Rehost vs Replatform: Choosing the Right Cloud Migration Strategy

Stakeholders of organizations that are considering cloud transformation often debate rehosting or replatforming. The ...

Stakeholders of organizations that are considering cloud transformation often debate rehosting or replatforming. The main distinction to keep in mind when deciding whether to rehost vs replatform is whether optimization needs to occur during the migration process. A cloud services provider can facilitate either approach and provide the expertise necessary for a successful cloud migration.

Learn more about the difference between replatforming and rehosting cloud migration to pursue the best strategy.

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Table of Contents

Rehost vs Replatform as Cloud Migration Strategies

Rehosting, or lift-and-shift cloud migration, involves transferring a workload into the cloud without significant modifications. Applications or servers can simply be moved from an on-premises data center or colocation to the cloud. This strategy is typically fast and poses relatively little resistance, particularly when organizations use export tools and migration services.

Replatforming involves optimizing applications or workloads as part of the migration process. Organizations that pursue replatforming can take advantage of more benefits associated with cloud environments. Optimization can unlock capabilities such as auto-scaling, elastic database infrastructure and infrastructure as code.

Organizational decision-makers weighing the pros and cons of rehost vs replatform strategies for cloud migration should consider the transformation timeline and the benefits of optimization. It is also important to define the scope of a migration strategy.

What To Know About Rehosting

Rehosting involves directly migrating workloads into the cloud. As there are no significant changes to system architecture or code, this strategy enables organizations to migrate quickly with minimal disruption. As long as a deployment is properly configured and mapped to new resources, applications and users will have access on the cloud to the same data and processes that were previously only accessible on premises.

The Pros and Cons of Rehosting

A smooth, quick migration process is the primary advantage of rehosting. This strategy can be the best choice for cloud transformation on an accelerated timeline, particularly when an organization needs to leave an on-premises data center by a set date. Rehosting also enables organizations to benefit from scalable pay-as-you-go cloud infrastructure, but this can prove to be a double-edged sword. 

Organizations can avoid large expenditures on hardware infrastructure and software licensing by migrating to the cloud, but overprovisioning and overspending can lead to high bills after migration is complete. Careful planning is essential to ensure that the time and money saved by cloud migration with a rehost vs replatform strategy do not lead to mounting costs down the road.

Information technology teams can calculate cloud costs and determine which services are necessary for successful deployment. Stakeholders should factor in performance and security when calculating the return on investment for cloud transformation.

Best Practices for Rehosting

Rehosting does not involve modifying workloads. Organizations that pursue this strategy should look for the best product offerings and migration services for a particular cloud platform.

Modernization might eventually be necessary for a deployment to be cost effective and successful in the long run. Applications and workloads can be updated to utilize cloud features. Good data governance is also essential as an organization transforms into the cloud. 

Benchmarks and best practices control costs and enhance security. Organizations can benefit from public cloud compliance and security standards. In the case of a hybrid model, stakeholders will need to set and observe standards for on-premises data centers and cloud deployments.

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What To Know About Replatforming

Replatforming is a migration strategy that includes cloud optimization. Establishing the scope of a replatforming project is of primary importance. A major risk of replatforming is scope creep, which occurs when a replatforming initiative gradually extends into rearchitecting. If optimization is the main difference between replatform and rehost strategies, the extent of optimization sets replatforming apart from refactoring.

The Pros and Cons of Replatforming

Replatforming involves optimizing application performance or data storage for cloud deployment. This strategy can change how applications interact with databases and ensure that applications and workloads are scalable.

Adjusting applications, data and workloads for optimal functionality in a cloud environment can help to reduce the risk of migration failures. A strictly automated or one-size-fits-all approach to rehosting can lead to latency or performance issues that replatforming can head off at the pass.

Replatforming can be time consuming and technically challenging, especially for teams not familiar with cloud infrastructure.

Best Practices for Replatforming

Stakeholders should clearly define the scope of a platforming project in terms of the application stack or data that will migrate and any changes that will be made for optimization. As the work involved in replatforming carries costs and takes time, decision-makers should assess benefits and drawbacks and calculate ROI.

In some cases, replatforming is a multistage process based on cloud rationalization. Some apps or workloads may be replatformed before others, and not every application or data type is a good fit for cloud migration. These factors lead some organizations to pursue hybrid deployments.

It is also important to note that replatforming has the potential to alter IT workloads. Decision-makers should account for all of the effects of a migration project on personnel and systems when planning strategies that go beyond lift-and-shift migration.

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Rehost vs Replatform Differences

The main differences between rehosting and replatforming include the amount of preparation and the duration of the cloud migration process. Very little preparation is needed for rehosting beyond organizational buy-in to the decision to transform workloads into the cloud. 

Rehosting can be the most convenient and practical choice for applications and workloads that can be containerized or operate with comparable efficiency locally and in the cloud. Replatforming takes longer, and IT teams or representatives of a third-party service provider need to know more about the relevant cloud platform.

Stakeholders may debate whether to rehost vs replatform if changes to a platform could have a high business value or end up being unavoidable. Any external constraints on the timeline for transformation can highlight the differences between these strategies and indicate whether rehosting or replatforming is the best short-term option.

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Key Factors in Cloud Migration

Decision makers should consider the amount and type of data to migrate and how migrating to the cloud will affect operations in advance. Regardless of scope or whether an organization chooses to rehost vs replatform, cloud transformation can impact business continuity.

The amount of data that will migrate can determine whether this process can take place over the internet or a dedicated network connection. Demands on bandwidth have the potential to cause slowdowns or lengthy downtimes.

An offline transfer strategy may be more practical for migrating significant volumes of data. Organizations can upload data onto physical storage and ship data boxes to be uploaded to the cloud. This brings with it though a whole host of additional problems, so is not often recommended for cloud migration of active data.

How To Choose The Right Cloud Migration Strategy

Organizational stakeholders should carefully consider the pros and cons of rehost vs replatform migration strategies. Automated resources and migration services are available for rehosting, and an experienced partner can provide the expertise needed for cloud optimization and replatforming.

Rehosting, or lift-and-shift migration, has the advantage of being fast. Challenges related to controlling expenses or optimizing performance can emerge over time. Replatforming involves making changes that slow down the migration process but can pay off later in terms of cost-effective and efficient cloud-based operations.

A clearer understanding of the difference between replatform and rehost strategies can point decision-makers toward the best option for any organization. The right cloud migration partner can facilitate either approach to transformation.

A Full Suite of Rehost vs Replatform Services

Cloudficient can help your organization with the most pragmatic approach to cloud migration. We provide a wide array of product offerings and affordable services that are fast, scalable and seamless. Contact us to find out how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration project.

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