6 Cloud migration strategies you should know

Angelika Agapow
Angelika Agapow
Content Marketing Specialist
March 27
14 min
Table of Contents


In the world of enterprise, adopting a multicloud or hybrid cloud strategy can be exciting. It also comes with the need to migrate existing applications and data. There are plenty of cloud migration strategies to choose from, including the ever-so-popular “lift and shift” approach. By understanding these strategies, you can ensure a seamless transition to your new cloud home.

Read the article about multicloud and hybrid cloud.


What is a cloud migration strategy?

A cloud migration strategy is a comprehensive plan that organizations use to move their infrastructure resources, such as data, services, and applications, from on-premise deployments or other clouds to the cloud. This may involve migrating data from existing systems and databases, as well as applications and services used to support them. It also involves configuring the cloud environment to ensure optimal performance.

The goal of any cloud migration strategy is to provide seamless integration with minimal disruption while taking advantage of the scalability, cost savings, performance benefits, and other advantages that come with using cloud computing. To maximize these benefits and make sure that everything runs smoothly during the transition period, it’s essential for organizations to develop a detailed roadmap that outlines each step of the process. This roadmap should identify potential risks associated with migration as well as solutions for mitigating those risks.

It is also important for organizations to consider how they’ll manage their workloads once they’ve migrated them to the cloud. This includes ensuring that all security protocols are in place and properly configured and ensuring that all new resources are adequately monitored and managed throughout their life cycles. Additionally, companies should develop strategies for managing costs associated with transitioning their workloads to the cloud environment.

In short, an effective cloud migration strategy requires careful planning and execution in order for organizations to reap all of its benefits without sacrificing system performance or incurring unnecessary costs.


Stages of cloud migration

Migration to the cloud is a complex process that involves multiple steps that should be taken with utmost care in order to ensure data security, performance optimization, and cost-efficiency. These are the main stages of cloud migration:


1. Discovery and Analysis – Before the whole migration process, you should take the time to analyze your current infrastructure, business objectives, and goals, as well as identify all of the workloads that must be migrated. This will help determine what needs to be migrated and what can remain on-premise. Once you have an understanding of your environment, set up a strategy for how you want to migrate both applications and data into the cloud.

2. Planning – During this stage you will need to create an execution plan for your cloud migration project. This should include identifying any additional requirements that need to be met before migrating services or data such as scalability or compliance regulations. You must also assess resources, tools, and risks while determining whether manual or automated processes are best suited for each phase of the project.

3. Migration – Once all preparations have been made, it is time to actually begin the migration process by moving services and data into the cloud environment. This involves moving your assets to the cloud and configuring them in accordance with your chosen strategy. Depending on the complexity of your system, this may involve re-architecting applications or migrating existing workloads in a more automated fashion. It’s also important to consider scalability during this step in order to ensure that your system meets future demands as they arise.

4. Optimization – After successful migration into the cloud there may still be opportunities for optimization from a performance standpoint as well as cost savings through usage-based pricing models available with some cloud providers like AWS or Azure. This phase may also involve reconfiguration of applications as needed depending on changes within the organization’s network infrastructure since initial discovery took place during step one.

5. Security, monitoring, and maintenance – These are essential functions that need attention even after successful migration has occurred. Companies must ensure they have adequate security measures in place such as authentication mechanisms and access control policies as well as robust backup systems if anything were ever compromised during an attack or other disaster situation.

Additionally, they must have appropriate monitoring solutions installed that enable them to keep track of performance metrics like uptime status so that any potential issues can be addressed quickly before they become major problems. Finally, maintenance routines should be implemented regularly in order to keep everything updated with the latest patches/fixes as well as make sure components are functioning properly at all times by performing periodic test runs or simulations with simulated production loads on them whenever necessary.


Types of cloud migration strategies

Are you ready to take your business to the cloud? There are a variety of migration strategies that can help you make the leap. Some businesses opt for a “lift and shift” approach, where existing applications and data are simply moved to the cloud. Others choose a “re-architecting” strategy, where applications are redesigned specifically for cloud infrastructure. Whatever your goals and requirements are, exploring the different cloud migration strategies can open the way to a more efficient, scalable future for your business.


#1 Rehosting (Lift and Shift Approach)

Moving to the cloud has become easier. With Lift and Shift, the tried-and-true cloud migration strategy, companies can enjoy the benefits of cloud storage while minimizing the impact on employees. No need to worry about retraining your team on using a new system – the saving process remains the same, only now the files are settled in the cloud. This approach reduces workloads and it saves valuable resources that can be invested elsewhere.

The migration process requires minimal interruption to your workflow, as only your infrastructure and security teams will be involved in the transition. With low upfront costs, this cloud migration plan is both efficient and cost-effective.

Rehosting (or lift & shift) is a relatively fast process and can be done without making extensive changes to the application code. It is sometimes referred to as “Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)“, since it involves moving an organization’s existing infrastructure so that it can be managed in the cloud. Rehosting is particularly useful for organizations looking to improve scalability, performance, and availability of their existing platforms.

What is Infrastructure as a Service?

Are you operating and processing your data locally, but storing reports and data on a cloud platform? This approach may make sense for smaller organizations or those heavily reliant on virtual machines, but you can also miss many benefits of going cloud-native. The only problem is that rehosting, the quickest migration strategy, simply copies the existing infrastructure to the cloud without considering the advantages of greater flexibility.


#2 Replatforming (Move and Improve Approach)

Need a transition of your applications to the cloud? The replatforming strategy may be the answer you’re looking for. Also known as the “move and improve” approach, this strategy involves making necessary changes to prepare for the move to the cloud while keeping the core architecture untouched.

It’s an ideal option for companies focused on scalability and optimizing performance, but keep in mind that it doesn’t fully take advantage of all the benefits the cloud offers. If you’re ready to level up your solutions and streamline your cloud transition, replatforming just might be the bull’s eye.


#3 Repurchasing

When a company’s legacy architecture becomes outdated and difficult to maintain, it can end up costing more than it’s worth. This is particularly true when it comes to customer relationship management (CRM) systems. The solution can be as simple as transferring to a cloud-based CRM solution. You can not only save money, but it also ensures that your system is scalable and up-to-date with the latest technology.

Of course, any change comes with its own set of challenges, and transitioning to a new system requires training for both employees and end-users. But with the right resources and support, it’s a small price to pay for staying competitive and efficient in today’s business world.


#4 Refactoring

Refactoring is a bold and ambitious approach to utilizing the full potential of the cloud. This strategy involves completely rebuilding your existing infrastructure from the scratch, with a focus on leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as serverless computing and auto-scaling. This path is typically chosen by organizations that are committed to maximizing the power of the cloud and are willing to invest the time and resources required to rearchitect their code and frameworks.

While refactoring may be the most expensive approach, the potential payoffs are enormous. By rebuilding your infrastructure from zero, you can take full advantage of all that the cloud has to offer and ensure that your organization will be successful. With careful planning and collaboration between programmers and leadership, refactoring can be a powerful tool for unlocking the full potential of the cloud.


#5 Retiring

Imagine a massive business infrastructure that has been operating for years, with all kinds of outdated components and outdated hardware everywhere. Legacy stack is a potential security threat. In these circumstances, retiring the old components s is a wise move that can lead to significant cost savings and enhanced security measures. Don’t let outdated technology drag you down – make room for the future while securing your present.


#6 Retaining

It may seem counterintuitive, but in these situations, keeping certain elements on-premise can actually make financial and operational sense. However, this does not mean that an organization has to stay completely rooted in the traditional infrastructure. Instead, a hybrid cloud environment can provide the flexibility needed to blend the best of both worlds. By utilizing a combination of cloud migration strategies, enterprises can navigate the complexities of infrastructure and cloud platforms for a successful migration.


Cloud migration challenges

Cloud migration is an increasingly popular technology solution for businesses of all sizes, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. One common challenge during cloud migration is determining the right strategy to follow in order to ensure the successful and efficient transition of data and applications from local IT infrastructure to the cloud. This can include assessing the business’s needs, budget constraints, current architecture, scalability requirements, security concerns, and other factors. It is important to get this strategy right in order to maximize the benefits of migrating to the cloud.

Another issue is cost management. Properly calculating costs associated with a cloud migration can be tricky, as there are many variables including usage volume for applications, storage size, access requirements for users, data transfer fees, and more that can affect overall costs. Because of these complexities, it’s important for businesses to work closely with their cloud provider so that they understand how their usage and cost structure may change over time.

Vendor lock-in is another potential problem during cloud migrations. Many providers offer proprietary services or features which can make them difficult (or even impossible) to delete once they are integrated into a business’s infrastructure. Organizations should investigate potential vendors before making any commitments to ensure that changing service providers will not be too costly in terms of time and resources.

Data security and compliance are other challenges when performing a cloud migration project. It’s essential that businesses not only identify what kind of data will be migrated but also ensure that all applicable laws and regulations are met throughout the process. Companies should look for cloud vendors who have strong security policies in place such as multi-factor authentication protocols or encryption algorithms which help protect user data from unauthorized access or theft both during and after migration activities have been completed.

What companies should know about challenges associated with cloud migration?


Cloud migration best practices

Cloud migration is the process of transitioning applications, data, and other business processes from a traditional physical host to a cloud-based infrastructure. A successful migration requires careful planning and execution in order to ensure that the transition to the cloud goes smoothly and securely. Here are 10 best practices for making sure your cloud migration project is a success:


1. Define goals: Before beginning any cloud migration project, it’s important to define goals that will help guide the process. This may include identifying objectives such as cost savings, improved security or scalability, increased collaboration capabilities, or faster data access. Defining these goals upfront can help ensure that you have an effective plan of action for successfully migrating information to the cloud.


2. Finalize which assets are moving and when: It’s important to decide which assets need to be moved and when they need to be migrated in order for the project to be successful. You should also consider whether certain parts of the system should remain on-premises and how those components will interact with their cloud counterparts. A thorough inventory can help you make these decisions ahead of time so that everything is ready before beginning the migration process.


3. Use pricing calculators: Pricing calculators can provide an estimate of how much your cloud migration project could cost based on variables like usage, storage capacity, and transfer speeds. This helps you stay within budget while allowing you to get more granular in terms of setting up your pricing structure before committing to a provider.


4. Have a functioning disaster recovery plan (DRP) in place: As part of migration planning, it’s important to have an effective disaster recovery plan (DRP) in place prior to beginning any move from physical hosts to the cloud environment. DRPs should include specific steps that are needed in order for systems and data to be recovered quickly after any disruption occurs due to component failure or natural disasters like power outages or hurricanes.

Get more information about it in our article about Disaster Recovery Services.


5. Train all employees: To ensure a successful transition from physical servers to the cloud, it’s essential that all employees understand how their jobs are impacted by this move as well as what changes they will need to make for continued productive use within their new environment. Make sure everyone understands what new features may be available such as automation tools or enhanced security protocols so they can take full advantage of them once the migration is complete.


6. Avoid vendor lock-in: When selecting a cloud provider it’s important not to lock yourself with one vendor since this limits flexibility down the road if needs change significantly or if costs become too expensive compared with other options on offer. Whenever possible look for services that are designed with portability so you can switch back and forth between providers without having too much disruption during transition periods or renegotiations with vendors.


7. Document everything: Systematic records during each phase of your migration should be kept because this helps ascertain where things stand during each step throughout the planning, implementation, testing, and execution stages. Documenting activities also helps identify areas where improvements should be going forward.


8. Test and measure migration success: Integral part of transitioning data from physical hosts into new environments involves testing various aspects of system performance. This includes determining uptime rates, latency issues, page loading speed, and bug resolution times. Having set criteria for overall success means it’s easier to track progress and report successes and failures.

Learn more about manual and automated software testing. 


9. Stay on top of updates: Security is always the main concern when dealing with digital resources so staying on top of maintenance updates is critical for organizations to operate secure operations. These updates typically fix vulnerabilities discovered through automated scans however there are situations, for example, when human intervention required patching older versions of software.

Business cybersecurity: key focus to protect your company in 2023.


10. Focus on automation: Automation technologies aren’t just useful in reducing manual labor but they also make managing tasks easier and smoother providing potential cost savings for future endeavors involving scale-up-down operations due dynamic nature of the technology landscape these days. You may need to set up CI (continuous integration) or CD (continuous delivery).

Automation: types, benefits, and use cases.


Benefits of migration to the cloud

Migrating to the cloud offers a multitude of benefits for businesses of all sizes.

One of the biggest advantages of moving to the cloud is the reduced cost associated with hosting services. Companies no longer need to invest in expensive hardware or maintain an on-premise data center—they can leverage third-party providers and pay for only the resources they need on a subscription-based model. This subscription-based model brings needed flexibility and eliminates large upfront capital investments.

Another benefit is cost saving – migrating to the cloud eliminates the need for expensive physical servers and hardware, reducing capital expenditure and freeing up resources.

How to get the best out of Azure for your business?

The cloud also provides greater scalability and agility, enabling teams to collaborate on applications from anywhere in the world and scale capacity according to changing demand quickly and easily. This allows businesses to respond more quickly to market changes and customer demands, improving overall efficiency and productivity.

Security is another major benefit of migrating to the cloud. Cloud providers keep sensitive data secure by rolling out regular security updates, allowing businesses to focus on their core business activities without having to worry about potential security threats or vulnerabilities. Additionally, cloud providers often offer encryption for data that needs an extra layer of protection.

Read more about migration to the cloud and its benefits.


Bet on one of the cloud migration strategies

Cloud migration is an essential component of modern business infrastructure. It can bring cost savings, increased agility, scalability, and reliability to an organization while also reducing risk.

When planning a cloud migration, organizations should consider possible strategies. You should also have in mind the best practices such as planning and deciding about workloads you want to migrate as well as the best way to handle data security and compliance.

Adopting a comprehensive approach that takes into account all aspects of the migration process will ensure that the organization will get the most out of chosen cloud migration strategy. Additionally, leveraging cloud automation tools can help simplify the process and increase efficiency. With these things in mind, organizations can find success in their journey toward full cloud adoption.

Learn why 500 Fortune companies bet on Azure cloud and when it makes perfect sense to adopt Azure cloud.

Angelika Agapow
Angelika Agapow
Content Marketing Specialist
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