Rehosting: A Strategic Approach to Cloud Migration

Updated 10 May 2024


In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, businesses must enhance their technological capabilities to stay competitive. Rehosting, or “lift and shift,” is a critical strategy for transitioning applications from on-premises environments to the cloud, combining immediate performance benefits with long-term strategic advantages such as enhanced security and scalability. 

Understanding Rehosting 

Rehosting refers to the process of migrating applications and data from an on-premises data center to a cloud environment without significant modification. This strategy involves a direct replication of existing applications, allowing businesses to utilize cloud computing resources while maintaining control over their applications and operational frameworks. 

Rehosting offers a straightforward and efficient approach to cloud migration. By replicating applications as they are, businesses can quickly take advantage of cloud benefits without the need for extensive code modifications or redevelopment. This simplicity allows for a seamless transition to the cloud, reducing the complexity and potential disruptions associated with more comprehensive migration strategies. 

Advantages of Rehosting 

Speed of Migration: Rehosting allows for a quick transition to the cloud, minimizing downtime and accelerating business transformation. 

The speed of rehosting enables businesses to rapidly move their applications to the cloud, reducing the disruption to ongoing operations. By minimizing downtime, companies can quickly start utilizing cloud resources, taking advantage of the scalability and flexibility offered by cloud platforms. This speed is particularly beneficial for organizations that need to adapt swiftly to changing market conditions or scale their operations rapidly. 

Risk Management: By moving existing applications as they are, companies can mitigate the risks associated with complex code modifications. 

Rehosting eliminates the need for extensive code modifications during the migration process, reducing the potential risks that come with rewriting or redesigning applications. By avoiding significant changes to the application’s architecture, companies can ensure that the functionality and reliability of their applications are maintained during the migration. This risk-averse approach allows organizations to focus on the benefits of cloud adoption without worrying about introducing new potential points of failure. 

Cost Management: Initial migration costs can be lower compared to other strategies that involve extensive changes to the application architecture. 

One of the significant cost advantages of rehosting is the reduced upfront investment required for migration. By avoiding extensive modifications to the application architecture, businesses can minimize the time and resources needed for the migration process. This cost-efficient approach allows companies to allocate their budget to other critical areas, such as optimizing applications for the cloud environment or investing in additional cloud services that can enhance their overall operations. 

Challenges of Rehosting 

Performance Optimization: Migrating without modifications means missing out on cloud-native features that could enhance performance and scalability. 

While rehosting offers a quick and straightforward migration path, it may limit the ability to fully leverage the cloud-native features and capabilities that can optimize application performance and scalability. By not taking advantage of these features, businesses could potentially miss out on opportunities to improve their application’s efficiency, responsiveness, and ability to handle increased workloads. It is essential for organizations to weigh the trade-offs between the speed of migration and the long-term performance benefits offered by more advanced cloud-native approaches. 

Long-Term Cost Efficiency: Without leveraging cloud optimizations, ongoing operational costs can be higher than anticipated. 

Although rehosting can provide initial cost savings during the migration phase, organizations must consider the long-term cost implications. By not optimizing applications for the cloud environment, businesses may miss opportunities to reduce ongoing operational costs. Cloud-native optimizations, such as auto-scaling and serverless computing, can help organizations achieve greater cost efficiency by aligning resource usage with actual demand. Therefore, it is crucial for companies to evaluate the potential benefits of cloud optimization and consider these factors in their long-term cost management strategy. 

Security Considerations 

Migrating to the cloud can enhance an organization’s security posture by leveraging advanced security measures offered by cloud providers. These platforms are built with compliance to global standards, offering better control and protection of sensitive data. 

Cloud providers invest heavily in robust security measures to protect their infrastructure and customer data. By migrating to the cloud, organizations can benefit from the advanced security features provided by these platforms, such as data encryption, identity and access management, and continuous monitoring. These measures ensure that sensitive data is protected and compliance requirements are met, providing businesses with greater control and peace of mind regarding their security posture. 

Strategic Planning for Rehosting 

Application Suitability Analysis: Assess which applications are best suited for rehosting based on their dependency on legacy systems and compatibility with cloud features.

Before embarking on a rehosting project, it is crucial for businesses to conduct a thorough analysis of their applications to determine their suitability for migration. Factors such as the dependencies on legacy systems, compatibility with cloud features, and the potential benefits of other migration strategies should be considered. By carefully evaluating these aspects, organizations can make informed decisions about which applications are best suited for rehosting, ensuring a successful migration process and maximizing the benefits of cloud adoption. 

Infrastructure Alignment: Ensure that the cloud infrastructure aligns with the business’s existing IT environment for seamless integration and optimal performance post-migration. 

Successful rehosting requires careful alignment between the existing IT environment and the cloud infrastructure. Businesses should evaluate the compatibility of their applications, networking requirements, storage needs, and security considerations with the chosen cloud provider. This evaluation ensures seamless integration and optimal performance post-migration, minimizing any potential disruptions to business operations. By aligning the infrastructure effectively, organizations can leverage the scalability, reliability, and flexibility of the cloud environment to support their ongoing growth and innovation. 

Time Management in Rehosting 

Rehosting can be quicker than more complex migration strategies, but companies should allocate resources to monitor and optimize applications after migration to maximize efficiency in the new cloud environment. 

While rehosting offers a faster migration process compared to more complex strategies, it is essential for organizations to allocate resources for post-migration activities. After the initial migration, businesses should monitor the performance of their applications in the new cloud environment and identify opportunities for optimization. By proactively managing and optimizing their applications, organizations can maximize the efficiency and benefits of the cloud environment, ensuring a smooth transition and long-term success. 

Integrating Rehosting into a Broader Strategy 

Rehosting should be considered a step towards a more extensive digital transformation. Businesses can stabilize their operations in the cloud through rehosting and then progressively adopt more transformative approaches like re-platforming or refactoring. 

Rehosting should not be viewed as the final destination for cloud migration but rather as an initial step towards a broader digital transformation strategy. By stabilizing their operations in the cloud through rehosting, businesses can gain immediate benefits and lay a solid foundation for future innovation. This foundation can then be built upon by gradually adopting more transformative approaches, such as re-platforming or refactoring, to further optimize applications and take full advantage of cloud-native capabilities. By integrating rehosting into a broader strategy, organizations can achieve a holistic and sustainable cloud migration journey. 


Rehosting is an effective initial step for businesses transitioning to the cloud. By strategically assessing and executing rehosting, companies can set a solid foundation for continuous innovation and growth in the cloud era, ensuring they leverage the full spectrum of benefits offered by cloud technologies. 

The strategic adoption of rehosting enables businesses to quickly and efficiently migrate their applications to the cloud, benefiting from enhanced performance, scalability, and security. By understanding the advantages and challenges of rehosting, organizations can make informed decisions and plan their migration strategy effectively. With careful planning, businesses can harness the power of the cloud to drive continuous innovation, improve operational efficiency, and stay ahead in today’s rapidly changing digital landscape. 



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