Getting onto the cloud quickly
Sometimes it’s necessary to move fast. Whether this is because of internal politics or a push to divest from data centres, the following strategies can help get a company onto the cloud efficiently while setting it up for more thorough optimization later on.
Rehosting is a practical option. Otherwise known as lift and shift, this involves moving applications from their physical servers to virtual machines in the cloud. It requires little, if any, significant change to the underlying code, but it does mean the applications will have many of the same limitations as they did on-premises.
Nevertheless, it can be a good option for companies that need to get on the cloud quickly.
A second option is relocating. This term refers to transferring a large number of servers from an on-premises platform to the cloud version of that platform. Relocating is rapid and does not require architectural or code changes.
Replatforming is also a possibility for getting onto the cloud quickly. It requires making only minimal changes to move an application to the cloud. Automated replatforming is mostly done with simple applications but can also act as an intermediate step. With this approach, companies can reduce costs by hosting their migrated applications on a shared platform instead of a reserved virtual machine.
Modernising more thoroughly
Modernising applications and workloads requires more effort, but it enables companies to take full advantage of the cloud’s benefits.
Refactoring involves making greater changes to an application depending on its actual state and modernization drivers. For example, an application could be tweaked slightly to take it to the cloud while reducing technical debt. Or, a business could decompose a monolithic application to improve scalability and maintainability or solve performance and security issues, among other objectives. There is no one-size-fits-all solution in refactoring, so it is important to define a clear heavy, medium, or light scope.
Ultimately, the goal is to have a more cloud-native application, considering that refactoring can be done all at once or iteratively — allowing companies to gradually reduce their technical debt and legacy inefficiencies.
Repurchasing is a straightforward modernisation strategy that involves either buying a SaaS software product to replace a custom application completely or moving an application’s architectural components from traditional use licences to newer versions or third-party equivalents in the cloud. This strategy essentially trades a high degree of customisation for low maintenance costs, making it a smart financial choice for applications that are not tied to a competitive advantage.
Alternatively, teams can decide to retire specific applications. These applications are decommissioned because they generally no longer serve any business need, either because they have aged out or the business has changed.
In-house teams often choose to retain applications as a more straightforward strategic approach. This option is meant for applications or workloads that function better in the current on-premise environment. It may be preferable when there are highly regulated workloads or significant privacy concerns.