Unearthing the Complexities of Cloud Migration

Alasdair Hendry

Since its launch in 2013, the Cloud First policy has been one of the UK government’s flagship technology policies, with many public sector organisations taking a Cloud First approach with their technology strategies. However, the cloud transformation journey can be challenging, with the reliance on legacy data and systems making it quite a complex undertaking. With many cloud vendors and solutions in the marketplace, it can be difficult to ascertain the best route for your organisation.

While the journey may be a perilous one, the benefits of cloud are clear to all. Migrating your systems and data to the cloud not only reduces hardware provisioning costs and delay, when done correctly, it will increase the productivity and efficiency of your team and improve the overall performance of your IT operations. Organisations are, however, right to approach legacy data migration with caution as there are many issues and pitfalls you can come up against that can end up costing your organisation time, resource, and money.

The Challenge of Legacy Migration

One of the key challenges with legacy data and systems is that the technology used, and the approach taken, is often dated. Replicating that same format and methodology in the cloud may not be possible (e.g., it is a dated technology that no longer exists or where there is limited expertise) or advisable as technology, architecture and methodologies have evolved for the better over time.

Legacy systems often aren’t fully understood as the passing of time means that those involved in commissioning and building the initial solution may no longer be part of the organisation. This limited understanding prevents organisations’ from being able to confidently migrate to the cloud without completely re-building their systems. They may also find it hard to identify what other database options will work as a porting function so generally end up moving the same high cost into the cloud when it is not required.

For organisations to be able to understand the risk, complexity, and the potential solutions to effectively migrate to the cloud, an in-depth analysis of their databases as part of an initial discovery phase is vital.

Migrating a Legacy Oracle Data Store to the Cloud

The Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland (DWQR) required a new data management and reporting system so that they could modernise and gain the benefits of adopting cloud technology.

To help identify the most fit for purpose, cost effective solution, Exception worked in partnership with DWQR to understand their data models, logic and complexity contained within the database. By deploying our legacy cloud migration tools and expertise, we were able to assess and demonstrate to DWQR the effort, risk, and challenges that they would encounter migrating their Oracle datastore from on-premise to a new Cloud Service. Our detailed analysis allowed DWQR to examine future alternatives very early on in the design phase and measure the complexity, feasibility, and cost of each solution.

DWQR’s architecture and design teams are now better placed to understand the complexity of their current data store. The detailed reports issued also gave an in-depth analysis of the issues, required changes and compatibility with the proposed future cloud database options.

Mitigate the Risk of your Next Legacy Data Migration

Exception can help you migrate your legacy data and systems onto a cost-effective cloud environment that is robust, scalable, and secure. Our cloud architects work closely with you to understand which workloads to migrate, how and when and our data experts will help you understand your data models, logic, and overall database complexity. We interrogate your legacy database structure so you can better understand what cloud data solution is the best fit based on complexity, feasibility, and cost.

For more information on our Cloud Services, get in touch today or visit our booth at the Government ICT Virtual Summit on 21st January 2021. To register your place, click here.