Cloud migrations are time-consuming, expensive, and can take a lot of hard work. There are migration services companies out there that you can hire to help you with the process, but you can also employ tools and software to aid the migration process as well. Many cloud providers even offer their own proprietary tools that are included in their hosting service. Whether you’re hiring an outside firm or want your current IT team to handle it, cloud migration tools can help make your move easier. There are many factors you should consider when choosing a cloud migration tool, including price, optimization features, and cloud provider compatibility. Tools are especially important when you’re employing a multi-cloud approach.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
- Using tools vs. hiring a specialist
- Free tools
- Paid tools
- Popular paid cloud migration tools
Using tools vs. hiring a cloud specialist
Many companies believe their internal IT staff alone is enough to handle even difficult cloud migrations, but, unfortunately, it usually isn’t. The choice then is whether you want to hire a company that specializes in cloud migrations or rely on tools and software to fill in the gaps. Using tools is generally cheaper at face value because you’re not adding extra people to your team, even temporarily. However, when you ask your IT team to handle a migration, they have to give up everything they’ve been working on for however long the migration takes. It’s not always clear how long a migration will take upfront, so you have to prepare for them to be unable to work on other projects for a big chunk of time. And when you consider the cost of IT staff salaries and benefits, a cloud migration services company may be cheaper.
Cloud migration tools can help streamline and automate certain facets of your migration, so it’s smoother and takes less time. Google Cloud, Azure, and AWS offer free migration tools that you can use to facilitate your move to their service, so investigate whether these tools are adequate for your needs. The nice thing about these tools is that they’re definitely going to work with the cloud service that offers them. The downside comes when you’re using more than one service because they won’t necessarily work with each other, so your team will have to learn multiple tools.
Amazon’s Server Migration Service can run up to 50 simultaneous virtual machine migrations and reruns replications every 12 or 24 hours. This lets you test how the cloud deployment is going, so you can adjust as needed. The Azure Server Migration Service offers options for both agentless and agent-based migration. Google Migrate for Computer Engine employs a lift-and-shift approach, meaning none of the software is optimized for the cloud; it’s just migrated as-is.
Paid migration tools
Many cloud tools tend to be vendor agnostic, meaning they can work with a variety of cloud providers and facilitate a multi-cloud approach in a way that free tools can’t. While obviously more expensive than using free tools, paid tools have a vested interest in saving you money so you’ll keep coming back to them. To do this, the software generates a cloud migration plan and compares space and computing costs between multiple cloud providers. With this data, you can optimize costs based on what your actual requirements are so you won’t pay for more than you need. Paid cloud tools also strive to speed up the migration process to get your business back to running normally.
Popular paid cloud migration tools
There is a long list of paid tools out there that could satisfy what your business needs from a cloud migration system. CloudHealth by VMWare, Morpheus, and Rancher are three popular cloud migration tools that all have good user reviews and reputations for being worth their price.
CloudHealth by VMWare
CloudHealth by VMWare automates daily cloud operations, reduces risk, and looks for ways to lower your cloud spend. This tool works with Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud and supports a multi-cloud platform. CloudHealth automatically monitors and analyzes cloud usage to identify areas of inefficiency. Customers appreciate all of the cost optimization resources the software offers and its intuitive user experience. The main drawbacks are that support and reporting can sometimes be a little slow.
Morpheus’ claims are that it can reduce migration costs by 30%, close security holes, and create the fastest path to multi-cloud or multi-platform self-service. The tool works with all of the major public cloud vendors, including AWS, IBM, and Oracle, but it also supports private clouds. Morpheus can help automate application modernization for a smoother transition. Clients praise the automation features for saving them time and money and simplifying their multi-cloud approach. The main complaint is that the cloud cost showback feature, which tracks data center utilization rates to determine which portions of the budget each department is using, is not very user-friendly.
Rancher is an open-source tool that offers a unified, multi-cluster app management system to provide centralized control and observability for your multi-cloud approach. It works with Kubernetes to address operation and security challenges that arise from having several clusters at once. The software also offers integrated tools for managing containerized workloads to make the DevOps team’s job easier. Clients say that it’s easy to set up, and they appreciate that there is no need for command line instructions. However, to use the service, your team does need to have some level of technical knowledge; it’s not meant for beginners.
Make your cloud migration easier with tools
Cloud migrations are difficult and complex, but you can make the move easier when you employ either free or paid cloud migration tools. Some apps, like BitTitan’s MigrationWiz or SkyKick, are specially designed to deal with office apps and emails. You can use them on their own if you’re handling the migration in-house or pair them with a migration specialist team to keep your IT team free for internal projects. Multi-cloud approaches can especially benefit from cloud migration tools, but only your team will really know what will work best for you.