The Most Popular Cloud Migration Strategies: Rehosting, Replatforming, Refactoring

2021-11-12 by Simcha Michael

Covid-19 might have affected your cloud plans. But for sure, it's not a bad change! 90% of enterprises and SMB used cloud higher than they had planned.


?   Many businesses were first-time cloud users during this period.

?   The other businesses migrated from insecure public clouds to secure cloud networks.

?   97% of IT leaders indicated using two or more cloud services.


Of all these stats, what made 94% of enterprises succeed in their cloud plans? Well, it wouldn't have been possible had they not followed popular migration strategies.


Before we get into those strategies, let's know more about types of cloud migrations.


What are the different types of cloud migration?

You can have three types of cloud migration as a business owner.

  1. On-premise to cloud
  2. Cloud to cloud
  3. Cloud to on-premise


You may feel tempted to run over plenty of "DIY hacks" for any of these cloud migrations. But 44% of companies plead guilty to bad migration planning.


So it's best to have cloud consulting and management move your digital operations.


What are the six methods and strategies for cloud migration?

Gartner, in 2011, devised five cloud migration strategies— better known as "5 Rs." But with time, the strategies have evolved into "6 Rs". They're:


  1. Re-host
  2. Re-platform
  3. Re-factor
  4. Re-purchase
  5. Retain
  6. Retire


We are discussing the three most popular cloud migration choices: Re-host, Re-platform, & Re-factor! Let's cover each in detail.


Rehosting cloud migration (Lift & Shift)

The Lift and Shift name is self-explanatory.


Migration steps

  1. The cloud migration team lifts applications and servers from the existing hosting environment.
  2. Then the team drops the servers to the public cloud infrastructure.


Large enterprises use Rehosting migration strategy to prevent tampering with existing application workflow. It's an easy migration solution if you wish for minimal migration complications.


When should you use Re-host?

 Use Rehosting strategy if you're:


?  worried about migration cost and time.

?  looking to scale-down on-premises infrastructure load and cost

?  investing twice as much money on data operation centers than cloud

?  looking to run applications without disruption or issues

?  seeking to prevent code alteration on these applications

?  wanting to optimize some applications, which otherwise are difficult

?  a victim of cloud disaster and want your application up and running in no time


Advantages of Re-hosting

?  no need to make any architecture or code changes

?  move critical core services in less time and risk

?  easy for applications to follow security compliance


Disadvantages of Re-hosting

?  you can't scale legacy application

?  on-premises applications may have latency and performance issues

?  can pose more risk to applications with existing problems

?  the migration process may fail without a proper strategy


Replatforming cloud migration (Lift, Tinker, & Shift)

The Lift, Tinker, and Shift migration is everything from re-hosting + pre-migration app optimization.


Migration steps


  1. Your team or cloud experts optimize the part of the entire application.
  2. The team then shifts the servers to the public cloud infrastructure.


Cloud experts believe a bit of cloud optimization can improve application cloud performance. The best part is— you don't have to make core changes to the application architecture.


When should you use Re-platform?

Use Re-platforming strategy if you're:


?  looking to automate different cloud tasks.

?  a business confident that minor tweaks won't affect the application

?  willing to max out the cloud benefits instead of moving to the cloud for the sake of it

?  fine with slight modification in the app to make it up and running

?  facing serious scaling issues on on-premises infrastructure

?  looking to automate trivial and monotonous operations


Advantages of Re-platforming

?  very cost-effective as you only need minor tweaks

?  start small and scale-up when needed

?  exploit cloud-native functionalities like auto-scaling infrastructure


Disadvantages of Re-platforming

?  work scope can grow beyond re-platforming limits

?  pushes you to make aggressive business changes despite not adding business values

?  you need to invest in automation for some level of flexible functionalities


Refactoring cloud migration

Refactoring is much of the needlework where you re-architect a large chunk of the code-base. Refactoring the existing application gels it up well with a cloud environment.


Migration steps

  1. Your team or cloud expert change the existing software
  2. They design the application to take the highest advantage of cloud features
  3. There are significant changes in the app configurations too
  4. The team then shifts the servers to the cloud infrastructure.


Refactoring is far more complex than Re-hosting and Re-platforming migration. You have to ensure the changes keep the application running.


When should you use Re-factor?

Use Re-factoring strategy if you're:


?  looking to add complex features and expecting performance

?  aiming to scale up your present application

?  trying to milk up the use of cloud capabilities

?  eyeing to boost application robustness and agility

?  service-oriented architecture


Advantages of Refactoring

?  gives you long-lasting ROI for your complex efforts

?  let's rapid adapt to new clients' requirements

?  allows easy application modification or feature addition

?   increases high availability and prevents major cloud disasters


Disadvantages of Refactoring

?  couples your application tightly with public infrastructure (as you use more features)

?  refactoring is a time and resource-intensive migration before you observe any ROI

?  demands veteran and expensive developers

?  high risk of coding errors as there are massive changes in the system architecture


The Final Argument

You can choose any of these cloud migration strategies for your business in easy three steps:

  1. Assess your requirements (read when should you use each method)
  2. Check if you've in-house experts to see you through
  3. If not, move to expert cloud consultants before challenges become long-time problems
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