App Modernization

A Quick Guide To The Azure Lift And Shift Cloud Migration Model

4 June 2021

Moving your digital business operations to the cloud requires a lot of planning to result in greater flexibility and cost savings. An important thing to notice is that cloud migration should be customized to address an organization’s functional and operational needs. There’s no one-size-fits-all model for moving your data from the on-premises data center to the cloud. However, this transition is very exciting as it makes many new features available that are good for the application itself and the developers behind it.  

Cloud migration can be made hassle-free when you strategize the move and choose the best approach to use. A successful cloud migration strategy should address short-term goals, such as decreasing hosting costs, and long-term goals like better alignment between IT and business objectives.

To meet these goals, ‘lift and shift’ has proven to be the simplest and fastest approach to get the existing applications to the cloud. In fact, in the earlier days of cloud computing, lift and shift migration was considered a quick, low-risk method to move workloads to the cloud.

“Lift and shift is the first step in your cloud migration strategy.”

So What is Azure Lift and Shift Migration?

Azure lift and shift (also known as rehosting) migration moves your application and its correlated data (including data storage and OS) to Azure-based virtual machines in the cloud without redesigning or restructuring the app. Since it requires no/little change to application code and no change to application architecture, the Azure lift and shift approach enables a faster, less expensive, and less labor-intensive migration than other processes. Plus, it’s the fastest and less-expensive way for an organization to transform IT dollars from capital expense to operational expense leveraging more extensible and economical computing power, storage, and infrastructure of the cloud.

When to Lift and Shift using Azure?

The evolution of cloud architectures and favorable cloud pricing models enables people to move towards the lift and shift model. Apart from enabling developer’s productivity, the Azure lift and shift model helps achieve the long-term value of migrating applications to the cloud environment. Following are a few instances in which the Azure lift and shift model makes more sense:

  • Azure lift and shift model is highly considered for migrating independent workloads and requires scalable infrastructure. The lift and shift model is also considered as the first step in re-architecting a monolithic application for the cloud.  
  • All the off-the-shelf applications can be moved to the cloud as-is as they cannot be re-architected.
  • When you need less expensive, more scalable backup and recovery, Azure lift and shift is a great solution. Shifting backups from on-premises to the cloud is a common use case across all industries but widely considered for most heavily regulated industries or applications with the highest recovery point objectives/recovery time objectives (RPOs/RTOs).
  • Azure lift and shift migration is highly considered when your on-premise infrastructure costs are skyrocketing, but you are not ready to rearchitect your applications. In that case, you can park your applications on the cloud until you are prepared or able to rebuild.

Assessment and Planning for Azure Lift and Shift Migration

You must assess and draw a plan and prepare for factors that can impact the cost, difficulty, and ultimate value of the project, before starting with the lift and shift migration.

1. Application Lifespan

Make sure how much longer you’ll continue to use the applications because it doesn’t make sense to migrate an application you’ll be retiring in 12 months.

2. Runbook

If you plan to migrate multiple applications, create a runbook to make sure all mission-critical applications are migrated first.

3. Automation tools

Check whether your cloud hosting provider offers automation tools for migrations and make use of them whenever needed.

4. API Restrictions

Make sure your move to the cloud does not create bottlenecks for your current API tools.

5. Compliance

Evaluate and validate your migration plan and the cloud provider’s infrastructure to ensure all compliance requirements are met during and after the migration.

6. Scope Creep

A cloud environment is feature-rich that can tempt you to add capabilities on the fly, leading to resource drains and delays. Define a clear project plan and stick to it throughout the migration.

7. License Mobility/Portability

License mobility is a benefit that allows customers to move eligible Microsoft software to third-party cloud providers. You can opt to use license mobility through software assurance if you are a Microsoft Volume Licensing customer with eligible application server licenses covered by active software assurance.

Not Sure How Lift and Shift Will Work for You?

Lift and shift or rehosting can be thought of “as the same thing but on cloud servers,” and companies that choose this strategy select a cloud or infrastructure (IaaS) provider to recreate their application architecture on that infrastructure.

Why Preludesys for Lift and Shift?

Preludesys being a trusted Microsoft Gold Partner has successfully implemented lift and shift migration to the Azure cloud for clients across various industries like software, finance, retail, healthcare, etc. Our engagement starts from enterprise assessment to delivering technology solutions, with innovation and scalability as top of mind. We have an enviable track record of 100% timely delivery and 24×7 support.
Want to know more about our services? Call us now!

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