Hosting an organisation’s applications and databases in a public cloud service can offer significant overall cost and efficiency benefits. As part of the process of moving to the new services you need to quantify cloud migration costs: both one-off and ongoing

Ongoing operational costs post-migration can be well understood and estimated in advance. There are public cloud service cost estimation tools (Oracle Cloud Cost Estimator, AWS Simple Monthly Calculator), or you can lock-in your service costs via agreed subscriptions.

In this blog, I will discuss some of the additional costs to be aware of when migrating applications and databases to a public cloud.

Data Centre Connectivity

Most enterprise cloud migrations will require a direct connection from corporate data centre networks to a cloud exchange point of presence. Direct connects provide the most robust, performance and secure means of connecting to your public cloud services.

When designing and pricing the direct connect, consider not only the network connection establishment costs but also the network and security design requirements.

Remember, direct connect access from your corporate data centre into a cloud service provider is a logical extension of your corporate network. Appropriate network and security designs need to be in place upfront as a part of establishing this capability.

If your corporate data centre is not located in a facility with a cloud exchange point of presence it can be expensive to cross-connect into a service provider that does offer this.

A clear understanding of these costs upfront can help shape your cloud migration strategy.

Required Upgrades Pre-Migration

Migrating to a public cloud service may require a database upgrade to be on a minimum supported version for your target DBaaS.

Depending on your upgrade path you may need to evaluate whether to upgrade your database in place on-premise or to “stage” an upgrade area on the public cloud IaaS before migrating to cloud DBaaS.

Cloud Migration Cost to a Public Service

Cloud migration is also an opportunity to migrate from a commercial database platform to an open source database. If this is on your agenda, you need to evaluate database migration as a separate project in its own right.

There are many options to migrate databases to a public cloud – and there are many variables that define the correct migration plan and solution.

Invest the time in considering not only the direct requirements but also your future data management goals going forward.

Cloud Migration Costs of Tools

Cloud management platforms allow organisations to manage the balance between cost and flexibility by dynamically using resources as required. Adopting these tools to support workflows requires investment in training and technology.

Prior to migration there needs to be an investment in the training and tools required to understand application and database usage patterns. Without understanding the workload profile, decisions around provisioning will be guesswork.

The Cost of Adapting Existing Usage Patterns

There needs to be investment in the training and tools required to implement the correct provisioning policies to support the actual usage patterns. Time and effort needs to be put into managing and optimising the cloud services to realise the maximum benefits from the cloud migration.

The goal should be to have these capabilities in place prior to the cloud migration in order to optimise the cost/benefits. Environments with high-cost cloud services (commercial DBaaS would be one that first comes to mind) will likely need this from day one to achieve maximum efficiency.

Supporting Ecosystems

Migrating corporate applications in phases may introduce data integration dependencies that require cloud-based solutions. System integrations that process large volumes of data between on-premise applications and databases may introduce substantial data egress costs when a partner system is migrated to a public cloud.

The migration project may need to establish additional cloud services to effectively support both on-premise and cloud-based applications and database integrations.

Also consider your application roadmap and digital initiatives. Cloud-based integration platforms may provide additional benefits to support hybrid cloud environments with native web API capabilities that work with mobile devices and B2B partner integrations more effectively.

Software Licensing

Check licensing requirements for your cloud database environments cover migration activities. Depending on the nature and complexity of the migration it may make sense to look at PAYG consumption models for the migration test environments and then align to your preferred license model once the migration is complete.

Always remember to utilise capabilities to consume cloud database services only as required to keep control of cloud service costs. Costs associated with idle development or test database services that are not used overnight can quickly add up.

Save with Cloud Optimisation

Optimising cloud service usage from day one should be the goal of any cloud migration. Adopting an on-premise approach for resource management in a cloud environment is a sure way to blow out costs and waste money.

Cost management monitoring and procedures need to be in place as a part of the migration activities to ensure there are no cost blowouts. Incorrectly configured services that are not shut down when not in use can add up substantially.

Cloud cost management may require investment in training and education of IT teams to ensure that this is not a band-aid placed on after a problem occurs.

Data Egress Costs

Migration activities may require establishing data movements back to on-premise in a hybrid environment. Depending on the nature of the data egress, these costs can add up – particularly if large, scheduled data movements out of the cloud platform are required.

Further investment may be required to review and optimise how data is moved between cloud and on-premise environments. Where required, additional compression may need to be used which can substantially reduce data egress costs.

Depending on the data movement characteristics it may make sense to adopt cloud-native integration technologies.

About the Author

Mark Burgess has been helping organisations obtain the maximum value from their data management platforms for over 20 years. Mark is passionate about enabling secure, fast and reliable access to organisations data assets.

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