All You Need to Know About Lift and Shift Migration

  • Vishnu K BVishnu K B
  • Cloud Application
  • 4 months ago
All You Need to Know About Lift and Shift Migration

Lift-and-shift migration is particularly noted for its efficiency and speed. Businesses can swiftly move their current IT systems to the cloud. With this feature, while transferring, they don't have to redevelop or make significant changes to their apps to make them work in the cloud, as it is tedious and time-consuming. Many businesses want to use the cloud's scalability and flexibility but don't want to spend much time and money on more complicated migration plans. This way works great for them.

But it's important to remember that lift-and-shift isn't always the best option. The best applications for this don't need many changes to work well in the cloud. Because the method is meant to keep operations running smoothly, it's a good choice for businesses that need to move quickly for time or other operational reasons.


Understanding Lift-and-Shift Migration

Lift-and-shift is a simple way to move applications, workloads, and data from local servers to the cloud. It doesn't require significant changes to the software. This method is excellent for businesses that want to use the cloud without the hassle and cost of completely redoing their applications.

This approach started early in the history of cloud computing. Initially, it was an essential way to move to the cloud. Over time, as cloud technology got better, lift-and-shift also improved. Now, it's a smoother, more advanced process. It's not just about moving to the cloud quickly; it also helps meet different business and operational goals.


Benefits of Lift-and-Shift Migration


  • Cost Efficiency: Moving to the cloud is upgrading how businesses handle their finances. Instead of spending much upfront on hardware (CapEx), they pay for what they use (OpEx). This change can save a lot of money, especially for businesses that are growing or have changing needs.
  • Deployment Speed: Traditional ways of moving to the cloud, like redesigning applications, take time and effort. Lift-and-shift is faster. It skips the need to rewrite a lot of code. While avoiding this, businesses can still move to the cloud quickly, reducing operational time.


Application Limitations of Lift-and-Shift Migration

Lift-and-shift migration has its limits. It could be better for some situations. These limits are apparent when considering long-term use and how well applications perform.

Applications made for on-premises use need to be revised with cloud services. They could have issues and only use some of the cloud features. The lack of revision can lead to apps not performing as well as they could.

The cost to start might be low, but it can add up over time. Applications that aren't made for the cloud can use more resources, implying additional costs with time.

Applications must be designed for the cloud to run faster, be more scalable, and handle more work well. With speed and scalability, the risks can lead to problems when trying to grow or manage more users.

Once legacy applications are in the cloud, they need more care and support. While the required support is adhered to, the overall cost adds on, and the option of saving gets crossed in the advent of moving to the cloud in the first place.


When is the Lift-and-Shift Cloud Migration Model a Good Fit?

Knowing when to use lift-and-shift migration is key. It works best in particular situations:

Lift-and-shift is a good choice for older applications critical to your complex business. It lets you move these applications without having to redo them completely.

If a business needs to move to the cloud deftly, like when a data centre contract is ending or for legal reasons, lift-and-shift can speed up the process.

Businesses that have to follow strict rules might find lift-and-shift helpful. It lets them keep following these rules while they move to the cloud.

Smaller businesses with few IT staff can benefit from lift-and-shift. It only needs a little technical know-how or people than other ways of moving to the cloud.


Assessing Migration Risks and Lift-and-Shift Suitability

Assessing Migration Risks

Before selecting the lift-and-shift approach, conducting a comprehensive risk assessment is imperative. This process involves a detailed evaluation of how existing applications will integrate with cloud environments.

Key aspects include assessing the potential impact on application performance and estimating the long-term operational costs associated with the cloud environment. Such an analysis is critical for informed decision-making. Here, you need to ensure that the lift-and-shift strategy aligns effectively with the organization's overarching cloud strategy.


Step-by-Step Guide to Lift-and-Shift Suitability

Application Inventory: The first step involves cataloging all applications and workloads. This process includes assessing each application's criticality, usage patterns, and dependencies. It is akin to creating a detailed map of the current IT landscape, clarifying which applications are suitable for migration.

Compatibility challenges: The next step is to see if these apps can work with cloud settings. This assurance is required to check and confirm if the apps can work in the cloud without slowing down too much. Here, you need to ensure they are suitable for the cloud environment.

Long-term costs: Looking at the possible long-term expenses and the short-term savings that could come from moving. This study is very important for figuring out if the lift-and-shift method will work financially for each application.

Reviewing compliance and security: It is important to confirm that moving to the cloud doesn't make it harder to follow the rules or unlock new security holes. This step involves a thorough review of compliance and security standards.

Pilot Testing: Finally, pilot migration with a non-critical application is recommended. This test is a preliminary assessment of the lift-and-shift approach, allowing organizations to gauge its effectiveness and impact before full-scale implementation.


5 Strategies for Effective Lift-and-Shift Migration

In-Depth Pre-Migration Assessment

It is crucial to thoroughly assess IT infrastructure, application portfolio, and business requirements. This step is about understanding what will move to the cloud and how. It involves gauging the current IT setup and deciding which applications are suitable for lift-and-shift. The goal is to create a detailed plan that guides the migration process.

Addressing Compatibility

It's essential to tackle potential compatibility issues head-on. Sometimes, applications need minor adjustments to work well in the cloud. This strategy focuses on tweaking applications or infrastructure to ensure they operate smoothly after the move. It's about making the transition to the cloud manageable.

Cost Management Tactics

Effective cost management is critical in a lift-and-shift migration. Using cloud resources and monitoring their performance demands to keep a keen eye on costs. The aim is to use resources wisely to avoid spending more than necessary. If the costs shoot up, make adjustments as needed.

Security and Compliance Focus

Security and compliance should never be compromised during migration. This strategy involves putting in place cloud-native security measures. It's about ensuring that all regulatory requirements are met and that the new cloud environment is as secure as the old system, if not more.

Post-Migration Enhancement

Once the migration is complete, the work isn't over. Continuous monitoring and optimization of applications are essential. Monitoring may lead to gradually improving or refactoring to maximize the cloud's offerings. Here, the focus is on increasing efficiency and getting the best performance out of the cloud setup.


Final Thoughts

While the lift-and-shift transfer method is a quick and easy way to move to the cloud, it needs careful planning and strategic thinking for correctness. When used wisely, this migration technique brings noticeable benefits. But groups both its pros and cons.

How well lift-and-shift works for a company depends on its goals and the infrastructure. Businesses with legacy systems requiring minimal cloud compatibility changes benefit significantly from this approach. However, the same study cautions against overlooking the long-term operational costs and potential performance issues that might arise post-migration. So if you want to migrate to the cloud with a futuristic perspective, explore Cubet. Book a demo today to discover our range of cloud application services for your evolving business needs.




1. What are the five disadvantages of lift-and-shift migration?

The lift-and-shift approach can result in reduced cloud efficiency. This method can also incur higher operational costs over time due to inefficient resource utilization. Compatibility and integration challenges with cloud services and infrastructure are expected, potentially disrupting business operations. Security and compliance concerns arise if existing vulnerabilities persist and compliance standards still need to be met in the new environment. 

2. What are the two dangers and effects of lift-and-shift migration?

Lift-and-shift migration can cause operational disruptions, mainly when incompatibilities exist between on-premises applications and the cloud environment. This can lead to downtime during and after the migration process. Another significant danger is the risk of cost overruns.

3. What are the key considerations to mitigate the disadvantages of lift-and-shift migration?

Conducting a thorough pre-migration assessment is crucial to mitigate the disadvantages of lift-and-shift migration. This involves analyzing the application portfolio for potential compatibility and performance issues. Effective cost management and optimization strategies are essential to monitor and control resource usage in the cloud. Also, ensure migrated applications meet cloud security standards and compliance requirements.


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