What Are The Cloud Migration Types? Explained

As enterprises prepare for the future, more and more companies are undergoing the shift to managing their data in the cloud. Cloud migration brings the opportunity for increased flexibility, scalability, and convenience; still, there are common pitfalls that lead to over-complications or overspending in the data migration process.

While undergoing cloud adoption, there are proper steps you can take to navigate the migration process successfully and control cloud costs. An early—and crucial—step in the cloud migration strategy is determining which migration type (or combination of types) is best for your organization. This decision takes into account a variety of factors, including cost, time, and risk. Here are the 4 most common cloud migration types and the advantages and disadvantages of each:

1.    Rehost

Nicknamed “lift and shift,” the rehosting approach to digital transformation increases the speed of cloud migration while simultaneously reducing the risk. When rehosting, existing physical and virtual servers move to a compatible Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution including servers, storage, firewalls, and datacenters. Rehosting is advantageous if you want to move fast, have servers run packaged software, own applications without an active roadmap, or work to avoid Capex on aging hardware; however, speed of cloud migration doesn’t necessarily equate to speed of the business in the cloud afterwards. For this reason, you may only want to consider rehosting if it’s part of your overall cloud migration strategy.

2.    Replatform

The replatform cloud migration strategy involves changing your operating system or database engine. Without requiring code change, replatforming allows the use of cloud native features to optimize workload and services that are close to existing infrastructure. If you’re looking to clean up your asset management; change the OS and database engine; or upgrade either the OS, database, or an application to the latest release; replatforming may be the right cloud migration approach for you.

3.    Rearchitect

If your organization is looking to replace existing applications in their entirety with a Software as a Service (SaaS) product, rearchitecting may be the right cloud migration strategy. While rehosting and replatforming retain existing infrastructure to some degree, rearchitecting replaces and rebuilds existing architecture to remove dependency on hardware and provides the additional benefit of having fully managed cloud services. Rearchitecting is a fitting solution for organizations seeking to change application requirements, replace an application with SaaS offering COTS products, or purchase a cloud-compatible license.

4.    Refactor

The final of the four main cloud migration types is refactoring, which calls for examining the application’s architecture and development and re-coding application components to change the middleware. Refactoring leverages cloud-native features to increase performance, scalability, adaptability, and agility. Organizations looking to adopt serverless computing or containerize their applications for flexibility in porting and globalization might want to consider refactoring.

Ensuring the Success of Your Cloud Migration

Each of these cloud migration types has its advantages and disadvantages depending on the speed, cost, and risk associated with your organization’s data migration. Either way, knowing what cloud migration type (or combination) is best for your organization checks off a critical item on your cloud strategy checklist, prepares your business for digital transformation, and ensures a good start to cloud cost optimization.

When selecting your cloud migration type, remember the importance of aligning it with your overall cloud and digital transformation strategy. The creation of a detailed pre-migration strategy and a post-migration optimization plan will ensure the success of your entire cloud migration journey. To learn more about navigating a successful cloud migration from start to finish, read the 7 Deadly Sins of Cloud Migration.

Ready to take the next step in your cloud migration journey? Contact InterVision for assistance in realizing your IT vision today.