What is Lift and Shift Data Center Migration?

"Lift & shift" is a common term often used to describe the quick and inexpensive way to migrate apps from on-premises data centers to the cloud. Here "Cloud" refers to the servers accessed over the internet and the databases along with the software run on these servers. Cloud servers are located in data centers globally, and by shifting to cloud computing, businesses are saving on their IT requirements along with physical data storage expenses

What is Lift and Shift?

“Lift and shift”, also referred to as “rehosting", relates chiefly to the migration process involving the movement of an exact copy of workload and its data store or application from on-premises to either private or public cloud.

Why is this process essential to any business? That's mainly because it is the fastest, least expensive, and less labor-intensive process involving no alterations to the application architecture or code. It enables the companies to shift from their capital expenses to operational expenditures for initiating the hybrid cloud strategy.

Initially, lift and shift migration was only considered for the tightly coupled on-premises apps. However, the constant evolution of cloud architectures helped in improving developer productivity along with more favorable cloud pricing structures. As a result, it eventually helped migrate the application to the cloud, a seamless process and an affordable and profitable strategy for any business.

One thing to understand about this entire lift and shift approach is that it is primarily being considered as the active option for migrating the workloads which are cloud-ready to some extent, like containerized applications, VMware workloads, applications built on microservices architecture, or even are in the initiation step of rearchitecting a monolithic application. However, the application's complexity or operation seems to be the determining factor in whether it should be lifted or needs to be rearchitected right from scratch.

How to Implement Lift and Shift Approach?

As stated above, the "Lift and Shift" approach refers to dropping an application right into the cloud as it is and hoping that it functions appropriately. It is possible for multiple and diverse workloads, and vendors like Azure and AWS are leading this approach to make it a feasible strategy for companies.

One of the critical steps to consider in this approach is whether the application operating in the local data center still has access to the same information and data once it is shifted to the cloud.

Let’s check an example here. Microsoft Azure Files service is a classic case to talk about here, which offers cloud VMs to mount the file shares identical to the ones available in the on-premises data centers. So, all-in-all, it makes the lift and shift approach a successful activity as one gets to move the workloads from the physical environment to the cloud hassle-free while keeping all the access to the same shared folders intact.

What is Data Migration Process Flow?

When talking about the lift and shift process, it is important to understand how data is being migrated to the cloud from the on-premises environments. Here are the top strategies described, which vary in their specifics, depending on the organization’s needs and goals, but follow a typical recognizable pattern:

1. Source Exploration & Assessment

To start with the data migration process, it is essential to understand what is being shifted and how well it can fit the target system. In addition, understanding how much data is being pulled over and how it looks is inevitable.

In many scenarios, the system might contain a lot of data that might not require mapping to the target system. Also, there can be missing data fields within the source, which need to be pulled immediately from one location to another to fill the existing gaps. So, before finalizing the lift and shift method, assess which data needs to be migrated over and which can be left behind.

The task also needs a full audit of the actual data that is contained within the system and the assessment of incomplete data pieces, poorly populated fields, inaccuracies, or other issues. Suppose an organization chooses to skip this source review process and proceeds with an assumption of the total understanding of the data. In that case, it might adversely affect the time and money spent on cloud migration. Also, specific scenarios might cause the organization to lose sensitive data in the process.

2. Outline and Design Process

While shifting the applications, you need to determine the design and define the process appropriately. During the initial planning, it is essential to consider the security plans and define them correctly throughout the migration strategy.

The design needs to be well documented at the end of the migration process with complete technical architecture and details for future reference. Also, the organization needs to define the design and select the appropriate type of migration-big band or trickle while specifying the exact timelines along with the project concerns, if any.

3. Build Lift and Shift Solution

Just enough development approach won’t suffice the exact requirements of your lift and shift approach. It is essential to undergo a thorough assessment as one gets to undergo the entire implementation only once.

Since it is a one-time affair, it is crucial to get the facts right. A quick and effective strategy here to follow is to break the data into small subsets, which can be changed into one category each and then followed by a test. If the company is looking for a larger migration, it is advisable to build and test correspondingly.

4. Testing

The testing process seems to be incomplete if left behind after testing the code. Instead, you need to perform a thorough test with the real data to assess the data migration design and ensure the overall accuracy of the implementation as well as the inclusiveness of the application. Once the final testing is done, the implementation can proceed, as usual, keeping the pre-defined style in check.

5. Audit

Once the data implementation goes live, setting up a system for auditing is imperative. It ensures the lift and shift process's accuracy and security of the data moved to the cloud.

How to Get Started with Data Migration?

Building out the lift and shift to cloud migration right from scratch can be a real hassle for many businesses. Coding them all by hand and devising the right strategy seems challenging and even more time-consuming. Therefore, you need to find the top vendors offering data tools that can be cost-effective and time-saving for the organization. While conducting your search, ensure to look for these factors:

  • Whether the solution can support the systems used in your organization
  • Security of your resources
  • Time required to process the entire lift and shift method from the data center to the cloud
  • Data limits, if any, for the software and scalability factor
  • Affordability

Migrating your data to the cloud is essential and needs to be done as soon as possible. But first, find the best migration policies and advanced cybersecurity solutions to improve scalability and reduce the demand for technical resources.

Finding the right set of cloud integration tools can help your users accelerate cloud data migration projects while implementing a secure cloud integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS). In case you need expertise from the best brands, join hands with DC Gears.

It partners with global leaders offering cloud computing facilities along with AI/ML solutions, helping companies to move their business applications smoothly from data center premises to the cloud. Being present in more than 40 countries, DC Gears offers you professional expertise on-site, 24*7. Learn more about the facilities available for your business.