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Understanding Lift and Shift Cloud Migration: Best practices to follow

Cloud Adoption

Migrating to the cloud is a complex process that must be customized to address the technical, functional, and operational needs of an organization. A successful migration strategy should not only address the short-term aims, such as decreasing hosting costs, but also the long-term goals, like better alignment between IT and business objectives. To meet these goals, organizations tend to focus on three main cloud migration strategies. We’ll explore each below.

3 Types of Cloud Migration Strategies

The process, method, and tools for migrating workloads to the cloud are considerably dependent on the aimed cloud migration models: IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. Let’s have a look at each of these migration approaches.

 IaaS (rehost, replatform)

  • Moving applications to an IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) model denotes moving an existing application or workload from on-premise deployment to a cloud-giver’s infrastructure
  • With this approach, there are no severe architectural modifications to make.
  • The simplest way to migrate applications to Infrastructure-as-a-Service is rehosting using the “lift-and-shift” migration approach.

 PaaS (refactor, rebuild)

  • The Platform-as-a-Service method uses cloud-provider configured environment to run the code of your application
  •  This approach needs applications to be importantly refactored or modernized to fit into the destined cloud platform
  • This migration approach will include certain factors such as library updates, code rewrites, deployment pipeline modifications, and more for the workload to get fit into the Platform-as-a-Service application framework
  • In a few circumstances, the application might have to be entirely rebuilt from scratch
  • In both cases, the changes mean spending a reasonable amount of money and time.

 SaaS (replace)

  • Adopting a Software-as-a-Service model denotes replacing components or functionalities of your existing workload with a SaaS service offered by another enterprise
  • While this strategy may be quicker than a PaaS migration, it also has all the challenges of adopting a new technology. This would include creating new interfaces, restructuring parts of the architecture, educating your teams on its use, and more.
  • Other factors such as access management, complications of data migration, vendor lock-in, and so on are also a factor.

Among all these options, the simplest and fastest way to get an existing application to the cloud is with a lift-and-shift, Infrastructure-as-a-Service migration

What is Lift and Shift?

“Lift and Shift” has proven to be a unique approach for many organizations looking for a quick, low-risk method to move their workloads to the cloud. But what if you had an additional option to lift and optimize your primary infrastructure as part of your cloud journey?

Think strategy: Lift–and-shift is one of the approaches to migrating your apps to the cloud, which means moving an application and its correlated data to a cloud platform—without restructuring the application.

There’s no all-purpose transition for moving an application from your on-site data center to the cloud. However, there are accepted core migration paths; many consider lift and shift (re-hosting) to be among them. Life-and-shift provides a way for businesses to secure their investments in business logic, workflow, and data trapped in on-premises hardware.

Lift and Shift Cloud-Migration

Migrating your application and correlated data to the cloud with less or zero changes is the lift-and-shift migration approach. Applications are expertly “lifted” from the present environment and “shifted” just as it is to new hosting premises, which means in the cloud. There are often no severe alterations to make in the data flow, application architecture, or authentication mechanisms.

The lift-and-shift approach opens ways to IT modernization by moving to open and more expandable architecture in the cloud. Organizations ponder lift-and-shift for solid business reasons such as cost-effectiveness,  improved performance, and flexibility.

Nevertheless, one business strategist provides a more organic explanation. He confronts that applications perform and emerge depending on their environments; and that the cloud offers larger size and diversity of services versus on-site data centers.

When is the Lift-and-Shift Cloud-Migration Model the best fit?

With the lift-and-shift method, on-premise applications can move to the cloud without remodelling. Since they cannot take full advantage of native-cloud features every time, this may not be the most cost-effective migration path. To avoid bounce back, businesses require a cost-allocation strategy and clear-cut roles within their organization to monitor cloud spending. This will most likely need additional tools.

Lift-and-Shift Applications can Deliver

  • Rapid+ cost savings. Companies lowered IT costs by more than 25% through lift-and-shift
  • A way to the cloud now
  • Cloud disaster recovery. Moving data to a cloud platform gives companies a second, largely available, site
  • Relaxation from technical debt. Legacy systems tend to be slow and extravagant to maintain. Extra horsepower, like Amazon’s x1e.32xlarge, may offer the boost you need now
Cloud-Migration Model

Advantages of the Lift and Shift Approach

Let us evaluate some of the principal benefits of using the Lift-and-Shift method:

  • The lift-and-shift cloud migration method does not demand any application-level modifications as it is solely being re-hosted on the cloud.
  • Workloads that demand expensive hardware ( ie. graphical cards or HPC) can be moved directly to specialized Virtual Machines in the cloud, which will give related capabilities.
  • A lift-and-shift approach permits you to migrate your on-premise identity services components that include Active Directory to the cloud with the application.
  • Compliance and security management in a lift-and-shift cloud migration is similarly easier as you can translate the specifications to controls that should be deployed against storage, compute, and network resources.
  • The lift-and-shift method uses the same design constructs even after the migration to the cloud. That means there are no essential changes needed in terms of the business procedures associated with the application and monitoring interfaces.



Lift and Shift Migration Approach

Cloud Migration Steps: Ensuring a Smooth Transition

Step 1: To begin with, select the platform you wish to migrate to.

Step 2: Evaluate all the connections in and out of the application and its data.

Step 3: If you are lifting and shifting multiple applications, consider automating the various migrations.
Step 4: It would be best if you consider containerization to duplicate the current software configurations. This will also permit you to test configurations in the cloud before moving to production.
Step 5: Take the back up of databases from the existing system and also the supporting files. Restore the backups once the new database is ready.
Step 6: Once migrated, test the application.
Step 7: Check that all the existing data compliance and regulatory needs are running in the new cloud deployment.
Step 8: During the migration, do not introduce new features. This may result in many hours of additional testing to ensure you have not created any new bugs.
Step 9: Once testing is done, retire your old systems.

Ultimately, we would always advise working with a provider who has expertise in migrating applications. Sun Technologies can help you decide what the right method of migration is for your organization,, offer guidelines for the future of your application, and ensure that this is all hitched in with your broader cloud strategy.

Lift and optimize: Modernize and Migrate

Take a look at how our clients have benefited from our transformational method to cloud migration with the below capabilities:

  • Transformed a 105,000+ line program and later was awarded to modernize the rest of the existing applications
  • Effectively managed the complexity of effectively project that contained more than 250,000 lines and more than 24,500+ test cases
  • Upgraded Windows Operating Systems to supported versions
  • Swapped monitoring and management tool-chains
  • Delivered workloads into management tooling and deliver, both Azure and native AWS
  • Supports any standard Microsoft supported upgrade path (eg, no 32-bit to 64-bit upgrade)
  • All automation runs on a clone of source in the target cloud to preserve rollback
  • Applies to Windows 2003 SP2 and above
  • Customer UAT’s applications before cutover

Trusted Cloud Migration Partner

You require a cloud migration provider to traverse costs and technical complexities. Sun Technologies is one of the secure, fast, automated cloud onboarding solution companies with governed migration services. It also strengthens APIs to mirror existing server environments and move them into private, public, or hybrid clouds without interrupting existing workload functions and performances.

Benefits of Cloud Adoption for Your Business

  • Fast migration times escalate client’s cloud adoption and time to value
  • Less, predictable downtimes to make sure maximum application uptime for constant 24/7/365 operations
  • A successful cloud migration guarantees both speed and zero risks. Companies can’t afford to have downtime or wait for snags to smooth out. At Sun Technologies, we do not touch the live copy so that you can test on the replicated copy in the cloud until cutover. No disruption, no downtime
  • Re-engineering applications become more straightforward once the data is in the cloud
Vaidyanathan Ganesa Sankaran

Vaidyanathan Ganesa Sankaran

Vaidy is an experienced lead Solutions Architect heading sales and project delivery for Cloud (AWS, Azure), DevOps and legacy Modernization projects with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. He is a strong engineering professional with a Master of Science (MS) focused in Computer Software Engineering from BITS Pilani. He has the capability to manage bigger teams and generate revenue through new Sales and Account Mining.

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