Whether you’re building a data lake or using a traditional data warehouse, the cloud is the place for big data. With its pay-per-usage model, it’s a cost-effective location for storing large volumes of data and spinning up instances to run analytics programs.

Deciding to Move Your Data Warehouse to the Cloud

Moving to the cloud can offer additional benefits, as well. Disaster recovery, which is challenging for large-scale data warehouse services, is nearly built-in when your warehouse resides in the cloud. New applications can be deployed rapidly. You gain the security expertise of the cloud provider, and can often use instances certified for compliance with industry standards.

All of that means there are lots of good reasons to move a data warehouse to the cloud, but it shouldn’t be a snap decision. Migrating any application to the cloud can be a challenging project, and the scale of a data warehouse migration multiplies the challenges. Consider these factors while you evaluate whether you want to make the move:

  • Does your current data warehouse architecture meet your business needs? If your existing data warehouse is built on current technology, with an architecture that enables your business to easily gain insight, the advantages of cloud may not offer enough benefit to justify the effort of the migration. On the other hand, if your current warehouse’s design means there’s a lot of pain involved in supporting and using it, migrating to the cloud offers an opportunity to transform it without major infrastructure investments.
  • Will your network support the data warehouse? Using the cloud means your data needs to get to the cloud. There’s the upfront effort of migrating all your existing historic data, as well as the ongoing feeds of the new data your applications collect. You need to ensure your network offers the bandwidth and security to support these data flows before moving your data warehouse to the cloud.
  • Can your data teams and developers handle the cloud environment? Your teams are expert in your in-house technology; migrating to the cloud means changing operational procedures and the tools developers and analysts use. You’ll need to train them in the new environment and allow them time to develop new expertise before you get full productivity in the cloud.
  • Will the new data warehouse handle all your data? Data today comes in a multitude of types, including traditional SQL databases and many varieties of unstructured data. Evaluate how your cloud data warehouse will handle these; it’s especially important to understand how you’ll be able to combine all these data types and use them together to get a full understanding of your data.
  • How will you handle data governance and security in the cloud? The cloud can make controlling and securing your data more challenging. The ability to rapidly bring instances online and then shut them down means it can be difficult to track how data is being used.

Evaluate Cloud Provider Features Carefully

Once you’ve decided that moving your data warehouse to the cloud makes sense for your business, evaluate cloud provider offerings carefully. Different vendors’ solutions carry different price tags and offer different feature sets. You’ll want to select a vendor that meets your budget and offers the features you need while meshing well with your existing solutions to simplify migration and integration.

Amazon Redshift offers data warehouse services in the Amazon Web Services cloud. With managed Amazon Web Services from dcVAST, your AWS infrastructure is fully supported, letting you focus on finding the insight in your data rather than managing your infrastructure. Contact us to learn more about how to successfully migrate your data warehouse to the cloud.