More and more organizations are migrating workloads to the cloud every day. In fact, 70% of European companies consider it to be a top priority right now. According to Mordor Intelligence, the value of the cloud migration services market will reach nearly $450B by 2026, representing a 29% CAGR going back to 2021. In other words, companies are adopting the cloud in droves and need help. What’s driving this growth?

The cloud offers immense computing power without the need to manage IT infrastructure on-premises. IT teams can scale, innovate, and automate on the cloud. With Amazon Web Services (AWS), engineers have access to powerful tools and cloud solutions that make maintaining IT infrastructure easier than ever. However, many companies still haven’t made the transition.

One key reason is that business leaders sometimes don’t know where to start when it comes to the migration process. Executives know there is value in adopting the cloud but don’t know how to get there. In this post, we’ll explain what it means to migrate IT infrastructure to the cloud. We’ll also dive into two popular migration methodologies companies should consider going forward: the lift-and-shift migration approach and the refactor approach.

What is a Cloud Migration?

Migrating to the cloud refers to the process of moving applications, data, and other IT elements to a cloud computing ecosystem. The leading cloud computing ecosystems currently include AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. These providers enable users to tap into vast cloud computing infrastructure and tools as needed.

There are multiple ways to think about the cloud migration process. Cloud providers typically talk about 6 migration methodologies:

  • Rehost
  • Replatform
  • Repurchase
  • Refactor
  • Retain
  • Retire

These methodologies can generally be grouped into two categories. It’s helpful to think about migrations in terms of lift-and-shift projects versus refactoring projects when considering a migration.

The Lift-and-Shift Approach

The lift-and-shift migration approach is the most straightforward and quickest way to get on the cloud. This approach involves taking copies of existing server disks that are on-premises, in another cloud, or at a colocation site and deploying them in another cloud platform.

The downside of lift-and-shift is that it doesn’t leverage the benefits of the new cloud environment. So, moving on-premises IT to AWS with the lift-and-shift approach, for instance, wouldn’t take full advantage of everything AWS offers. At the same time, lift-and-shift engagements are faster and less risky overall.

The Refactoring Approach

The refactoring migration approach, also known as the migration-as-code or pipeline-driven migration approach, involves taking a central application code repository and deploying it to a new cloud infrastructure that will support the application.

This approach has several benefits:

  • It utilizes the native tools of the cloud platform
  • It enables right-sizing and auto-scaling
  • It allows for the use of certain code factors, like Lambda functions and NoSQL databases
  • It opens the door for decoupled, or microservices, architecture

Refactoring takes more time and is more complicated than the lift-and-shift approach. Companies must set up pipelines to deploy their code to designated cloud endpoints. Without these pipelines, the refactoring methodology isn’t possible. However, doing so is often necessary to unlock the true value of the cloud.

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Migrate to AWS with ClearScale

After completing hundreds of migrations to the AWS Cloud, ClearScale has deep experience in both migration methodologies described here. Over the years, our team has earned 100+ AWS technical certifications, as well as the AWS Migration competency. We help companies decide which migration approach is best for their needs and goals.

Our engineers lead clients through an in-depth discovery process to see which cloud capabilities they already have. We also make sure that clients have a robust AWS Landing Zone, or we create one for them so they have the foundation they need to grow in AWS over time.

After deciding on a methodology, we execute the migration following an Agile approach, ensuring minimal downtime and data loss. As an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner, we also have access to special funding opportunities and support from AWS. These benefits help maximize the ROI and effectiveness of our cloud migration projects.

Major organizations like Acoustic, CMA CGM, and The Sierra Club have trusted us to move mission-critical infrastructure to the cloud while modernizing essential resources. To learn more about how we can lead you through a large-scale migration, download the eBook Prepare and Plan for Your AWS Migration.

Then, schedule a consultation with us. We’re happy to discuss what’s possible for your business once you’re up and running on AWS.

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