Rehost: The Art of Lift and Shift

June 22, 2023 | Jonathan McCracken
Rehost: The Art of Lift and Shift

The rehost route, also known as “lift-and-shift”, is a fairly low-risk and quick process. Often the first step in an organization’s migration journey, it’s best suited for large-scale migration scenarios in which an organization needs to migrate and scale quickly to meet a business case, such as a data center lease termination.

Depending on whether your business uses VMware or not, there are two ways you can migrate using the rehost route. In this blog, we discuss everything you need to know to successfully rehost.

Lifting from VMware, shifting to AWS

Most organizations are familiar with VMware as one of the earliest cloud computing platforms.

If your business already uses VMware, it can easily migrate to the VMware Cloud on AWS, a fully managed, jointly engineered service that brings VMware’s enterprise-class, software-defined data center architecture to the cloud.

Its use of existing hardware and cloud infrastructure allows for a simplified and seamless migration, simplifying hybrid IT operations by using the same VMware technologies on premises and on AWS.

VMware’s popular rehosting strategy, vMotion, performs live migration of workloads from one server to another with zero-downtime so you can continue to access the systems you need, and stay productive.

AWS Application Migration Service

If you are not an existing VMware customer, you can still lift and shift to the cloud. The AWS Application Migration Service (MGN) is another option to migrate your applications to AWS. With AWS MGN, you can migrate your applications from physical infrastructure, VMware and other clouds to the AWS cloud. The service accelerates and simplifies migration by continuously converting source servers to run natively on AWS.

Whether you’re migrating to VMware Cloud on AWS or to the AWS Application Migration Service, it is important to develop an agile migration process that ensures a smooth and successful rehosting.

Identifying responsibilities, developing roles

Embarking on the migration journey requires an agile team of technical experts. It is important to have certain people involved in your migration and modernization process, especially at the rehost stage. These roles include that of the scrum master, business analyst, DevOps expert, and cloud architect.

  • Scrum master: required to manage projects, facilitate two-week sprints and ensure that everything is on track for a smooth digital transition.
  • Business analyst: develops an inventory of the servers, conducts portfolio analysis and understands the business process underlying the shift in technology.
  • DevOps expert: responsible for efficiency throughout the entire application lifecycle, from development and test to deployment to operations.
  • Cloud architect: converts the technical requirements of a project into the architecture and design, and plays an integral role in your organization’s transition to the cloud.

Once you’ve established these roles on your team, the next step is to start the mobilization and testing phase which is often done in waves. Assessing where applications are and how they’re related can help you group and migrate them in waves.

Establishing a strong cloud foundation is integral to a successful migration. To learn more about its importance, check out this blog where we go into more detail on the mobilization phase and discuss next steps.