Application Migration

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App Migration

What is Application Migration?

Application migration is the process of moving a software application from one computing environment to another. You might, for instance, migrate an application from one data center to another, from an on-premises server to a cloud provider’s environment, or from the public cloud to a private cloud environment.

Because applications are typically built to run on particular operating systems in specific network architectures or developed for a single cloud platform, moving an application to a new environment can pose a number of challenges. It’s usually easier to migrate applications from virtualized or service-based architectures than it is to migrate those running on bare metal hardware.

Different applications can take different paths to the cloud, even within the same technology environment. Since the early days of cloud computing, developers have referred to these application migration patterns with names that begin with “R"

Re-host

Also known as lift-and-shift, this is a common strategy in which the enterprise moves the application from an on-premises server to a virtual machine in the cloud without making significant changes. Rehosting applications is usually quicker than other migration strategies and may significantly reduce migration costs. The downside is that without modification, the applications won’t benefit from cloud native computing capabilities, and the long-term costs of running them in the cloud may end up being higher.

Refactor

Refactoring refers to making fairly significant changes to the application so that it can scale or perform better in a cloud environment. It might involve recoding major portions of the application so that it can take better advantage of cloud native functionalities—such as restructuring a monolithic application into a set of microservices or modernizing the data store from SQL to NoSQL.

Replatform

A kind of middle ground between lift-and-shift and re-architecting, replatforming an application involves making minor changes to it so that it can better benefit from cloud architecture. Examples might include upgrading the application to work with a cloud native managed database, changing the operating systems or middleware it will work with, or containerizing the application.

Retire/Replace

In some cases, it simply makes the most sense to decommission the application. This could be because its value is limited, because its capabilities are duplicated elsewhere in your environment, or because it’s more cost-effective to replace it with a new offering—often a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform—than it is to migrate the application.

Application Migration Strategy

To develop the application migration strategy that’s best for your enterprise’s unique IT environment and business needs, you’ll need to understand exactly what’s in your application portfolio, the specifics of your security and compliance requirements, the cloud resources you’re currently consuming, and what your on-premises storage, compute, and network infrastructures are like.

In order for a cloud migration to be successful, you'll also need to be clear on the key business drivers that are motivating it and to align your strategy with these drivers. You’ll want to be conscious of why you’re migrating to the cloud, and what you’re hoping to achieve with the transition.

Application Migration Process

Application migration and re-engineering is a process performed by an IT expert for the sole purpose of migrating an organization’s existing environment to a newer, enhanced and more secure environment which may or may not be on the same platform as its predecessor.

This is why a well-designed, carefully crafted approach is necessary when considering application migration and re-engineering.

Migration Readiness Stage

  • Analyse the data environment, calculate risks and construct a business scenario.
  • Identify SMEs and stakeholders.
  • Plan for the destination server’s hardware and software capacity.
  • Define engagement model.

Migration Stage

  • Assess the existing database and design SQL Server database to provide the same functionality.
  • Construct a customized roadmap for migration based on the outlined business objectives.
  • Migrate database and verify database schema and validate whether the data migration was successful.

Extract, Transform, and Load Stage

  • Design and develop ETL packages for simultaneous data load from a previous database onto the new SQL server database.
  • Test data load performance.
  • Setup and validate security, monitoring and replication functions.
  • Validate data in SQL server database for technical accuracy and functionality.

Application Remediation Stage

  • Performance integration testing using those applications that were consuming data in the previous database and making necessary modifications to ensure they work in the new SQL Server.
  • Performance user acceptance testing.
  • Training and knowledge transfer.
  • Implement product environment.
  • Post production support.