What are the Top 5 Cloud Migration Strategies?

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Cloud adoption has helped countless businesses drive efficiency through operations automation, grow revenue through innovation, and realize cost savings by shifting toward usage-based, pay as-you-go pricing models.

The cloud provides the strategic flexibility to:

• Improve application performance: Get the most from your applications through full solution lifecycle management and access to teams of certified cloud experts.

• Meet security and compliance demands: Strengthen your environments with Rackspace Managed Security (RMS) Services, Proactive Detection and Response (PDR) and Compliance Assistance (CA) that addresses PCI-DSS, HITRUST-CSF, SOX and FISMA requirements.

• Eliminate geographic limitations: Free your organization from the geographic limitations of hardware-only solutions and gain the ability to deploy to new regions with minimal upfront costs and drastically reduced lead times. 

What is a Cloud Strategy?

A cloud migration strategy is a plan a company can adopt to move some or all of its data and systems into the cloud. Having a good strategy is crucial because it can help a company to identify and validate the most efficient way to migrate its data and systems.

 There are several migration strategies you can apply when moving to the cloud. The right strategy to apply will depend on the system’s requirements and your long-term plans.

Let's take a look at the top 5 Cloud Strategies:

1. Rehosting: The first migration strategy is just simply moving your existing data and systems to the cloud with no changes. This means you will move the same software, same operating system, and the same data that run on the old environment (on-site server) to the cloud provider.

 Sometimes this strategy is called “Lift and Shift” as you just move from point a to point b without making any changes. The advantage of this strategy is that it has a lower risk when migrating to the cloud. But the downside is that it may not typically offer very much benefit in the long run.

2. Replatform: This strategy gives you the advantage of using some of the cloud services provided by the cloud provider. Instead of just lifting your data and system over to the cloud, you can start to use existing cloud services offered by the cloud vendor.

3. Repurchase: This strategy gives you an option to purchase something that is already in the cloud instead of moving your system to the cloud. You can abandon an existing system and shop for new cloud services from a cloud vendor. Sometimes, this migration strategy is called “Drop and Shop”.

For example, a company can decide to license some user accounts or a new customer relationship management system that is already in the cloud. Salesforce is an example of these types of systems.

4. Rearchitect: If you wanted to get ambitious, you can totally rearchitect by redesigning and rebuilding your systems on the cloud. You can use all of the various services that a cloud provider has to create what some people call a cloud-native version.

This just means that you are using methods that best take advantage of what a cloud provider has to offer. This process takes a lot of time and is only considered when you decide that your existing systems don’t meet current business needs.

This method tends to yield the best return in the long run. For example, a company can leverage cloud capabilities that are not available in existing environments such as serverless computing and cloud auto-scaling.

Note: This migration strategy is also the most complex and risky.

5. Retire: The last migration strategy is called Retire. Here a company can evaluate their systems to figure out which parts of the system are not being used at all.

And if this is the case, a company can simply turn them off since there’s a cost to keeping that system running. Sometimes this is called sunsetting a system or an application. Implementing a cloud migration strategy can come up with its own challenges, such as cost management, vendor lock-in, data security and compliance.

These challenges can be handled if you select the right migration strategy based on your data and systems.

OP Team