The cloud migration process

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Your exact roadmap for migrating to the cloud depends on the size and complexity of your environment. These are the basic steps:

  • Planning your migration: Before getting started, you should be clear on your reasons for the move and which strategy can best support them. Start by assessing your current environment. It is important to calculate your cloud server requirements based on current application resource requirements to avoid buying more than you need. At this critical stage, you will need the resources and expertise of a specialist. An application performance management (APM) solution can provide complete, real-time visibility into your environment and all its dependencies while rolling up strategy as part of the package.
  • Choosing your cloud environment: Now that you have the visibility you need to achieve success, you are ready to decide what kind of cloud model you want to adopt. Whether you choose public cloud, hybrid cloud, private cloud, or multicloud (or services like Google, Azure, or AWS) depends on which best serves your current and future needs. Just make sure your APM solution extends to your chosen provider(s).
  • Migrating your apps and data: Planned accurately, your actual migration should be plain sailing. Still, keep in mind cloud security concerns, such as complying with security policies and planning for data backup and recovery. Also be sure to use APM to baseline premigration performance in preparation for the next step.
  • Validating post-move success: You cannot declare a cloud migration successful without evidence that it works as expected. With a solution like AppDynamics Business iQ, you can prove the benefits of cloud migration by comparing pre- and post-move application performance, from both a technical and business perspective, in a low-risk test environment.

During the course of a large migration project, there are many decisions and technical plans that must be made, and having a migration architect who is responsible for all aspects of the migration is critical to the success of the project.

What are the types of cloud migration strategies?

Broadly known as the “six R’s of migration,” these are the six most common approaches:


1. Rehosting (“lift and shift”)

As the name implies, this involves lifting your stack and shifting it from on-premises hosting to the cloud. You transport an exact copy of your current environment without making extensive changes for the quickest ROI. Companies with a conservative culture or no long-term strategy for harnessing advanced cloud capabilities are well suited for rehosting.


2. Replatforming

As a variation on the lift and shift, replatforming involves making a few further adjustments to optimize your landscape for the cloud. Again, the core architecture of applications stays the same. This, too, is a good strategy for conservative organizations that want to build trust in the cloud while achieving benefits like increased system performance.


3. Repurchasing

This means moving your applications to a new, cloud-native product, most commonly a SaaS platform (for example, moving a CRM to Salesforce). The challenge is losing the familiarity of existing code and training your team on the new platform. Even so, repurchasing might be your most cost-effective option if moving from a highly customized legacy landscape.


4. Refactoring

Refactoring (or rearchitecting) means rebuilding your applications from scratch. This is usually driven by a business need to leverage cloud capabilities that are not available in your existing environment, such as cloud auto-scaling or serverless computing. Refactoring is generally the most expensive option, but also the most compatible with future versions.


5. Retiring

Once you have assessed your application portfolio for cloud readiness, you might find some applications are no longer useful. In this case, simply turn them off. The resulting savings might even boost your business case for applications that are ready for migration.


6. Retaining

For some organizations, cloud adoption does not yet make sense. Are you unable to take data off premises for compliance reasons? Perhaps you are not ready to prioritize an app that was recently upgraded? In this case, plan to revisit cloud computing at a later date. You should only migrate what makes sense for your business.