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5 Cloud Migration Strategies: Which Is Right For Your Company?

4 minutes read - February 11, 2022 - by Yondu Team
Cloud technology is becoming an essential tool for handling business data and more. Here are your 5 options when migrating to the cloud.
woman choosing cloud technology concept

As everything shifts to the online space, cloud technology, which allows you to remotely store large amounts of data, has now become essential for businesses worldwide.

According to the Hosting Tribunal’s 2021 report, a whopping 94% of enterprises already utilize cloud services, and by 2025, more than 100 zettabytes will be stored in cloud data centers.  

Because of the benefits of cloud migration, businesses of all sizes would do well to start migrating their data management to the cloud. But, since business models and needs vary, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to cloud migration, which is why managers should choose a strategy that serves their company well. 

It’s vital to understand the differences between each cloud migration strategy and how it can benefit your company. Here are 5 cloud migration strategies with their pros and cons to guide you in choosing the best fit for your organization. 

1. Rehosting

The rehosting strategy is the simplest of all the cloud migration strategies. Also known as the “lift-and-shift” strategy, rehosting entails moving your application to the cloud as-is from an on-premises environment. It makes use of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), where you can move an exact copy of your application from internal servers to the cloud without changes. 

Advantages – If your company needs a quick cloud migration at low costs, rehosting is the easiest route. Maintaining a physical, on-premises server can be expensive. With rehosting, you can immediately shift to cloud servers with minimal disruption to your operations. 

Disadvantages – Lifting your application from legacy systems to the cloud as-is may pose problems, such as an increase in performance latency, since your application may not be built or optimized for the cloud environment.

2. Replatforming

This strategy takes the rehosting strategy a step further. In replatforming, you’re not just lifting and shifting, but you’re also modifying certain components so that your application can better suit the cloud environment. However, only a few modifications are made and not the core architecture. 

Advantages – If your application does not meet a cloud requirement, you’ll only have to make slight improvements to make it compatible. In addition, you can start small and enable scalability using cloud tools. This makes cloud migration cost-efficient since the tools you use allow you to be in the cloud without changing your core architecture.

Disadvantages – Since there are changes involved, you may need to grow the scope of your cloud migration efforts, starting with small modifications. However, it can increase to a whole re-architecture of some app components. Because of this, there may be more errors and risks that you need to consider.

3. Refactoring

If your company wants to take full advantage of cloud-native tools and its environment, the refactoring cloud migrating strategy will do the job. In this method, you’ll be building an entirely new application from scratch instead of just modifying it. 

Although this is the most expensive strategy, it’s perfect for organizations with resources that need cloud-specific tools not found in their existing environment. This strategy can then make your application compatible with future updates. 

Advantages – This migration strategy lets you use cloud-native capabilities and enhancements that are difficult to do in your existing systems. Aside from that, creating a new application and optimizing it for the cloud enables you to use it for future versions, decreasing costs down the line.

Disadvantages – Since you’ll be creating an entirely new application, you’ll be investing more in expertise, time, and effort. The extent of resources needed can get pretty costly, unlike the previous strategies. Aside from that, refactoring can be technically difficult, unless you avail of expert technical support from cloud migration services such as Yondu to enable you to navigate the difficulties this strategy entails.

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4. Repurchasing

In this strategy, you’ll be changing your existing software to the equivalent software that your cloud provider offers under the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model.

The repurchasing strategy is usually applicable for highly customized legacy software such as ERP, finance, CRM, or HR applications. For example, instead of using a self-built VPN, many cloud providers offer this application that you can purchase.

Advantages – With the repurchasing strategy, you won’t have to build the application from scratch. You can just buy commercial off-the-shelf products from cloud providers.

Also, you won’t have to invest too much time and effort to move to the cloud since you’ll be using a product already configured for it. This makes repurchasing more cost-effective than refactoring, which requires more manpower and resources.

Disadvantages – Since you’ll only be using the equivalent of your software from cloud providers, the product may not be customized for your needs. Compared to having your own application, you will be using the offered software as-is and cannot customize it to your requirements.

5. Rebuild

The rebuilding approach entails that you discard the existing code base and rewrite a new one, all while creating it directly in the cloud using cloud-native tools. This approach can take a long time but is viable for companies that need a different solution from previous ones, which may not meet the organization’s current needs.

Advantages – Choosing this approach lets you customize your software since you can rewrite the code base for future updates and improvements. You can also widen your functionalities to support your app as you fully utilize cloud tools during the creation process. 

Disadvantages – Since you’ll be rewriting the code base for your software, you’ll need to have a dedicated team of skilled developers and deploy resources for the job. You may also encounter bugs you’ve never encountered before in your legacy system. Because of that, you may need to conduct QA tests and constant improvements to address these issues.

Narrowing Down Your Options

Although there are many options to choose from, these different strategies cater to different concerns. You should consult your IT team and list down all your needs, requirements, and pain points with your current system before choosing one strategy to pursue. Likewise, you should be realistic about your team’s capabilities and appetite for troubleshooting. 

Those looking for an easy migration experience should look towards rehosting, repurchasing, and replatforming. Meanwhile, those with more distinct needs should consider rebuilding and refactoring strategies to get the most out of cloud migration. 

Migrate to the Cloud Now

Most businesses around the globe have found cloud-based solutions to be a viable option for their current needs, helping them grow their company. Because of this, it’s essential to know which cloud migration strategy is the best fit for your needs.

If you’re looking for experts in cloud migration, Yondu’s cloud migration services allow business owners to save time and costs while streamlining their business processes effectively. Schedule a consultation with our experts now and help your business accelerate its growth using the cloud.