Cloud Exit Strategie
8 min

The importance of Cloud Exit Strategy

8 min

Cloud computing has become an integral part of many businesses today. Thus, most enterprises use cloud technologies, tools and services to continuously innovate. Innovation is important so that companies have a competitive advantage. It also provides flexibility, cost-effectiveness and scalability. However, this does not guarantee the success of cloud transformation and the effectiveness of the results. Therefore, the mistake companies make is not having a clear 'Cloud Exit Strategy'. The strategy ensures a smooth transition from the cloud environment to another provider or on-premise infrastructure. In this article, you will read more about what a Cloud Exit Strategy is and why it is important. It also discusses how to prepare a Cloud Exit Strategy. 

What is a Cloud Exit Strategy?

A Cloud Exit Strategy is the process of developing a plan to ensure that an enterprise can effectively move from one cloud provider to another. This too without disruption. Cloud Exit Strategy is also known as a reverse migration and it is basically a contingency plan that ensures that the enterprise can smoothly and efficiently disconnect from a cloud service provider. Enterprises looking to migrate to the Cloud should therefore pay attention to a Cloud Exit Strategy.

Why is a Cloud Exit Strategy important?

There are a lot of cloud service providers' services that boast excellent uptime and reliability. Yet, market leaders have recently faced a number of disruptions. Problems with the Cloud can be detrimental to enterprises as it can affect business performance, budget/cost control and governance of an organisation.

If this happens fairly frequently and gets in the way of the agreed SLAs (Service Level Agreement), then a company will have to choose to perhaps move to another provider or an on-premises environment. Consider creating a DR (Disaster Recovery) between public clouds or using multiple heterogeneous cloud endpoints to take the business to the next level. Always being aware of the different options and planning in advance is important for strategic planning. Any considerations from the Cloud Exit Strategy can be driven by opening up multiple innovation opportunities that can help the company adapt better for changing market opportunities.

Cloud Exit Strategy: key reasons

Below are the main reasons why a company may need a Cloud Exit Strategy.

Cost savings

Your traffic may be increasing every day. This of course increases demand, but at the same time it also increases costs. You may end up in a situation where the monthly costs for the Cloud become too high. This can then have negative consequences, so things can quickly get out of hand. The negative consequences may outweigh the benefits of working in the Cloud.


Due to changes in regulations or legal requirements may need some that is not available from the current cloud provider. This could be a reason to migrate to a different environment. This can ensure both compliance and data sovereignty.


Enterprises sometimes need to move systems to improve performance or even fix problems with the current cloud provider. Examples include poor service quality, frequent network problems or sluggishness due to insufficient resources or poor hardware.

Data sovereignty

Of course, data privacy regulations and compliance requirements are also changing. Enterprises must ensure that their data is stored and processed in accordance with applicable laws. Enterprises can regain control of their data with a Cloud Exit Strategy. It also complies with necessary regulations, such as data location requirements.

DRP and cloud failures

The probability is of course small, but in case the cloud provider goes down, then a risk in a DRP (Disaster Recovery Plan) should be taken into account. To avoid this, you need a Cloud Exit Strategy to prevent downtime.

Often, Cloud providers also offer many options for implementing a DRP. Think high availability, redundancy and backups. However, this is not enough and if you only use the provider's tools then you become too dependent on one provider.

Vendor lock-in

Using products that can only be used with a specific cloud provider can be a problem for companies that would like to change providers. This is because the product will no longer be able to be used or will no longer exist if the provider were to go out of business. Fortunately, using a Cloud Exit Strategy can mitigate this through open source technologies and standardisation of cloud environments.

Cloud Exit Strategy: advantages of on-premise

Compared to the Cloud, an on-premises server is a local server. This brings a number of advantages. For instance, a local server allows you to access large files faster and does not require a good internet connection. So you are not dependent on the internet. If you have a slow internet connection, this will not negatively affect your connection to the server. Furthermore, with an on-premises server it is also easier to switch IT administrators, as you can access the server yourself and do not depend on a remote partner. Finally, the line to the server is also shorter since your workstation is also local. This allows you to work faster, this is especially noticeable when working with large graphic files.

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Read more about the pros and cons of on-premise licensing.

Creating Cloud Exit Strategy

Creating or planning a Cloud Exit Strategy can be done in five different steps. However, the plan of a Cloud Exit Strategy depends on certain business requirements and thus differ for each company. But these steps follow the basics:

Analyse the current environment

It is advisable to first see what you have at your disposal. This makes it easier to conclude what you can improve or what you still need. To get this right, information must first be provided and the current environment documented. The existing infrastructure needs to understand the services and dependencies, documenting critical information such as data location, dependencies, configurations and contractual obligations.

Identify alternative solutions

After you know what your current situation is and what you need, you can now start researching. Here, see what is convenient and evaluate possible alternatives, such as moving to another cloud provider or going back to an on-premises environment. It is good to consider factors such as cost, scalability, security, performance and compatibility with existing systems.

Consider contractual and legal considerations

Look carefully at existing contracts and agreements with the current cloud provider. These include not only the terms related to termination, but also things like ownership of data and data retrieval. Further, also look at monthly fees, penalties or restrictions associated with ending the relationship.

Planning data and application migration

Define a migration strategy and roadmap. In doing so, it is good to ask the question: What do I want to achieve? Therefore, assess different data transfer methods, potential downtime or service interruptions and compatibility between the existing and target environments. Keep necessary data transformation, restructuring or new formatting in mind.

Migration plan Testing

The final step is to emulate the migration process in a test environment. Here, ensure that proper testing, validation and verification procedures are in place to minimise risk and minimise downtime.

By having a clearly defined Cloud Exit strategy, organisations can minimise disruptions. Data integrity can also be maintained and, if necessary, can be effectively switched from one cloud provider to another or to an on-premises environment. However, this is not an easy task, but systems with ClusterControl could help here.

Cloud Exit Strategy: ClusterControl

ClusterControl is a management and monitoring system. It helps deploy, manage, monitor and scale several databases with a user-friendly interface. With ClusterControl, many database tasks can be automated. Think of adding new nodes or performing backups and recovery operations. ClusterControl supports different database technologies in different environments, eliminating the need to run everything database nodes in the same place, no matter where you use it. As before, ClusterControl can help with the Cloud Exit Strategy. Thus, ClusterControl offers a number of features to help you with this.

Implementation and management

Using ClusterControl's deployment feature, you can create your database cluster. To do this, simply select the 'deploy' option and then follow the instructions that pop up. Here you will also find all your database clusters on the same platform, regardless of where it is deployed or which technology. Supported database vendors are: Percona, MariaDB, PostgreSQl and more. With existing clusters, you can clone and run things at another provider with just a few clicks.

Furthermore, it is also possible to add new nodes at another provider and promote them after everything is in place to minimise downtime.

When a cluster is active, you should select 'Import existing server/database' if you have already created the server instances in the provider or on-premises. If you want ClusterControl to create the instances in a cloud provider for you, you can use the ClusterControl feature 'Deploy in the Cloud'. The feature uses AWS, Google Cloud, or Azure integration to create the Vitrual Machines in the Cloud. This does not require you to access the cloud provider's management console.

Vendor lock-in

ClusterControl uses an open source technology. For this reason, you do not have to worry about vendor dependencies. Everything that is run/implemented with ClusterControl, such as backups or load balancers, is an open source software. It can be installed wherever you want and you do not need to use a specific cloud provider or environment.


When ClusterControl cannot configure access to your database nodes before, it uses SSH connections with SSH keys to securely manage the database clusters. This means that connections and traffic between ClusterControl and the different providers in different environments will be secure.

It can further manage database users, allowing you to restrict access to your cluster from certain sources. There is also the ability to create custom templates for deploying your databases. This way, you are not dependent on provider configurations. Auditing and encryption features are also available for a number of database technologies. These can be enabled and used from the same platform.


Furthermore, servers can be monitored in real-time with defined dashboards. This allows users to analyse the most common statistics. Thus, the available graphs in the cluster can be customised. Agent-based monitoring can also be enabled to generate detailed dashboards. Finally, it is also possible to create alerts that inform you about events in your cluster. There is also an option to integrate it with different services such as PagerDuty or Slack.

High availability and scalability

If you have chosen to let ClusterControl manage your cluster, you can easily add new database nodes and load balancers or run failover tasks.

Automatic recovery

Auto-recovery is one of the most important features of ClusterControl. If there is a failure then this feature allows you to automatically recover the cluster. It lets you know when this is the case by sending notifications and displaying alarms.


As ClusterControl has many advanced features for backup management, backups are created in various ways. Here, it is possible to compress, encrypt and verify the backups as well. Furthermore, the automatic backup verification tool ensures that your backups can be used properly, preventing problems in the future.

S9S tools

The S9S-Tool is a command-line tool for interaction, control and management of database clusters. This is done using the ClusterControl Database Platform. Communication between the client and ClusterControl is encrypted and secured via TLS. S9S-Tool simplifies cluster automation as it is easy to integrate with existing deployment automation tools. Think Ansible, Puppet, Chef or Salt.

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