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Migration typically happens in three stages: Assessment, Migration, and Optimization.
During the assessment phase, time is taken to determine what can be migrated, its current configuration, what will be impacted, and to map dependencies. From this preliminary work a migration plan is developed, highlighting findings, and laying out a roadmap for the migration.
Important questions to ask are:
- What applications and infrastructure am I currently running?
- Of these applications, which should be migrated, modernized, retired, replaced, or maintained on-premises?
- What are the risks associated with a migration, and how long will it take?
- What will be the return on my investment for migration, based on my current running costs, my post-migration running costs, and the cost of migration itself?
- What additional benefits will cloud migration bring to my organization?
There are five common migration approaches: Retire, Replace, Rehost, Rearchitect, and Retain.
- With Retire, the application is at end of life, and it is easier to retire, than migrate the application.
- Replace is very common where business workloads have equivalent Software as a Service offerings.
- Rehost or (also known as lift and shift) is where an application is migrated to a set of virtual machines as part of an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering from a cloud provider.
- Rearchitect requires converting the application to run as a Platform as a Service (PaaS), which is significantly more costly than rehosting, but can be advantageous as the upgraded application will likely have lower on-going management complexity and operating cost compared to rehosting. Applications are commonly rehosted, then updated to take advantage of PaaS cloud offerings.
- Lastly, retain refers to retaining the application on-premises for when continuing in place is the only realistic option. This option is common for applications with regulatory or geographic requirements that cannot be met by current cloud offerings.
For more detail into the migration process take a look at this blog post.