In computing, a cloud refers to a virtual platform that offers users a variety of services, ranging from the storage of data to exchange of information (Höllwarth, 2012). Unlike other web providers, the cloud computing platform does not require a direct active user management, and its safety capabilities makes it one of the most effective ways to store data.
Cloud migration is the process of moving data from one cloud computing environment to anther depending on the features and services provided. However, it is important to know the different cloud computing environments before delving deeper into cloud migration. There are three main types of cloud computing services: platform as a service (PAAS), software as a service (SAAS), and infrastructure as a service (IAAS) (Kavis, 2014).
PAAS is a cloud computing environment that enables users to develop, run, and even manage applications without going through the complexity of cloud infrastructure building and maintenance.
SAAS is a cloud computing distribution model that allows third-party providers to host and make applications available to their customers, via the internet. Also known as on-demand software, the SAAS uses a software licensing and delivery model that offers consumers a subscription-based service, whose central hosting system allows them to enjoy various cloud computing features, such as data storage.
IAAS is a cloud computing service model that offers consumers computer infrastructure on an outsourced-basis. After outsourcing the IAAS, institutions are free to conduct organizational operations on the cloud, away from the prying eyes of their competitors and any other potential threats.
Therefore, it is correct to say that cloud migration is the movement of data or cloud computing services from one environment, such as movement from IAAS to another PAAS, depending on consumer needs. The movement or migration from one cloud computing environment to another, in all the three instances, varies, complete with diverse access control lists (ACL) and implementation.
Migrating to SAAS
There are numerous things that should be considered before embarking on a SAAS migration. First, it is important to determine the reason for the migration. Businesses should consider all the benefits and shortcomings of a SAAS migration before its implementation. A service level agreement (SLA) is another critical feature that businesses should consider before embarking on the migration. Without an SLA in place, it becomes easy for SAAS providers to abuse their customer, by providing substandard services
When conducting the traditional on-premise migration to the SAAS environment, another important step is setting up the hardware. After the successful setting up of the hardware, the software is then installed and configured in a secure manner. It is important to note that the current SAAS software does not offer a similar level of customization as that of traditional on-premise software applications (Garrison, 2018). As such, the migration will involve the use and installation of new software, that configures with the SAAS system.
Migrating to IAAS
More and more people are migrating to the IAAS cloud environment due to its efficacy in handling information technology workloads. However, not all workloads are suitable for the IASS environment. Therefore, it is important to determine the compatibility of an organization’s workload with the IAAS environment before the migration. The comparison of SLA’s is also important, in the IAAS migration, especially when it comes to the implementation of the workload audit. Businesses have to ensure hat their compliance and security needs are in alignment with the terms of the IAAS service provider SLA.
When it comes to the migration of the access control lists (ACL) businesses should always use cryptography, which enables the encryption of the data during and after the migration. The end-to-end encryption offers the best solution, especially due to the fact that some migrations could be intercepted by intruders, a move that could compromise the integrity and confidentiality of organizational data (Garrison, 2018). There are other avenues that businesses can use to enhance the security of their IAAS cloud environments.
The segmentation of network traffic using firewalls and the virtual private network (VPN) makes it difficult for malware and intruders to penetrate the IAAS cloud environment. Additionally, the creation of user access groups as well as the locking down of root account credentials enhances the security of the IAAS cloud environment.
Migration to PAAS
The PAAS migration involves the movement of data onto another platform. In this instance, consumers should pay close attention to the support of the methodological process by using analytic and diagnostic tools. It is also important to ensure that the system integrator of the PAAS aligns with both the hardware and software to enhance system configuration. During the migration process, it is important to implement the end-to-end encryption to secure the privacy and confidentiality of user data. The encryption is especially important in the migration of the access control list, which contains the authorization and verification protocols of accessing the stored data (Höllwarth, 2012). It is the sanitization of all migrated and uploaded data on the PAAS platform that guarantees the safety and security of the cloud environment.
Garrison, J. (2018). Cloud migration vs. cloud native: Considerations for migrating to the cloud. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media.
Höllwarth, T. (2012). Cloud Migration: English language edition. Verlagsgruppe Hüthig Jehle Rehm.Kavis, M. (2014). Architecting the cloud: Design decisions for cloud computing service models (SaaS, PaaS, AND IaaS). Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley.
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