The 451 Research’s most recent Voice of the Enterprise: Digital Pulse indicates that a growing proportion of organizations are shifting the bulk of their workload and applications to the cloud over the next two years—including both private cloud and public cloud. The majority of organizations (38%) cited the private cloud as the location for a majority of workloads. Factors like technical investments in legacy apps, data protection, compliance, and data gravity have contributed to this shift. With these factors in mind, what is the best way to migrate applications? Here are considerations and 4 strategies to migrate applications to the cloud, including: rehosting, refactoring, replatforming or retiring applications and services.

The decision to migrate applications to the cloud is a complex one that should be reviewed as part of a company’s overall application portfolio management and business transformation goals. The first step is to define the relative value of the applications to the business, and whether any Commercial Off-the-Shelf version exists as a replacement. The second step is to consider the following factors and how they play into your migration strategy, such as: the skill set of your development and operations personnel, operational planning, integration constraints, security, timing, budgets, and data center investments. The third step is to consider which Applications have a low business value. Should they remain, or be replaced or retired? Finally, other high-value applications vital to the business can be considered as candidates for replatforming to a cloud-based platform, or refactoring and moving to PaaS or IaaS cloud service offerings.

4 Options for Migrating Applications to the Cloud

Rehosting: Sometimes called “lift and shift”, rehosting involves moving applications to the cloud as is; without any code modification. Although the easiest route, this option doesn’t give you the benefits of cloud-native features such as scalability, it may be more costly in the long-run, and it locks you into a management API.

Replacing: Discard existing applications and replace them with commercial versions such as Salesforce CRM purchased from a cloud service provider offering SaaS. Existing data is migrated and users interact with the application via the web.

Refactoring: Defined by Gartner in 2011 as, “running your applications (usually Web applications) on the cloud providers infrastructure” refactoring involves making application code or configuration changes to connect the application to new infrastructure services. The advantages include reusing languages, frameworks, and containers that developers have invested in. The disadvantages, however, are the expense and time involved, plus the risk of basing revised applications on Platform and Infrastructure Services which might be immature or incompatible with the business in the future. Also, since this involves applications running in the public cloud, users forgo the security, control, and management transparency of a private cloud solution.

Replatforming: Move assets to the cloud with a small amount of change, such as automation-enabled autoscaling, in order to benefit from cloud infrastructure. As a middle ground between refactoring and rehosting, workloads migrated to a new private cloud platform benefit from cloud functionality and cost optimization.

Digital Transformation—Keep Mission-critical Apps & Data in a Private Cloud Behind your Firewall

For Mission-Critical legacy applications (i.e. those that cannot handle more than one hour of downtime without severe consequences), 44% of the 451 survey respondents indicated that they will be modernizing the applications in place by keeping workloads in their data centers but updating the underlying applications/infrastructure architecture. For high-value applications refactoring can be a time-consuming process calling for specialized skills. Because of this the 451 survey results showing that an additional 14% indicated that they’d “repurchase and shift” or rehost their applications and replace them with SaaS/hosted versions

The goal of application modernization is to make workloads more flexible and portable and give the business flexibility to respond to changes in customer needs and competitive forces.  Thus, the decisions about which apps to migrate, to what destinations, and how can be both time consuming and critical to the future survival of an organization.

Consider using a Software-Defined Private Cloud to Replatform Applications

For companies modernizing applications in place there are several private cloud infrastructure platforms on the market for consideration.  However, many fall short in one or more ways when it comes to security, elasticity, control, cost and development options. If you’re going to the trouble of moving applications to a new platform, why not get all the features you need for current and future business transformation?

Replatforming to a Composable Cloud Platform gives companies a better overall experience—they get all the benefits of the public cloud such as elasticity, multi-tenancy, and on-demand self-service without losing the security and control inherent in private or managed data centers. The Cloudistics Ignite Cloud Platform is a composable, private cloud platform that’s software defined, scalable and built on Open-Source technologies. Cloudistics enables easy, rapid implementation, deployment, operation, and maintenance of your cloud environment behind your firewall, where data and applications are secure. In addition, because of its Open-Source based API, multi-tenancy, and ability to create VM snapshots easily, it’s an ideal platform for software development and testing.

In order to migrate applications from existing legacy environments, Cloudistics customers can use one of three methods:

  1. Use Carbonite’s Double-Take technology tools and services
  2. Use Virtio drivers in place of VMware guest tools to import VMs.  This allows you to create application templates that get placed into the Cloudistics Application Marketplace for continual use.
  3. Create your own automation software using the Cloudistics open API

Retire the legacy experience and take advantage of our Cloudistics Application Marketplace to get the benefits you need and the premium experience you want.

If your organization could benefit by retiring outmoded legacy applications in favor of commercial off the shelf versions, the Cloudistics Application Marketplace provides tested and validated templates to support for mission-critical applications.

Private Composable Cloud is the Perfect Target for Application and Service Migration

Moving to new enterprise applications can be as easy to do as downloading an application to your smartphone. Deploying a new application on the Cloudistics private composable cloud platform can be accomplished in as little as 5 minutes. Want to see it in action? Check out this short video.

So, when your company’s application and workload migration strategy is under development, consider a software-defined private cloud for refactoring or deploying new applications for those which have been retired. 

For more information or to request a personal demonstration, go to www.Cloudistics.com.

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