Whether you are considering a cloud transformation or already taking the steps to prepare for one, building a strategy for how to migrate applications from on-premises to the cloud is essential. Knowing that not all applications can or will migrate successfully without intervention, you need a cloud migration plan that clearly defines a strategy for every application.
It is a best practice to start with a cloud assessment to identify technical aspects related to your business migrating to the cloud. This includes identifying potential security and compliance issues. With a complete review of your current IT infrastructure and goals, you will be able to objectively assess which migration approach is most appropriate for the systems, network and applications you’re currently supporting, as well as take into account what areas you want to gain scalability with the migration activity.
Collectively referred to as the “six R’s of migration,” let’s take a look at the key strategies for constructing your cloud migration framework.
Usually, a step one of any strategy, with this approach, you will terminate (retire) what applications you identified in your cloud assessment that are not being used by your organization. Phasing out applications that are no longer needed will help save money and reduce the complexity of your current infrastructure.
For a lot of businesses, some components of your IT environment will remain in-house, on-premises. For those applications, you will retain them and not migrate them to the cloud for a slew of factors which could include compliance and regulations, or if the gains made from cloud accessibility are not outweighed by the effort of the migration or the ongoing cost to support the migrated data. We recommend you revisit these applications at a later date as your environment adapts and changes.
This is a popular strategy with very low migration effort. Commonly known as lift-and-shift, rehosting requires copying the application as-is to the cloud provider. This is recommended when speed is an important factor in your cloud migration, one example being when the lease at your current data center is near expiration. However, rehosting does have its limitations. Rehosting applications are not decoupled from their original operating system which makes them more difficult to scale in the cloud.
Repurchasing, or replacing, is the strategy where your legacy applications are fully replaced by a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that provides the same or better capabilities. This means terminating existing licensing and moving your company’s existing data into the cloud-based operations that can easily manage functions such as customer relationship management and human resources.
Re-architecting, also known as refactoring, is typically driven by the need for an application to scale in a way that is not possible in the application’s existing environment. It involves breaking down legacy applications and rebuilding them into the cloud-native framework where they are able to scale up or down in terms of power and capacity. This tends to be the costliest strategy but leads to more modernized infrastructure.
If you have a legacy system that is too structured to move into an IaaS cloud platform, replatforming can help strike a balance between rehosting and the complexity of refactoring. This involves optimizing and upgrading applications to become compatible with cloud technologies while preserving their existing functionality instead of changing the core of the applications. This is suggested when you do not have the resources to re-architect your applications but still want to take advantage of cloud scalability and performance.
The six R’s of a cloud migration strategy is an important tool for successfully categorizing your applications and planning your migration framework. Deciding on the strategy can require an extensive deep dive into your infrastructure to understand where and how to get started with cloud. Making sure your applications and resources are placed in the right place for cost and functionality purposes will ensure that your plan meets your business goals and is most efficient with your set budget. Contact Computer Solutions today for a free consultation on how we can help your business get to the cloud.