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Cloud Application Migration: 6 Ways to Migrate Apps to the Cloud

by David Burkett, Apr 10, 2017

With more companies looking to migrate to the cloud incrementally, they face a tough decision and generally find themselves asking ‘how can I migrate existing applications to the cloud?’ There are six methods that will get you to where you need to go. Four methods will be discussed in this article, check out our whitepaper for the rest!

1. Rehost

This is where you alter the applications infrastructure configuration. This is a ‘quick fix’ strategy and generally companies that are looking to migrate quickly to meet a business case will rehost the application as it doesn’t change the apps architecture. However because the architecture remains the same, you miss out on some of the advantages of cloud computing, such as scalability. 

2. Refactor

By refactoring the application, you’re effectively running the application on a cloud provider’s infrastructure. This method lets you consider how the app is designed and developed - meaning you can add cloud native features to improve the applications usability. By using PaaS (platform as a service) developers can reuse languages, frameworks, and containers thereby creating a sense of familiarity. 

3. Replace

Sometimes it’s just better to scrap it. By replacing the application, you can switch to a SaaS offering. An example of this would be moving a CRM to salesforce.com or a HR system to Workday. This saves money on hiring a development team. But be wary, sometimes pre-existing software won’t fit your needs perfectly and there’s no flexibility to change the software for your needs. 

4. Revise

This requires modifying or extending the apps existing base to support legacy modernization. Once that is completed, you can rehost or refactor the application to deploy it to the cloud. It allows companies to optimise the cloud features of the providers infrastructure. However it also requires significant upfront resources and may take time to revise the applications capabilities.
There is no one size fits all - the best cloud application migration method will vary depending on your desired end product and the resources available. Gartner believes that “any cloud-migration decision needs to be approached in the broader context of related application portfolio management and infrastructure portfolio management programs.” Moving to the cloud can be more daunting than hitting a triple bogey on your first hole, but the key to both situations is to relax, breathe and think your way through the problem.