What Is a Lift and Shift Cloud Migration?

The migration of an application from on-premises infrastructure to a cloud is a challenging step to make for businesses as they’re searching for an effective, fast, and cost-saving approach to moving to the cloud.

In this article, we will cover the meaning and key points of a Lift and Shift cloud migration type, discover whether this type fits your case, and find out how to make the path of migration smooth and easy for implementation.

Do You Actually Need to Migrate?

If you’re reading this article, then Lift and Shift is a subject of interest to you. However, before sharing the concept and pros and cons of Lift and Shift, let’s discover whether it’s really the thing your business needs at this point in time, whether it’s suitable for you to migrate to the cloud, or better to keep things in their current state.

If you have a commercial app with a stable and working infrastructure, Lift and Shift is the right approach to migration. On the other hand, for businesses with big data flow, complex technical architecture with a need for image recognition, it’s better to consider refactoring migration.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that not all on-premise apps will take all the advantages such as ephemeral to compute and autoscaling like a native one. This means that legacy navigation apps can’t benefit while only replacing one server with another. In this case, it’s better either to rebuild an app and install it on a cloud or keep using the current infrastructure.

What Does a Lift and Shift Cloud Migration Mean?

If you’re still reading, let’s dive deeper into rehosting or Lift and Shift – a type of migration that allows moving a business to another server while not changing an app. The answer to the question ‘why Lift and Shift?’ will be because it is believed to be the easiest and most inexpensive way to move to a cloud-based infrastructure.

So what do Lift and Shift migration stand for? First of all, it is a way of moving workload data from one storage type to cloud-based storage while not having to worry about whether all data will be transferred correctly. So, you will not have to re-architect in order to set them into a new environment as is the case when using refactoring.

lift and shift cloud migration

[Source: TechTarget]

In short, you just lift up the code and shift it to another server.

Moreover, this type of cloud migration allows you to transfer your app to a cloud in its current state without any changes in code or data architecture.

It’s fully applicable when you’re a newcomer to clouds as it’s not as risky in comparison to other types of migration. There is no need to change an application entirely, and one can even migrate configurations that are not documented. 

Migration with Lift and Shift is the best solution to scale a business if:

  • you are ready for long-term investments
  • you are absolutely sure you want to move to the cloud
  • your existing infrastructure is documented and stable
  • you’re considering  fast migration and short-term costs
  • the installed software can be operated on the clouds 

The Advantages of Choosing Lift and Shift Approach

Here we are going to discover what benefits one can get from Lift and Shift:

Changes are not needed. Businesses don’t have to change their current workflow to be able to use them in the cloud. Data is just rehosted while staying the same.

A fast migration. As you don’t have to change anything, the migration is performed in a much faster way.

Cost Saving. Cloud migration Lift and Shift strategy improves the business’ performance and helps to avoid wasting time and money on inefficient solutions.

list and shift cloud migration examples

[Source: Bain]

For example, using the Lift and Shift approach helped Dow Jones to cut costs by more than 25%. Another example – GE Oil & Gas, which decreased their spending by 52% with Lift and Shift.

Moreover, the Lift and Shift approach doesn’t require a reconstruction of the current IT infrastructure, so you don’t spend additional costs on moving to the cloud.

More security for data. Migration provides you with role-based access control and multi-factor authentication for additional data security.

Who is Going to Benefit from Lift and Shift the Most?

With the advantages that Lift and Shift type of migration offer, we’re going to discover which businesses would benefit the most.

  • Businesses that want to move to the cloud faster
  • Businesses that are new to the cloud and trying to avoid risky decisions
  • Businesses that want to cut their expenses while not spending extra time and money
  • Businesses that don’t want to reconstruct their workflow, operations, and data
  • Businesses that want to provide more security for their data

Also, to boost migration efficiency we encourage you to use the special tools and technologies offered by the majority of cloud providers. 

If your platform B is AWS storage or Azure, then, you can use NetApp’s Cloud Volumes ONTAP to extend your current database and move them seamlessly to a cloud. 

NetApp SnapMirror is useful for data replication from a NetApp environment to Cloud Volumes ONTAP integrated with an AWS or Azure storage. 

How Much Does it Cost To Move to the Cloud?

You can find plenty of cost calculators depending on what kind of platform you are going to move to. Here’s a list of the most popular platform calculators:

Challenges That Might Be Faced

Any kind of migration, including Lift and Shift, has its own risks. General data says that 42 percent of businesses fail while migrating.  Let’s have a look at what downfalls a business can experience if using Lift and Shift.

Yes, Lift and Shift helps to relocate data while eliminating overhead costs on rebuilding the current data architecture of an app. But, to be able to take full advantage of the packages native clouds offer, sooner or later, businesses can face the need for an additional layer of optimization. Some data should be redesigned to operate as efficiently as is possible. This is relevant for businesses that have large-volume data, a need for big data analysis or the availability of image rendering. For this, they should consider hybrid- or multi-cloud infrastructure.

But, no worries here. On public cloud storage, it’s a simple matter to make some minor changes that won’t influence the proper functioning of the entire cloud. However, it’s recommended to add adjustments before the program is in work to avoid any technical issues.

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Lift and Shift with The APP Solutions 

It might look easy to plan and implement migration at first glance, but in truth, it isn’t so. Like any new disruption, the process of migration should be perceived seriously and planned thoroughly. 

A technology partner is the guarantee of your app migration success. The App Solutions company can become your trusted IT partner with migration expertise, and remove your concerns regarding Lift and Shift. Contact us to come up with a strategy for moving to the cloud that will work smoothly under the control of professionals.

We recommend you to follow these simple but straightforward instructions to reduce possible risks and enjoy cloud migration. 

  • Analyze your hardware and workflow operations.
  • Develop a plan that will help you to move smoothly and enjoy the benefits of native-cloud platforms.
  • Start the migration process.
  • Test to detect and eliminate bugs as soon as they appear.
  • Optimize applications if needed.
migration to the cloud hosting server

[Source: Cloudxchange]

Also, we advise you to consider the following vital timing before taking any action concerning migration:

  • The period of time you’re planning to stay in a new server. If it is less than 12 months, there is no point in migration.
  • API restrictions. Check whether the chosen cloud has no API restrictions. Otherwise, you might face bottlenecks in your existing API.
  • Migration tools. Some clouds offer cloud-based tools to simplify one’s migration process. If there are any, think about how you can integrate them for automation.
  • Prioritization of applications. If there is a need for several application relocations, you can write a runbook to transfer those applications that are essential for your business first.
  • Compliance between the existing infrastructure and a cloud one. Learn all the requirements of the chosen cloud, and whether some adjustments should be made to be sure all data will be transferred as planned.
  • Planning is everything. Act according to a built plan, as the success of migration will depend on your scale of analysis and actions taken.

Final Thoughts

If you’re considering moving to the cloud because of cost, flexibility, speed, and security considerations, then Lift and Shift is good to have on board. 

However, deep analysis with an experienced partner is a must to avoid wasting time and money on tools that not only won’t work for you but on those that will require restarting your migration to a cloud once again. 

A good plan is a power, and you can have such a  plan with The App Solutions with just one click.

Related reading 




10 Steps for Building a Successful Cloud Migration Strategy

Imagine that you recently launched a social networking app. To host the app’s infrastructure, you decided to use the existing on-premise server because you do not expect it to handle many users immediately. Your app is going viral and, during just one month, over 1000, 000 users downloaded and used it on a daily basis. Do you know what will happen next? Since your server infrastructure was not ready for such huge loads, it will now not work correctly. Thus, instead of your apps’ interface, users will see an error message and you will lose a significant amount of them because your app failed to live up to their expectations. 

To avoid situations where you jeopardize user trust, use cloud platforms for both hosting databases and running app infrastructure. 

Such data giants as Facebook, Netflix, and Airbnb, already adopted a migration strategy to the cloud due to cheap costs, auto-scaling features, and addons as real-time analytics. Oracle research says 90% of enterprises will run their workloads on the cloud by 2025. If you already run data centers or infrastructure with an on-premise environment, and you will need more capacity in the future, consider migrating to the cloud as a solution.  

Yet, to migrate to the cloud is not as simple as it seems. To successfully migrate to the cloud you need, not only an experienced developer but also a solid cloud application migration strategy. 

If you are ready to leverage cloud solutions for your business, read this article to the end. 

By the end of this blog post, you will know about cloud platform types and how to successfully migrate to cloud computing.

Cloud migration strategies: essential types

Migration to the cloud means transferring your data from physical servers to a cloud hosting environment. This definition is also applicable for migrating data from one cloud to another platform. Migration in cloud computing includes different types, due to the number of code changes developers need to conduct. The main reason is that not all data is ready to be moved to the cloud by default.

Let’s go through the main types of application migration to the cloud one by one. 

  • Rehosting. This is the process of moving data from on-premise storage and redeploying it on cloud servers. 
  • Restructuring. Such a migration requires changes in the initial code to meet the cloud requirements. Only then can you move the system to a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud model. 
  • Replacement migration means switching from existing native apps to third-party apps. An example of replacement is migrating data from custom CRM to Salesforce CRM. 
  • Revisionist migration. During such a migration, you make global changes in the infrastructure to allow the app to leverage cloud services. By ‘cloud services’ we mean auto-scaling, data analytics, and virtual machines. 
  • Rebuild is the most drastic type of cloud migration. This type means discarding the existing code base and building a new one on the cloud. Apply this strategy if the current system architecture does not meet your goals. 

How to nail cloud computing migration: essential steps

For successful migration to the cloud, you need to go through the following steps of the cloud computing migration strategy. 

Step 1. Build a cloud migration team 

First, you need to hire the necessary specialists and employ the distribution of roles. In our experience, a cloud migration team should include: 

  • Executive Sponsor, a person who handles creating a cloud data migration strategy. If you have enough tech experience, you can take this role. If not, your CTO or a certified cloud developer will ideally suit you. 
  • Field General handles project management and migration strategy execution. This role will suit your project manager if you have one. If not, you can hire a dedicated specialist with the necessary skills. 
  • Solution Architect is an experienced developer who has completed several cloud migration projects. This person will build and maintain the architecture of your cloud. 
  • Cloud Administrator ensures that your organization has enough cloud resources. You need an expert in virtual machines, cloud networking, development, and deployment on IaaS and PaaS. 
  • Cloud Security Manager will set up and manage access to cloud resources via groups, users, and accounts. This team member configures, maintains, and deploys security baselines to a cloud platform. 
  • Compliance Specialist ensures that your organization meets the privacy requirements. 

Step 2.Choose cloud service model 

There are several types of cloud platforms. Each of them provides different services to meet various business needs. Thus, you need to define your requirements for a cloud solution and select the one with the intended set of workflows. However, this step is challenging, especially if you have no previous experience with cloud platforms. To make the right decision, receive a consultation from experienced cloud developers. But, to be on the same page with your cloud migration team, you need to be aware of essential types of cloud platform services, such as SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, and the differences between them.

  • SaaS (Software as a Service)

Chose SaaS to receive advantages of running apps without maintaining and updating infrastructure. SaaS providers also offer you cloud-based software, programs, and applications. SaaS platforms charge a monthly or yearly subscription fee. 

  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

This cloud model suits businesses that need more computing power to run variable workloads with fewer costs. With IaaS, you will receive a ready-made computing infrastructure, networking resources, servers, and storage. IaaS solutions apply a pay-as-you-go pricing policy. Thus, you can increase the cloud solution’s capacity anytime you need it. 

  • PaaS (Platform as a service)

Chose this cloud platform type for adopting agile methodology in your development team, since PaaS allows the faster release of app updates. You will also receive an infrastructure environment to develop, test, and deploy your apps, thus increasing the performance of your development team.

cloud migration cloud service models

Step 3. Define cloud solution type

Now you need to select the nature of your cloud solution from among the following:

  • Public Cloud is the best option when you need a developing and testing environment for the app’s code. Yet, the public cloud migration strategy is not the best option for moving sensitive data. Public clouds include high risks of data breaches. 
  • Private Cloud providers give you complete control over your system and its security. Thus, private clouds are the best choice for storing sensitive data.
  • The hybrid cloud migration strategy combines both public and private cloud solutions characteristics. Chose a hybrid cloud to use using a SaaS app and get advanced security. Thus, you can operate your data in the most suitable environment. The main drawback is tracking various security infrastructures at once, which is challenging.

Step 4. Decide the level of cloud integration

Before moving to cloud solutions you need to choose the level of cloud integration among shallow and deep integration. Let’s find out what the difference is between them. 

  • Shallow cloud integration (lift-and-shift). To complete shallow cloud migration, developers need to conduct minimal changes to the server infrastructure. However, you can not use the extra services of cloud providers. 
  • Deep cloud integration means adding changes to an app’s infrastructure. Chose this strategy if you need serverless computing capabilities (Google Cloud Platform services), and cloud-specific data storage (Google Cloud Bigtable, Google Cloud Storage).

Step 5. Select a single cloud or multi-cloud environment

You need to choose whether to migrate your application on one cloud platform or use several cloud providers at once. Your choice will impact the time required for infrastructure preparation for cloud migration. Let’s look at both options in more detail. 

Running an app on one cloud is a more straightforward option. Your team will need to optimize it to work with the selected cloud provider and learn one set of cloud API. But, this approach has a drawback – a vendor lock-in. It means that it will be impossible to change the cloud provider. 

If you want to leverage multiple cloud providers, choose among the following options: 

  • To run one application set on one cloud, and another app’s components on another cloud platform. The benefit is that you can try different cloud providers at once, and choose where to migrate apps in the future. 
  • To split applications across many different cloud platforms is another option. Thus, you can use the critical advantages of each cloud platform. However, consider that the poor performance of just one cloud provider may increase your app’s downtime. 
  • To build a cloud-agnostic application is another option that allows you to run the app’s data on any cloud. The main drawback is the complicated process of app development and feature validation.

Step 6. Prioritize app services

You can move all your app components at once, or migrate them gradually. To find out which approach suits you the best, you need to detect the dependencies of your app. You can identify the connections between components and services manually or generate a dependencies diagram via a service map. 

Now, select services with the fewest dependencies to migrate them first. Next, migrate services with more dependencies that are closest to users.

Step 7. Perform refactoring

In some cases, you will need to make code refactoring before moving to the cloud. In this way, you ensure all your services will work in the cloud environment. The most common reasons for code refactoring are: 

  • Ensuring the app performs well with different running instances and supports dynamic scaling 
  • Defining the apps’ resource use dynamic-cloud capabilities, rather than allocating them beforehand

Step 8. Create a cloud migration project plan

Now, you and your team can outline a migration roadmap with milestones. Schedule the migration according to your data location and the number of dependencies. Also, consider that, despite the migration, you need to keep your app accessible to users. 

Step 9. Establish cloud KPIs

Before moving data to a cloud, you need to define Key Performance Indicators. These indicators will help you to measure how well it performs in the new cloud environment. 

In our experience, most businesses track the following KPI’s:

  • Page loading speed
  • Response time
  • Session length
  • Number of errors
  • Disc performance
  • Memory usage

And others. You can also measure your industry-specific KPIs, like the average purchase order value for mobile e-commerce apps.

Step 10. Test, review, and make adjustments as needed

After you’ve migrated several components, run tests, and compare results with pre-defined KPIs. If the migrated services have positive KPIs, migrate other parts. After migrating all elements, conduct testing to ensure that your app architecture runs smoothly. 

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Cloud migration checklist from The APP Solutions

Cloud providers provide different services to meet the needs of various businesses. You need help from professionals to choose the right cloud solution. 

We often meet clients who have trouble with selecting a cloud provider. In these cases, we do an audit of a ready-made project’s infrastructure. Next, we help clients to define their expectations for the new cloud environment. To achieve this, we show a comparison of different cloud providers and their pros and cons. Then, we adopt a project for a cloud infrastructure, which is essential for a successful migration. 

When looking for a cloud provider, consider the following parameters: 

  • Your budget, which means, not only the cost of cloud solutions but also the budget for cloud migration
  • The location of your project, target audience, and security regulations (HIPAA, GDPR)
  • The number of extra features you want to receive, including CDN, autoscaling, backup requirements, etc. 

Migration to a cloud platform is the next step for all business infrastructures. However, you need to consider that cloud migration is a comprehensive process. It requires, not only time and money but also a solid cloud migration strategy. To ensure your cloud migration is going right, you need to establish and track KPIs. Fill in the contact form to receive a consultation or hire a certified cloud developer.

the app solutions google cloud partner

Why You Should Migrate to Amazon Web Services

The past decade has seen Amazon Web Services (AWS) grow to become the leader in cloud computing. The internet retailer has managed to gain over $12.2 billion in revenue as of 2016, after working with some of the biggest organizations including the C.I.A and Netflix.

So large is Amazon’s growth that the fourth quarter of 2016 saw the AWS account for at least 40% of the public cloud service market in the entire world. Amazon’s competitors such as Microsoft only accounted for 11% while Google and IBM had 6% each as reported by the Synergy Research Group.

The Race for Public Cloud Leadership

Considering that cloud computing is still in its early growth stages all over the world, the choice of services is still the one most businesses find hard to make. There are some things that you should consider and which make AWS data migration services the number one choice for the provision of these services.

What do most businesses look for when they need cloud migration?

Recent times have forced almost all businesses to consider data migration. There are many benefits to be accrued from such a move. However, successful migration requires a well-planned strategy to avoid having the business’ physical infrastructure crammed into a virtual environment with no plan for their optimal use.

When looking for cloud migration services, businesses consider:

  • Return on investment.
  • The individual requirements of each asset being moved to the cloud – most businesses would have knowledge of the assets they have and would seek to move some of them to the cloud; prioritizing which are most critical. During cloud migration, the business would be looking for a partner who can prioritize the assets and applications in order of their Recovery Time Objective (RTO).
  • The amount of support that the service provider can avail. Each step taken by a company while moving to the cloud is unique, most businesses would look for a service provider that is versatile enough to accommodate the unique requirements.

The best process of migrating to the cloud is one that is personalized to accommodate the unique challenges of the business. A partner who understands that there is no one-size-fits-all migration strategy is usually the best choice.

AWS migration tools that are guaranteed to benefit your business

From privately linking your data center to an AWS region directly and migrating data to the cloud in batches to working with S3 for different geographical distances, Amazon’s data migration services provide the following tools:

  • Unmanaged Cloud data migration tools that are simple methods of moving data to Amazon’s cloud in small batches. They include:
    • Glacier command-line interface (CLI) which moves customer data to Glacier vaults
    • RSYNC which when opened along with a 3rd party filing system, copies data directly to S3 buckets
    • S3 command-line interface (CLI) which moves data directly to S3 buckets using commands
  • Cloud data migration tools managed by AWS. There are some AWS migration tools that are made by Amazon to enable your business to manage the move more effectively. They are grouped into two:
    • Optimizing the Internet, including methods that enable the movement of large archives, oceans of data, and for businesses that have unrealistic data volumes and bandwidth requirements.
    • Interfaces that are friendly to S3 include methods that simplify the use of S3 along with the company’s existing applications. As opposed to simply shifting huge sets of data at one time, these interfaces assist a business to be able to integrate their existing processes directly using cloud storage.

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Why you should choose Amazon’s cloud migration services for your business

AWS migration service offers a wide range of benefits to businesses looking to migrate their data. The following are some key benefits of migrating to the cloud using AWS:

  • Ease of use. AWS cloud migration is specifically structured to enable application providers, vendors, and ISVs to host all your business’ applications efficiently and safely regardless of whether they are native or new and SaaS-based. AWS also has a management console that can be used in accessing AWS’s hosting platform.
  • As earlier mentioned, each business requires a unique strategy. AWS allows you to choose not only the programming language but also the operating systems, database, and web application platform you require when performing your migration to AWS cloud.
  • Cost-effectiveness. AWS has made its services as cost-effective as possible for all businesses. Each client is only required to pay for computing power and storage along with any resources used without having to get into any contracts or making commitments up-front.
  • Amazon.com has been a leading online business for more than a decade, accumulating a secure infrastructure for global computing that is not only reliable but highly scalable and influences AWS reliability as well.
  • This is always a number one concern for most businesses that are looking to migrate data. AWS employs an extremely secure end-to-end strategy that includes operational, physical, and software measures to secure infrastructure. By choosing AWS, you are guaranteed that your data is in safe hands.
  • Scalability and high-performance. A combination of Auto Scaling, AWS tools, and Elastic Load Balancing allows all your applications to scale either up or down by the demand. This along with AWS’s infrastructure gives you unrestricted access to many resources for computing and storage whenever you need them.

From all of these benefits, it is easy to see how AWS has managed to grow so rapidly over the years and continue to provide excellent services to its clients from moving data to the cloud to cloud transfer.

Research from IDC, 451 research, Forrester, and Gartner all reveal that 50% of companies that attempt cloud migration end up exceeding their budget, take a longer time than expected, and result in the disruption of business. Choose to migrate to AWS today and enjoy scalability, efficiency, and reliability all at the most affordable prices.

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