6 cloud migration strategies that will save you time, money, and hassle

May 31, 2023

Cloud migration is the process of moving data, applications, and other resources from on-premises servers to the cloud.

Cloud migration can offer many benefits for businesses, such as scalability, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, performance, and reliability.

However, cloud migration can also pose many challenges, such as compatibility, security, complexity, and risk.

Therefore, it is important to choose the right cloud migration strategy that suits the business needs and goals.

There are different types of cloud migration strategies that organizations can choose from based on their needs and capabilities.

The most commonly used approaches include rehosting, re-platforming, repurchasing, refactoring or re-architecting, retiring, and retaining.

Each strategy has its own advantages and limitations, and organizations should choose the one that best suits their needs.

In this article, we will explain each of these cloud migration strategies and provide some examples of how they have been used by real-world companies.

We will also provide some suggestions on how to choose the best cloud migration strategy for your application.


Rehosting is the process of transferring an entire infrastructure to the cloud without making any changes.

It is a fast and low-risk method to migrate applications to the cloud, but it may not utilize the cloud's native features and benefits.

Some rehosting can be automated with tools, while some may require manual intervention.

Rehosting is suitable for simple and similar workloads that do not need much customization or optimization.

An example of rehosting is Spotify's migration from on-premises servers to the Google Cloud Platform in 2016.

The company used a lift-and-shift approach to move its data and services to the cloud without changing its architecture or functionality.

The migration helped Spotify reduce its operational costs and complexity and improve its scalability and reliability.


Replatforming is the process of transferring infrastructure to the cloud with some optimizations made to the systems before migration.

For example, changing the database engine or the operating system to a cloud-compatible one.

This can improve the performance and scalability of the applications, but it may also introduce some changes in functionality or compatibility.

Replatforming is ideal for workloads that need some enhancements or modifications to run better in the cloud.

An example of re-platforming is Evernote's migration from on-premises servers to the Google Cloud Platform in 2017.

The company used a move-and-improve approach to migrate its data and services to the cloud with some optimizations, such as switching from MySQL to Cloud Spanner for its database.

The migration helped Evernote improve its performance, security, and innovation.

Refactoring or Re-Architecting

Refactoring or re-architecting is the process of redesigning the applications to leverage the cloud's native capabilities, such as serverless computing, microservices, or managed services.

This can result in improved efficiency, agility, and innovation, but it also requires more time, effort, and skills than the other methods.

Refactoring or re-architecting is usually done for applications that need significant changes or enhancements to meet business or technical requirements.

This method can help achieve higher performance, reliability, and security in the cloud.

An example of refactoring or re-architecting is Netflix's migration from on-premises servers to Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2011.

The company used a re-architecting approach to migrate its data and services to the cloud with a major redesign of its architecture, such as adopting a microservices model and using AWS Lambda for serverless computing.

The migration helped Netflix achieve greater scalability, availability, and resilience.


Repurchasing is a method that involves discarding the existing application and buying a new one that is already cloud-ready.

For example, moving from a self-hosted CRM system to a SaaS-based one like Salesforce.

This can simplify the migration process and reduce maintenance costs, but it may also involve some loss of functionality or customization.

Repurchasing is a good option for workloads that are outdated or incompatible with the cloud environment.

An example of repurchasing is Waze's migration from on-premises servers to the Google Cloud Platform in 2013.

The company used a repurchasing approach to migrate its data and services to the cloud by switching from its own mapping platform to Google Maps API.

The migration helped Waze reduce its infrastructure costs and complexity and enhance its user experience.


Retiring is a method that involves identifying and eliminating the applications that are no longer useful or needed in the organization.

This can help reduce complexity and costs and free up resources for other priorities.

According to AWS, about 10% of an enterprise IT portfolio is ready for retirement at any given time.

Retiring is a necessary step for optimizing the migration process and ensuring that only relevant and valuable workloads are moved to the cloud.

An example of retiring is GE Oil & Gas's migration from on-premises servers to AWS in 2014.

The company used a retiring approach to migrate its data and services to the cloud by decommissioning about 50% of its applications that were redundant or obsolete.

The migration helped GE Oil & Gas save about 30% of its infrastructure costs and improve its operational efficiency.


Retaining is a method that involves keeping some applications in their current state and not migrating them to the cloud.

This may be because they are too complex or costly to migrate or because they have regulatory or security constraints that prevent them from moving to the cloud.

Retaining some applications may be a temporary or permanent decision depending on the organization's needs and goals.

Retaining is a pragmatic approach for dealing with workloads that are not suitable for cloud migration at present.

An example of retaining is Shopify's hybrid cloud strategy in 2018.

The company used a retaining approach to keep some of its applications on-premises while migrating others to the Google Cloud Platform.

The reason for retaining some applications was to maintain control over sensitive data and transactions that were critical for its business.

The hybrid cloud strategy helped Shopify balance security and scalability.


Cloud migration is a strategic decision that can help businesses achieve their goals and overcome their challenges in the digital era.

However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for cloud migration.

Different types of cloud migration strategies have different advantages and limitations depending on the business needs and capabilities.

In this article, we have explained six common cloud migration strategies: rehosting, re-platforming, repurchasing, refactoring or re-architecting, retiring, and retaining.

We have also provided some examples of how real-world companies have used these strategies to migrate their data and applications to the cloud.

We hope this article has given you some insights into how you can choose the best cloud migration strategy for your application based on your needs and goals.

How AXO Managed IT Services can help you with cloud migration

Are you ready to migrate your data and applications to the cloud?

Do you need help choosing the best cloud migration strategy for your business?

Do you want to enjoy the benefits of cloud computing without the hassle of managing it yourself?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need AXO Managed IT Services.

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With AXO Managed IT Services, you can:

  • Save time and money by outsourcing your cloud migration and management to us
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  • Enhance security and compliance by following our strict standards and policies
  • Focus on your core business and innovation by letting us handle your cloud needs

Don’t let cloud migration overwhelm you.

Let AXO Managed IT Services make it easy for you.

We will help you find the best cloud migration strategy for your business and guide you through every step of the process.

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AXO Technologies Sdn Bhd (1276407-U) is an innovative and thoughtful IT consulting firm based in Selangor, Malaysia. We help organizations solve their IT challenges by leveraging technology in their business process.

With our certified professional team, we strive to provide a better understanding and relationship with our customers.
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