Top Cloud Migration Risks and How To Avoid Them

Top Cloud Migration Risks and How To Avoid Them

Moving on-premise workloads to the cloud can bring tremendous benefits. Cloud environments can be highly available, scalable, and extremely reliable. However, there are some cloud migration risks you need to fully comprehend before you start to think about migrating workloads.

We have identified the main risks that organizations face when migrating workloads to the cloud. We’ll look at how to effectively avoid these to ensure your cloud adoption is as seamless as possible.

Data Loss

Moving data from one place to another will always pose a risk of data loss. Migrating on-premise data stores to the cloud is no different.

To combat this risk, we can leverage various services to securely move data to and from the cloud. These services allow us to fully validate every byte, set up ongoing replication, and even schedule the transfer of data.

Once we have the fully validated data in the cloud we can then set up a comprehensive backup solution to mitigate any loss of data.

Unexpected Costs

The elastic nature of the cloud allows unexpected costs to be easily stumbled upon. However, with sufficient planning and cost analysis, you can gain fantastic savings compared to provisioning conventional compute capacity.

Monitoring and alerting can not only be used to protect your users from outages but also to protect your cloud bill.

We can lower your total cloud spend by optimising your cloud resources to be as cost-efficient as possible. Planning this as part of the migration is ideal as it immediately sets a standard to which you run your workloads in the cloud.

Added Latency

With all of your applications in a single datacentre, you will benefit from extremely low latency. The trade-off here though is that you’re putting all your eggs in a single outage basket.

In the cloud with a few clicks or lines of code, we can disperse our infrastructure across the entire globe. This enables us to create highly available systems with ease. However, deploying infrastructure to various locations has the potential to add latency to our applications.

There are various services and techniques to combat latency in the cloud. The exact approach will largely depend on the application architecture. We can force workloads to run local to each other on the same physical device or leverage caching services to enable single-digit-millisecond latency even at millions of requests per second.

There is no silver bullet to mitigate additional latency. Multiple solutions, services, and techniques need to be used together. We can get services down to single-digit-millisecond latency but this will increase the total cost of ownership. We need to strike a balance of what is acceptable for your application and budget when driving down latency.


Operating in the cloud enables us to leverage various fully managed services. This removes the maintenance and operational overheads compared to deploying and maintaining these services ourselves. Managed services come with various caveats. Compatibility can be restricted in various ways compared to on-premise counterpart solutions.

The type of migration will ultimately determine the angle you take when mitigating compatibility risks. For example, if you’re completing a lift and shift migration of your current application, you will likely try to match each service like for like, leveraging hosted services where appropriate.

When managed services aren’t applicable, you can always leverage the clouds compute capacity to roll your own.

Vendor Lock-in

When adopting the cloud, changing your architecture is sometimes vital in order to reap the most rewards. It’s common to adopt the easiest route and pick services native to the particular cloud vendor you choose. This isn’t necessarily a bad design decision, but it needs to be a conscious one.

This approach may cause issues depending on future plans. If you ever want to change cloud provider or adopt a hybrid cloud strategy, it may require additional work to move away from certain services.

If you are 100% in on the cloud vendor you are migrating to and have zero plans or interest to move away then doubling down on your preferred cloud provider can bring some benefits. Leveraging hosted services can enable improved compatibility between services and service integrations and also lowers the operational burden of managing your platform.

Improper Planning

When migrating to the cloud the excitement of possibilities can lead us down a path that isn’t always the correct one. Without first creating a clear migration plan you risk encountering everything discussed in this post and creating a boatload of technical debt.

Improper planning could lead to the added cost, time, and effort of the cloud migration. You may need to re-complete the migration entirely as fundamental best practices weren’t initially put in place.

It does feel like planning a cloud migration is common sense and maybe not even worth mentioning. However, the barrier of entry for the cloud is now so low it makes it extremely easy to get started. The excitement can easily take over after successfully moving a small workload. It’s clear to see how this can then easily expand into larger unplanned workloads.

Correct planning is an integral part of any cloud migration. Completing comprehensive discovery and design phases enables tough questions to be answered early in the migration. This allows correct design decisions to be reached which can determine what approach you take and the effort required to complete the migration.


In order to sufficiently mitigate all of the risks posed above, a deep and thorough understanding of the cloud platform and technologies are required. Without this skill-set underpinning the migration, incorrect decisions are inevitable. This could lead to technical debt before you’re even running a single production workload.


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