Three Different Paths to Cloud Migration: Different Time/Cost/Skills

While preparing to move applications from your data center to the cloud, you will realize that some won’t meet the requirements for cloud migration. These requirements will be outlined after performing an assessment to determine:
  • The objectives and goal for migration
  • Whether your data center technology is compatible with that of the cloud host
  • Whether they meet compliance requirements

For example, it’s extremely difficult to move applications that tightly integrate with your hardware or those that relate to your server’s MAC address. You may decide to keep running others in your data center due to compliance requirements, even though they qualify for cloud migration. There is a way to Pick the best application for cloud Migration.

Most times, applications that qualify for migration meet criteria that categorize them under 3 major paths:
  • Re-host
  • Re-platform
  • Re-factor
Cloud Migration

Each one is unique in the sense that it requires varying skill sets, cost and amount of time to execute. Let us explore them in greater detail.

A. Re-hosting

Moving your data center applications to the cloud is remarkably easier if they share the same architecture. For this reason, if your applications already run on the readily available Linux or Windows x86 environments, re-hosting will be your fastest and most cost-effective cloud migration method.

This approach is also known in the industry as Lift and Shift, due to its straightforward nature. It usually doesn’t require the use of software and other services specific to the cloud host. The main advantage of re-hosting is that it allows you to meet your business goals fast and at a bargain price without requiring very complex skills.

B. Re-platforming

As the name suggests, this approach requires you to convert your applications so as to meet the requirements of the cloud host. This situation occurs when your data center applications and the cloud are built on non-identical environments. Your data center could be designed to run on AIX servers, while the cloud requires them to run on Linux or Windows servers.

Linux and Unix

As a form of preparation for the cloud migration process, you will have to convert the applications to run on the cloud host’s servers.

As you can imagine, re-platforming requires more investment in terms of time, cost and skills compared to re-hosting. Since it allows your business to tap into the greater potential that your data center could not achieve, it will require your IT department to be up to date in terms of skills needed to write new code, test the system, perform quality assurance and train to handle the cloud’s requirements.

The time needed for all these will be significantly higher and will cost more.

C. Re-factoring

A data center application will need to be refactored before cloud migration if in its current form it can’t harness the full potential of the cloud. This calls for substantial changes in its code or a significant re-design.

Re-factoring leads to better performance for your applications, which is a major advantage for your business. It also gives your business room a lot of allowances to scale for future growth. This ultimately leads to lower bills from your cloud host.

Considering time, cost and skills, refactoring requires the most of all three when compared to re-hosting and re-platforming. It consumes more time, costs more and needs the most highly skilled technicians. Other than having the skills needed to run a data center, these technicians are also required to have a thorough understanding of the cloud environment.

Deciding on Which Approach to Take:
AWS Cloud Tranformation

So before embarking on cloud migration, you will have to assess your applications and determine whether their current performance is in line with the business objectives.You will also need to take into consideration the cost of each approach and whether adopting it will save you money in the long term. Another factor to consider is whether your data center environment is compatible with the cloud host’s, and if not, whether your IT department can handle re-factoring and re-platforming. Contracting other experts to perform these tasks will mean more costs, so any decision must be in the best interests of the business.


About InterPole

InterPole was established in 1996 and has been engaged in web hosting, email, and management of IT infrastructure. InterPole pioneered with Virtual Private Servers in 2004 and Cloud Hosting in 2008. Over the years, InterPole has worked with over 6200 mid-sized businesses and startups, and have assisted them in their journey towards the adoption of modern technologies through the Internet. InterPole is a Standard Consulting Partner of Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure. With this partnership, provides Managed AWS service and maintains a team of engineers who are trained and certified for the specific cloud platforms. These benefits companies in defining their cloud strategy and making a well-planned journey, reliably and cost-effectively.

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