Moving Applications to the Cloud

Choose the Right Approach for Moving Applications to the Cloud

If the cloud were throwing a party, it would send out two kinds of invitations: come as you are, or dress for the occasion.

Come As You Are: Lift & Shift

“Come as you are” means moving your existing applications in their current form to the cloud. You need to make sure your cloud environment parallels your existing production environment, but there’s no work (or time or money) spent to rearchitect the applications to work in the cloud.

This has the advantage of being relatively fast and low cost, but means whatever problems your applications have on site will be replicated in the cloud. It also means you may not be able to take advantage of new features and services the cloud offers, including the ability to scale automatically when demand increases.

When this approach is appropriate:

Lift and shift can be appropriate if you have to move out of your current premises quickly or if you don’t have the staff or budget to work on redesigning applications for the cloud. You may also want to keep the same architecture for external facing applications where any changes might impact customers. This is also the right approach to take if your move to the cloud is meant for disaster recovery; in that scenario, it’s necessary for your cloud environment to mirror your data center as closely as possible.

Dress for the Occasion: Go Cloud Native

Dress up your workloads when they move to the cloud by going cloud native. This requires taking time to deeply analyze your applications and their usage demands and redesigning them to best take advantage of cloud features.

Taking this approach necessarily takes longer than simply migrating “as is” to the cloud. However, the long-term advantages of the redesign can include eliminating single points of failure, increasing code reuse through a service-oriented architecture, and gaining the ability to scale the application up or down to match demand. This can result in easier management and lower cost long term.

There are some potential disadvantages of the cloud native approach, as well. Because features and APIs are unique to each cloud provider, the cloud native approach necessarily increases the risk of vendor lock-in. You may also need to change your application every time the vendor changes their API, and you’re also subject to pricing changes.

When this approach is appropriate:

If your analysis indicates you will get real advantage in terms of scalability and easier management, and you’re committed to the cloud provider for the long term, go ahead and refactor the entire application. In many cases, it may be preferable to make smaller changes, such as swapping out your database for a cloud-native database while keeping the rest of your application architecture unchanged.

Do you have the right clothes to wear to the cloud party? CCS Technology Group provides complete cloud services to ensure your applications migrate safely to the cloud and you obtain all the benefits you expect from using cloud. Contact us to learn more about how to decide which approach to take in migrating to the cloud.