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Seven Different Types of Cloud Migration

If you are considering cloud migration for your business, a primary consideration is choosing the right type of migration approach. The cloud migration journey of every business differs in several aspects and considerations. Given the fact that cloud migration impacts a business on a granular level unless a business carefully strategizes their cloud migration, the move to the cloud can turn out to be counter-productive as businesses fail to leverage the full potential of their cloud environment. 

It is important to understand that cloud migration happens in stages and at different levels. Therefore, having a roadmap about how you intend to leverage and optimize your cloud usage post-migration is critical. 

While businesses are increasingly considering cloud migration, cloud spending and business efficiency continue to be two major concerns for businesses across industry types.  

The efficiency and productivity of your cloud migration will depend on how well you plan out your migration journey. One of the first considerations in this context is choosing the right type of cloud migration for your business. 

Selecting the Right Cloud Migration Approach for your Business

Every organization has its own goals, motivations, and business requirements that influence its decision in selecting a cloud migration type. Understanding and identifying your cloud migration goals and objectives is the first step in crafting a successful migration strategy. 

In addition, the cloud migration approach you choose will also depend on the state of your current on-premise infrastructure. Therefore, you will need to carry out an in-depth audit of the architecture of your current applications, the different challenges you face with your infrastructure, and the security gaps or risks you face. When you have a clear picture of these issues, you will know which applications you need to move to the cloud and which applications you need to replace or retire. To a large extent, this step will shape your overall cloud migration strategy and the type of cloud migration approach that will work best for your business. 

This article will shed light on some of the most common cloud migration approaches, their complexities, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.  

Seven Common Cloud Migration Types 

The following are the most common cloud migration types and their advantages and disadvantages. Selecting the right cloud migration type or approach for your business will ultimately determine your cloud migration success story. 

1. Rehosting or “Lift and Shift

Rehosting also called the “lift and shift,” is a common cloud migration type. Rehosting involves moving an entire application from the internal servers of a business unit and then moving it or placing it in a cloud environment – minus any changes. 

Advantages of Rehosting

Rehosting is one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest types of cloud migration. Businesses most often use rehosting as the process requires minimum time and expertise. In addition, rehosting lowers the risk of any changes or interference with the application’s codes.

Disadvantages of Rehosting

While the rehosting migration process is simple to execute, it is not ideal for every business type. Since every business has its complexities, using a uniform and simple migration approach might not offer the kind of cloud dividend that a business might expect. 

The process can present challenges due to complex application dependencies, or if a virtual server goes down, the application will suffer an outage – a feature shared by traditional servers. Another disadvantage of the rehost cloud migration approach is that this option can limit the ability of a business to leverage all the capabilities of the cloud environment.  

2. Replatform

With re-platforming, both data and applications are moved to a cloud environment via certain PaaS services of the cloud solution. With the re-platforming migration approach, the overall system architecture does not change. 

Advantages of Replatforming

A major advantage of re-platforming is that businesses are not required to invest heavily of their money or time. Several SaaS options offer re-platforming solutions. Furthermore, re-platforming supports enhancing a part of an application – the other part(s) of the application can continue to be operational within the cloud platform. 

Disadvantages of Replatforming

Replatforming can lead to risks such as code or configuration errors. For this reason, it is necessary to do due diligence about identifying which features need to be changed or enhanced and how to implement those changes in advance. 

3. Repurchase

With the repurchase migration type, the existing SaaS solution is replaced with a new SaaS solution. 

Advantages of Repurchase

Because the solution that needs replacement has already been configured for the cloud, the repurchasing cloud migration process cuts down on the time and effort you would otherwise spend on configuring the solution to the cloud. 

Disadvantages of Repurchase

One of the disadvantages of the repurchase type is that migration needs a high-speed bandwidth connection to limit the risk of downtimes. This approach can also be a costlier alternative to hosting the service or the app in an on-premise environment. Repurchase might also not be an ideal option for specialized applications that are feature-rich and heavily customized. 

4. Retire 

One of the reasons to have a cloud migration roadmap is that it allows you to identify applications that need to be withdrawn. However, you need to have archived and sanitized data to retire an application. In certain cases, businesses may also choose to discontinue an application if a part of the application’s functionality has been rebuilt, repurchased, or refactored. 

Advantages of Retire

Retiring an application can offer you some much-needed space on your on-premise servers and help you organize your infrastructure. Cost dividends are another advantage of retiring applications. The maintenance budget can instead be spent on applications that are necessary for the business. 

Disadvantages of Retire

One big consideration when retiring an application is that you will, in all likelihood, have to replace the application with a brand new application – in most cases, this requires going through the whole process of building a new app. 

5. Refactor

With the refactor approach, an existing application can be fully or even partially redesigned to boost its performance and lower costs.  

Advantages of Refactor

Applications that are refactored often provide businesses with a cost advantage since they are redesigned to be optimized and improved. Furthermore, refactored applications can be provisioned on-demand.

Disadvantages of Refactor

High cost and investment of time and effort are the major disadvantages of the refactoring cloud migration process.  

6. Re-architect

The re-architect cloud migration approach involves architectural redesigning to leverage native and multi-cloud environments. 

Advantages of Re-architect

With the re-architect cloud migration approach, the functionality of the code is changed, thereby enabling optimized use of the cloud environment. In turn, this allows leveraging the cloud-native benefits of the application.

Disadvantages of Re-architect

Re-architecting can be extremely time-consuming. Furthermore, re-architecting is a complicated process that increases the chances of creating security issues. 

7. Rebuild

In the rebuild approach, an application or the solution is redeveloped completely in the cloud environment utilizing the latest solutions and frameworks.

Advantages of Rebuild

Since rebuilding involves redeveloping an application from scratch in the cloud, it allows you to leverage all the capabilities of the cloud environment. 

Disadvantages of Rebuild

Rebuilding is time-consuming and could be an expensive approach. In addition, since the application is completely redeveloped within the cloud, it can lead to new bugs. 

In Conclusion

The above-mentioned cloud migration types can give you an idea of the different cloud migration types. Based on your cloud migration goals and objectives, you can go ahead and choose a cloud migration type or combination of types to meet your business requirements.