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What is Lift and Shift Cloud Migration?

In today’s digital landscape, organisations are continually looking for methods to improve their IT infrastructure, increase performance, and save expenses. However, many firms are encumbered with legacy systems that are expensive to maintain, rigid, and incapable of meeting modern objectives.According to a report by the International Data Corporation (IDC), businesses spend around 60-80% of their IT budgets on maintaining legacy systems, leaving little room for innovation.

But these systems have few challenges like High Maintenance Costs, Limited Scalability, Security Risks ,Inflexibility etc. As a result, many firms are using cloud migration to upgrade their IT infrastructure. One frequent strategy is “lift and shift” cloud migration, which provides a simple path to the cloud without requiring significant changes.

What is lift & shift Cloud Migration?

Lift and shift cloud migration also known as rehosting – is one of the approaches companies can use to migrate their applications and their associated data to the cloud with minimal or no changes. Rather than changing the architecture of an application from bottom up and making it cloud -native,we can easily shift the entire application to a cloud resource without affecting the related business workflows , core logic and data.

As this process involves no change to application architecture and a little or no change to application code, allows for a faster, less labour-intensive, and initially less costly migration than alternative processes. It is also the quickest and least expensive way for an organisation to transition IT dollars from capital expense (CapEx) to operational expense (OpEx) in order to launch a hybrid cloud strategy and begin utilising the cloud’s more economical and extensible computing power, storage, and networking infrastructure.

Lift and shift is now primarily viewed as a method for migrating workloads that are cloud-ready to some extent (for example, VMware workloads, containerized applications, apps built on microservices architecture) or as a first step in re-architecting a strong application for the cloud.

When Does It Make Sense to Use Lift and Shift Cloud Migration

According to International Data Corporation(IDC), firms spend between 60 and 80 percent of their IT resources maintaining legacy systems, leaving little room for innovation.

The lift-and-shift technique facilitates IT modernization by transitioning to a more open and extensible cloud architecture. Companies explore lift and shift for a variety of business reasons, including cost savings, increased performance, and resiliency.

  1. Need quick migration –  If an organisation needs to migrate ASAP due to data center lease expiration or acquisition by another company. Lift and shift is the fastest migration strategy because it involves minimal changes to the existing applications. By moving applications as-is to the cloud, organisations can quickly transition and avoid the costs and disruptions associated with extending the current infrastructure.
  2. Budget constraints – if an organisation has a limited budget for migration and can not afford the cost associated with re -architecting .
  3. Shift CapEX to OpEx- Rehosting’s pay-per-use model can also assist in converting capital investment (CapEx) to operating expenditure (OpEx). By becoming a cloud customer, you will pay modest monthly rates based on how much of the cloud provider’s resources you utilise over a given time period. This strategy would be the most efficient way to purchase, maintain, and replace computer equipment in a local data centre.
  4. Lack of In-House experts – If an organisation does not have in-house cloud experts to minimise complexity then organisations can depend on automated migration tools and support from cloud providers to complete the move, making it a great solution for teams who are still establishing their cloud expertise.
  5. Scalability –  An organisation has variable workloads and requires a scalable infrastructure without the delay of re-architecting apps.

How Does the Lift and Shift Cloud Migration Process Work?

Lift and Shift migration process  takes several steps . Here we are going to share those steps

1. Planning and Identifying Needs

before going to opt for the Lift and Shift cloud migration process , an organisation needs to evaluate the existing infrastructure ,identify applications suitable for lift and shift, and develop a migration plan. This includes understanding the dependencies, performance requirements, and potential issues.

2. Choose Right Cloud Provider

its depend on various factor like – 

  • Budget – select the best cloud provider by comparing different price models , according to your budget  .
  •  Reliability and Performance of providers infrastructure capabilities .
  • Security features and backup support system

3. The Availability of Resources

Configure the cloud environment with the resources required to mimic the on-premises architecture, such as virtual computers, storage, and networking.

4. Migration Execution

Use the cloud provider’s migration tools and services to move applications and data to the cloud. This may include employing automated techniques to ensure a smooth transition.

5. Lift and Shift

Transfer application workloads, including the operating system, middleware, and applications, to the cloud infrastructure. This phase involves minor adjustments, mainly concentrating on tweaking configurations for compatibility with the new environment.

6. Validation and Testing

It is vital to test and validate the apps to ensure they work properly in the new environment. This includes:

  • Security Testing – checking security vulnerabilities and ensuring compliance with regulations.
  • Performance Testing – Is  the application meets performance requirements 
  • Functional testing –  Ensure that all application features work properly.

Best Cloud Migration Approaches to Be Consider

1. Rehosting

It emphasizes the rapid migration of on-premises programs to the cloud without requiring code changes.You rehost your application in a different hardware environment without affecting the app’s architecture. Migration is quick and inexpensive, but continuous operations might be pricey if you don’t take advantage of cloud economies.

2. Refactor

Also known as platform as a service (PaaS).Refactoring is a cloud migration method focused on speed and productivity. During this procedure, only minor code changes are made to allow apps to readily adapt to and maximize their use of the cloud environment.

Your apps run on a cloud provider’s infrastructure. Developers can reuse languages, frameworks, and containers by exploiting the company’s strategic code. The disadvantages include missing capabilities, transitive risk, and framework lock-in.

3. Replatform

This approach falls somewhere between refactoring and the ‘lift and shift’ cloud migration strategy. Applications are moved to the cloud with little code changes. However, the success of this migration is determined by several aspects, including the target cloud service, unique requirements, and the type of the application.

To ensure optimal performance and system compatibility, apps are migrated to the cloud after making minor code changes and adjustments. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is an example of a replatform strategy for cloud migration.

4. Rebuild

Another option to migrate to the cloud is to redesign your application specifically for the cloud platform. You can create cloud apps for the PaaS platform based on your requirements. This is a challenging task because you must consider a variety of technologies and other factors while developing a cloud application for your firm. However, it is critical when your applications have a limited functionality or lifespan.

5. Re-Architect

Organizations looking to gain cloud scalability may opt for application rearchitecting. This procedure entails changing application code and functionality to improve scalability and performance. The application is modified to meet the requirements of the cloud environment.
These updates include changes to the application’s data infrastructure, architecture, and code.

6. Replace

If your program does not satisfy current or future needs despite improvements, you may need to replace it with a pre-made alternative. This strategy enables for speedier deployment than developing programs from scratch for the cloud environment.

However, this migration technique has disadvantages, such as difficulties with application modernization and potential disruptions to business operations.

Why choose us for Lift and shift Cloud Migration?

  1. Experience – With years of experience in cloud migration, we have successfully helped numerous organizations move their applications to the cloud, achieving significant cost savings and performance improvements.
  2. Customized Solutions– We understand that every business is unique. Our team works closely with you to develop a migration strategy tailored to your specific needs and objectives.
  3. Comprehensive Services – We offer end-to-end migration services, from assessment and planning to execution and optimization. Our approach ensures a smooth transition with minimal risk.
  4. Support– Our commitment doesn’t end with the migration. We provide ongoing support to ensure your cloud environment continues to deliver optimal performance and value.

“Don’t allow outdated systems to hold your company back. contact us today to find out how our lift and shift cloud migration services may help you update your IT infrastructure, save money, and improve performance. Our team of professionals is prepared to walk you through each stage of the migration process, ensuring a smooth move to the cloud.”

Benefits of Lift and Shift Cloud Migration Approach

LIft and shift pave the way for IT transformation by migrating resources to the cloud’s more scalable, adaptable, and homogeneous architecture. This ultimately cuts expenses while increasing resiliency and performance. Because lift-and-shift approaches require little to no redesign, the transition is less complex and typically less expensive than re-architecting.

  1. Cost effective and fast – Organizations can save money by shifting to the cloud, which eliminates the need for physical gear and data centers. According to Gartner, firms can save up to 25-30% on IT costs by switching to the cloud. Lift and shift enables quick migration, without dedicating a large team to the task.
  2. Ability to improve performance–  Lift and shift allows you to run apps on upgraded, higher-performing hardware without having to purchase it yourself.
  3. On-demand scalability-  Lift and shift allows your company to scale an application without acquiring and physically installing more computing capacity. You will also not need to overprovision hardware to accommodate peak traffic periods.
  4. Inhance capacity – Enhance compute capacity, storage, and network bandwidth from the cloud on a pay-as-you-go basis while simultaneously consolidating your on-premises data center infrastructure and reducing costs.
  5. Improve security – After transferring, older applications may be able to benefit from cloud security services like role-based access control, multi factor authentication, and unified hybrid security processes.
  6. A basic step toward a hybrid cloud: Lift and shift is a simple way for moving applications that are ready and appropriate for a private or public cloud while keeping other application workloads on-premises. With the correct management tools, you can manage the platforms as a single, streamlined infrastructure.

Drawbacks of the Lift and Shift Cloud Migration

The lift and shift cloud migration have few drawbacks also . As –

  • Inefficiency over time – Incompatibilities with the cloud environment may result in increasing costs, slow performance, or service failures.
  • Older issues do not simply disappear: If you do not redesign legacy architecture problems and inefficiencies prior to migration, they will simply be replicated in the cloud environment, requiring the same amount of maintenance and upkeep once ported, and you will miss out on cost savings.
  • Risk of mapping failures: If the application requirements are not properly mapped to the cloud environment, your migration may fail.
  • Professionals learning curve: Organisations may not have enough experienced cloud professionals to run the application cost-effectively.
  • Increased security risk – If not correctly configured for the new cloud environment, the rehosted program may contain security flaws.

Lift and Shift vs Migration Alternatives

There are mainly to methods to be consider:

1. PaaS Migration

A PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) migration requires updating your application to make better use of the cloud provider’s PaaS stack. This could include reworking or replatforming the program, making modest changes to improve cloud performance, or leveraging certain cloud features without affecting the user experience. Alternatively, you may restructure the application to take advantage of microservices, containers, or serverless computing, or totally redesign it utilising the cloud provider’s development tools and platform capabilities to increase developer productivity.

In comparison to lift and shift, PaaS migration is initially more expensive, labour-intensive, and time consuming. However, it allows your application to fully leverage cloud-native automation, developer productivity, security, resiliency, and pay-per-use cost models, which can quickly recoup your initial investment.

2. SaaS Migration

SaaS migration is replacing your on-premises application with a pre-built, cloud-based alternative that provides comparable functionality while fully utilising your cloud provider’s infrastructure.

A well-executed SaaS migration can combine the low migration costs of lift and shift with the cloud advantages of PaaS migration. However, this strategy may require you to give up or postpone key features or customizations. You will also need to adjust to the SaaS application’s data management, access control, and security capabilities.

Few real word examples

  1. Retail Industry – :A large retail chain decides to move its inventory management system from on-premises computers to Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2. By lifting and shifting their application, companies can instantly acquire access to scalable computer resources without requiring extensive reconfiguration or code changes.
  2. Financial service – A financial institution migrates its traditional CRM system to Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines.
  3. Manufacturing – A manufacturing company migrates its production planning and scheduling application from physical servers to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). The lift and shift migration enables companies to optimize their operations by using OCI’s high-performance computing capabilities and integrated database services.
  4. Healthcare industry – A healthcare company moves its patient record management system from an on-premises data center to Google Cloud Platform (GCP). By lifting and relocating their application architecture, customers take advantage of GCP’s powerful data analytics and high availability offerings. 
  5. Education Sector: A university migrates its learning management system (LMS) from an in-house data center to IBM Cloud.

1. Multi-Cloud Strategy

Organizations are increasingly implementing multi-cloud strategies to prevent vendor lock-in and maximize the assets of many cloud providers. RightScale reports that 93% of organizations have a multi-cloud strategy.

2. Serverless Computing

Serverless architectures, which enable developers to construct and execute apps without managing infrastructure, are becoming increasingly popular. This strategy can improve scalability and lower operational expenses.

3. AI and Machine Learning Integration

AI and machine learning are being integrated into cloud migration solutions to enable more intelligent, automated operations. These technologies can assist in identifying optimization opportunities and predicting possible issues.

4. Edge Computing

With the proliferation of IoT devices and the necessity for real-time data processing, edge computing is becoming increasingly critical. This concept involves extending cloud capabilities to edge locations that are closer to where data is generated.


Lift and shift cloud migration is a viable alternative for enterprises that want to modernise their IT infrastructure fast and affordably. Businesses that move applications to the cloud with little changes can benefit from lower costs, faster performance, more security, and greater scalability.
While lift and shift presents some hurdles, a well-planned and performed relocation can considerably improve an organisation’s agility and competitiveness. As cloud technology evolves, staying current on the newest trends and best practices will be critical for maximising the value of cloud investments.

Whether you’re a small business or a huge corporation, the road to the cloud starts with a clear grasp of your objectives and a comprehensive migration plan. Lift and shift may not be the best match for every application, but it does provide a simple and effective path to cloud adoption.