Cloud Migration: Your Options Are Heating Up

In 2019, there are plenty of reasons for organizations to start migrating their data from local servers to the Cloud. Less than a year from now, Microsoft will end support for any server running Windows 7. The federal government’s recent adoption of the “Cloud Smart” strategy provides better guidance to allow major agencies to finally move their data to a format with better efficiency and security.

This means that cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft’s Azure are pushing to meet the needs of even the most complicated migrations. Each has its own benefits, and the right one may depend on what you have now.

Cloud Migration Tools

When you decide to migrate, you need to choose a platform that will complete the migration and host your data. The most popular options offer many features in common, such as:

  • Standardized tools for provisioning and management

  • Seamless transition with little or no downtime

  • Options to migrate from one database environment to another

  • Geographic redundancy without the work of a DIY solution

From there, the individual benefits of each platform can vary significantly. Be sure to explore each one before making a choice.


Migrating using AWS is designed to be quick and simple. One of its major advantages is the number of native tools available. This means that you don’t need to install drivers or special plug-ins to begin. Amazon has cultivated a partnership with VMware and RackSpace to assist with migration from these popular source platforms.


At this point, the GCP environment for migration is notably a collaborative effort with a variety of migration partners. In its effort to catch up to Amazon and Microsoft, Google is acquiring third-party companies offering solutions that help them compete. This could mean that their services will expand more dramatically over time. It might also require additional work to set up certain environments.

Microsoft’s Azure

Azure aims to make migration easy to get up to speed, particularly if you want to keep some of your data local. With Azure, businesses can expect to see an environment similar to what they already have, which means less training needed to use the new tools.

If you are running Windows 7 at your local data center, you know it is time to migrate. Otherwise, you can look to the innovation and competition between these platforms as a reason to investigate your options and make the choice that works best for you.

Vendor-Neutral or Vendor-Specific Certs? Here’s How to Choose.

With dozens of certifications available for the Cloud, it can be difficult for people to know where to start. Many platforms like AWS offer their own vendor-specific courses, such as AWS Certified Security Specialty. These qualifications prove that successful applicants have the relevant skills to maintain and secure data systems on the platform.

Vendor-neutral organizations, such as (ISC)², offer certifications like the CCSP to establish a professional’s skills that could apply to a variety of platforms. While either path can be beneficial, people newer to the field often have to select which one to do first.


  • Pros: More applicable to different platforms, which is good for people still settling on a specific career path

  • Cons: May not offer the kind of in-depth knowledge needed to do higher-level work on certain platforms


  • Pros: Establishes deeper understanding of an individual platform, and may meet more requirements for jobs in that niche

  • Cons: May narrow your focus and available jobs, especially if the technology becomes obsolete

As a general rule, technology professionals are not limited to a particular path once they begin. Most people find that it is best to get certifications in both categories, especially in the first few years. They can decide later on if they want to maintain a particular certification as it applies to their career path.