Cloudy with a Chance of Repatriation

Swimage Monthly Newsletter

Cloud Exit Strategy and Cloud Repatriation

Cloud computing has become a popular choice for businesses looking to take advantage of its scalability, flexibility, and cost savings. However, just because it’s a common strategy, doesn’t mean it’s being executed correctly. Some businesses are neglecting to plan for a cloud exit strategy as they transition to the cloud, which can lead to negative consequences such as prolonged downtime, decreased productivity, and even data loss if they need to alter their cloud strategy or provider.

As the cloud landscape evolves, some companies may find that their current cloud environment is no longer meeting their needs or the cost is much higher than originally anticipated. In these cases, companies may turn to cloud repatriation – the process of moving an organization’s workloads and data from a public cloud environment back to an on-premises or private cloud environment.

Having a well-defined plan for exiting the cloud is crucial when transitioning to it – and it’s never too late to define that plan if one wasn’t developed during initial cloud migration projects. It may seem like a lot of effort to plan for something that may not even be necessary, but it’s crucial to have a plan in place. Of course, no one enters a business relationship expecting it to fail, but it can happen.

When a business relationship with a cloud provider goes wrong, it can be a difficult situation -having a plan in place is mandatory. If things don’t work out, having a clear cloud exit strategy can prevent disruptions and minimize downtime. A cloud exit strategy, also known as “reverse migration” or “unclouding,” is a plan to ensure that the cloud services used by a business can be replaced without interruption and in an efficient manner. This includes both internal and external service providers in any category, such as IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS.

In this article, we will explore why more companies are turning to cloud repatriation and how a well-tested exit plan using automated provisioning can help make the procedure smoother, more efficient, and less risky.

Reasons Why Companies May Turn to Cloud Repatriation

As companies increasingly rely on cloud computing for their operations, many are beginning to consider repatriation for some of their applications/data. There are a variety of reasons for this trend:

  1. Cost savings
  2. Security concerns
  3. Compliance requirements
  4. Performance issues
  5. Vendor lock-in
  6. Cloud outages
  7. Customization needs
  8. Data sovereignty
  9. Lack of control
  10. Business continuity

Organizations that deploy applications on the cloud should have a cloud exit strategy. Even if an organization never actually moves cloud workloads back on premises, an exit strategy can guide negotiations with providers and influence application design. Having a ready-to-go cloud exit strategy lets you take advantage of better pricing and more attractive discounts by giving you more leverage in financial negotiations. Simply put, a cloud exit plan is always necessary and shouldn’t be an afterthought.

The Importance of Automated Provisioning in a Cloud Exit Strategy

One key element of cloud repatriation and overall workload mobility is automated system provisioning, which is the process of automatically preparing and configuring a server, or a group of servers, for production use. All of the tasks involved in system provisioning, such as starting with a clean OS, installing the right software, configuring desired settings, and applying security policies, are automated using Swimage to make the process faster, more consistent, and less prone to errors.

Swimage offers the most sophisticated, hardware-independent provisioning tool on the market, purposely built for these types of situations. Many organizations use Swimage today for zero-touch, auto provisioning of whole lab environments initiated with a single click. This allows

organizations the on-demand ability to move their workloads and data back to a more secure or compliant environment, or to take advantage of improved performance or cost savings. For the purpose of cloud repatriation and testing cloud exit strategies, the speed of getting all targeted systems to the desired operating state is crucial, and Swimage accomplishes this in under an hour vs. days or weeks with other methods.


There is plenty of debate surrounding cloud repatriation and whether the movement is real. The hyper-scale vendors downplay it noting the flexibility/agility advantages of public clouds, while the datacenter incumbents point to the security and operational control benefits of self-managed infrastructure. While every cloud vendor references its ability to migrate workloads into its platform (as you would expect), they provide very few mentions of the feasibility of cloud exit strategies. Also, because many IT teams are stretched thin maintaining existing systems, a cloud exit strategy is often omitted from their cloud-migration planning processes.

Regardless, the movement of applications, workloads, and data between environments will not be a one-time event; it will become a standard IT practice. It’s a revolving door, not a boomerang.

Leveraging Swimage can make cloud repatriation a seamless process and reduce the burden related to cloud exit strategies. It provides a great vehicle for supporting workload portability and, consequently, a well-tested, validated, out-of-the-box cloud exit strategy.