Choosing the Right Migration Strategy

Deep Dive

Migrating to the cloud is not just a technical shift; it’s a strategic decision that impacts your business’s efficiency, scalability, and agility. As you embark on this transformative journey with Amazon Web Services (AWS), selecting the right migration strategy becomes paramount. In this blog post, we’ll take a comprehensive dive into the different migration strategies and help you choose the one that aligns perfectly with your goals.

Understanding Migration Strategies

AWS offers three primary migration strategies, each catering to specific scenarios:

1. Rehosting (Lift and Shift)

This strategy involves moving your existing on-premises applications to AWS without making any major changes. It offers a quick transition but may not leverage the full potential of cloud-native services.

2. Replatforming (Lift, Tinker, and Shift)

In this approach, you retain your core architecture but optimize certain components to benefit from AWS services. This strategy strikes a balance between speed and taking advantage of cloud offerings.

3. Refactoring (Rearchitecting)

This strategy involves reimagining your applications to fully utilize AWS’s cloud-native capabilities. It provides the most benefits in terms of scalability, cost-efficiency, and innovation potential.

Choosing the Right Strategy

1. Rehosting

Choose rehosting when time is critical, and you need a quick, low-risk migration. Leverage AWS Server Migration Service (SMS) to replicate your virtualized servers into AWS EC2 instances. Keep in mind that you might not harness the full capabilities of cloud services.

2. Replatforming

Opt for replatforming when you want to enhance performance and cost-efficiency without drastically changing your application architecture. For example, migrate your database to Amazon RDS while keeping your application architecture mostly unchanged.

3. Refactoring

Consider refactoring when your goal is to maximize the benefits of AWS’s cloud-native services. This approach provides the most agility and scalability. For instance, transform a monolithic application into microservices using AWS Lambda and Amazon API Gateway.

Key Considerations

1. Business Objectives

Align your migration strategy with your business goals. If innovation and rapid scaling are top priorities, refactoring might be the best fit.

2. Technical Complexity

Assess the complexity of your application. If significant architectural changes are needed, be prepared for the effort required in refactoring.

3. Time and Resources

Rehosting is typically faster, while refactoring demands more time and expertise. Consider your timeline and available resources.

4. Long-Term Vision

Think about your future needs. Replatforming or refactoring might offer long-term benefits in terms of cost savings and agility.

Real-World Example

Imagine a media streaming company opting for rehosting for its time-sensitive migration. They use AWS SMS to quickly lift and shift their existing servers, minimizing downtime. While this strategy offers immediate benefits, they plan to gradually refactor specific components to take full advantage of AWS’s services as their platform evolves.


Choosing the right migration strategy is a critical step that defines the success of your cloud journey. Each strategy has its merits, and the choice depends on your unique circumstances. Whether you’re seeking a swift transition, cost optimization, or cloud-native innovation, AWS offers the tools and guidance to support your chosen path. By aligning your strategy with your business goals, technical requirements, and long-term vision, you set the stage for a successful migration that propels your organization into the cloud era.

Whether you are a small, medium, or large enterprise, or a public sector organization, we are your partner with the right skills and experience to help you move your business forward.