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What is "Lift and Shift" and Should You Do It?

CNP Technologies

Moving to the cloud has many benefits, such as scalability and cost-efficiency. As cloud computing becomes more prevalent, more organizations are moving from in-house data centers to the cloud to capitalize on savings and potential for growth. Yet cloud migrations can be labor-intensive and slow when existing in-house applications need to be re-designed for a move to the cloud. Instead, you may turn to a “lift and shift” approach, in which applications are replicated with no re-design. But is it right for you and your needs?

The main pro of a lift and shift approach can be summarized in one word: speed. In some situations, such as consolidating or shutting down data centers, having your applications ready to go in the cloud is the most important thing. Applications that are moved to the cloud in this way are available the same day, as opposed to re-architected applications that require time and manpower. In day-to-day business situations, moving applications quickly means that costly physical infrastructures, including hardware upkeep, energy, and space, can be done away with without any pause in operations. Then, applications can be re-architected with greater resources and time at a later date if necessary.

However, lift and shift has a few drawbacks. First, applications that are moved to the cloud without re-design or re-architecturing are unable to take full advantage of native cloud features, and therefore unable to provide the cost-effectiveness that many organizations are looking for. Additionally, applications that are not designed for the cloud take time to come online and can react poorly to sudden shutdowns, creating more work - and a larger bill - for the cloud infrastructure. Resource-intensive applications, such as image rendering or those used for big data analysis, are particularly poor candidates for lift and shift, and should instead be re-architectured to take advantage of the cloud. Most of your regularly used and updated applications should eventually be optimized for their new setting.

Lift and shift is an excellent choice for cloud disaster recovery, when having a working version of the application is necessary to get the organization up and running again. Keeping the applications you need around - even versions that are not re-architectured for the cloud - is a good data recovery practice in case the worst should occur. It’s not worth the time and effort to re-design apps for a situation that will hopefully never happen, but a lift and shift approach is a quick way to ensure peace of mind.

At CNP Technologies, we make cloud migration easy with our personalized, unique approach to your needs. Though moving to the cloud quickly can be beneficial to your organization, getting an expert opinion on the best approach can prevent long-term issues or problems that may arise. More and more, physical, in-house infrastructures and data centers are becoming a burden on budgets in comparison to the cloud, but make sure you’re getting exactly what you need out of your move.


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