On-Premise to Cloud Migration: Step-by-Step Guide

On-Premise to Cloud Migration: Step-by-Step Guide

Are you considering on-premise to cloud migration for your business? We explore the various aspects of cloud migration, from understanding on-premises and cloud infrastructures to examining key challenges and best practices for a successful transition. Join us as we break down the crucial steps to help you successfully migrate to the cloud.

Key takeaways

  • On-premise infrastructure means using your hardware and software at your location. Cloud infrastructure uses virtual resources from a cloud provider.
  • Cloud migration types include P2V (Physical to Virtual), P2C (Physical to Cloud), V2V (Virtual to Virtual), and V2C (Virtual to Cloud).
  • Moving to the cloud brings benefits like better access, performance, cost savings, security, and compliance. Success needs planning, execution, upkeep, and compliance with rules like HIPAA or GDPR.
  • It is essential to prioritize migration components and optimise applications for a smooth and successful transition to the cloud.

Understanding On-Premises And Cloud Infrastructure

On-Premises Infrastructure

On-premises infrastructure refers to the traditional approach of hosting. The organisation has its applications, data, and hardware within its facilities. The setup requires a company to invest in physical servers, storage devices, and networking equipment. You must also manage power sources, cooling systems, and security measures.

Some challenges with on-premises infrastructure include spending a lot of money. You must work hard to change how much you need to maintain and protect everything yourself.

Cloud Infrastructure: What Is It?

Cloud infrastructure refers to virtual computing resources and services. A cloud service provider over the Internet provides these. They give you things like storage, networking, and power when you need it. Different cloud infrastructures exist public, private, hybrid, and multi-cloud.

Public clouds, like AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud, allow multiple customers to use their resources. You pay for what you use.

Private clouds are just for you and give you more control. Hybrid clouds mix public and private clouds, so you can use resources differently and keep your personal information safe.

Multi-cloud means using multiple cloud providers simultaneously, so you don't rely only on one company.

Types of Cloud Migration

Different cloud migration types including P2V, P2C, V2V, and V2C.

1. P2V (Physical To Virtual)

P2V (Physical to Virtual) migration is a method to move your on-premises stuff to the cloud. You change your servers and data into virtual machines that you can use on cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud.

To do a successful P2V migration, you need to plan and assess your inventory. Organisations must know their servers, storage devices, network parts, and software applications. They must choose what should be moved to the virtual environment.

2. P2C (Physical To Cloud)

P2C, or Physical to Cloud migration, involves transferring your physical infrastructure to cloud-based servers. It is more common now because it's cheaper and less complicated to manage. The P2C process often includes making an inventory of applications and deciding which ones work in the cloud.

The migration might need to refactor code and move applications to a new environment. You may replace things that don't work with the new platform or move them to the cloud with no significant changes - this is called lift-and-shift.

P2C can give you speed and flexibility while saving money on capital expenses (CapEx) and operating expenses (OpEx). Once you move to the cloud using transition services like AWS Database Migration Service, you must follow compliance rules like HIPAA and GDPR.

3. V2V (Virtual To Virtual)

V2V (Virtual to Virtual) migration involves transferring virtual machines from one virtualisation environment to another. It is a popular method used for migrating on-premise infrastructure to the cloud.

The migration type can save time and resources and reduce the risks found in traditional hardware migrations. It keeps the settings, applications, and data you already have.

For example, companies using VMware can move their VMs directly to VMware Cloud on AWS through V2V migration. It is an efficient process that maintains the configuration required for compatibility with existing systems. Testing and checking are essential during this kind of cloud migration. You need to plan and do everything carefully to avoid disruptions.

4. V2C (Virtual To Cloud)

V2C, or Virtual to Cloud migration, means moving virtual machines from on-site infrastructure to cloud services. Companies use this to advance their digital systems to a cloud environment that's easy to scale and use.

One well-known example of V2C migration is using AWS's VMware Cloud service. Companies can quickly move their on-site VMware workloads to AWS without needing a lot of changes to their hardware or reconfiguration.

Benefits Of Migrating To The Cloud

1. Increased Accessibility

One of the key benefits of migrating to the cloud is increased accessibility. With on-premises infrastructure, access to data and applications is limited to physical location or outdated hardware. However, cloud infrastructure lets you use data anywhere and anytime, needing only an internet connection.

Take a financial institution with offices in various regions needing real-time access to customer data. These branches can easily access customer info by shifting their systems to the cloud.

Also, cloud-based tools like unified communication platforms let employees work together effectively, no matter where they are.

2. Improved Performance And Agility

Migrating to the cloud can improve a company's performance and agility. It provides faster access to resources, allowing for quick changes and updates.

Cloud migration offers flexible deployment options. It includes hybrid multi-cloud systems or on-premises solutions without being locked in.

3. Elasticity And Scalability

A significant benefit of migrating to the cloud is elasticity and scalability. With on-site infrastructure, scaling up or down needs hardware changes that can be costly and time-consuming.

The cloud lets businesses quickly grow and shrink their resources in response to changes in demand.

4. Cost Efficiency

Migrating to the cloud brings cost savings. By leaving behind on-premises infrastructure, you can avoid hardware, upkeep costs, and electricity bills. Cloud providers offer various pricing plans, like pay-as-you-go and consumption-based pricing. These options simplify managing expenses while still getting top-notch analytic tools.

5. Enhanced Security And Compliance

Migrating to the cloud offers better security and compliance than on-site infrastructure. Cloud service providers (CSPs) invest lots of money and time into concrete security measures to protect clients' data. Cloud solutions have powerful analytics and lower cost of ownership, all while guarding your data.

Cloud Migration Challenges

1. Lack Of Cloud Migration Strategy

A cloud migration strategy is among the top challenges of on-premise to cloud migration. Many organisations need to plan better for cloud migration, leading to costly mistakes and disruptions.

To mitigate this risk, experts suggest creating an inventory detailing all applications that interact with each other. Work with corporate customers or partners before beginning the migration planning process.

2. Managing Costs

One of the biggest challenges in on-premise to cloud migration is cost management. Moving to the cloud can often involve many hidden costs. It may include data transfer fees and ongoing operational expenses.

Another issue with on-premise to cloud migration is managing costs, as there can be hidden costs. It is essential to examine the total cost of ownership (TCO) for each workload planned for migration. Check if moving to the cloud will be more cost-effective.

3. Vendor Lock-Ins

Vendor lock-in can hinder organisations from migrating to the cloud. The problem occurs when a company relies too heavily on a specific CSP or technology, making switching difficult and costly.

Choosing the right cloud service provider and technology stack is vital. Open-source technology is a good choice, as it offers flexibility and can be used on different cloud platforms.

4. Data Security and Compliance

Data security and compliance can be tricky moving from on-premise to the cloud. Shifting sensitive data to a new platform can pose safety and regulatory risks.

When migrating to the cloud, it is essential to consider compliance standards like GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS. Carrying out a thorough risk assessment before migrating helps identify potential vulnerabilities to address in advance.

Step-by-Step Cloud Migration Process

Detailed Process of On-Premise to Cloud Migration

1. Set a Migration Architect Role

One of the crucial elements of a successful on-premises to cloud migration is setting up the Migration Architect role. The person oversees and executes the migration plan and ensures that all components align with business goals and performance objectives.

2. Choose your Level Of Cloud Integration

When migrating to the cloud, businesses need to decide on their level of cloud integration.

There are two options when moving to the cloud: shallow and deep integration. Shallow means you move everything without making any significant changes. It's faster and cheaper but may only give you some of the benefits of the cloud.

Deep integration means making changes so your applications work better in the cloud, saving you money in the long run.

3. Single Cloud Or Multi-Cloud Approach

When moving to the cloud, you can choose one provider or multiple. Using one is easier to manage but can be limiting. Using numerous gives you more options and better protection, but it takes more work to manage.

4. Set Cloud KPIs And Performance Baselines

Setting up KPIs and performance baselines is crucial for measuring the success of cloud migration.

Before moving, decide what you want to improve, like how fast your website loads. It helps you track your progress and make sure your move is successful.

5. Prioritize Migration Components

Prioritise what components you should move first when moving to the cloud. It could be a primary system, like a bank's core operations, or the most critical data.

Assess which data needs to be migrated based on its importance and urgency for day-to-day operations.

6. Perform Refactoring

Refactoring involves optimising an application's existing code for the cloud environment. It helps increase performance and reduce costs by making applications more efficient, scalable, and resilient.

One example of refactoring includes modifying an application to work effectively with various running instances. It enables applications to move from a monolithic architecture to one that utilises distributed microservices. You get flexibility and agility in the cloud environment.

7. Create a Data Migration Plan

A good plan for moving your data is critical. Take stock of everything you have and then move it securely to the cloud. Then, update your old systems to work better in your new home.

8. Switch Over Production

Once the necessary preparation and testing are complete, switching to production is time. To reduce the risk of issues, test everything in stages before switching.


1. What is the difference between cloud migration and on-premise?

Cloud migration is moving your data and applications from your servers (on-premise) to a cloud infrastructure. It's where the cloud providers host and manage them. On-premise refers to managing your IT resources in your data center.

2. How do I move my on-premise database to the cloud?

You should follow a cloud migration strategy to move your database to the cloud. It includes selecting the right cloud platform, choosing a migration method, and creating a data migration plan. Moving volumes of data securely and efficiently is essential.

3. What is a critical step in migrating an on-premises application to the cloud?

When migrating an on-premises application to the cloud, a critical step is choosing the suitable migration method. It includes Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or going cloud-native and ensuring the application performance aligns with your cloud migration goals and challenges.


This article covered essential pointers for successful on-premise to cloud migration. The move to the cloud enables businesses to improve performance, scale efficiently, and save costs.

By following a planned strategy, you are set for a smooth transition. Consider factors like the level of cloud integration, migration components, and data migration methods. To learn more about cloud migration and how it can benefit your business, check out the CloudPanel blog.

Nikita S.
Nikita S.
Technical Writer

As a lead technical writer, Nikita S. is experienced in crafting well-researched articles that simplify complex information and promote technical communication. She is enthusiastic about cloud computing and holds a specialization in SEO and digital marketing.

Deploy CloudPanel For Free! Get Started For Free!