Migrating to the cloud is an essential part of digital transformation. Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is one of the top cloud providers that helps businesses reduce operational costs, improve scalability, and enhance operational efficiency. However, migrating to the cloud can be a complicated process. To help you make the transition smoother, we have compiled a list of the top GCP migration best practices. Let’s dive in.

5 benefits of utilizing Google Cloud

Google Cloud’s revenue has grown by 25.66% in 2023, soaring to $9.2B and securing a 13% market share. [1] GCP migration is gaining momentum quickly because it offers benefits that make it easier for businesses to achieve their goals. Let’s explore these benefits in more detail:

  • Live migration. GCP offers live migration, meaning that virtual machine migrations can be performed during maintenance events, which is an excellent opportunity to migrate live loads without service downtime. 
  • Robust security. GCP provides a variety of security features to safeguard valuable data. They include Identity and Access Management, Key Management Service, and Security Command Center, which meet the demands of the tech industry and provide businesses with data protection. 
  • Accurate analytics. GCP offers services and frameworks tailored for cloud-based data warehousing, advanced machine learning capabilities, and visual analytics tools. Additionally, it facilitates intelligent data processing and data preparation. 
  • Hybrid-friendly platform. GCP was designed as a hybrid-friendly platform that can simultaneously leverage cloud and on-premises infrastructures. Therefore, GCP allows the building and managing of applications across on-premises data centers, private-hosted servers, and multi-cloud environments. 

Google Cloud revenue worldwide from 2020 to 2023, by quarter

Best practices for Google Cloud migration

Cloud migration can be challenging, but some proven practices make the process easier. Let’s overview the key GCP migration best practices:

1. Start with an assessment 

To achieve business goals through migration, organizations should assess their infrastructure first. Some applications might be ready for immediate migration, whereas others may require rearchitecting before moving. Businesses should also assess their cloud readiness and identify any gaps in expertise that might be needed. This is a great time to involve a cloud consultant to evaluate the organization's needs, inventory the existing data, and assess the solutions. GCP offers cloud cost calculators to evaluate future cloud costs, including the amount of storage used and computing resources. An experienced consultant can help you utilize these tools and calculate all the key criteria.

2. Find a reliable partner

One of the most common GCP migration best practices is partnering with a cloud consultant. A skilled vendor can help perform the migration smoothly and efficiently. Such a partner can assist in creating an effective cloud migration strategy, ensuring seamless implementation, establishing a transparent governance structure, and providing post-migration support. Moreover, official GCP partners with proven experience in cloud migration can help you achieve your business goals even faster by utilizing the full scope of GCP capabilities. For instance, N-iX is a Google Cloud Partner with 400 experienced cloud engineers ready to help you at any step of the migrating process. 

3. Design a comprehensive migration plan

A migration plan, the result of extensive analysis and architecture planning, specifies the scheduled migration events. A plan for cloud migration is essential as it offers a structured approach, guaranteeing a well-managed and successful transition. Ensure your migration plan outlines the sequence of application migration, establishes baseline KPIs, documents necessary changes and training requirements, sets deadlines, and minimizes disruption. Organizations should also determine their preferred cloud architecture and identify any required adjustments to existing applications or data. This phase is crucial for addressing compliance or security requirements associated with the migration. 

4. Choose the GCP migration strategy 

There are four most common migration approaches. You should choose one according to your goals and budget: 

  • Rehost involves simply migrating your application with minimal adjustments to the overall infrastructure. 
  • Refactor includes customizing applications to align them with the cloud environment. Applications or parts of their code are modified to use cloud-native functionality more effectively. 
  • Rearchitect requires dividing the application into several parts, which can be adapted, developed, and transferred to the cloud individually. 
  • Rebuild involves complete application redevelopment in the cloud environment. 

You can entrust the choice of strategy to a reliable vendor. For instance, N-iX has experience in applying all of these migration strategies for their clients. 

Main cloud migration strategies

5. Test a pilot 

Conducting pilot migration allows you to test the waters before the large-scale migration. The pilot assists in checking the migration strategy and identifying necessary improvements to make a smooth transition. The pilot migration is a small implementation of the project that requires preparing the cloud platform, data, or apps to migrate with a limited group of users. By executing a small-scale transition, you can reveal several possible flaws, measure and analyze performance, and optimize processes, tools, and platforms to prepare for large-scale migration. 

6. Migrate incrementally 

You should not initiate the full migration right away. Instead, try the incremental approach by migrating small applications and workloads to the cloud. Such an iterative method will allow you to plan, coordinate, and test better, reducing the risk of delays and disruptions. It also offers valuable insights for subsequent migrations. Finally, this step-by-step approach enables the optimization of cloud capabilities and facilitates addressing unforeseen challenges before migrating more complex applications.

7. Optimize after migration

Optimization is the final entry on our list of GCP migration best practices. It helps businesses continually increase the efficiency of their cloud operations and get more value. The process of optimizing cloud performance includes implementing cloud-native features, identifying opportunities for cost savings, and more. Often, developers implement monitoring and logging systems to gain insights into performance and pinpoint bottlenecks. Cloud-native monitoring services efficiently collect and analyze metrics, logs, and traces. 

Success story: migrating to GCP for a large tech company

Our client is a global provider of managed cloud services that offers personalized white-glove cloud hosting solutions. The company wanted to improve its capabilities of handling vast amounts of data. 

To achieve this, the company decided to complete on-premise to GCP migration of the existing data. N-iX helped the client transfer all the data from MS SQL Server to a unified data warehouse built on GCP.

This allowed the client to optimize costs by decommissioning over 20 servers. By centralizing and unifying all data in Google Cloud, we enhanced the efficiency of data collection, management, and accessibility. Our client also decreased expenses by automating the report generation process, which previously consumed nearly 17,000 working hours per year.

Read the full case: Automation, Cloud migration, and cost optimization for a global tech company

Contact us to start your GCP migration


GCP is one of the top world cloud providers that offers a toolkit for a smooth migration. However, migrating to GCP is not a one-size-fits-all process. It requires a thorough strategy that considers the best practices and enables your organization to explore new pathways for growth and innovation. You can also find a reliable partner to assist you in moving to the cloud. As an official Google Cloud Partner, N-iX is prepared to help you complete an effective and efficient transition, taking into account all GCP migration best practices.


  1. Google Cloud revenue worldwide from 2020 to 2023, by quarter – Statista