Cloud Migration Strategy 101: Type, Steps, & More

Cloud Migration Strategy 101: Type, Steps, & More

A cloud infrastructure offers a secure and scalable solution for data management. But how can you ensure a successful migration from on-prem to online?

As digital technologies are evolving, more companies prefer cloud platforms for their on-demand resources. The cloud computing landscape is fast-paced and dynamic. Its strategies offer a roadmap enabling brands to identify the best approach to transfer applications and data to the cloud.

Cloud migration provides significant benefits, but you may encounter roadblocks without a concrete strategy in place. These include high cost, compliance risk, and elaborate migration.   Awareness of the types of cloud migration and the steps involved will promote a smooth transition from on-premise to remote servers.  

We’re kicking off this blog with an in-depth discussion of cloud migration, followed by its types, steps, and tools. This compilation will guide you to successfully integrate a cloud and move all data to this platform without glitches.

Cloud Migration Process

A cloud migration strategy comprises a variety of services, databases, IT resources, and applications. It refers to the plan a company designs for moving data and applications from on-premises to a cloud infrastructure. A systematic and documented migration strategy will ensure an efficient migration.

Let’s take a look at the types of strategies for data transfer.

Strategies to transfer into the Cloud: The 7 R’s

When migrating to the cloud environment, you can choose from seven strategies. Gartner originally referred to them as the 5 Rs, which later expanded to 7 Rs.  Here’s a brief about each:


You can transform an application by modifying its architecture and incorporating cloud-based features. This cloud migration strategy provides more agility, better performance, and enhanced scalability. With refactor migration, you can port the operating system and database hassle-free.


When you opt for the replatform strategy, it allows the transfer of an application to the cloud while using optimization to leverage cloud-native capabilities. The source code and core architecture remain intact, and the legacy applications are operational. With replatform migration, you can experience heightened flexibility, agility, and resilience along with automation. It conserves your time and resources while allowing you to select components for modernization.


This migration strategy allows you to swap the internally administered systems for third-party managed services accessible in the cloud environment. This enables you to retire legacy systems and upgrade to a SaaS subscription model. As and when the services increase and third-party vendors get involved, this model seamlessly manages operations for in-house teams. The migration process gets expedited while reducing downtime and enhancing scalability. It applies to workloads requiring enhanced application performance/ user experience and minimal operational heads.


The rehost migration utilizes cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) that retains the core infrastructure of the application. Also known as the Lift & Shift strategy, it enables the migration of an application to the cloud without making any changes to use the platform’s features. With this, you can transfer all data and workflows to relevant cloud networks. It ensures alignment between the existing storage, networking, and computer requirements between on-prem and cloud services.


Relocate the infrastructure to the cloud without any new hardware, application rewrites, or impacting the current operations. When you use this strategy, you can migrate a collection of servers from an on-premise platform to a cloud version of the same server. You can experience minimum downtime and disruption, reducing the need to retrain staff or invest in upgraded hardware.


Some applications cannot be retired, so they remain operational in the existing framework. Retain cloud migration strategy is best fitted for such apps. Businesses choose to retain a workload when they rely on other applications to be migrated first.


As the name suggests, utilize this strategy to discontinue any application not required in the source network. You can implement a retire migration when terminating or downsizing applications that do not add much value.

Benefits of Cloud Computing Migration 

Here’s a list of reasons to migrate resources to the cloud.  


In traditional IT environments, companies will buy physical server software licenses and set up a network system. With a cloud network, you can easily scale your brand with the capacity to handle large workloads and more users.


With cloud computing, you can access managed services that reduce operational overhead, thus simplifying maintenance tasks such as upgrades. When you migrate to a cloud environment, you invest less in finance as compared to IT operations. This allows you to allocate more resources to innovating new products or improving the existing ones.


One of the pros of cloud migration is performance improvement and better end-user experience. When you host applications and websites on the cloud, you can scale up and serve more users. What’s more— you can run and access from various global locations near end-users. In this way, you experience an enhanced overall performance efficiency.

Digital experience

The key highlight of the cloud network is secured accessibility from anywhere. This applies to employees as well as customers. A cloud contributes to a better digital experience, thus providing modern and flexible tools.

Steps for An Effective Cloud Migration Strategy

Cloud migration spans five key stages: preparation, planning, migration, operation, and optimization. Let’s dive into each of these in more detail.


Before designing a cloud migration plan, consider your brand’s unique infrastructure demands. In this phase, analyze the existing framework, its strengths, and loopholes, and identify your needs. Once you have determined this aspect, you can work towards ensuring the cloud meets your requirements. Involve your potential cloud service partner experts, cybersecurity associates, and IT team to assess cloud migration priorities.

Planning the migration

Before diving into the process, define the reasons for migration and which strategy is best-fitted. This stage involves assessing the current legacy infrastructure and the existing resources and expertise. It provides clarity on the ideal cloud solution for your business. Along with your migration team and cloud services partner, select the cloud model, vendor, and the nitty-gritty of the migration process. Decide whether you want to adopt a private cloud or hybrid, or opt for multi-cloud services like Azure, AWS, or Google.


Once you have done your analysis, the next step is to implement the decision and migrate to the selected infrastructure. However, despite all rigorous planning and preparation, the process could sail smoothly, or there could be hiccups. It is a good idea to keep a data backup and recovery option.


It is tough to say whether or not a cloud migration was successful without evidence that it is working as expected. Going live is one way to find out. There is more to this step than merely announcing the ‘live launch’ of the cloud environment. You need to prepare well for the go-live event.

Begin with a data freeze —before going live, halt all changes to your legacy environment and perform a final data sync.  From here on, record any changes made to the going-live process and synchronize after. A trial go-live can also be considered if you have the time and capacity. And most importantly, have a plan B to lean on if any unexpected issues arise or the go-live takes much longer than anticipated.

Ongoing support

When you use the cloud, you will need a support framework to keep you going. The ongoing assistance will offer maintenance and monitoring strategies to promote cloud success. You need to review updates at least monthly and go through software updates periodically. Also, you will benefit from consistent performance monitoring in place, providing the relevant tools for monitoring. This would have an added benefit, especially if your brand does not have a dedicated migration architect.

Cloud Migration Tools

Believe it or not, integrating with the right tools can make a huge difference. Cloud migration tools can benefit businesses by providing diverse solutions. Some may be specific to major cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, OR Google Cloud. And others are likely to be compatible with migration to a series of cloud providers. Whether you are running a small business or a large corporation, an in-depth knowledge of these tools will support informed decision-making for a smooth cloud transition.

Azure Migrate

This cloud migration service is a Microsoft Azure tool that streamlines workloads to this network. You can opt for Azure if you are looking for tools to help with assessment, migration, and optimization. Whether you are operating on a small or large scale, you have the option to move from on-prem to Azure. One of the added advantages of this cloud tool is its capacity to handle different types of migrations, such as servers, databases, and web applications. Moreover, it also delivers assessments and tools for optimizing resources after migration to the cloud. Thus, you can experience improved performance efficiency while maintaining cost-effectiveness.

AWS Application Migration

With the AWS tool, you can seamlessly transfer and modernize applications from several source infrastructures to this cloud network. It serves well by automating the conversion of source servers, enabling them to run natively on AWS. At the same time, this cloud environment offers custom and built-in optimization options. You can access over 200 migration services that reduce the overall cost.

Google Cloud Migration Tools

This platform unifies migrations from on-premises or other clouds. It is suited to various starting environments, including on-premises, private hosting, and public clouds. You can receive support for legacy and cloud-optimized workloads, thus catering to various operational needs. When you integrate with Google Clouds, you can experience the features of the cloud such as replatform, refactor, re-architect, rebuild, and repurpose as per your business goals.


This offers a comprehensive security system that allows you to map your brand’s legacy and cloud-based framework. You can access real-time data during each phase of the cloud migration process. While using Datadog, you can be sure that the migrated applications comply with the targets and provide a unified view across servers, applications, and services. Long-term retention of metrics, for about 15 months, and specialized cloud monitoring are some of its highlighting features.

IBM Turbonic

It combines cloud migration with an in-depth, real-time analysis of the resource requirements of application workloads. With IBM Turbonic, you can tailor migration plans of applications, while optimizing the costs. Whether you are using a singular cloud or a hybrid or multi-cloud approach, Turbonomic adapts well to your requirements. It helps to boost the overall performance efficiency of cloud migration.

Wrapping up

Businesses deal with chunks of data daily, much of which is critical information. A cloud offers a secure platform for storing and exchanging sensitive data. There are many advantages of using the cloud, including compatibility with different software and a seamless experience altogether. With cloud migration, you can shift business data and applications to an online server. Although beneficial, it is a complex process involving informed decision-making. You need to select the right application between the 7 R’s. And the choice will depend on several factors like hardware requirements, scalability and availability, technical compatibility with cloud infrastructure, your business goals, and budget constraints. With plan and precision, you are sure to develop a robust cloud migration strategy.

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