Businesses of all sizes find cloud migration to be the solution to multiple IT issues. For instance, moving applications or data from an on-premise or cloud server to a new cloud server can help improve application performance, introduce auto-scaling capabilities, increase cloud storage, and assure more reliable data security, to mention a few.
Nonetheless, only one in four organizations meet migration deadlines and 75% of organizations go above migration budgets. With one out of three cloud migration projects failing completely, this process can be prone to challenges.
One of the factors contributing to the high failure rates is the cloud migration tool or provider chosen for the migration process. More specifically, some tools may contribute to high IT costs, compliance risks, and incompatibility with complex IT infrastructures.
So that you don’t have to face these challenges when moving to the cloud or between cloud servers, we have compiled a list of the most reliable cloud migration tools you can find.
Migrating from on-premise to cloud? Please take into account these best practices for a seamless migration.
Also Read: Cloud vs. On-premise Cost Comparison
The top 11 cloud migration tools
Our evaluation is hinged on a diverse set of benchmarks. Central to this is the intrinsic compatibility of these tools with a wide range of cloud platforms as well as the. This ensures that they can navigate the intricacies of various cloud ecosystems. We also scrutinized the tools' interfaces for user-friendliness, as we recognized the paramount significance of an intuitive user experience in expediting the onboarding process for IT teams.
Later on, we’ll highlight the critical items you should always look at when deciding on the migration tool that would be most suitable for your organization or needs.
Here are the top 11 cloud migration tools:
Best for: Migration Cost Planning
Turbonomic is IBM’s cloud migration solution that focuses on hybrid cloud cost optimization and promises to reduce cloud spending by 33%.
- Plan optimization capabilities where Turbonomic analyzes historical resource usage and estimates the best cloud configuration and resource allocation in the new cloud environment. Optimization planning reduces costs and eliminates the performance risks of the “lift and shift” approach, where new cloud instances only mirror current resource allocations.
- Discount awareness, as Turbonomic analyzes your cloud provider’s migration pricing/billing and advises on the best migration plan to choose to enjoy the most discounts.
- A guided workflow feature that assists in determining multiple scenarios for cloud migration in minutes. An organization may choose one of these scenarios based on the cloud workloads to be migrated, where they are migrated to within the cloud environment, price considerations, and any other constraints that affect planning.
Turbonomic’s pricing is based on the number of on-premise VMs, the number of cloud instances needed, and whether you are interested in pricing containers. You can request a demo to check out how Turbonomic works.
2. AWS Server and Application Migration Service
Best for: Migration to AWS and Migration Between AWS Regions
TheAWS Server and Application Migration Service utilizes automation to discover servers within the cloud environment and offers compatibility with multiple on-premise and cloud applications.
- Setup configuration for continuous data replication and test new instances before migration
- Migration compatibility with SAP, Oracle, and SQL Servers running on on-premise servers like VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V.
- Over 200 services to migrate from public cloud to AWS
- Migrate workloads on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) between AWS availability regions
- Modernize migrated applications with automated Elastic Disaster Recovery, server version updates, and license conversion from Windows MS-SQL BYOL to AWS license
In terms of pricing, migration through the AWS Server and Application Migration Service is free for the first 2,160 hours (90 days) of server replication. However, you incur costs for the AWS cloud resources used for replication and also the resources used to test cloud instances. After the free period, you may either choose to pay per hour or per month for migration.
3. Azure Migrate
Best for: Current Microsoft Azure Users
Azure Migrate is one of Microsoft’s multiple solutions for application migration and modernization. It is a conditionally free migration tool that allows you to assess current on-premise infrastructure, databases, and application resources. You can also optimize the transfer process during migration.
- On-premise infrastructure overview through which you can map dependencies and estimate the cost-efficiency of multiple migration scenarios.
- Cloud server optimization that permits optimal resource allocation and phased migration of on-premise data.
- Central dashboard to test new cloud environments, manage third-party IaaS and PaaS tools, and monitor/optimize the migration process as it progresses.
- Built-in threat intelligence through Microsoft Defender to achieve increased data security and regulatory compliance.
For pricing, Azure Migrate is free to use if you have an Azure subscription license. However, you incur costs for using integrated third-party solutions.
Best for: Automating User Access Control
CloudM is trusted by over 1 million users, has facilitated over 78 million migrations, and is available across 107 countries. It is trusted by companies like Spotify, Uber, Booking.com, and Netflix. It offers migration to only Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, and Dropbox.
- Permits migrations from over 30 source platforms, including Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, Zimbra, and IMAP, among others
- Customization and scanning for item counts, data volume, and permissions in old and new cloud instances before migration
- Automation with Powershell to facilitate onboarding, offboarding, configuration changes, user access control, and third-party integration.
CloudM offers pricing options based on the deployment models — a Self-Hosted model where you purchase and download CloudM to your PC. The second option is a Hosted SaaS model where you subscribe for access to CloudM. The third is a Serviced Migration model where you completely outsource your cloud migration operation to CloudM experts.
5. Google BigQuery Data Transfer Service
Best for: Migrations to BigQuery
Google’s BigQuery Data Transfer Service is specifically designed to automate data migration into BigQuery, a serverless data warehouse for ML-powered data analysis.
- Data-source compatibility with Google SaaS apps (Google Ads, Google Play, YouTube, etc.) and external data warehouses such as Amazon S3, Azure Blob Storage, Teradata, and Amazon Redshift
- Multi-regional availability and inter-regional migration support
- Codeless configuration and AI-powered, continuous data transfer into BigQuery
Google’s BigQuery Data Transfer Service pricing combines two considerations — compute analysis and data storage. Compute analysis pricing comes in a Standard Edition and an Enterprise Edition. Storage pricing, on the other hand, is split into Active Physical Storage, Active Logical Storage, Long-Term Physical Storage, and Long-Term Logical Storage.
6. Carbonite Migrate
Best for: In-Flight Cutover management
Carbonate Migrate offers cutover testing capabilities to help speed up data transfer and reduce migration downtime to mere seconds.
- Flexibility with migrations: Vendor lock-in is eliminated and transfers may either involve entire servers or just data.
- Hybrid, cross-environment compatibility involving on-premise and cloud servers.
- Centralized console for automating and managing migration
- Auto-provisioning of Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere virtual machines for efficient IT management.
- AES 256-bit encryption to secure data while transferring.
- Cutover management that permits operations testing, migration reversals, and zero impact on systems in the production environment.
The cost of using Carbonate is made available after a consultation. Thankfully, you enjoy a 30-day free trial. They also offer free installation services.
7. AvePoint Migration
Best for: Pre-Migration Planning
In operation since 2003,AvePoint Migration specifically facilitates the transfer of data into Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint. The AvePoint team has managed over 12 petabytes of migrated data, including a project involving over 500TB of data. The solution is trusted by organizations like Nestle, HP, and NASA.
- Migration planning features that allow organizations to discover systems, prioritize sensitive data, understand the impact of changes mid-transfer, and customize migration workflows to eliminate potential pitfalls.
- Fly Server tool dedicated to the migration process and offering compatibility with extended cloud-based and on-premise data sources. The tool comes with a High-Speed Mode to quickly lift and shift terabytes of data
- Migration monitoring through integrated Power BI templates.
- Customizable migration reports
- Bulk import mapping through CSV
- Migration-as-a-Service for outsourced data migration.
Pricing for AvePoint Migration is determined through a quote. A demo is available on request to check out the software.
Best for: Migration to Microsoft 365 and Personnel Data Syncing
Trusted by Crocs, Fujitsu, Siemens, and IKEA, Sharegate is another reliable tool specifically designed to migrate data to Microsoft 365. It is powered by automation and comes with extensive features for administering the migration process.
- Customizable templates for IT personnel provisioning
- Pre-transfer and post-transfer validation
- Team migration and syncing as team channels, conversations, memberships, histories, plans, and permissions can be migrated alongside data
- No cap on data transfer volume
- Centralized permission management
- Automate insight generation, governance optimization, and risk mitigation for more seamless migration workflows.
Sharegate’s pricing options include a yearly subscription basis, with the two-year plan coming with a 15% discount and the three-year plan offering a 20% discount. All subscriptions come with free software updates and unlimited support from Monday to Friday.
9. Azure Database Migration Service
Best for: Database Migration to Azure SQL-Based Instances
The Azure Database Migration Service is a specialized solution for migrating data from external databases to Azure’s data platforms. Different from the Azure Migrate tool that focuses on moving data from dynamic on-premise deployments to the cloud. The Azure Database Migration Service permits both online and offline migrations from external SQL databases to the Azure SQL Database and related Managed Instances. It also supports both cloud-based and on-premise database sources.
- Supports migrations from common databases like SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB
- Comprehensive content coverage which includes user accounts and SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) packages, among others.
- Powershell cmdlets to automate SQL server assessment, end-to-end migration, and migration resource scaling.
- High security and compliance assurance
Azure Database Migration Service pricing model allows users to start with a $200 credit to purchase any feature in the first 30 days, which is similar to a limited free trial. After this period, you may then opt for a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model to continue using these features, access certain features for free for the first 12 months, and enjoy over 55 features for free over your lifetime usage.
Best for: Data Transfer Between Dedicated Cloud Storage Platforms
Movebot’s migration tool is trusted by enterprise-level data storage platforms like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive, to mention a few. It supports on-premise-to-cloud, cloud-to-cloud, and cloud-tenant-to-tenant migrations.
- Integrated with over 30 storage providers
- Pre-migration scanning to discover data systems and assist with storage mapping, error prediction, and detailed migration planning.
- Fast migration speeds of up to or more than 5 TB per day, including visualized progress tracking.
- Delta migration for continuous data update/transfer from the previous data source.
- Migrate specific files, user permissions, and metadata on data versions
- Migration segmentation
Movebot is available through a PAYG pricing model where you pay per TB transferred. The cost of the Managed Service Provider (MSP) Essentials plan, Enterprise Essentials plan, and Partners plan are determined by a quote.
Best for: Ransomware Protection
Cloudsfer offers cloud migration features trusted by over 1000 organizations, including Boeing, Facebook, Dell, and Starbucks. Just like a lot of other top cloud migration tools, it allows you to transfer user profiles and automatically sync data from data sources to new storage platforms.
- Compatibility with over 20 cloud storage and on-premise providers
- Encryption of information exchange while transferring data
- Templates for administrative user mapping
- Built-in ransomware protection
Cloudsfer is available through three pricing plans — a Basic plan for one-time migrations, a Standard plan with additional backup features, and a Pro plan for continuous data syncing.
Essential qualities that define reliable cloud migration tools
Cloud migration is not just any ordinary IT process. It’s an operation that comes with multiple risks including legal and regulatory compliance, as well as risks to meeting business service-level and financial objectives.
To ensure the cloud tool you choose is reliable enough to protect against these organizational risks, here are certain qualities to consider when choosing a cloud migration tool.
1. Robust Security
Cyber crimes are increasing and the theft or exploitation of data bears painful implications for any organization.
You will operate from a safe side if you can do everything to ensure that the cloud migration tool you choose is one that offers robust security features to protect data during the migration process.
What are these features? Look for data encryption, malware protection, continuous intelligence gathering, and multi-factor authentication for access control.
We have previously discussed the most dreadful cloud computing cyber threats. Please make sure to check it out.
2. Compliance Assurance
Companies like Equifax, T-Mobile, Google, and Facebook have lost hundreds of millions and even billions of Dollars to regulatory fines due to bad data handling.
A cloud migration tool that cannot assure that the transfer process would meet compliance requirements should be avoided at all costs. The best tools give you administrative power over documentation, procedural control, testing, data validation, and auditing.
3. Reliable Cloud Compute Capabilities
Now, it isn’t enough that the migration process is compliant and secure. The cloud migration tool you choose also needs to offer cloud computing capabilities that assure the swift transfer of data from on-premise/cloud systems to a new cloud system.
These are tools that offer sufficient storage, networking, intelligence, and analytic power for your specific SQL query, scripting, data transfer, data definition, and data manipulation needs.
5. Extended Integrations
From our list above, you see that some cloud migration tools only allow you to transfer to one cloud platform. Some allow transfers from a limited number of platforms, while some offer extended compatibility with over 30 platforms. In this light, it is important to choose a cloud migration tool that integrates with data sources and destinations relevant to the organization’s needs.
For instance, with Sharegate’s destination platform limited to Microsoft 365, it is not a great choice if you wish to migrate to any other cloud platform.
Scalability is all about the flexible allocation of computing resources to meet changing migration needs. Although the available cloud computing resources may be sufficient for migration, data transfer needs may change during the transfer process.
Only a tool that offers scalability can allow you to meet new cloud migration requirements. You either choose a tool that allows you to manually manage resources during the transfer or one that incorporates AI to automate the process, improve efficiency, and reduce human error.
7. Best-value pricing
Comparing the cost-to-benefit profile of each migration tool allows you to identify the one that offers the most value for your migration needs.
For example, Azure Migrate is free for users who already have an Azure subscription. The AWS Server and Application Migration Service is free for 90 days, but only if you have a data replication subscription.
It is only by making these considerations that organizations can avoid data loss, regulatory fines, platform incompatibility, migration downtime, resource wastage, and complete migration failure — the common risks to cloud migration operations.
If you are a small business trying to figure out how cloud computing can be of help, this resource about the advantages of cloud computing for small businesses will give you great insights to get you started. For overall cost management, check these best practices for effective cloud cost management.