Top 6 Cloud Migration Strategies for Enterprise Applications
Cloud technology has revolutionized the way businesses operate. Small and large enterprises use cloud architecture to improve accessibility, increase data security, and streamline workflows.
What is Cloud Migration?
Cloud migration moves data, applications, workflows, and other assets from an on-premise to a cloud-based infrastructure.
In a cloud environment, businesses enjoy software, storage, and IT resources on demand. This negates the need to invest in extra hardware or infrastructure.
A move to the cloud helps enterprises cut the need for on-site resources, improve efficiency, and reduce IT costs.
Also, they can meet the market’s changing needs and leverage the cloud infrastructure to enhance the performance and accessibility of their applications and services.
6 Rs of Cloud Migration
A cloud migration strategy defines how an organization moves its existing architecture, data, applications, and assets from on-premise infrastructure to the cloud.
But not all assets will benefit from the cloud. In fact, moving some of these elements can decrease productivity and efficiency. It is why a well-prepared strategy is crucial for successful cloud migration.
The following are the major cloud migration strategies that large enterprises commonly use. They are often called the 6 Rs of Cloud Migration.
Rehosting is also known as the ‘Lift and Shift’ approach. This strategy involves migrating the entire application stack to the cloud without changing the code. Rehosting is the fastest and easiest way to migrate to the cloud.
It is suitable for large-scale enterprise migration, where it adds the performance of the cloud to the existing architecture. Yet, the lack of changes implies that the assets cannot take full advantage of the cloud environment.
This cloud migration strategy includes making changes to the application configuration to make it more suitable for the cloud environment. For example, an organization might change the database to a cloud-native option.
This approach takes longer than rehosting to deploy. But the cloud benefits of enhanced compatibility, flexibility, and scalability offset this.
Building on the previous strategy, refactoring involves making significant changes to the application’s code, or even building it from scratch, to take full advantage of cloud-native features.
Undoubtedly, refactoring requires the most time and effort. But it also offers the most benefits and ensures full compatibility and scalability for the future.
Under this cloud migration strategy, the on-premise applications are replaced by the cloud-based alternatives offered by the vendor. For example, an organization might replace an on-premises email server with a cloud-based email service.
Enterprises can save time and money with this approach. Although it can result in drastic changes in business processes and cause vendor lock-in.
As the name suggests, this strategy includes retiring obsolete applications or infrastructure to free up resources and reduce maintenance costs. Often, cloud-native alternatives replace these retired applications.
This cloud migration strategy involves keeping some applications or infrastructure on-premises while migrating others to the cloud. It is suitable for a hybrid model where application migration is not possible due to security or regulatory reasons.
How to Choose the Right Cloud Migration Strategy?
Some popular cloud-based infrastructures include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. They offer highly flexible plans, which makes them suitable for businesses of all sizes.
As stated earlier, choosing the right cloud migration strategy is vital to a successful migration. Several factors can influence the final decision for a business. Some of these include:
Costs of Operation:
One of the fundamental benefits of migrating to the cloud is a decrease in operational costs.
Each cloud migration strategy offers varying levels of cost savings. These costs hinge on the architecture of individual modules and applications that need migration.
In a typical scenario, all assets cannot come under one approach. Thus, they must be analyzed independently to optimize costs.
Collaboration and Interoperability:
Refactoring applications is the best way for enterprises to achieve the desired flexibility for cross-platform, multi-device, and multi-user support. Repurchasing can also provide similar benefits as most cloud platforms offer tools that work across devices and platforms.
Compliance and Security:
Enterprises can choose to keep sensitive user data on-premise. It helps cut security and compliance risks that come with the transfer and storage of data.
Enterprises can refactor their applications and assets for future-proofing. Repurchasing and replatforming also ensure that the assets are compatible with the current cloud architecture. Finally, retiring outdated modules will also resolve present and future security issues.
Additionally, businesses should consider the following when migrating their assets to the cloud:
- They must define achievable goals and identify crucial KPIs.
- Companies should avoid vendor lock-in and ensure that they get access to the latest features.
- They should find out the applications, workflows, and assets that need a move to the cloud.
- Businesses must define a concrete timeline for cloud migration to maintain performance and output.
- Companies must consider the training resources for all employees to ensure productivity and collaboration between departments.
- They should also have a foolproof Disaster Recovery Plan in place. This will help against the temporary downtimes that may come with cloud migration.
Rapid technological innovation has made cloud migration essential for companies to stay competitive. And choosing the right cloud migration strategy is the difference-maker for enterprises to capitalize on the benefit of cloud technologies.
Is your business ready for the cloud? Connect with our cloud migration experts and take your business to the next level.