On-premises to Cloud: The 7Rs of AWS Application Migration Strategies

Deciding whether to migrate your applications to the cloud can feel daunting and overwhelming, with worries about setup, security and governance.   

However, with projected annual growth take-up rates of 17.9% between 2022 and 2027, it is a strategic move that cannot be ignored, contributing to business continuity and success. 

As outlined in our earlier blog, the benefits of migrating to the cloud are well-documented, from enhanced data security and business scalability to cost efficiencies and compliance, it is driving forward our evolving digital world. 

In this blog, we offer an insightful overview of cloud migration strategies as they relate to Amazon Web Services so that your organisation can make an informed decision for the correct approach. 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) 7R’s   

When migrating your applications and data, a carefully considered approach is required to determine migration readiness.  

The first step is to assess and organise the applications and data you wish to move, to come up with the most appropriate plan and the best outcome.  

To help you do this we’ve collated the 7R’s of common cloud migration strategies, which you should evaluate your data against to decide the most applicable:  

  1. Refactor/re-architect: Move and customise an application, taking full advantage of cloud-native features to improve agility, performance and scalability. This typically involves porting the operating system and database and tends to be driven by business demands to scale whilst reducing costs.

    Example: Migrate your on-premises Oracle database to the Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL-Compatible Edition.

  2. Replatform (lift and reshape): Move an application to the cloud and introduce some optimisation to take advantage of cloud capabilities.

    Example: Migrate your on-premises Oracle database to Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for Oracle in the AWS Cloud.

  3. Repurchase (drop and shop): Switch to a different product, typically from a traditional license to a SaaS model.

    Example: Migrate your customer relationship management (CRM) system to 

  4. Rehost (lift and shift): Effectively ‘lifting’ an application to the cloud ‘as-is’ with minimal or little modification to the architecture, authentication, data flow or business processes to take advantage of cloud capabilities.

    Example: Migrate your on-premises Oracle database to Oracle on an EC2 instance in the AWS Cloud.

    This should be considered if your organisation:

    • Incurs significant costs in maintaining infrastructure. If these are significantly more than cloud hosting, reduce them by migrating applications to the cloud with minimal or no modification.
    • Is facing a major infrastructure refresh or end-of-life event and requires migration from existing infrastructure.
    • Has concerns about the cost and time required for cloud migration.
    • Is already in the cloud but is facing issues. Rehosting can bring back applications or databases to a normal stage quickly.
    • Has some applications that are running without disruption or with little maintenance. Those applications can be moved to the cloud for further cost optimisation.
    • Uses commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) applications and making code changes on those is not possible.
    • Primarily looks for reductions in long-term on-premises infrastructure costs.
    • Is running applications that require optimisation, refactoring or modernisation. In this case, use rehosting to migrate applications to the AWS Cloud ‘as-is’ and then determine next steps.

  5. Relocate (hypervisor-level lift and shift): Move your infrastructure to the cloud without purchasing new hardware, rewriting applications or modifying existing operations, thereby ensuring minimal operational impact.

    This scenario is specific to VMware Cloud on AWS, which supports virtual machine (VM) compatibility and workload portability between on-premises environments and AWS. You can use the VMware Cloud Foundation technologies from your on-premises data centres when you migrate your infrastructure to VMware Cloud on AWS.

    Example: Relocate the hypervisor hosting your Oracle database to VMware Cloud on AWS. 

  6. Retain (revisit): Retain applications that cannot be retired due to reliance on another application or security and compliance purposes.  These might include applications that require major refactoring that you want to delay and legacy applications that you wish to retain due to no business case for migration.

  7. Retire: Terminating or downsizing applications that are inefficient and no longer required.

Migrating applications to the cloud can be challenging, but Brightsolid are here to help  

If you are unsure where to start or have concerns due to in-house technical and knowledge constraints, our expert team here at Brightsolid are happy to help you. We will deliver a high-level application migration requirement plan with a recommended strategy for each application/workload alongside the expected level of effort.  

In so doing, you will be able to prioritise your critical applications and workloads for cloud migration and take full advantage of all the benefits the cloud brings. 

Click here to start the conversation.