Cloud migration strategy: An exploration of the pathway for application migration to the cloud

For reaping the benefits of cloud migration in the age of rapid digital transformation, the complete set of applications should be moved to the cloud environment. To ensure that this migration is hassle-free, the need for an effective cloud migration strategy often serves as a deciding factor for organizations. The organizations that are devoid of this migration strategy often face structural challenges which are very difficult to overcome. That said, a vibrant cloud strategy would lay down a strong roadmap for a company and enable it to achieve long-term goals. One of the most hindering limitations that a company faces during the cloud migration process is the impact on its regular operations. This can be avoided if the right cloud architects are consulted and a proper migration strategy is chalked out. 

Cloud migration strategies 

Let us now review some of the most trusted cloud migration strategies which have been used by several organizations in the past. These strategies have been mentioned here in the order of their importance.

Application Re-hosting 

Unicorn startups are looking to migrate to the cloud ecosystem in the shortest time possible. This is where application rehosting would be of great help. Rehosting of applications is done on infrastructure as a service platform and this is treated as one of the best practices in the cloud migration strategy. In this strategy, we deploy our applications to a new hardware environment accompanied by a change in infrastructure configuration. This strategy ensures full-fledged transmigration without a change in architecture. However, there exists a limiting factor to the process of hosting your applications. This limiting factor is that of scalability. Not many of the cloud service providers offer the feature of scalability which means that additional resources cannot be incorporated into our current application setup.

Application Refactoring 

Another strategy that we talk about during cloud migration is that of refactoring. This is also known as architecting. The strategy enables us to design our applications under platform as a service. It has been observed that orthodox companies get accustomed to different kinds of language frameworks and coding strands. Thus, it becomes difficult to work with a new toolkit altogether. This strategy enables you to keep using the same tool kit which you were using in the past. The limiting factor of this strategy is transitive risk and framework lock-in. This means that some of the features and capabilities may not be present in the new platform. 

Application Revising 

It is highly advisable to revise your application if you want to make use of the additional cloud features which are provided by the infrastructure services of the provider. This will enable you to optimize your applications and leverage various features of the cloud ecosystem. The limiting factor, in this case, is not only the upfront cost but also the amount of time that is consumed in this process.

Application Rebuilding 

Usually, the companies rebuild their applications by using platform as a service. Before doing this, companies need to dismantle the existing framework of concurrent applications. Rebuilding the application will enable the companies to use new features in the cloud ecosystem and also get access to various tool kits, application templates, data models, and other data-driven components. The limiting factor, in this case, is that the company will be forced to abandon some of the potential application assets which it had been using for a long time.

Application Replacing

Lastly, the service provider may ask the company to replace the existing application system with software as a service. In place of the existing application setup, the company may be asked to upgrade to new commercial software with potential advantages. The most important benefit of this migration strategy is that the investment costs and the development requirements are kept at bay. However, there have been cases of irregular data semantics and unauthorized data access which need to be taken care of during the process of migration. 

Concluding remarks: Cherry-pick the right strategy 

The decision of migrating to the cloud ecosystem may be driven by a series of factors. The best decisions are those which are guided by the following considerations. First is the optimization of the performance of the applications with due consideration of maintenance. Second is the quality of services that are available for hosting IT infrastructure. Lastly, due consideration should be given to the long-term goals of the company with a motivation to scale new heights of growth.

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