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Replatform vs Rehost: Choosing a Strategy for Migrating to the Cloud

According to a recent survey, businesses still using legacy systems might unnecessarily spend about 29% of their IT budget, which could have been better used elsewhere in the company. But here’s the good news: this issue can be fixed by updating and moving to cloud-based systems.

There are two main ways to do this: Replatform vs Rehost. Replatforming involves tweaking applications to work better in the cloud, boosting performance and flexibility. On the other hand, rehosting simply moves applications to the cloud without significant changes.

Understanding these methods is important for companies looking to make the most of cloud technology. Read on as we delve into the rehosting vs replatforming approaches to help you determine the right cloud modernization strategy for your business.

Migration Methodologies for Moving to the Cloud

It is important to note that there are other approaches to cloud migration besides rehosting and replatforming. 

  1. Re-architecting involves rebuilding applications to fully utilize cloud services. It’s great for flexibility and cost-effectiveness but demands time and resources.
  1. Repurchasing: here, on-premises software is swapped with cloud-based alternatives. It simplifies operations but may require adapting to new workflows.
  1. Retiring: in this approach, some applications or systems are decommissioned completely to simplify the migration process and cut costs.
  1. Retain: this involves keeping specific applications on-premises while migrating the essentials, often due to compliance, security, or costs. It delays full cloud adoption but keeps control over sensitive data.
  1. Redeploy: in this approach, applications are relocated between cloud environments or reconfigured within the same provider for better performance, cost, or business alignment.

Choosing the right method depends on factors like application complexity, business objectives, and resource availability. However, we’ll focus on comparing rehost vs replatform.

What is Rehosting?

Rehosting, also known as “lift and shift,” is a cloud migration approach in which applications or systems are moved from on-premises to the cloud without making major changes.

Pros of Rehosting

Let’s explore some of the key benefits of opting for the rehosting approach in your cloud migration:

Quick Migration

With rehosting, you can migrate swiftly without making extensive code modifications. It’s perfect if you’re aiming for immediate cloud adoption without any disruption.

Scalability

Cloud platforms offer seamless scalability, allowing your rehosted applications to adjust resources efficiently based on demand, which helps optimize costs.

Reduced Risk

By sticking to your existing architecture and functionality, rehosting reduces the risk of introducing new bugs or downtime during migration, ensuring your operations continue smoothly.

Cons of Rehosting

Here are some of the drawbacks you might encounter with the rehosting approach in cloud migration:

Potential Overprovisioning

If resources aren’t optimized, your rehosted applications may not fully utilize cloud-native features, potentially leading to overprovisioning and increased costs.

Security and Compliance Issues

Moving to the cloud brings new security and compliance requirements. Rehosting might overlook opportunities to enhance security or compliance controls specific to the cloud environment, leaving your systems vulnerable.

Minimal Improvement in Performance

Rehosting doesn’t automatically enhance application performance since it maintains your existing architecture. You’ll need additional optimization efforts to fully leverage cloud capabilities for improved performance, scalability, or resilience.

Rehosting Best Practices

Considering whether to rehost vs replatform the app for your cloud migration? Here’s what you need to know in terms of rehosting:

  1. Assessment and Planning. Understand your current setup and create a detailed migration plan. 
  1. Choose the Right Provider. Pick a cloud service that fits your needs in terms of performance, reliability, security, and cost.
  1. Data Migration. Determine the right method (big bang or trickle) for transferring your data efficiently, considering volume, latency, and compliance, then move.
  1. Test and Validate. Thoroughly test your applications and infrastructure in the cloud to ensure they work as expected.
  1. Monitor and Optimize. Use a reliable monitoring solution to track performance, availability, and costs. Adjust resources as needed for efficiency.
  1. Security and Compliance. Implement strong security measures and comply with regulations to protect your data.
  1. Training and Documentation. Train your team on cloud practices and encourage knowledge sharing.
  1. Continuous Improvement. Keep refining your processes for better performance and cost-effectiveness over time.

Data migration might seem straightforward, but it’s quite complex. It’s wise to involve a cloud migration or cloud modernization expert from the start. This ensures a smooth process and successful outcomes.

What is Replatforming?

Replatforming, also known as “lift, tinker, and shift,” is a cloud migration approach where you move your applications to the cloud and then make small adjustments in their architecture to improve performance and scalability. It keeps your core functions intact while adapting them for the new cloud environment.

Benefits of Replatforming

Here are some of the key benefits of cloud migration using the replatforming approach.

Performance Boost

Because replatforming involves optimizing your applications for cloud-native features, the results are faster response times and increased efficiency.

Partial Modernization

While it doesn’t completely overhaul your architecture, replatforming integrates some cloud-native capabilities, ensuring a balance between modernization and operational continuity.

Reduced Technical Debt

By addressing underlying technical issues, replatforming updates outdated components, making your application environment more stable and easier to maintain.

Drawbacks of Replatforming

Here are some of the drawbacks of migrating using the replatforming approach.

Compatibility Issues

Migrating after replatforming may cause your legacy applications to encounter compatibility challenges due to dependencies on specific hardware or software versions that aren’t easily transferable to the cloud.

Security Concerns

Replatforming might introduce new security considerations, requiring careful configuration and integration with the cloud environment to ensure proper protection.

Limited Innovation

Replatforming focuses primarily on optimizing your existing applications rather than embracing new cloud-native architectures and services. This can potentially cause you to miss out on innovation opportunities.

Replatforming Best Practices

Considering replatforming for your cloud migration? Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  1. Set Clear Goals. Start by defining your goals clearly. What do you want to achieve? Better scalability? Improved performance? Make sure your vision guides your decisions.
  1. Choose a Reliable Platform. Choose a cloud platform that is reliable, scalable, has robust features, and is supported by a reputable vendor.
  1. Plan Your Project. Develop a detailed project plan. Break it into smaller tasks, set deadlines, and track progress. This will keep you on schedule and ensure you allocate resources effectively.
  1. Data Migration and Integration. Carefully plan and execute data migration to avoid loss or disruption. Be sure to use a reliable service to handle the process.
  1. Optimize Architecture and Design. Modify your application’s architecture and design to maximize cloud-native features. This might involve containerization or microservices architecture.
  1. Test. Before going live, thoroughly test your application. Identify and fix any issues to ensure the new platform meets your expectations and provides a smooth user experience.
  1. Training and Support. Train key personnel on using the new platform and provide ongoing support to minimize confusion.
  1. Monitor and Adapt. Once you’ve re-platformed, monitor performance closely. Review, analyze, and make necessary adjustments to ensure ongoing success.

Remember, cloud migration of any kind requires specialized expertise. Working with a reliable cloud modernization company like ModLogix can make all the difference in ensuring success.

Rehosting vs Replatforming. Key Differences

According to Gartner, at least 70% of business workloads will be cloud-based before the end of 2024. However, achieving this involves modernizing many existing systems. We’ve discussed two main strategies for this. But what sets them apart? What is the difference between rehost and replatform?

Let’s compare the rehost vs replatform approaches in the table below.

RehostingReplatforming
ModificationInvolves simply moving applications to the cloud without major changes.Involves modifications to leverage cloud-native features and best practices.
GoalQuickly replicates the existing setup in the cloud for cost savings or immediate scalability.Boosts performance, scalability, and efficiency in the cloud while keeping core functions intact.
Effort requiredRequires less effort as it is a straightforward migration.Requires more effort due to modifications, but potential for greater benefits.
SuitabilitySuitable for scenarios requiring rapid migration with limited resources.Suitable for organizations seeking to leverage cloud benefits fully.

Critical Elements of Cloud Migration

With an 80% failure rate, cloud migration is evidently complex. However, by considering the following critical elements, you can minimize risks and optimize benefits throughout your migration journey.

  1. Strategy and Planning. Craft a solid plan that aligns with your business goals. Assess your current setup, choose which parts to move, and pick the right migration methods.
  1. Security and Compliance. Keep your data safe and meet regulatory standards by beefing up security measures.
  1. Application Assessment and Prioritization. Evaluate your apps to see which are migration-ready, and prioritize based on importance.
  1. Infrastructure Modernization. Upgrade your infrastructure for better performance and lower costs in the cloud.
  1. Data Management and Migration. Move your data securely while keeping it intact and available.
  1. Change Management and Training. Help your team adjust to the cloud smoothly with proper training and change processes.
  1. Monitoring and Optimization. Keep an eye on performance and costs to make sure everything runs smoothly.
  1. Resilience and Disaster Recovery. Design your setup to handle disasters gracefully and recover quickly.

Choosing the Right Cloud Migration Strategy

So, which approach should you choose for your cloud move? The following factors can help you choose between the rehost vs replatform approaches when planning cloud migration.

  1. Your Goals. Decide if you prioritize cost savings and quick migration (rehosting) or performance optimization and cloud-native features (replatforming).
  1. Application Complexity. Consider the type of applications you want to move. Simple apps may suit rehosting, while complex ones may benefit from replatforming.
  1. Budget & Timeline. Rehosting is quicker and cheaper upfront. Replatforming, on the other hand, offers more benefits but requires more resources.
  1. Risk Management. Rehosting poses fewer risks to your applications. Replatforming, however, can potentially disrupt applications, especially if best practice steps still need to be followed.

If you’re still unsure which approach to take, seek advice from cloud migration experts like ModLogix to avoid expensive mistakes.

Our Experience

At ModLogix, we offer over a decade of expertise and a team of skilled tech professionals specializing in upgrading legacy systems. Our specialty is on on-premises to cloud migration, and we can assist you in navigating the choice between “replatforming vs rehosting” for your cloud upgrade, providing bespoke services backed by cutting-edge tech.

In a recent project, we overhauled a client’s biometric system, database, and volunteer management tool, addressing platform limitations and continuity issues. We employed the re-platforming approach to mitigate risk and complexity while maximizing cloud benefits.

Upon completing the project, we rectified 297 code issues, resulting in a remarkable 200-fold improvement in report-building speed.

If your company relies on legacy applications but seeks to harness the advantages of modern technology, our cloud migration services offer a seamless transition while enhancing operational efficiency.

Contact us to discuss your requirements today.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the difference between rehost vs replatform — for moving enterprise legacy applications to the cloud. Consider the pros and cons of each option, and work with a reliable IT partner like ModLogix to ensure that you choose a path that properly aligns with your business needs.

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