Pros and Cons of Different Cloud Migration Strategies Explained! (2021 Edition)





Cloud migration has gained quite a lot of popularity. Most businesses around the world choose to move their data, applications, and information from a local server to public cloud architecture. There are various types of cloud management like cloud migration strategies Azure (IaaS), Google App Engine (PaaS). You can migrate platforms for business services, IoT, enterprise databases, and more to the cloud. 

Not all cloud migrations are created equal. There are different cloud migration strategies and each cloud migration process is unique just like each business. The complexity, time, and money you will need to spend on a cloud migration will depend largely on what type of application you want to move. There are different cloud migration strategies you can employ but deciding which one will be best for you is a challenging task. 

In this article, we will help you with different cloud migration strategies and their pros and cons. This will help you in deciding which one is best for your business.

Cloud Migration Strategies

The different types of cloud migration strategies are broadly known as the “cloud migration strategies the 6 Rs”. Below we have explained the common approaches (R’s):

1. Rehosting or Lift and Shift

In this approach, you will be shifting an exact copy of your current environment without making extensive changes. This strategy is best suited for businesses that need to get their application onto the cloud as soon as possible. 

2. Replatforming

With this approach, your company’s IT team will make some optimizations to the operating system and API during the move. This will allow you to take advantage of cloud benefits and avoid doing any extra work after the migration is over.

3. Repurchasing

Repurchasing is a great option for new companies. It might also be a good option if you are not 100% set on the software you currently use. If you don’t like your current platform, you can consider shifting to cloud-based options that will fit your needs.

4. Refactoring

Refactoring applications will be only necessary if you have apps that were custom built. With this approach, you will have to completely revise your application from scratch to create a full cloud-native version. You can avoid refactoring the software if some companies offer a cloud version with different applications. It is a good choice for enterprise companies that have IT resources that need to reconfigure a custom application.

5. Retiring

Once you have assessed your application portfolio for cloud readiness, you might discover that some of the applications in your company are no longer necessary for your business anymore, then there is no need to migrate them. You can just retire the software and focus on moving the applications you use. 

6. Retaining 

For some organizations, cloud adoption does not make sense. Certain apps might need to remain in your on-premises data centers for some reason. Or if you are not ready to prioritize an app that was recently upgraded. In this case, you can revisit cloud computing at a later date.

Different Cloud Migration Strategies: Pros and Cons

Below are the pros and cons of different cloud migration strategies:

1. The Lift and Shift Cloud Migration Model

Pros of Rehosting

The Rehosting method is one of the easiest cloud migration approaches, as you do not have to change anything within the application. The lift and Shift approach is also faster and cheaper when compared to Refactoring or Replatforming. This approach can help you move applications into the cloud if you have a small time frame and it still allows you to reformat the app later.

Cons of Rehosting

In rehosting, you won’t get all the benefits of cloud migration like automated recovery or monitoring systems, as you won’t be making any changes in the application. For various software that is integral to your company, this is more of a short-term solution than a long-term option.

2. Replatforming

Pros of Replatforming

In this approach, you can get more cloud benefits from your software when compared to the simple Rehosting approach. Moreover, by optimizing before the migration, you can avoid doing extra work after the move.

Cons of Replatforming

As changes will be made in the codebase of the software, you will have to test and retest it with each change before you migrate it to the cloud. This can be expensive and time-consuming. You will even require people from the IT department to ensure the applications are being formatted correctly.

3. Refactoring

Pros of Refactoring

The refactoring cloud migration will fetch you complete cloud benefits. Such as disaster recovery. Due to these benefits, this approach is cost-effective in the long run. Further, cloud-native applications are more scalable and responsive than their on-premises counterparts.

Cons of Refactoring

Refactoring takes a lot of time and resources. That is the upfront costs will be higher. It means your entire cloud migration will take more time than it would with some other approaches.

4. Repurchasing

Pros of Repurchasing

You won’t have to make any adjustments to the software’s code as the newer version will already be configured for the cloud. This approach is cheaper when compared to Refactoring.

Cons of Repurchasing

If you don’t have a cloud-based version for the software you are currently using then you will have to look into other options. This approach is not an option if you have custom-built software for your organization. You will have to refactor those applications.

5. Retaining/Retiring

Pros of Retaining/Retiring

You will free up some extra space on your onsite servers and even save money in the process. This approach can also help you reduce your infrastructure.

Cons of Retaining/Retiring

While retaining Softwares on your on-premises servers, you might have to set up APIs for those applications. This will allow those applications to communicate with cloud-based apps without disturbance. The cost and time-factor for this approach depend on the complexity.

Plan your Cloud Migration 

As there are different cloud migration strategies it is important to plan your cloud migration properly. By looking at your migration, you can determine which applications need to be migrated with each approach. This will help you anticipate your timeline and budget as well. Different cloud management tools like cloud migration strategies Azure, AWS, Google can also be helpful. 

You can even make use of forrester cloud migration strategies to plan your cloud migration. Forrester cloud migration strategies explain to you how to build a realistic cloud migration strategy and tips for maximizing performance. 

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