The 6 R’s of Cloud Migration Strategy
Organizations worldwide have liked to transfer their day-to-day operations to the cloud to save money and increase efficiency. Physical hardware and networking maintenance onsite can cause significant spikes in IT and network service capital expenditures, especially when it comes to repairs and replacements.
Why should your Organization have a Cloud Migration Strategy?
Moving your data and applications to the cloud can help you save money and improve collaboration. It also provides the added benefit of disaster management and supports business continuity. The migration process can be daunting and costly if done inappropriately or in a way that does not support company goals or the product’s architecture. Companies must take a holistic approach to determine which applications and services they want to migrate and how the migration will impact licensing, services, and productivity across the organization.
How to Develop a Cloud Migration Strategy?
Developing a migration strategy is a time-consuming process. Still, the planning stage frequently determines what’s possible in the migration environment, what interdependencies are involved with the migrating elements, and what will and won’t migrate. Gartner published the “5 Rs” model, which outlined all the available options for migrating an application to the cloud. Amazon adopted this strategy and extended it to include 6 Rs: Retiring, Retaining, Rehosting, Replatforming, Refactoring, and Re-architecting are known as the “6Rs of migration.”
We’ll discuss each of these in detail in the following sections and determine which “R” is best suited for your migration strategy.
The 6 R’s of Cloud Migration Strategy
Rehosting: To a public cloud infrastructure
Lift and shift is another term for rehosting. It involves moving servers or apps from their current hosting environment, usually on-premises, migrating them to public cloud infrastructure, and rehosting them. Lift-and-shift is a popular method for companies just starting on their migration journey.
Although most rehosting can be automated with tools (such as CloudEndure Migration and AWS VM Import/Export), some clients prefer to do it manually as they learn how to integrate their legacy systems with the new cloud platform. Running servers on scalable public cloud infrastructure on a pay-as-you-go basis has a lot of advantages. Therefore it’s a low-risk migration approach.
A leading securities and facilities management firm in the United Kingdom had an extensive IT infrastructure to support a wide scale of business operations. They recently switched from an on-premise CapEx to a cloud-based OpEx strategy and saved 40–50 percent of their infrastructure costs. The firm successfully migrated its complete IT activities to the AWS cloud, including several websites, client desktop services, and SQL databases, using the “lift and shift” method.
- Rehosting is the cheapest and easiest approach to migrating to the cloud because you don’t have to alter anything within the application.
- This approach can assist you in shifting applications into the cloud if you have a short time limit, and it still allows you to reformat the app later.
- In rehosting, you won’t gain all of the benefits of cloud migration, such as automated recovery or monitoring of systems, because you won’t be making any modifications to the application.
- Although rehosting is an easy procedure, it may fail due to complicated application dependencies.
Replatform: Your Cloud Architeture
Replatform is also known as the ‘lift, tinker, and shift’ method. Replatforming allows you to make configuration changes to your apps more cloud-friendly without changing their essential architecture. Developers often use this method to change how apps interface with databases so that they can run on managed platforms like Google CloudSQL or Amazon RDS.
When Pinterest gained over 250 million clients and over 1,000 microservices with different infrastructure layers and tools, it switched from AWS legacy cloud to a next-generation cloud computing system. The microservices were moved to Docker containers powered by Kubernetes using the ‘lift, tinker, and shift’ method. As a result, the engineering effort was cut in half, and the project became more cost-effective.
- With a re-platform, you are utilizing specialized cloud services. You can get many cloud migration benefits without reworking or significant code changes if you do it this way.
- Because the migration procedure is usually automated and quick, there are no risks.
- There is no dependency on the OS, hypervisor, or underlying physical hardware platform.
- Because we make updates to the software’s codebase, you’ll need to test and retest each change before migrating it to the cloud. This is both costly and time-consuming.
- This method requires a little more planning and coordination. Your team will also need to become familiar with how new specialized cloud services work.
Refactor: Your application to make it Cloud-Native
The refactor or re-architect strategy needs a complete redesign of the application to make it cloud-native. Microservices architecture, serverless containers, function-as-a-service, and load balancers are examples of cloud-native technologies that can be fully realized with this technique. For example, you can rework assets when you shift your digital assets from an on-premise monolithic architecture to a serverless architecture on the cloud. These refactored applications are scalable, adaptable, and efficient, with a long-term return on investment.
Compared to the others, this strategy is the most expensive, resource-intensive, and time-consuming, but it will pay off in the long run. Other issues you may face include having a resource pool lacking cloud-related skills, the complexity of the applications, and the potential for a more than noticeable business disruption. The goal is to prioritize microservices as smaller portions of your monolithic application and then restructure them. Avoid disruption by keeping legacy applications running on-premises while you rebuild in the cloud.
When a major streaming platform’s database was severely corrupted for three days in 2008, the company chose to go to the cloud. With AWS as their cloud provider, they could re-engineer all of their technology and radically transform how they operate. Their success depended on high reliability, horizontal scalability, and cloud-based distributed technologies. It took them years to finish the refactoring, but it was the best option. It now has 8 times as many members as it did in 2008 and operates in 130 countries.
- Cloud refactoring will provide you with full cloud benefits, and this strategy is long-term and cost-effective.
- Cloud-native apps are more scalable and responsive than traditional on-premises apps.
- There is no need to maintain infrastructure or servers.
- Refactoring consumes a significant amount of time and resources. As a result, the initial costs will be higher.
Repurchase: Your On-premise Software
Repurchase, commonly known as the “drop and shop” approach, replaces on-premise software with cloud-native vendor-packaged software. It typically involves switching to a SaaS (Software as a Service) application with similar functionality. It sometimes implies a licensing change where you remove your old on-premise license and begin a new license agreement with the cloud provider for their service. The newer, enhanced cloud version provides better value with increased efficiency, lower app storage, and lower maintenance expenses.
Moving from on-premise CRM to Salesforce or Hubspot, moving to Workday for HRM, or converting your built-in CMS to Drupal are just a few examples. This method is easy, quick, and saves a lot of time and work during migration. Repurchasing may present challenges such as training your personnel on the newly purchased product or vendor lock-in. In comparison, SaaS services provide limited customizability and control. You might feel the pain of losing a specialized on-premise solution built specifically for you.
A major travel app player migrated to Amazon RDS during their move to AWS and dropped MySQL. MySQL made it difficult to do complex procedures like replication and scaling. Much of the time-consuming administrative responsibilities related to databases were simplified and handled by Amazon RDS. As a result, the engineers will be able to devote more time to develop. With barely 15 minutes of downtime, the complete database was transferred to Amazon RDS.
- You won’t need to change the software’s code because the newest version is already configured for the cloud.
- Compared to refactoring, this method is less expensive and a lot quicker.
- If your company uses custom-built software, this strategy isn’t an option.
Retire: Your Applications from IT Portfolio
The ‘retire’ strategy involves removing applications from your IT portfolio that are no longer needed or actively used. If it is determined that a software product is not worth transferring to the cloud, it can be removed or scaled back. It allows you to examine all of your apps regarding their functions, dependencies, and business costs. As there is no migration, it is a somewhat passive technique. According to AWS’s Stephen Orban, on average, upto 10% of an enterprise’s IT portfolio is no longer useful after shifting to the cloud and can be turned off.
Though it may appear simple, decommissioning apps is a complicated process that must be considered when determining which apps to retire from. It should be done early in the planning process so that you migrate only critical applications or services and save money.
During its migration to AWS, a 3D design and engineering software leader decided to decommission various applications to improve efficiency, resilience, and automation through a large-scale migration and modernization effort. It retired 209 application environments, lowered the attack surface, and migrated 239 apps with cost-effectiveness of 97 percent. Overall, the company achieved improved business outcomes, lower expenses, a better end-user experience, and stronger security.
- You will free up some extra space on your onsite servers, and also this method helps save money spent on infrastructure.
- If you want to keep the software on your on-premises servers, you’ll have to create APIs for them, which means additional effort. Such on-premise apps will then be able to communicate with cloud-based apps without being interrupted through those APIs.
- The level of complexity determines the cost and time factors for this method.
Retain: The Essential Applications of your Digital Assets
Retaining, also known as re-visiting, is analyzing those essential applications/portions of your digital assets that require major reworking before being migrated to the cloud. You may eventually discover that some applications are better suited to on-premise deployments. In other cases, apps are retained because of latency requirements, compliance or regulatory limits, or simply because they are not cost-effective.
Organizations frequently utilize the retaining strategy in hybrid cloud deployments to ensure business continuity during lengthy migrations. For example, to support their ongoing migrations to AWS, a major FMCG organization established a hybrid cloud infrastructure. It benefits from the cloud while retaining critical workloads and sensitive data on-premise.
Cloud Migration Strategy from Payoda Technologies
Remember that every cloud migration process is different when you deliberate which of the “6 Rs” is best for your company’s migration needs. The types mentioned earlier of cloud migration are not ready-made solutions for every organization. These selections should be used to construct the final strategy, which will suit your company’s specific needs. While planning your migration strategy, consider costs, security, scalability requirements, timelines, skills, and business goals. A successful migration requires the right guidance and diligent planning.
Authored by: Vijayakumar Arunachalam