The application migration process can be complex, as not all applications need the same treatment. Let’s look at the most common approaches, and the kinds of application migration that they suit best. These approaches are great for any project, such as AWS application migration, or application migration to Azure, so think broad!
What is Application Migration?
Simply put, application migration is any project where you’re moving your software applications from one place to another. While this is usually moving applications from on-premises to the cloud, such as when you migrate an on premise application to Azure, it can also be from one data center on-premises to another, or from a public to a private cloud, one public cloud to another, or any other variation.
Back in 2010, Gartner published the 5 R’s of application migration, which were Rehost, Refactor, Revise, Rebuild, and Replace. In 2016, AWS jumped in and changed this to 6 R’s, adding Retire, and Retain to the mix. Since then, they’ve also added Relocate, which is specifically about moving VMware VMs to VMC environments.
Getting a little complicated? Let’s look at the important kinds of application migration services, and you can work out which of these R’s should be on your own R… your Roadmap that is!
Rehost (Lift and Shift Application Migration)
This approach means simply moving an application from one location to another, without any changes. You just redeploy the application in question to the new environment. Think about migrating VMs to a public cloud account, or moving applications from one secure on-premises data center to another. It’s the fastest approach, and will have the least impact on other applications.
Learn how you can gain full network visibility in virtual environments
Of course, there are downsides to this approach to application migration, too. As you have simply rehoused them without any changes, they won’t get any of the benefits of cloud computing, and they won’t be optimized for cloud costing, either. In the long run, these may need some modifications to make the processes more efficient and cost-effective in their new environment.
Refactor (Rip and Replace Application Migration)
This one has a few names, such as re-architecting or replacing, but it’s about changing the application so that it’s ready for the cloud, by changing code or architecture to something more effective for the new environment. Here you need to be more aware of the application dependencies, something VNT works with every day – your can grab a free trial and test it out yourself.
Simply put, when you make changes to one application, you need to make sure that it won’t impact the behavior of the application or any others. If you’re moving this application to the cloud so that you can add scale, features, or flexibility – it will likely need some refactoring along the way. VNT can help you to work out your ‘minimum viable refactoring’, the amount of change you need to make to get the results that you need, with the least impact on the rest of your environment.
Repurchase (Drop and Shop Application Migration)
Sometimes, it’s just going to be too complex to refactor your applications to get them ready for migration, or you won’t get the end results that you’re looking for. In this case, it would make sense to simply drop, or “Retire” the systems in question, and then use a subscription or an outright purchase to meet the gap. Third party systems are often much more efficient, cost-effective and simple to manage, with the vendor handling a lot of the behind the scenes maintenance and support.
For SMBs, this could be a smarter way to access all the functionality that they need, without building in-house applications from scratch. It can also allow organizations to move away from legacy complexity or on-premises systems that are impossible to refactor or rehost.
You may find this useful – VNT’s Cloud Migration Tool
Retain (Keep and Consider Application Migration)
Of course, if the right solution isn’t out there for replacement, or you aren’t ready to retire certain applications, you can always retain them, just keep them as they are, either on-premises or on a different cloud environment, and then reconsider your situation further down the line. Reasons for retaining your applications in their current environment could be that it’s an unaffordable project right now, it’s too large to be migrated as a whole, or you can’t afford the application downtime at this point in your business process.
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That’s another one of the great benefits of VNT. As you can utilize our application mapping whenever you choose, you’re always ready to revisit your cloud and application migration roadmap, to see if there are more benefits to be had.
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