“Migration to the Cloud is difficult” is one of the myths surrounding archiving data in the Cloud.  An IBM sponsored survey undertaken by IDG revealed that 66% of the CIOs (respondents) were planning to migrate data to the Cloud or had already migrated data to the Cloud, and had experienced pain during the process.  However, a deeper look will reveal that the pain they experienced was a direct outcome of their effort to integrate the Cloud infrastructure with their existing non-Cloud infrastructure.  The pain could have been avoided with a little understanding and the right effort on their part.

CIOs who begin the Cloud archival process by taking stock of what they have and what they want to migrate are taking the right steps, in the right direction.  They start their assessment by asking themselves a series of questions:  How big is the migration we are talking about?  What will be the impact of this migration on system integrity?  Will this process bring the entire business to a standstill for some time? What will be the cost—tangible and intangible? What are the pain points?

The next step is to identify the right tools for data migration. There are many efficient ways of migrating data. This includes media transformation, media streaming, data restoration, type cataloguing, and real time bulk streaming, and so on.  Any or all of these methods can be used depending on the type of data, the volume of data being migrated, the sensitivity of the data and the media format in use.

Requirements around store location flexibility should be given a serious thought.  Data may have to be stored in multiple locations for legal compliance, customer interaction, supplier requirements or employee access.

The process of data migration should be controlled and well orchestrated. There is no call to transfer all the data at once. Data may be migrated gradually and efficiently in accordance with the needs of the organization.  For instance, data from a single department or few departments may be migrated on a test basis and if the test outcomes are satisfactory, data from other departments can be successfully and efficiently migrated.  It is more important to ensure that the data migration process does not disrupt the functioning of the business in any way.

Finally, the migration process should be in keeping with the changing retention, location and governance policies of the organization.