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AWS '7R' Cloud Migration Strategy: Main Principles

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AWS '7R' Cloud Migration Strategy: Main Principles

AWS '7R' Cloud Migration Strategy: Main Principles
date_range - 1 year ago

In order to move on-premise workloads to the cloud environment, organizations must use specific cloud migration strategies.

These strategies are elaborated plans intended for various situations in which organizations may find themselves. Choosing the right one can be a challenge since it depends on the goals that the organization wants to achieve and the features that it wants to enhance.

Cloud migration strategies differ in the difficulty of implementation. These strategies, named 7Rs, are listed from easiest to most complex ones.

1. Retire

Before we start with anything related to cloud migration, we should ask ourselves: 'Do we really need all the applications we currently use?'

If they are no longer needed, it's time to turn them off. But you have to be careful here too. Some of these services may be related to and required by the applications you plan to transfer to the cloud. Think twice before making this decision.

2. Retain

Certain applications have very strict regulations that limit their use to in-premise only. Therefore, we cannot migrate them to the cloud blindly. The same applies to applications for which migration is not feasible due to some other reasons such as:

  • the existence of active projects that migration would disrupt or slow down
  • the technical impossibility of adapting the application within the cloud environment

It is very important to know at the start which applications not to count on, and later provide them with the opportunity for cloud migration. This avoids complications and saves time.

3. Relocate

Relocating simply means moving the existing setup to the cloud without specific adjustments to the new environment.

With relocation you don't have to:

  • Buy new hardware
  • Change code and functionality

On AWS, you can do it with VMWare Cloud. It is extremely effective because it allows full cloud compatibility with the on-premise environment.

4. Rehost

Rehost is an option similar to relocating. Unlike the previous one, you should choose it when it comes to larger applications that need to be slightly modified so they could adapt and benefit from the cloud environment.

AWS offers great rehosting options such as:

  • AWS Server Migration Service (AWS SMS)
  • Cloud Endure Migration

With AWS SMS, migration can be automated, but depending on the nature of the application itself, it can also be implemented manually.

5. Repurchase

This strategy involves replacing the current application with an AWS cloud-based equivalent.

AWS marketplace contains a number of applications for different purposes. It is important to think about which of them will effectively replace the existing one.

Applications are sorted by category and can be filtered in different ways so you can find the one that suits your business model. Organizations that are ready for the new license model and have no problem with changing the existing one will find this type of strategy easy.

6. Replatform

Replatforming is the second most complex strategy, as it involves adapting current application components to suit the cloud environment.

To make the rebuilding process easier, AWS offers several applications such as:

  • Amazon Cognito,
  • AWS Lambda,
  • Amazon MQ,
  • Amazon QuickSight,
  • AWS Glue,
  • Etc.

This strategy is characterized by changing/adapting the code and increasing security, while the function itself must remain the same.

7. Refactor

The most complex and expensive step is refactoring. When nothing else is possible, the only thing left is to do the complete app makeover required for cloud adaptation. It doesn't have to be seen as a last resort, because some organizations have a strong need for a cloud environment and simply don't want anything less.

The procedure is very demanding and even risky, which means that it must be approached carefully.

Some of the AWS tools that can help you with refactoring are:

  • Amazon EC2,
  • Amazon S3,
  • AWS Directory Services,
  • Active MQ on AWS,
  • Amazon RDS,
  • Etc.


Organizations often seek change to maintain good results or improve them. Cloud is a very healthy environment for scalability and success. The various ways to transition an organization to a cloud environment (listed in this article) make the process to success much easier than it might seem at first.

If you want to know more about cloud migration, cloud technology in general, AWS cloud, or you want to try AWS services:


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