begin?
For the unwary and the new entrant in the cloud domain, hiring a cloud consulting company or external contractor would be the best bet to get started. Remember, cloud migration is no fun and it can turn out to be a disastrous and challenging process if you attempt it on your own without proven expertise. One mistake and all your data may be lost forever.
External cloud contractors and consulting partners may help in assessing the amount of effort & work required for the job and the risks that may surface when moving to the cloud. This does not mean you cannot do it yourself but that may be quite adventurous especially when you don’t have extensive knowledge and hands-on experience in cloud migration. You may also require how to change and refactor the original applications for making them more cloud-native. Cloud-native apps are highly recommended for those looking for lowering infrastructure costs.
What is included in cloud migration cost?
Estimating the cost of cloud migration is not at all an easy job. For your help, however, I have jotted down the most important factors you must consider when making this critical move.
- Cost of your current team: While the costs may differ from organization to organization, cloud migration needs excellent infrastructure. In other words, your company can immensely benefit from a cloud specialist – someone with proven skills and expertise in designing cloud infrastructure and capable of meeting the technical needs of cloud migration. This will also require a team of cloud developers so that the application is implemented immaculately.
- Cloud infrastructure development cost: The cost of building cloud infrastructure will depend largely on the size of the infrastructure you need. If less complex infrastructure is required, it will result in reduced cloud migration cost. But if larger infrastructure is required, it will need more manpower and lead to increased cloud migration cost.
- Cloud provider’s cost: Each application and provider of cloud will quote a different cost. However, this is quite easy to ascertain and calculate. The provider you choose for deploying your cloud solution can depend on the programming language, database types, etc. required.
- Data transfer cost: While you may consider it trivial at first, the cloud storage space your company requires should be at least similar to or slightly more than the storage space you are using on-premises. However, the final verdict of the cloud storage space required for your business depends entirely on you and your business data storage needs, which may keep fluctuating in real-time. Massive infrastructures may need different costs.
- Cost of cloud development and maintenance: The cost of development, maintenance, and other post-migration tasks need your consideration and this may also include the ongoing costs to the cloud space provider. Your cloud provider will quote you this cost, which means you do not need to spend time calculating and assessing this cost.
Remember that your old data center will still continue to generate maintenance costs. Hence, turning it off after successful cloud migration is critical to ensuring you save money and improve efficiencies.
Other important factors that you need to consider when you calculate the overall cloud migration cost are discussed below for your reference. Along with the cost of actual cloud migration, there are certain hidden costs that also need to be considered before you proceed with your cloud migration plan.
Rewrite applications for the cloud
You may have to consider rewriting the application/applications if they are not compatible with the cloud. Rewriting the applications will make them work as a cloud-native apps. The time your developers will need to completely rewrite the application will also add to the overall cloud migration cost. If the rewrite takes a longer time, then the cost would be naturally high. Unfortunately, it is never easy to calculate this cost as you never know how long it will take to rewrite the application. The time it may take can be anywhere from as fast as just a week or as long and delayed as months or even year.
Your team of development engineers will work on creating infrastructure using code for creating the resource that would be required for the cloud. This is quite like developers writing and then rewriting applications. However, the time required for infrastructure spin-up is easy to calculate in comparison to application rewriting time and cost.
How much data needs to be moved?
The amount of data you need to move to the cloud has a huge impact on the overall cloud migration cost. The cloud migration process can be understood as paying a cloud provider for storing the digital information that is moved to the cloud. In other words, larger amounts of data need to be transformed digitally. Hence, the cost is directly influenced by the information and data that you need to transfer.
Before finally estimating cloud estimation cost, however, you should ensure to define the key concepts and terms associated with it. These include:
The product’s future: This is an important factor when determining cloud migration cost. If your product may be redeveloped in future, then the need for application rewriting and pooling more developers and other important resources may be a necessity to ensure the product is cloud native.
Data that needs to be transferred: Consider the assets that need to be transferred and defined the data that needs to be moved. The data may include anything – pictures, images, videos, previous databases, other relevant digital assets, etc.
Time required for cloud migration: The total amount of time required for migrating all your assets digitally to the cloud is the most important when defining and calculating the cloud migration cost. The less time it takes to move the assets to the cloud, the sooner you can decide to turn off all on-premises infrastructure. This will help you save the money that you would otherwise continue to waste on maintaining your previous on-premises infrastructure which is not needed anymore once the cloud migration is complete.
Provider of cloud: This is another important consideration even before you start thinking about cloud migration. Choice of the right cloud provider is the key to success. You can benefit immensely by choosing an external, competent cloud provider.
Training costs: Just moving to the cloud is not enough. You need trained and adept staff to work with and manage cloud solutions. Those with a non-cloud background may need additional training to use and manage the cloud efficiently for organizational benefit. Extensive training and guidance may further be added to the cost but then it is worth it.
Methods of cloud cost estimation: There are two important methods for calculating the cost of cloud migration. One is a human cost and the other is a cloud cost. In this, cloud cost refers to the cost of data transfer, storage, and maintenance. The human cost, on the other hand, is not easy to calculate and it will depend on the time and effort involved in cloud migration and development by your human resources – developers, etc.
Is there any way to reduce the cost of cloud migration?
Unfortunately, there is no surefire or easy way to reduce the cost of cloud migration. It is mainly because the entire process is highly challenging and delicate and even a little tampering may lead to complete devastation. No mistake is affordable and, thus, the money you pay for cloud migration is going to be worth all the incredible benefits you get in return. The entire world is making an intelligent move and a lot of businesses of all sizes have already moved to the cloud due to the countless benefits it offers. Now it is your turn to enjoy the benefits of cloud migration and grow your business faster and achieve your business goals.