There are various ways by which you can migrate your applications to the cloud. In this post, we will explain the concept of mass migration and six different strategies to move your applications to the cloud.
As cloud computing is gaining traction, companies are racing to migrate their applications to cloud.
However, migration is a complex process, and it’s not until the second phase of “Migration Process” that enterprises comprehend how they are going to move applications to the cloud. This stage called Portfolio discovery and planning, analyzes things like –
- What’s in the environment?
- What are the interdependencies?
- What’s going to be difficult to migrate? and,
- How they’ll migrate each application?
Once you evaluate answers for each one above, you’ll be able to outline a plan for the migration, and also determine approach migrating each of the applications in the portfolio and even in what order.
If we talk about the complexities, it will vary for each existing application, depending on the architecture and existing licensing arrangements. When we consider mass migration with a spectrum of complexity, it is better to put a virtualized service-oriented architecture on the low complexity end of the spectrum, and a monolithic mainframe at the high-complexity end of the spectrum.
There is an apparent reason for starting with the low-complexity end of the spectrum – it is easier to complete.
Below you’ll find six most common application migration strategies for the cloud:
1. Re-hosting for Large Legacy Migration (also known as “Lift-and-shift”)
While you’ll find many early cloud projects inclining towards net new development using cloud-native capabilities, many organizations who are dealing with massive legacy migration tend to re-host majority of the applications (Mainly because it is easier to scale migration to meet business case).
Also, most re-hosting can be automated using tools like AWS VM Import, Racemi, etc. However, some organizations learn to apply their legacy systems to the new cloud platform. These companies prefer doing re-hosting manually.
You’ll also find that applications are much simpler to optimize/re-architect if they’re running in the cloud. There are two reasons for it –
Your organization have developed better skills to do it
You’ve already finished the hard part of migrating applications, data, traffic.
2. Re-platforming to Save Time and Costs
Not changing the core architecture of the application, but in re-platforming, you do make few cloud optimizations to gain some perceptible benefits. Either you can migrate to a database-as-a-service platform to reduce the time you spend managing database, or maybe you can migrate your applications to a fully managed platform. For instance, your company migrated hundreds of web servers it ran on-premises to VMware and save millions in licensing costs on top of the savings and agility by migrating.
3. Repurchasing the Software
If you are moving to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), repurchasing is common. Organizations usually move from CRM to Salesforce.com, an HR system to Workday, a CMS to Drupal, and likewise.
4. Refactoring/Re-architecting for strong business needs
This one reimagines the complete architecture and development of an application. Re-architecting is mainly done using cloud-native features.
Businesses are typically looking to add new features, scale, or performance that would otherwise be hard to achieve in the application’s existing environment.
If you are looking to migrate from a monolithic architecture to a service-oriented architecture mainly to boost agility or enhance business continuity, this strategy can be expensive. However, if you have a good product-market fit, it can give you more advantage.
5. Retire or Get Rid of Not Useful Applications
The first requirement here would be to evaluate and analyze your environment thoroughly. Different functional areas might own various applications. Once you examine your enterprise IT portfolio, you have to find applications that are no longer useful and turn them off. These savings can boost the business case and direct your team’s attention to the applications that people in your organization use. This also lessens the surface area that your company needs to secure.
6. Retain and Prioritize Applications
It makes sense for the businesses only to migrate applications that are genuinely your priority. You could still be riding on some depreciation, and it is not necessary to upgrade an application or migrate applications that are not as important. Also, as you incline towards cloud instead of on-premises, you’ll find fewer applications that you may want to retain.