Cloud Data Warehouses - Mar 27 2020

The 5-Minute Guide to Cloud Migration

Modern businesses and cloud migration go hand in hand. Modern cloud data warehouses offer lower costs, better performance, and an array of advanced data applications. Here’s a quick guide.

What does migrating into a cloud mean?

Migrating into a cloud generally refers to moving data from one data warehouse to another. It may be moving from an on-premise data warehouse to a cloud data warehouse, or from one cloud to another. There are a few different types of cloud migration:

  • Application Refactoring
  • Replatforming
  • Lift and Shift
  • Shift to SAS

What is a cloud data warehouse?

A cloud data warehouse is simply a place to store data. Data warehouses allow businesses to store and share data for sales funnel processes, data analytics, and reporting. A properly structured and implemented data warehouse becomes a “single” repository for all data, allowing datasets to “talk to each other”. This connected data allows businesses of any size to discover new data insights that could lead to additional revenue.

Data warehouse architecture has been moving to the cloud, from on-premise data warehouses, because of several huge advantages:


Cloud data warehouses simply cost a lot less. Why? Generally, there are no licensing costs, nor longterm contracts. Plus, because it’s a cloud, there’s no hardware to buy, nor maintain. And lastly, you pay less when your data storage needs are small — then you pay incrementally more as your data storage needs grow.


Generally, a cloud data warehouse grows with your data needs. As you have more data to store, or as you add new applications, your cloud automatically grows.


A more modern data warehouse architecture allows cloud data warehouses to process complex queries much faster. This is in part due to MPP (Massively Parallel Processing), and other modern data warehouse elements.


A cloud data warehouse can theoretically be implemented in minutes. Whereas, a traditional on-premise data warehouse could take weeks or months to build.

What is an on premise data warehouse?

An on premise data warehouse is data storage servers located on the premises of your company, or data warehouse provider/solution. Yes, it’s that dark, air-conditioned room you might walk by on the way to the office kitchen. In some cases, these can be huge rooms, and huge investments for companies. Plus, as the hardware becomes older, and obsolete, it requires purchasing new on premise data warehouse servers every few years.

What are the phases or steps of cloud migration?

The phases and steps of cloud migration are pretty straightforward:

  • Select a Provider
  • Prep for Migration
  • Migrate Data

How to Select a Cloud Migration Provider

Select a cloud migration provider or partner based on your needs. Generally, any experienced partner can advise your business on its needs, best practices, and appropriate solutions. We would recommend speaking to three providers, presenting your business needs/goals, and then deciding which provider establishes your trust. If you have any questions, we’re happy to answer questions:

How to Prepare for Migration

Preparing for migration into a cloud is like most business process changes. Ask yourself: What is the change trying to solve or take advantage of? Who’s going to be in charge before, during, and after the change? What should we do first? Generally, we see clients wanting to improve sales funnel processes, reporting, or gain new business data insights — for all of these, we typically recommend a modern Snowflake data warehouse. Most clients have an existing in-house data warehouse specialist, or they hire us. But first, off, the should get all their data accounted for, so that a cloud migration provider can best understand the types of data that need to be migrated and connected.

How to Migrate Data

Migrating data is generally just Lift and Shift. This means there is little or no change to the data. It is simply moved from one storage solution to another. This must be done accurately, and validated after migration. For more complex data migrations, just ask:

What are the top cloud migration considerations?

The top cloud migration considerations are infrastructure, data protection, access, and security. Here’s what we mean:


Infrastructure refers to servers, operating system software, networking connectivity, and data storage space. Make sure that the OS is compatible with your existing systems. That you have enough CPU power to do the data analysis you want, and that your data storage can grow to meet your future needs.

Data Protection

Your cloud data warehouse needs to be constantly and properly backed up. And in the event of a problem, your data needs to be recovered effectively.


The change in data warehouse location also changes how users access their data and applications. Try to ensure your new and better cloud makes the access experience better for your users, too.


Beyond keeping your data safe, your industry may also require certain security certifications or elements.

List of Top Cloud Migration Tools

AWS (Amazon Web Services) migration toolset and Azure Migrate offer our two favorite cloud migration tools. Amazon is the big fish in the growing pond of migration tools, while Azure is a popular Microsoft platform solution, so their Azure Migrate solution is a no brainer for certain customers.

Who are the top cloud migration services and companies?

There’s a growing list of cloud migration services and companies. You can go big, medium, small, and tiny. We like ourselves as a cloud migration services, and here’s a list of other services to consider:

  • Accenture
  • CapGemini
  • Deloitte
  • Rackspace
  • Reliam

When do I need a cloud migration consultant?

Larger companies have the funds to consider hiring a full-time Data Warehouse Engineer. Startups and medium-sized businesses might consider a specialist consultant to help them implement and get rolling.

At, we help all sorts of companies migrate to data warehouses — from global companies to Bay Area seed startups. The common issues we’ve discovered is teaching teams to maintain their virtual data warehouse, and setup new dimension tables. We get a lot of follow up calls and emails asking for tweaks and additions. Our recommendation is to do exactly this way. Get an expert consultant, like NextPhase, to help you migrate and get everything functioning perfectly. After you discover the power of this new advanced data analytics system, only then should you consider whether the ROI warrants additional investment — whether that be a full-time Data Warehouse Engineer, training an existing engineer, or simply continuing to work with a third-party like NextPhase.

Do I need a Cloud Migration Service or Company Partner near me?

Working with a cloud migration service or partner near you is an advantage for communication and workflow. Generally, close proximity makes those things more efficient. If you preferred cloud migration service is not nearby, make sure you select a cloud migration service that has an established virtual workflow, and who clearly communicates expectations and process. At, we work with local and global clients efficiently, and the key is a well-established process and communication plan.

Have questions? Email anytime for a free consultation.


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About is a cloud data management and analytics services provider. For 10 years, we’ve helped global companies harness the power to turn data into insights that drive growth. Whether you’re migrating to the cloud or implementing a cloud data warehouse, contact us to schedule a workshop.


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