Support for IBM Power and x86 workloads

Skytap on Azure is the only public cloud service to support AIX, IBM i, and Linux on Power running together with x86 VMs.

Lift And Shift Cloud Migration

You might wonder, “What is lift and shift cloud migration?” Lift and shift cloud migration is an approach that enables organizations to move their digital assets, such as applications and data, from an on-site server to a cloud infrastructure without any significant modifications. Organizations often choose this type of migration because it’s faster than other available options. Plus, they can quickly capitalize on cloud benefits such as increased scalability, reduced operational costs, and improved business efficiency.

7 Steps of Cloud Migration: A Structured Approach

The lift and shift cloud migration process involves seven stages, each with its own mechanics. These seven steps of cloud migration could include:

  1. Assessment
  2. Planning
  3. Migration Preparation
  4. Migration Instantiation
  5. Migration Validation
  6. Optimization
  7. Continuously monitor and update 

To simplify these steps and ensure a seamless migration, professionals often turn to well-designed templates, such as the application migration checklist template, to track and manage each task at each stage. 

An application migration checklist template provides a detailed to-do list of the tasks involved in moving an application from the on-premise environment to the cloud. It includes tasks such as source code analysis, application compatibility evaluation, and monitoring mechanisms post-migration to ensure the application functions ideally in the cloud.

Utilizing Cloud Migration Checklist in Excel

A cloud migration checklist is a visual aid, often configured for compatibility with software like Excel. It helps to create a clear migration pathway that aligns with the organization’s business goals. 

A cloud migration checklist in Excel form goes beyond text or tables — it utilizes Excel formulas, diagrams, and charts to visualize timelines, dependencies, and potential bottlenecks in the migration process.

Implementing a Lift and Shift Migration Checklist

A lift and shift migration checklist is often brought into play to provide structure and continuity to the migration process. A lift and shift migration checklist is a complete guide for moving applications and data from an on-premise ecosystem to a cloud environment without any significant modifications to its architecture. This checklist provides a controlled way to migrate and ensures minimal interruption to active services.

Navigating the Steps of Lift and Shift Migration in the Cloud

Delving into the intricate lift and shift migration steps, it becomes clear that this begins with a comprehensive evaluation of the existing architecture, data, and transactions, followed by a well-planned movement of applications and data using critical cloud tools and services. Additional lift and shift migration steps in the cloud include testing of the migrated applications, continuous monitoring, and optimization post-migration.

Specific cloud platforms such as Azure facilitate the lift and shift cloud migration approach. Lift and shift cloud migration Azure offers tools and methodologies that make it easy to run applications in the cloud with only minor changes to their existing structures.

Ultimately, what defines lift and shift cloud migration is its emphasis on speed, efficiency, and the minimal changes it creates in a company’s existing digital structure, allowing for a swift, seamless transition to the cloud.

Cloud Migration Framework

The digital age has brought about an array of advancements, particularly in technology, creating dramatic shifts in operational paradigms. Top among these shifts is cloud migration, which is linked closely with the sizable realm of cloud computing. As a core aspect of digital transformation, cloud migration means the process of transferring digital business operations into the cloud.

Understanding the Lift and Shift Cloud Migration Strategy

The epicenter of this change lies in the cloud migration framework, a methodology for migrating an organization’s core business to the cloud. One lift and shift strategy stands out within this systematic framework: Lift and shift. It provides a model for the transition from on-premise setups to cloud environments. 

Lift and shift cloud migration, as the name suggests, involves taking an application or operation as it currently exists on-premise and transferring, or lifting and shifting, it to a cloud environment, such as Azure.

The attraction of the lift and shift cloud migration approach is its simplicity. It requires minimal modification to the application — just enough to allow it to function in the new cloud environment. The existing architecture is replicated in the cloud, adhering closely to the original design without too much alteration or re-engineering. 

It also offers benefits such as lower business risk, reduced costs and expedited cloud migration timelines.

Weighing Alternatives: Re-platforming vs. Re-architecting

Different approaches to cloud migration offer different outcomes. For example, a contrast emerges when comparing the lift and shift cloud migration approach to others, such as the “re-platforming” or the “re-architecting” strategies. 

These alternatives typically aim to change or improve the application so it can take advantage of the native cloud services, which can result in long-term cost savings and improved performance. However, these approaches require more effort and skill and can be more disruptive and time-consuming than the simple lift and shift approach. It is worth noting that lift and shift is attractive because it allows organizations to build on investments they’ve already made vs. starting over.

The Practical Steps of Lift and Shift Migration to Azure

The step-by-step on-premise to Azure migration is a layered process that demands a strategic blend of technical proficiency and astute planning. A lift and shift cloud migration Azure example would include:

  1. Analyzing the existing applications and infrastructure
  2. Planning the migration
  3. Making necessary modifications
  4. Moving the application
  5. Performing extensive testing to ensure performance and functionality once in the cloud

The selection of a cloud migration strategy often involves a balancing act between several factors. Speed, cost, risk, and reward must all be weighed carefully, and the ultimate decision will depend on an organization’s specific needs, resources, and goals. As a powerful tool in the arsenal of cloud migration framework strategies, lift and shift continues as a prominent, albeit debated, choice in the journey toward digital evolution.

Application Migration To Azure

Application migration to Azure is a crucial process organizations undertake to leverage the possibilities of Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure. This often requires a detailed understanding of the steps involved to ensure a seamless transition. Several operations are involved in the shift, including the meticulous planning and design phase, setting up the Azure cloud infrastructure, and executing the actual migration of applications.

Throughout this technical change, organizations may be faced with numerous decisions, such as modernizing legacy applications, focusing on cloud infrastructure management, and understanding the architectural cloud infrastructure components distinct to a cloud environment.

Key Components of Azure Cloud Infrastructure

One of the first steps in application migration is to understand the cloud infrastructure Azure provides. It includes a platform for building, deploying, and managing applications through Microsoft-managed data centers. It’s essential to the seamless operation and management of applications post-migration. 

A deep dive into its architectural facets reveals its scalability, power, and efficiency in managing complex workloads. The Azure cloud infrastructure presents multiple components, each designed to address specific operational needs, such as:

  • Compute resources
  • Storage services
  • Networking capabilities

Strategies for Legacy Application Migration to Azure

Successful application migration to Azure is evident when existing applications — often legacy applications — are moved without compromising their functionality. Legacy application migration to Azure refers to the process of transitioning an outdated or obsolete system to a new platform, in this case, Azure Cloud. This pivotal step can either be a simple re-hosting without any modifications, also known as a lift and shift migration, or a complex redevelopment of the cloud application.

Application modernization is another crucial aspect of the application migration process. It entails the re-platforming, refactoring, or revising an application to align it with current IT trends and demands. 

Examples abound of application modernization in Azure. Microsoft itself paved a path for others by migrating its own internal systems and applications to Azure. The migration involved both modernizing legacy systems and building cloud-native applications.

The Impact of Legacy Modernization

Legacy application migration to Azure can also be seen in the context of legacy modernization. Put simply, it’s about moving legacy workloads to Azure with the intent to modernize them. With Microsoft Azure’s comprehensive services, transforming legacy infrastructure is viable and delivers improved scalability, flexibility, and cost savings.

Every phase of application migration to Azure — understanding the cloud infrastructure architecture, managing migrated applications, and legacy application migration and modernization — plays a significant role in ensuring a successful transition to the cloud. As we increase our reliance on cloud technologies, understanding the intricacies of an application’s life cycle in this environment becomes even more essential.

Lift and Shift Cloud Migration with Skytap

Migrating IBM i (AS/400), AIX, and Linux on IBM Power applications to the cloud can be a complex process, but with the right tools and expertise, it can be simple. With Skytap on Azure, you can lift and shift these applications to Azure without refactoring or rewriting. Learn more about Skytap on Azure for your lift and shift migration.

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