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Cloud migration is the process of moving data, applications, digital assets and IT resources from an organization’s on-site computers to the cloud, or moving them from one cloud environment to another. The migrated items are accessible behind the cloud’s firewall. Cloud migration sometimes involves moving data or other IT components between cloud environments, in a cloud-to-cloud migration. The process of transitioning to a different cloud provider is called cloud service migration. Successful migration to a cloud service provider’s environment may require the use of middleware to bridge any gaps between technologies. Cloud migration is also known as business process outsourcing (BPO), where computing, storage, software and platform services are transferred to the cloud.

Transitioning to the cloud or between cloud environments can be complicated by having data stored and managed remotely by external organizations, often in multiple locations. Cloud migration planning must consider privacy, interoperability, data and application portability, data integrity, business continuity and security needs. An organization’s cloud migration process often involves merging an on-site IT infrastructure with a hybrid cloud solution.

While a cloud migration can present technical challenges and raise security concerns, cloud computing can enable companies to reduce capital expenditures and operating costs. Successful cloud migration provides the benefits of dynamic up-or-down scaling, high availability, multi-tenancy and efficient resource allocation to businesses transitioning to cloud-based data centers. For example, SUSE OpenStack Cloud provides an open infrastructure for data center virtualization, allowing enterprises to connect their geographically distributed data centers and manage them as one. SUSE OpenStack Cloud enables existing virtualized workloads from XEN, KVM, Hyper-V, VMWare VShare and IBM z/VM hypervisors to be migrated to OpenStack private clouds. Thus, data center administrators can protect existing data center investments and avoid the high cost of proprietary private cloud solutions.