Moving to the cloud is a major infrastructure change for any organisation. Unless you’re starting from scratch, migrating to the cloud requires getting your existing data and applications there. For data, transfer may mean sending files over the wire or physically shipping a storage device to the cloud provider. For applications, the major choices are re-architecting, taking advantage of cloud-native capabilities; re-hosting, a simple ‘lift and shift’ of an application in its current form to the new hardware; and re-platforming, which does a partial re-architecture during lift-and-shift.
The main objectives of re-architecting is to take advantage of cloud-native capabilities. This means breaking an application down and rebuilding it in a service-oriented, scalable design. Doing this enables you to gain the most benefits from a cloud platform, allowing you to easily add capacity and manage the cost of the service. It positions applications for future agile development and DevOps deployment approaches to speed new functionality to production.
Do you need to re-architect or re-host?
The decision to re-architect or re-host can be made based on several factors that acknowledge both technical and business requirements. Some organisations have a desire to go all-in on the cloud and start using its features from the beginning, supporting the choice to re-architect. Others are motivated to get off their current hardware or out of their current data center as quickly as possible, leading them to the re-hosting decision.
The long-term impact of re-architecting versus re-hosting should also be considered. Re-architected, cloud-native applications can often support future growth more effectively than applications that aren’t modified and for this reason, this is almost always the option we’d recommend.
However, having said that, some applications aren’t a good choice for re-architecting, such as those with a planned retirement date. If the application is huge, and separating data from logic will be complex, re-hosting will be significantly faster than redesigning. Applications that aren’t running well in their current environment should be evaluated for re-architecting, as they will continue not to run well if they’re simply lifted and shifted to the new platform. Applications that are highly resource-intensive should also be evaluated for re-architecting.
How do you actually re-architect an application?
Re-architecting requires an in-depth understanding of both the cloud platform and the application, including its functionality, data, performance requirements, and usage patterns all so you can refactor it. Taking advantage of cloud-native features requires applications to follow a scalable, service-oriented framework with built-in redundancy to handle failures. Most companies lack experience with the cloud when they are getting started, so understanding how to re-architect can be a challenge which is why it is crucial to partner with a Cloud Service provider that can provide this level of expertise.
ANS have been helping organisations migrate hundreds of applications but from experience, we know there is usually a rougue few which need re-architecting. In response to this, we’re now providing ground-up development capability with Cloud Application Development specialists, Webantic.
Webantic brings outstanding expertise in the development of complex cloud-native applications. This key acquisition means that our customers will now have a single point of expertise for cloud application development, migration and management services as well as cloud-ready networks.
These are the foundations that promise an exciting future for both ANS and our customers.
Watch this space!
To find out more about the acquisition read the full press release here.
Alternatively, to find out more about migrating to the cloud, watch our lightboard video here.