AWS Cloud Migration Strategies: The 6Rs
Given the highly digital world that we live in, companies often find themselves considering migrating to the cloud. Why? Well, there are typically myriad unique factors involved, such as the need for better agility in terms of IT infrastructure, scalability, innovation, etc. For those of you who were involved with any type of migration initiative in the past would agree any & every one of them is unique.
However, one cannot simply just get up and move to the cloud; to ensure a successful migration, companies must have a cloud migration strategy. This is because migration to the cloud is a complex endeavor and also because there are several ways to go at it. And that the “6R” strategies are not usually meant to be definitive or mutually exclusive. Further, they are not the only way how you define the situation, but what we need to consider is a framework to take on points, consider it more like a blueprint for starting discussions and guidelines.
Now, let us look at the different strategies one can use when switching to the AWS cloud. They are commonly known as the 6 Rs of AWS migration.
- Retire: Under the purview of the retirement strategy, a company identifies an app or a set of apps that can be eliminated, i.e. retired from the technology stack. It essentially means doing away with apps since they do not serve a purpose any longer.
- Retain: With the retain approach, organizations get to ‘retain’ their existing apps and systems with the option to reassess their status and the possibility of updates and upgrades in line with a cloud-first strategy albeit some time in the future.
- Re-host: The process of re-hosting, also known as Lift and Shift in the market, involves moving the company’s apps and systems to AWS Cloud as is, i.e. without making any changes. This admittedly rudimentary approach is ideal for companies that wish to execute a quick and simple migration process.
- Re-platform: Also referred to as Lift and Reshape, the process of re-platforming enables companies to leverage AWS Cloud’s certain special abilities. It also offers companies the choice to make use of services similar to their existing infrastructure without necessitating an overhaul of the code.
- Re-architect: This is decidedly the most avant-garde migration strategy of them all: it involves an overhaul of the current apps with the updates rendering them cloud-native. Simply put, it is just building a serverless iteration of the company’s existing legacy app.
- Re-purchase: This migration strategy is based on completely relinquishing the company’s current system and software in favor of a cloud-first app. Such migration can be executed in one of two ways: the first one is the company transmits the current software licenses from an on-premises server to AWS via tools such as VM Import/Export tool. The other option is to entirely substitute the current app with SaaS-based offerings. It must be noted that companies can find such SaaS solutions via AWS Service Catalog or the AWS Marketplace.
Now we know the key migration strategies that currently exist in the market, but the question remains: which one is suitable for your business? In regards to AWS cloud migration, your goal should be to optimize value from the cloud infrastructure while cutting back on factors such as cost, migration time involved, risk, and effort. While keeping these factors in mind is vital to making the right choice, do not forget to also factor in your setup and systems and everything else that comes with them. Your migration plan will and should vary based on the degree of complexity involved in the current setup. Doing so will go a long way in ensuring the success of your endeavors.