Benefits and Challenges of Moving Existing Apps to the Cloud

By: Morpheus Data

When you need to move an existing app to the cloud, it can be quite a challenge. To begin, you will need to decide what method would be best to use in order to move a particular app over to the cloud. The method you use may need to be different for each app that needs to be moved, so it is a good idea to see what benefits and challenges there are to each one so that you can make the best decision for all of the apps you need to transfer.

Why put apps in the cloud? First and foremost, this should be driven by fundamental business considerations, not simply the desire to offload overburdened IT professionals.

Source: ZDNet

Secondly, you need to be sure that moving the app is the best course of action for your business at the time. Would the costs to move it outweigh the benefits? If so, it may be best to wait until the timing is better, unless of course, the move is urgent for other reasons (e.g., the app’s old environment will no longer exist or the app is failing in the old environment).

The three most common ways that you can move an app to the cloud are to replace it with a SaaS (software as a service) option that does the same thing, relocate the existing app to the cloud, or rewrite the existing app so that it works (or works better) in the cloud environment. Each of these options will be looked at for the advantages and disadvantages that come with it. The experts at Gartner visualize it similarly as shown below.


Replacing the app with SaaS

We typically recommend SaaS to small to medium businesses with fairly straightforward business processes that are looking to reduce upfront expenses.

Source: Derek Singleton, Software Advice

If the app you are moving is does something relatively common there may already be a SaaS solution available in the cloud already that you could use in place of the old app. If so, this can be the simplest solution, since you could simply take a little time to configure the SaaS app for your needs and begin using it.

This has a great upside when such an app is available, but the downside is that you may not be able to find such an app already available. In such cases, you would still need to move your app using one of the other solutions.

Relocating the app to the cloud

If you have a smaller budget and/or little spare resources, the next best option would be to relocate the existing app to the cloud. This might be as simple as spinning up a Windows or Unix instance and installing the app there so that it can be run, but it might also be more complex.

You will likely need to make sure that your custom operating system, database, and other settings can be set up on the new system. This could be as simple as moving over some configuration files but could be more difficult if some of the specifics of the new system are different.

In cases where the operating system the app uses is unavailable, you may have to do some extensive work in order to move the app into that particular cloud structure. Depending on just how extensive this work is, you may need to move to the option that involves rewriting the app for the cloud since it may actually end up being less time-consuming in some cases.

Rewriting the app for the cloud

This is a wonderful option if you have the time, budget, and resources to rewrite the app entirely in order to take advantage of the options available in the cloud. In this case, you get to choose the operating system, database, and programming languages optimal for your team, the cloud service you have, and the goals of the specific app.

If you have a cloud service that offers a good variety of operating systems, you will have quite a bit of freedom to choose the type of setup you would like. With this, it will be much easier if you determine the database you like would work best on Unix. You can simply spin up a Unix instance in the cloud, put the preferred database in place, and get to development!

No matter which option you decide to use for a particular app, the cloud offers quite a bit more flexibility for your budget and your development team. With a unified multi-cloud orchestration tool like Morpheus, you will have the ability to spin up many different operating systems, monitor your apps, and scale your apps as you grow. More importantly, you can do it at your own pace from brand new cloud-native micro-services to legacy bare metal apps to mixed migrations that may different tiers on different platforms located in different clouds.

This level of agility and flexibility can help you find the right path to cloud migration that works for your unique needs!