Types of Cloud Migration

Types of Cloud Migration

Every company prioritizes end-to-end security, privacy, and compliance when it comes to data and applications. Migrating to the cloud is no different. Moving to the cloud can transform how your business operates and can make you more agile, responsive, and productive. 

In order to reduce risk and ensure a successful transition, it’s important to understand the types of cloud migrations available and which one best fits your organization’s needs.

Interested in learning more about the types of cloud migrations and what they entail? Keep reading.

Table of Contents

What is Cloud Migration?

For companies that want to make leaps and bounds in their digital transformation journey, partial or full cloud migration is an essential first step. Cloud migration is the process of moving data, applications, or other business elements from an on-premises environment to the cloud.

We can look at it with the analogy of moving house. You’re still living in the same city, but you’re moving from one house or apartment to another.

Cloud migration can be done for a number of reasons such as reducing costs, increasing scalability, or improving performance. But no matter what the reason is, companies need to plan their migrations well in order to avoid any business disruptions.

Types of Cloud Migration for Businesses

Let’s dive into the types of cloud migrations so you can make an informed decision for your business.

Rehosting (“lift-and-shift”)

This type of migration is the simplest and quickest way to move your workloads and apps to the cloud with minimal changes to your on-premises infrastructure. It’s often used as a first step in migrating to the cloud or for organizations that are not yet ready to refactor their apps.


  • Rehosting can be completed quickly and with little disruption to your business.
  • It’s a low-risk way to move to the cloud since you’re not making any changes to your app or workload. 


  • You may not be able to take advantage of all the benefits of the cloud with this type of migration.
  • Your apps may not be optimized for the cloud and could end up costing more to run.

Replatforming (“lift-and-shift-plus”)

Replatforming is similar to rehosting in that it involves moving your workloads and apps to the cloud with minimal changes. However, replatforming also includes making changes to your application architecture to take advantage of cloud-native features and services. This could include things like scaling up or down dynamically, adding high availability, or autoscaling. 

This type of migration is often used for organizations that want to modernize their apps and improve performance.


  • Replatforming can help you optimize your apps for the cloud, making them more efficient and cost-effective.
  • You can take advantage of cloud features and benefits that can help improve your business, such as autoscaling and high availability. 


  • Replatforming can be more complex and time-consuming than rehosting.
  • You may need to rewrite some of your code to work in the cloud.

Refactoring (“cloud-native”)

Refactoring is a more complex type of migration that involves changing both the infrastructure and architecture of your workloads and apps. This means rewriting code and redesigning architecture, data storage, networking, security, scalability, availability, and more. It’s often used for organizations that are looking to completely transform their business with the cloud.


  • A refactored app is designed specifically for the cloud and can take full advantage of its features and benefits.
  • You can improve performance, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness with a well-designed cloud app. 


  • Refactoring can be a complex and time-consuming process.
  • You will need to retrain your staff on the new app.

Hybrid cloud

A hybrid cloud is a mix of on-premises and public cloud services with orchestration and automation between the two. This type of migration is often used by organizations that want to keep some workloads on-premises for compliance or security reasons, while still taking advantage of the agility and scalability of the cloud.


  • A hybrid cloud gives you the best of both worlds – the flexibility and scalability of the public cloud, with the control and security of on-premises.
  • You can keep sensitive data on-premises while still taking advantage of the public cloud for less critical workloads.


  • A hybrid cloud can be complex to set up and manage.
  • You will need to ensure that your data is secure and compliant across both on-premises and public cloud environments.

Related: Hybrid vs Multicloud


A multicloud environment is one that uses two or more public cloud providers. This type of migration is often used by organizations that want to avoid vendor lock-in or those that want to take advantage of the best features and services from each provider.


  • Multicloud gives you the flexibility to choose the best provider for each workload or app, without being locked into one vendor. 
  • You can avoid vendor lock-in and get the best price for each service. 


  • Multicloud can be complex to set up and manage. 
  • You will need to ensure that your data is secure and compliant across all of your providers.


The type of migration you choose should be based on your organizational needs and objectives. While some companies may be able to get away with a simple rehosting migration, others may need to refactor their apps and workloads for the cloud.

Benefits of Cloud Migration

There are many reasons to migrate to the cloud. The cloud can improve your business in the following ways:

  • Increased agility and responsiveness – The cloud enables you to quickly respond to new opportunities or changes in the market.
  • Improved collaboration – With the cloud, employees can easily share files and work on projects together from anywhere in the world.
  • Reduced costs – Moving to the cloud can save your business money on hardware, maintenance, and energy costs.
  • Increased security – When done correctly, migrating to the cloud can actually improve your security posture by taking advantage of the security features offered by cloud providers.

Challenges of Cloud Migration

Of course, there are also some challenges to consider when migrating to the cloud. These include:

  • Complexity – Migrating to the cloud can be a complex process, especially if you have a lot of data and applications to move.
  • Costs – While the cloud can save you money in the long run, there may be some upfront costs associated with migration and setting up your new infrastructure. 
  • Security – Some businesses are concerned about entrusting their data to a third-party provider.

Best Cloud Migration Providers

Now that we know a bit more about what cloud migration is, let’s take a look at some of the best providers in this space:

AWS Migration HubAWS Migration Hub is a unified console that helps track progress when migrating to AWS. It gives you a centralized view of your application portfolio and tracks all application migrations in one place. 

Azure Migrate AzureMigrate is designed to simplify the assessment and migration of on-premises apps and data to Azure. It helps you discover, assess, and migrate your workloads and data with confidence and minimal disruption. 

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Migrate for Compute Engine GCPMigrate for Compute Engine is a tool that helps you quickly and easily move your virtual machines (VMs) from your on-premises data center to GCP. By automating the entire migration process, the process is made simple and quick.

IBM Cloud Migration Factory – The IBM Cloud Migration Factory is a team of experts that helps you plan, prepare and execute your cloud migration. They use a proven methodology and tools to help you move to the cloud quickly and with minimal disruption.

Rackspace Hyper-Scale Data Center Migration Service Rackspace’s Hyper-Scale Data Center Migration Service helps you migrate your data center to any of Rackspace’s data centers around the world. With them, you can take advantage of end-to-end support, from assessment and planning to execution and post-migration support.


Migrating to the cloud is a big decision for any company. Selecting the best type of cloud migration for your business will be key to your success, and with the right planning and execution, it can be a smooth and successful transition.

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