Cloud Migration is one of the most crucial areas of the data science ecosystem. As data is growing more rapidly than ever, analyzing the data is becoming even more important for business profitability. Local storage cannot store huge volumes of data, so a transition from on-premises to cloud storage is needed. 

In this blog, I will take you through all the details related to the cloud migration process, types, and strategies.

Types of Cloud Migration Strategies

Types of Cloud MigrationUse CaseCostProsCons
Rehosting (Lift and Shift)Quick migration for conservative or short-term goalsLower initial costsFaster migration with minimal changesCloud-native features can’t be leveraged
ReplatformingOptimization for cloud benefits, such as elasticityModerate initial costsImproves performance, scalability, and securityNot fully cloud-native, requires modifications
RefactoringEmpowering existing applications with additional featuresModerate to high initial costsEnhanced scalability, integration of new capabilitiesRequires code changes, time- consuming
Re- ArchitectingTransforming to maximize cloud- native capabilitiesHigher initial costsImproved scalability, security, agility, and flexibilityComplex, time-consuming, potential disruptions
RepurchasingTransition from on-premise software to cloud- base SaaSVariable subscription costsSimplicity, often quicker than other strategiesLimited customization, ongoing subscription costs
RebuildingCreating an application from scratch for the cloudHigher initial costsFull control over architecture, features, and toolsTime-consuming, resource-intensive, potential delays

Enterprises have different cloud data migration solutions. One typical model involves on premise to cloud migration of data and apps. Another is shifting data and apps between cloud platforms, known as cloud-to-cloud (C2C) migration. The third type is called cloud repatriation or cloud exit, which is a cloud-to-on-premise migration of your data and apps.

There are a few strategies for transferring an enterprise application from an on-premise data center to the cloud. Before you pick the one that best suits your business, ensure you thoroughly research the strategies.

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Rehosting (Lift and Shift)

This process involves moving your existing setup from on-premise hosting to the cloud. It involves replicating your current environment without major alterations to achieve the fastest return on investment.

In this simple strategy, admins move their apps, workloads, server systems, etc, from the data center to the public cloud. Businesses with a more conservative culture or lacking a long-term plan for leveraging advanced cloud features find rehosting suitable.


A re-platforming cloud strategy involves lifting existing applications, workloads, and virtual machines and refining them for the new cloud setting. For instance, a service might adapt its workload to utilize a cloud-based microservice architecture when moving to the cloud.

This approach is ideal for organizations seeking to harness the full spectrum of cloud benefits, including elastic computing, redundancy, enhanced performance, and security.


A refactoring cloud migration strategy involves adapting applications to be cloud-native. Refactoring typically means altering an application’s code without affecting its front-end behavior or experience.

A refactored application might be divided from a lengthy line of code into smaller, modular parts, consequently enhancing cloud capabilities. Refactoring strategy is frequently motivated by the desire to empower existing applications with additional capabilities. This might include enhancing scalability, integrating machine learning, or enabling more intuitive data analysis.


A re-architecting cloud migration strategy involves fundamentally altering the structure and functionality of an application to maximize cloud-native capabilities like scalability, security, and agility.

Unlike refactoring, which focuses solely on code restructuring, re-architecting encompasses the entire application, including its architecture, infrastructure, and security posture. This approach is particularly beneficial for mission-critical applications that demand scalability and security. By breaking down monolithic applications into microservices and implementing cloud-based security measures, the full potential of the cloud environment is unlocked.


A repurchasing cloud-based strategy involves transitioning from an on-premise purchased application to a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) alternative. An example of this is shifting from on-site software collaboration and local storage to Google Workspace’s cloud-based applications like Docs, Slides, and Google Drive.

From a resources standpoint, opting for a repurchasing strategy can often be simpler compared to refactoring, rebuilding, or re-architecting.


A rebuilding strategy in cloud migration involves rewriting an application entirely for the cloud. Often, creating an application for the cloud from scratch is easier than modifying its existing code to function in a cloud environment. A rebuilding plan lets your company start fresh, picking the cloud tools and features you want right from the start.

Benefits of Cloud Migration

Cloud Migration results in various benefits for an organization. Here are the five main advantages that are associated with cloud migration. 

Enhanced Flexibility 

Cloud infrastructure is designed to provide a flexible supply of computing power, storage, and service as required. This enables organizations to swiftly deploy and expand workloads without waiting for infrastructure procurement. You can utilize resources for your desired duration and pay solely for what is consumed.

Better Security

By leveraging cloud operations, organizations can utilize the security services and tools offered by the cloud providers. These include identity and access management, encryption key management, data loss management, and zero-trust architecture.

  • Identity and Access Management: It allows organizations to handle user identities, permissions, and roles safely and efficiently. By doing so, IAM prevents unauthorized access to resources and guarantees that only authorized users can access the data and resources.
  • Encryption Key Management: Encryption Key management protects privacy and security by managing key distribution and providing quick response.
  • Data Loss Management: A DLM system can detect suspicious activity by matching material to your organization’s DLM policy, which specifies how data is labeled, shared, and protected without being exposed to unauthorized people.
  • Zero-trust Architecture: Zero-trust architecture inspects every request, authenticates every person and device, evaluates all permissions, and then continuously reassesses trust as the context changes.

Improved Performance

When compared to legacy infrastructure, core systems and applications often exhibit superior performance and reliability in the cloud. This is due to the cloud vendor’s consistent updates and optimization of hardware.

For instance, AWS, a cloud vendor, frequently upgrades its hardware components like processors, storage drives, and networking gear to make technical improvements consistently.

Enhanced performance not only aids organizations in delivering better customer experience but also liberates internal resources to focus on higher-priority tasks.

By migrating to the cloud, engineering teams can direct their resources to developing new features, implementing advanced data analytics, and optimizing application performance. Some other tasks they could focus on include automating processes and enhancing security measures.

Better Cost Management

Shifting to the cloud alters an organization’s spending from a capital to an operational model, easing ongoing cost oversight. Through cloud capabilities, organizations can integrate tools like SaaS apps and elastic usage models, adjusting resources as necessary.

Here’s how on-premise to cloud migration can optimize your organization’s cost management:

  • Pay-as-you-go Model: Several cloud providers offer a pricing model that allows you to only pay for the resources you would actually use instead of building on-premise servers.
  • Off-premise Servers: Migration to cloud services significantly reduces infrastructure costs by moving data storage and applications off-premises. This enables you to reduce costs related to hardware maintenance.

Better Infrastructure Management

You can streamline infrastructure management by refactoring workloads and modernizing operations through the use of cloud-native tools like Kubernetes. It helps enhance infrastructure efficiency by simplifying scaling and automating deployment.

Cloud Migration Challenges

  • Lack of Migration Strategy: Too many organizations select cloud migration, and it is incorrectly viewed as a revolutionary process — and business leaders are simply following the buzz. Simply migrating to the cloud does not constitute business transformation; the change is in how the cloud is used to improve the business.
  • Uncertain Cloud Costs: Unexpectedly high service utilization, such as API calls or unanticipated application expansion that leverages scalability to allocate extra resources to the workload, might result in unforeseen cloud charges for which organizations are not prepared.
  • Vendor Lock-in: Cloud technology adopters frequently experience vendor lock-in. Cloud companies provide a variety of services, but many of them cannot be transferred to other cloud platforms. Migrating workloads between clouds is a time-consuming and costly procedure. Many organizations begin using cloud services and then find it difficult to switch providers if their present supplier does not meet their needs.
  • Security and Compliance: While cloud providers offer varied security and compliance measures, you’re still responsible for implementing the right solution based on your needs.
  • Business Downtime: Although it is possible to quickly move huge amounts of data to the cloud, it does require careful planning to minimize operational downtime.

How Does the Cloud Migration Process Work? 

For migration from on premise to cloud, there are some sequences of cloud migration steps taken by an enterprise. These steps are extremely important for ensuring proper migration. We have highlighted the steps you should follow for maximum efficiency.

Let’s assume that you want to move your IT infrastructure and applications to the cloud as part of an overall AI transformation. This is particularly important if you have applications that differentiate you from others and you want to maintain control over them. To start the process, you must:

  • Assess Your On-Premise Elements: From your current IT infrastructure and applications to your data, understand what you want to move to the cloud. Evaluate the associated costs, potential risks, and technical feasibility.
  • Choose a Cloud Provider: Consider factors like cost, scalability, technical support, compliance standards, and security features to choose a cloud provider that aligns with your organizational requirements.
  • Prepare the Environment: Configure networks, storage, and compute resources in the cloud before starting with the migration. Also, set up security measures like access controls and firewalls.
  • Migrate the Data: Consider using data migration tools provided by the cloud vendor or third-party tools to transfer data to the cloud.
  • Migrate Applications: Use the chosen strategy (rebuild, refactor, or rehost) to migrate applications to the cloud.
  • Optimize: After completing the migration, constantly monitor the cloud environment. Consider optimizing resources for performance, security, and cost purposes.

Best Practices for Cloud Migration Success

Let’s look into some general guidelines for cloud migration to streamline the process and improve changes.

  • Calculate Cloud Costs: Organizations dealing with large infrastructure investments tend to prefer the cloud’s pay-as-you-go model. However, you must pay close attention to service selections and usage. Consider looking for unused resources and services (cloud sprawl) and work on eliminating unnecessary costs.
  • Organizational Buy-in: Get all stakeholders on board and clearly define roles, from management to technical practitioners and end users. This allows for smoother transition.
  • Understand the Security Risks:  Internet attacks are a common concern in cloud environments. However, misconfigurations seem to be a greater concern. Consider establishing and enforcing security policies for cloud deployments. Additionally, comprehensive security testing can help identify potential vulnerabilities.
  • Pick the Suitable Cloud Services: Among the range of services offered by cloud providers, carefully pick the required ones. Consider which ones you risk running extraneous services and which ones your workload will tap into.
  • Define Cloud Roles and Ownership: It’s crucial to determine who is responsible for managing different aspects of the cloud workload. This will require proper documentation of setups and processes. If it’s a shared environment, how is identity confirmed or access restricted? Who will be responsible for troubleshooting in the event of any problems?
  • Prepare a Long-term Cloud Roadmap: Organizations will likely want to replicate the success of a cloud migration strategy to other workloads. It’s essential to identify the significant criteria, from different deployment options to project timelines.


In today’s digitally advanced age, cloud migration is of paramount importance due to the huge rise in data. In this article, we discussed what cloud migration is, its advantages, the different strategies of cloud migration, and the procedure of cloud migration.

Selecting a proper strategy that aligns with your business model and following all the crucial steps of the cloud migration process is highly advisable. If done properly, your business can reap the many benefits associated with migrating to the cloud.

Remember that, at times, organizations may opt for cloud to on premise migration to move certain workloads back to on-premise environment for performance, cost, or regulatory considerations. The hybrid approach helps with on-premise control combined with cloud flexibility.

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Boudhayan Ghosh
Freelance Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Boudhayan Ghosh is an experienced freelance writer, skilled in creating engaging content focused on the data industry, covering areas such as data analytics, machine learning, AI, big data, and business intelligence.

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