The 7R’s: Strategies for Cloud Migration Success

So, your company has decided to take the leap and migrate to the cloud. What next?

Creating a thoughtful and effective cloud migration strategy before migrating is essential to minimizing costs and maximizing performance in the cloud.

Planning for a cloud migration involves important decisions at every level of the process. Which platform will you migrate to? Lift-and-shift or rearchitect for cloud? VMware-on-cloud or cloud native? Reserved or on-demand instances? The options can get overwhelming—and expensive—fast.

To simplify these choices, cloud migration specialists in the industry have compiled 7 common cloud configuration strategies to choose from. All you need to remember is the 7R’s:

1. Re-host

Re-host, or lift-and-shift, is one of the most common cloud migration strategies used by companies across industries. Re-hosting is the strategy of migration workloads to a public cloud without making any changes to the on-premises workload. You would simply “lift” applications from their current environment and “shift” them exactly as-is to a cloud platform of your choice.

The major benefit of re-hosting is that it is fast and easy. You can also make changes to your cloud environment after migrating, so you will not be locked in to any particular configurations.

However, re-hosting does not enable you to optimize applications for cloud, meaning you will likely miss out on some features available in other strategies. This includes taking advantage of modern cloud-native features such containers and PaaS.

Akasia Infrastructure Modeler (AIM) provides cost planning for lift-and-shift migrations from on-premises to cloud. AIM auto-discovers on-premises resources and provides equivalent and right-sized cloud templates in minutes. It focuses on two areas: 1. highlight “hidden savings” available to the workload in the cloud, and 2. “hidden costs” such as network and I/O that incur extra charges in the cloud. AIM automatically generates a cloud bill of materials and costs that form a helpful starting point for your lift and shift migrations.

2. Re-platform

A re-platforming strategy is sometimes referred to as “lift, tinker, and shift” or “lift and reshape.” It combines rehosting and optimizing some features to the cloud, without changing the core infrastructure of the applications. However, they allow for minor enhancements to improve cloud functionality while maintaining the simplicity of lift and shift migrations.

AIM helps with re-platforming by allowing for modeling tweaks in the workload configuration such as changing the uptime to take advantage of the pause & resume feature of many cloud platforms, or changing the commit ratio and max VMs per server of a VMware deployment to take advantage of more powerful servers in the cloud.

3. Re-factor

Re-factoring, or re-architecting, is a complete overhaul of non cloud-suited environments into a cloud native workload. This option involves a significant investment of time and money. However, it can pay off greatly for outdated, legacy applications in need of modernization.

While this option is expensive, it may be the best choice for applications in need of new features, higher performance, or scalability that would be difficult or impossible to achieve without re-architecting.

Akasia Cloud Modeler (ACM) is the ideal tool to model cloud costs for re-factoring applications into cloud-based environments. ACM is a SaaS solution that generates cost comparisons between the 5 major cloud platforms at a granular, service-by-service level. Users simply enter their anticipated cloud services and quantities, and ACM automatically displays up-to-date prices across all cloud platform service equivalents.

4. Re-purchase

Re-purchasing involves migrating on-premises workloads to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application. Essentially, this out-sources cloud migration choices and hosting to a third-party software. This is an excellent options for companies who do not have the bandwidth to manage a cloud migration, and would rather entrust a SaaS vendor with those responsibilities.

5. Re-locate

If your on-premises environment currently runs on VMware, you may opt for a re-location strategy. Re-locating is similar to a lift-and-shift migration, but involves moving an existing VMware environment to VMware-on-Cloud. This strategy does not change the current platform—it simply enables you to access potential cost savings and ease of management in cloud.

Akasia Infrastructure Modeler (AIM) includes modeling from on-premises VMware environments to VMware-on-Cloud on AWS, Azure, and IBM Cloud. AIM auto-discovers your on-premises VMware hosts, VMs and bare metal infrastructure and automatically generates the most cost-effective, right-sized cloud configurations.

6. Retain

When planning a cloud migration, you may encounter applications that are poorly suited for a cloud environment. Whether you have a legacy application that needs major rearchitecting, or sensitive data with security concerns, you may want to retain some elements of your environment on-premises. This strategy enables you to revisit these retained applications for a potential migration to the cloud in the future, when it makes sense.

7. Retire

While discovering an IT environment, it is common to find that about 10-20% of on-premises applications are unnecessary. They may be duplicates of other applications, no longer in use, or rendered obsolete. With these applications, the most cost-effective and efficient option is to decommission or retire them.

With the 7R’s in your pocket, you can feel prepared to approach building a cloud migration strategy with confidence.