The shift toward cloud-based infrastructure is gaining momentum like never before. As digital adoption keeps growing, companies that still have on-premise solutions find it challenging to scale rapidly. To address issues with on-premise workflows, companies in every industry are finding ways for on-premise to cloud migration.
But, there are numerous challenges in migrating applications. Some of the pressing problems include compatibility between hardware and software, network latency, data security, and more.
To overcome such challenges, you should apply the right technique while migrating from on-prem to the cloud. This can help you solve different migration problems and make your life easy.
But first, let’s understand in detail the need for migrating to the cloud.
The Need for On-Premise to Cloud Migration
If you want to enhance your internal business operations or serve customers better, it's important to move away from on-premise applications. You should migrate your applications to the cloud since it offers scalability, flexibility, disaster recovery, and security.
In a rapidly changing digital world, the demand for your digital solutions keeps varying. So, if you have a rigid on-premise application, you risk losing business opportunities. With on-premise applications, you cannot quickly scale to accomodate the sudden demand. You cannot have superior uptime to serve your customers consistently. The cloud has none of these pitfalls.
On-prem to cloud migration has the following benefits:
- Cost Savings: With the cloud, you can opt for pay-as-you-go instead of fixed cost infrastructure. This allows you to only pay for what you use. Whereas in the on-premise model, you often have fixed costs. You even pay for resources that you don’t use.
- Flexibility: Based on your requirements, you can scale up and down your applications in real time. This eliminates any disruption due to varying workloads.
- Disaster Recovery: You can reduce your downtime with the help of backups that can be restored immediately. This can be done by storing backups at different locations, which is cost-intensive if you go on-premise.
- Integrations: Cloud services have better integration capabilities. With extensive integration features, you can quickly extend the functionality of your applications. This means you don’t always have to build solutions from scratch.
There are many more advantages of cloud computing. But, the benefits depend on the type of cloud migration you use for moving your applications.
So, let’s see the type of cloud migration you can use with your on-premise applications.
5 Techniques for On-Premise to Cloud Migration
According to a survey by Microsoft, 82% of organizations think cloud migration is central to digital transformation. Over the years, cloud migration has become a go-to strategy for decision-makers in to modernize applications and enhance performance for business growth.
With the right migration strategy, you can quickly build massively scalable and reliable applications to support changing requirements.
Let’s get straight into the top 5 ways you can use to migrate from on-premise to the cloud.
Rehosting, often called lift and shift, is one of the most common on-premise to cloud migrations. In rehosting, you move your existing on-premise applications to the cloud without making any modifications.
You can think of this as a copy-paste strategy. Yes, you read that right.
With rehosting, you just need to replicate the on-premise infrastructure like compute, storage, and network to the cloud. Since the process doesn’t require massive changes, it is relatively quick and simple.
However, you move to the cloud but don’t get all the benefits of cloud computing. This is mainly because you are not upgrading your applications while migrating to the cloud.
But, it is an important first step in moving your application to the cloud. You can always enhance the application with cloud-native features in the future.
- Rehosting allows you to increase the availability of your applications.
- Reduce the cost of running an application since you will pay as you go.
- Rehosting method is used with mission-critical applications to reduce risk.
- Your applications run exactly the same, even on the cloud.
- You don’t get any advancement in applications after migration.
- You don’t get most of the cloud-native advantages like load balancing.
Refactoring is a complex process of migrating on-premise applications to the cloud, involving significant restructuring. With the refactoring approach, you substantially modify the code and architecture. You may also use Docker or Kubernetes to adopt microservice architecture. This is carried out to enhance the performance of your applications while hoising on the cloud.
Organizations often prefer refactoring techniques as it enables them to scale the application based on the spikes in traffic. The idea behind refactoring is to optimize the existing application to improve performance and reliability in the cloud.
However, migrating from on-prem to cloud applications using the refactoring strategy takes more time. Since you write and test new code, the time taken to migrate applications increases drastically.
While it might be a lengthier process, you must still prefer refactoring to harness the power of cloud computing. You should consider factors like downtime, business impact, and more before going ahead with the refactoring method for the migration of critical applications.
- You get an advanced application equipped with cloud-native features.
- You future-proof your applications with cloud computing capabilities.
- It takes more time than other types of on-premise to cloud migration strategies.
- You might get a lot of errors in the beginning once the application is in production.
Replatforming is one of the cost-effective ways to migrate from on-premise to the cloud. In replatforming, you migrate applications without changing the application code or architecture. It is usually carried out with the help of a cloud-based platform as a service (PaaS) solution.
You should use replatforming if you want to focus more on application development than managing infrastructure. It allows you to take advantage of cloud-native features like scalability, reliability, and disaster recovery.
While replatforming is a viable option for migrating on-premise applications, you should avoid moving complex applications. Migrating massive and complex applications can require significant changes in the code and architecture.
Replatforming must be used for applications that are not tightly coupled with the underlying infrastructure.
Before choosing replatforming, you should consider factors like security, scalability, reliability, and functionality.
- Replatforming is cost-effective as you do not have to take up development tasks.
- Replatfroming often leads to a refactoring project if you start making any changes to the existing architecture of the application.
- In case of compatibility issues, you can see a massive disruption across the departments of your organization.
Repurchasing is often known as subscribing to cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) applications. The approach of on-prem to cloud is mainly adopted for migrating to the cloud while almost eliminating the need for handling infrastructure.
Ideally, when you repurchase, you are replacing on-premise applications with a cloud-based counterpart. However, repurchasing also involves getting access to API for simplifying business processes.
You might think that repurchasing is an easy replacement for on-premise applications. But, it includes the risk of hindering business operations.
Migrating to SaaS applications requires transferring data from on-premise to cloud-based SaaS applications. This can take days to understand the variability in the two platforms before starting the data migration process.
The migrations with repurchasing approach become even more complex when you don’t get APIs to move data between applications swiftly. In such cases, manual jobs are carried out to migrate data.
However, it can lead to human errors like duplications of data, missing information, and more. This could negatively impact your organization and can be a time-consuming process.
- When you repurchase, you outsource the development process, allowing you to focus more on business operations.
- With repurchase, you can get advanced features for SaaS solutions to streamline your business operations.
- To scale, you just need to buy more. This makes it easy for you to scale without worrying about the infrastructure.
- SasS solutions are not customized based on your business processes.
- In the long run, the price of your SaaS license can be costly as opposed to your in-house development.
Retire & Rebuild
Sometimes, you have to retire the on-premise applications and rebuild them from scratch in the cloud. However, you should only use it for smaller applications, as building larger applications can be cost-intensive.
Rebuild is also suitable for applications that have mostly lost their relevance over time. In such cases, you can rebuild in the cloud by incorporating a few features that are still relevant.
This approach makes the existing application lightweight in the cloud while adding cloud-native features to improve performance. Rebuilding, however, would require you to migrate the data to the could.
When you retire an application, it is essential to seamlessly move the data to avoid any interruption. You must rethink current and future requirements before rebuilding applications with advanced cloud features.
- Rebuilding allows you to eliminate unnecessary features of your existing application.
- It helps you to restart with a fresh perspective to reinvent the business workflow.
- It can be cost-intensive to rebuild it from scratch on the cloud.
- Rebuilding takes more time than repurchasing.
On-premise to cloud migration is always a complex process. Irrespective of the strategy, there are several risks included in the migration. However, cloud-native benefits like load balancing, security, and more can outweigh the challenges involved during migration. Therefore, you should consider migration by leveraging the five strategies mentioned above.
Each has pros and cons; businesses must evaluate their needs before choosing the right migration method. You can collaborate with the cloud partners or use automated ETL tools to migrate on-premise to the cloud effectively.