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When is Lift and Shift the Right Cloud Migration Strategy?

By Alexandra Ferreira posted Thu July 21, 2022 04:56 PM


[Originally posted on Turbonomic.com. Posted by Jon Myer]

A lift and shift strategy can quickly move the “needle” on your organization’s digital transformation process due to time constrains. This strategy can even provide a way to validate the benefits of moving your business applications to the public cloud. The number one benefit of using public cloud is cloud elasticity and only paying for what you use. It doesn’t matter which of the top three public cloud providers your company has selected, a lift and shift strategy can still be applied and provide value for cloud migrations.

A lift and shift approach is also known as a “Rehost”; this comes from the 7 R’s for cloud migration strategy. The other R’s include Retiring, Replatform, Repurchase, Relocate (the most recent addition to the R’s for VMware to AWS/Azure/GCP), Retain, and Retire. All of them have their specific use cases and values when migrating an application to the cloud. For this blog we will specifically be focusing on rehosting, also known as lift and shift.

Image listing 7 stratgies for Migration Applications to the Cloud

Check out “Cloud Migration Strategy: Lift & Shift vs. Optimized Migration” if you’re interested in learning which cloud migration strategy is better for you.

Should I Optimize My On-Premises Infrastructure Before Performing a Lift and Shift?

It depends on the situation, but you can use Turbonomic to optimize your on-premises infrastructure before performing a lift and shift to public cloud. Turbonomic even has the ability to put together a migration plan and tell you what your virtual machine sizes would look like during the migration process. Utilizing the Turbonomic migration plan can help optimize your infrastructure during lift and shift when used with a cloud migration process.

When is lift and shift the right path?

Is lift and shift right for my organization? Why not optimize before moving the application to the cloud? To answer the first question, lift and shift is for everyone, but it all depends on the unique use case or need of each organization. Now, why isn’t it possible to optimize your application before moving to the cloud? Well, one of the main driving factors is the financial strain, which ultimately leads to time constraints. In a perfect world you would have the money and time to evaluate each application, including rearchitecting them for cloud. Almost every company has run into a scenario that requires them to make a tough decision about their cloud initiatives due to money.

Animated Gif Showing Moving Applications to the Cloud

Example: Stephen Orban (AWS GM, AWS Marketplace & Control Services) recently released his book, “Ahead in the Cloud”, based on his time as CIO of Dow Jones. In his book he talks about the challenging journey of moving all their applications out of the Hong Kong datacenter within 2 months. Their first approach was to rearchitect their applications instead of rehosting them in AWS. They thought performing a lift and shift, a pay for what you use model, would be more costly. But due to the time constraint they had to move quickly and soon realized they didn’t have enough time to rearchitect all their applications. Stephen’s DevOps team was ultimately forced to alter their approach and decided to rehost all their applications in cloud. Something surprising happened after the move, they ended up saving 30% in costs due to the lift and shift alone. In this example, money and time were the driving factors for choosing their method and ultimately, they were able to complete their project roughly within 6 weeks. Orban and team started the journey following the rule that all applications should be rearchitected to utilize the benefits of public cloud. Due to time constraints, they ended up utilizing the lift and shift approach and, in the end, realized they could immediately save time and money while rearchitecting afterwards.

I’m not saying to move or migrate your entire datacenter to the cloud but picking and choosing your battles is the key to being successful. Rehosting a business application not only helps mitigate risk due to financial concerns, but it’s one step in the right direction to optimizing your environment. Plus, it could be a huge morale booster or be the motivation your DevOps team needs by upping their skills on cloud while simultaneously helping them realize the benefits.

“Should I lift and shift or not?” What if I told you the answer is going to be unique or different for every company? There are a number of things to consider when evaluating if a lift and shift strategy is the right method for you. Maybe your company wants to move to the cloud faster than the original timetable. Or maybe you have 1000’s of applications and each one is going to take a different approach towards their cloud migration journey. Lift and Shift isn’t a bad method as long as it’s a means to the end or a way to keep moving forward.

Lift and Shift, What now?

What if you could move your applications to the cloud and optimize them afterwards? With Turbonomic you can, all by utilizing our continuous and real-time optimization capabilities. Whether you have Turbonomic installed on-premises or in the cloud, the solution will provide full stack visibility to optimize your application’s infrastructure for the best performance possible. Turbonomic will correlate all the data available from the public cloud and make it easy to understand. The platform does this by telling you which services or infrastructure applies to each stack and making AI driven decisions starting from your application all the way down to your underlying storage.

Are you looking to gain a better understanding of how Turbonomic works in a sandbox environment? Check out Try Turbonomic where you can walk through a hands-on environment and learn all about the benefits of our platform’s continuous resource optimization capabilities