Cloud-native vs lift and shift: which way to choose?

Lift and shift: disaster recovery, resource spending cuts, etc.

  • Commercial customer-facing apps that have clear-to-define patterns of resource usage and client-server interactions
  • On-prem systems that will never need intense autoscaling, like HR systems, internal wikis, FAQs and other resources
  • Drastic production relocation in the face of data center lease contract termination

Cloud-native: long-term redesign for long-term benefits

  • Assessment of the existing state of your business ecosystem
  • Determining the preferred course of actions for your digital assets:
    – lift and shift as is
    – redesign from scratch
    – ditching certain components altogether and/or replacing them with cloud-native analogs (like moving from a dedicated MySQL server to AWS RDS)
  • If the move to cloud-native app and infrastructure is chosen, the whole ecosystem is redesigned using the tooling and platform capabilities of the chosen cloud service provider and the roadmap is created
  • The new app code is developed according to the roadmap specified previously, building the CI/CD pipeline along the way and provisioning immutable infrastructure as code to support it
  • The new apps and systems go through all the stages of application lifecycle management (ALM) and software development life cycle (SDLC)
  • The newly-built components are integrated into a holistic system. The best part of it is that due to the use of the open source DevOps tools such systems are cloud-agnostic and work with containerized apps, allowing smooth autoscaling, the use of serverless computing and all the newest cloud features
    – a monolithic application could be split into microservices and containerized with some kind of orchestrating tool like Kubernetes
    – the infrastructure can be described in manifests (AWS CloudFormation, Terraform, Google Cloud+Ansible, etc.)
  • The progress so far is validated to ensure all the transition goals are met
  • The systems are launched to production and the legacy infrastructure is dropped for good
  • TCO reduction. You pay for the computing resources used as you go. No capital upfront investment for data center maintenance and ensuring infrastructure redundancy.
  • Operational expenses optimization. Autoscaling to meet the needs of the moment and opting for serverless computing options like AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, GCP Serverless or IBM Cloud Functions. The resources are allocated precisely when and they are needed and as much as needed, instead of overpaying for idle servers on standby.
  • Endless optimization. With the cloud, the business is not constrained to rigid operational structures and patterns. The systems can be adjusted according to the needs of the hour or to reflect the updated company strategy and vision. In addition, the flexibility of the cloud allows for endless search and implementation of service optimization, allowing the business to remain competitive and ever-efficient.

Final thoughts on choosing the cloud-native vs lift and shift

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Vladimir Fedak

Vladimir Fedak

DevOps & Big Data lover

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