What Is Lift And Shift Cloud Migration?


Lift and shift cloud migration means moving your application and related data to the cloud with minimum or no modifications. Applications are “lifted” from their current settings and “moved” to a new hosting location, i.e. the cloud. As a result, no massive changes to the app’s design, authentication methods, or data flow are generally required.

The application’s computing, storage, and network needs are the essential factors in a Lift and shift cloud migration. They should be mapped from the present state of source infrastructure to the cloud provider’s equivalent resources. On-premises over-provisioned resources may be evaluated and mapped to optimum cloud resource SKUs during the migration, resulting in considerable cost savings. You may start with a lesser product and later upgrade to a larger one because most cloud service providers provide on-the-fly upgrades. This is a low-risk strategy for maximizing return on investment.

The process of transferring an identical duplicate of an application or workload (together with its data storage and operating system) from one IT environment to another, generally from on-premises to public or private cloud, is known as “lift and shift.”

The lift and shift method allows for a speedier, less labor-intensive, and (at least initially) less-costly migration than other procedures since it entails no changes to application architecture and little or no changes to application code.

It’s also the least and quickest expensive way for an organization to start shifting IT dollars from capital expense (CapEx) to operational expenditure (OpEx) to launch a hybrid cloud strategy and begin taking advantage of the cloud’s more cost-effective and expandable computing, storage, and networking infrastructure.

Lift and shift migration was a viable option in the early days of cloud computing for all but the oldest, most complicated, most closely connected on-premises applications. However, as cloud architectures have matured, allowing for increased developer productivity and increasingly attractive cloud pricing models, the long-term value of moving an application that cannot exploit the cloud environment has significantly decreased.

The Lift and Shift Cloud Approach’s Benefits

Some of the key benefits of using the Lift and Shift approach to migrate cloud workloads are listed below:

  • Workloads that need specialist hardware, such as graphics cards or HPC, may be transferred straight to cloud-based specialized VMs with equivalent capabilities.
  • Because the application is rehosted on the cloud, the Lift and shift cloud migration technique does not require any application-level modifications.
  • Even after the transfer to the cloud, the Lift and shift cloud technique uses the same architecture components. This means that no substantial changes to the application’s business processes and the monitoring and administration interfaces are necessary.
  • In a Lift and shift cloud migration, security and compliance management is very straightforward since the requirements can be translated into controls that should be applied against computing, storage, and network resources.

Other Migratory Methods vs. Lift and Shift

Using the least disruptive method, risk management, application compatibility, performance and HA needs, and so on might all be factored in deciding on a cloud migration strategy. When deciding on a system, consider the various components of the application architecture and how they interact with one another through multiple interfaces.

PaaS migrations need a substantial amount of work in redesigning the application to fit within the service provider’s platform. New components or the replacement of existing parts may need architectural modifications. On the other hand, lift and shift cloud data center migration is simple and may be accomplished following a review of the cloud infrastructure support matrix.
Migrating to a SaaS is much more complex, as it involves moving from one application to another rather than moving to the cloud. Data management, security, access control, and other elements must be reviewed and adapted to the SaaS architecture. A Lift and shift cloud delivers the same application experience as on-premises and frequently uses the same login and security procedures.

Choosing the Best Lift and Shift Cloud Migration Tools

The tools, technology, and procedures utilized in the migration significantly impact the efficacy of a Lift and shift cloud migration. For a painless Lift and shift cloud transfer of apps, backup replication, minimal downtime, or snapshot solutions are advised. All major cloud service providers provide cloud-native solutions for data migration, such as AWS Database Migration Service(DMS) or Azure Database Migration(ADM).

NetApp’s Cloud Volumes ONTAP is another tried-and-true approach for migrating business workloads to the cloud with ease.


In conclusion, the lift and shift cloud migration method enables on-premises programs to be transferred to the cloud without requiring significant rewrites or overhauls.

If any of the following apply to your organization, the lift and shift cloud migration approach could be a good fit:

  • If you’re on a tight schedule, the lift and shift strategy may help you make the transfer to the cloud faster than other approaches.
  • When compared to expensive approaches like re-platforming and refactoring, lift and shift migration can save money. Lift and shift is often a low-risk method that can enhance business operations.
  • Other approaches, such as re-platforming or refactoring, are more complicated and riskier than lift and shift.

When considering migration alternatives, keep the big picture in mind. Although the lift and shift approach can be practical in many situations, you should weigh your options and pick the migration type best suits your needs.

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