How To Avoid Vendor Lock-in with Your Cloud Data

Vendors are like the Hotel California; they don’t want you to leave. There are different bolts on the door. Some are contractual like a long term or an auto-renew clause. Others are technical like complex file sharing and permissions structures, proprietary document formats, and API rate limiting. Let’s look at three technical shackles of cloud vendor lock-in and how to break them.

1. File Sharing and Permissions:

These are the rules for access you create when you share files or folders with people in a collaborative cloud environment, or the access control lists your users and administrators create on your file servers. These work differently from platform to platform and are not fully equivalent. Also, modern collaboration tools allow you to collaborate with external users outside of your organization via shared links and email addresses. These links get broken when changing vendors.

So how do you preserve sharing and permissions? If you want to do it manually, you could use FTP, ship disks, or do a lot of “dragging and dropping” to get all the files from A to B. While you’re doing that, just tell all your employees to stop working on their files for a few months while the transfer takes place and then tell them to go in and set up all the sharing again once the data is migrated. The time and effort doing this manual transfer is a big barrier to moving from one cloud provider to another.

Or you can use a migration platform that allows your folks to keep work on their files, does the transfer in hours or days and brings all the permissions over for you while making sure you don’t over or under share given the potential differences in how sharing works in the new cloud environment.

2. Document Incompatibility:

Let’s say you are moving your files from Google GSuite to Microsoft OneDrive. You have a bunch of Google Docs in Google but you want them to be Office Docs when they get to OneDrive. They don’t translate themselves, so this is a large barrier to migrating.

To make the switch happen you could open each Google Doc individually and do a conversion to Word manually for every file. If you are the average user with hundreds of files or more, this is going to take you much more time that you likely have.

It is so much better to have a migration platform that converts these files automatically as part of your cloud to cloud migration. Not only does it save you time, but it prevents headaches that come from incomplete file conversion.

3. Rate limiting:

All cloud providers impose rate limits on how fast data can be accessed on their platform. While this is often driven by their desire to protect their platforms from overloading, it also serves as bottleneck for getting your files out (and getting them in to the new platform). The best migration platforms have sophisticated transfer optimization algorithms to maximize the ingress and egress speed by running just the right amount of transfers in parallel.

Looking for a migration platform to break out of vendor lock-in? Go to