Article October 27th, 2023
Adopting the right cloud migration approach for your business applications
After thoughtful consideration, you’ve decided to embrace being cloud native. That’s a huge first step so congratulations are in order! Your new task in front of you is adopting a cloud migration approach that’s the right fit for your business applications.
Previously, we described the benefits and steps of modernizing your application in the cloud. Let’s now discuss the process and application solutions for modernization. Even though there are many cloud solutions, some of the common ones that many tech companies adopt are the following:
- Application Re-Hosting: also known as “lift and shift” is a common approach when migrating apps to the cloud.
- Application Re-Architecting: refactoring an existing application and leveraging cloud services and features either from a code or architecture perspective.
- Application Re-Building: can be redesigning the application in the cloud to be “Cloud Native.”
Before deciding on which cloud migration approach to take, you will typically start by doing a thorough application assessment and planning, which is known as the discovery phase. This phase will determine what is in the application environment, integration points, data flow, interdependencies, licenses, cost, inventory and so on. After this phase has been completed, you will be able to develop a strong business case around renewing existing applications on the cloud.
Re-hosting, also known as “lift and shift,” is a common approach when migrating apps to the cloud. Here you plan to migrate your application to the Cloud with minimal adjustments to the infrastructure.
For example, if your company website is hosted on a virtual server in your data center, then you can quickly move your application and host it on the cloud. When Re-hosting, organizations can save up to 30% on operational costs without optimizing the apps for the cloud. Immediate benefits include enabling you to reduce operational costs, freeing up space in your data center, and considerably accelerate any follow-up to your migration process.
Some obsolete applications are not compatible with the cloud due to architectural decisions while building the app. This typically is the case for legacy applications that were architected for on-premises data centers. Re-architecting allows you to think about the existing application and determine ways to leverage cloud-native services and features, either from a code or architecture perspective. You should determine how to divide your application into several functional components that can be individually adapted and further developed. These individual components could be serverless, containers, microservices, etc.
Think about if you have a web application running on legacy infrastructure, you can re-architect your application to be serverless. Your immediate benefits with Re-Architecting are a highly scalable and resilient solution, an agile and quick time to market, and the ability to leverage cloud solutions.
Re-building is when you are redesigning the application in the cloud to be “Cloud Native”. In most cases, the re-building migration strategy is redeveloping the application on a Platform as a Service (PaaS) infrastructure. This involves removing existing code and redesigning the application in the Cloud, after which we can help you utilize innovative features on the Cloud provider’s platform.
If you have an application that can only run on Windows 7 (or an application language that is no longer supported such as COBOL) you will need to redesign the application before moving to the cloud. Your immediate benefits with re-building are cloud computing (pay as you go), modernization of the application (monolithic to microservice design), and increasing agility, resilience, and scalability.
Now that we have discussed the three main approaches to cloud migration, you will want to make sure that you do extensive analysis to ensure the solution fits your company’s needs, timeline and budget. If you want to achieve a faster path to the cloud, the Lift and Shift may fit your needs. Maybe you want to completely re-design your application; then exploring a re-architecting or re-building solution may be the best approach. Adopting the cloud means you are on your way to modernizing your application. Check out our Technology and Engineering page to learn more about how we can help you with your cloud technology initiatives.
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