Cloud Computing, DevOps

3 Mins Read

Cloud Migration Patterns for Legacy Applications

Voiced by Amazon Polly


In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, cloud migration has become imperative for organizations striving to modernize their IT infrastructure, improve scalability, and foster innovation. Legacy applications, characterized by their monolithic architecture, outdated technology stack, and reliance on on-premises infrastructure, pose significant challenges when migrating to the cloud. Traditional lift-and-shift approaches often fall short of fully leveraging the benefits of cloud computing, leading to suboptimal performance, increased costs, and limited scalability. Organizations must adopt cloud migration patterns that align with their business objectives and application requirements to overcome these challenges.

Understanding Legacy Application Migration

Often built using outdated technologies and architectures, legacy applications may not be inherently compatible with cloud environments.

Migrating these applications to the cloud requires careful planning, assessment, and execution to ensure a successful transition. One common challenge is the complexity of legacy codebases, which may lack documentation or adhere to outdated coding standards.

Additionally, legacy applications may depend on specific hardware or software configurations, making them difficult to replicate in the cloud. As organizations embark on the journey of legacy application migration, they must consider factors such as application architecture, data dependencies, performance requirements, and regulatory compliance to select the most suitable migration approach.

Pioneers in Cloud Consulting & Migration Services

  • Reduced infrastructural costs
  • Accelerated application deployment
Get Started

Rehosting (Lift-and-Shift)

Rehosting, also known as lift-and-shift, is a popular migration approach that involves moving legacy applications to the cloud without significantly modifying their architecture or codebase. While rehosting offers a relatively straightforward migration path, it may not fully exploit the scalability and cost-saving benefits of the cloud. Organizations opting for rehosting should optimize their cloud infrastructure, leverage managed services, and implement automation to streamline the migration process and minimize downtime. For example, organizations can use tools like AWS Server Migration Service or Azure Migrate to automate the migration of virtual machines to the cloud, reducing manual effort and potential errors.

Replatforming (Lift-and-Reshape)

Replatforming, or lift-and-reshape, involves minor modifications to legacy applications to optimize their cloud performance, scalability, and cost efficiency. This approach typically involves containerization, where legacy applications are packaged into containers for deployment on cloud-native platforms like Kubernetes. By replat forming legacy applications, organizations can leverage the scalability and flexibility of container orchestration while preserving existing functionality and minimizing disruption to end-users. For example, organizations can use containerization platforms like Docker or Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) to modernize legacy applications and use cloud-native services like auto-scaling and load balancing.

Refactoring (Re-architecting)

Refactoring, or re-architecting, is the most comprehensive migration approach involving redesigning and modernizing legacy applications to fully leverage cloud-native architectures and services. This approach requires significant code refactoring, modularization, and adoption of microservices architecture to decouple monolithic applications into smaller, more manageable components. While refactoring offers the greatest potential for scalability, agility, and cost optimization, it also entails higher upfront investment and complexity. Organizations considering refactoring should prioritize applications with strategic importance and long-term viability to maximize return on investment. For example, organizations can use cloud-native development platforms like AWS Lambda or Google Cloud Functions to build serverless applications, enabling them to focus on code development without managing infrastructure.

Retiring and Replacing

In some cases, legacy applications may no longer align with business objectives or technical requirements, making retirement or replacement a viable option. Organizations should comprehensively assess their application portfolio, identifying candidates for retirement based on factors such as usage metrics, maintenance costs, and strategic relevance. Organizations can streamline their IT landscape, reduce complexity, and accelerate digital transformation initiatives by retiring obsolete applications and replacing them with cloud-native alternatives or commercial off-the-shelf solutions. For example, organizations can replace legacy ERP systems with cloud-based solutions like SAP S/4HANA or Oracle ERP Cloud, enabling them to leverage modern features and scalability.


In conclusion, cloud migration patterns for legacy applications offer organizations diverse strategies to modernize their IT infrastructure, optimize performance, and drive innovation. Whether through rehosting, re-platforming, refactoring, or retiring, organizations can leverage the scalability, flexibility, and cost efficiency of the cloud to unlock new opportunities and remain competitive in today’s digital economy. By carefully evaluating their application portfolio, defining clear migration objectives, and selecting the appropriate migration pattern, organizations can confidently navigate the complexities of legacy application migration, paving the way for a successful cloud journey.

Drop a query if you have any questions regarding cloud migration and we will get back to you quickly.

Making IT Networks Enterprise-ready – Cloud Management Services

  • Accelerated cloud migration
  • End-to-end view of the cloud environment
Get Started

About CloudThat

CloudThat is a leading provider of Cloud Training and Consulting services with a global presence in India, the USA, Asia, Europe, and Africa. Specializing in AWS, Microsoft Azure, GCP, VMware, Databricks, and more, the company serves mid-market and enterprise clients, offering comprehensive expertise in Cloud Migration, Data Platforms, DevOps, IoT, AI/ML, and more.

CloudThat is recognized as a top-tier partner with AWS and Microsoft, including the prestigious ‘Think Big’ partner award from AWS and the Microsoft Superstars FY 2023 award in Asia & India. Having trained 650k+ professionals in 500+ cloud certifications and completed 300+ consulting projects globally, CloudThat is an official AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, Microsoft Gold Partner, AWS Training PartnerAWS Migration PartnerAWS Data and Analytics PartnerAWS DevOps Competency PartnerAmazon QuickSight Service Delivery PartnerAmazon EKS Service Delivery PartnerAWS Microsoft Workload PartnersAmazon EC2 Service Delivery Partner, and many more.

To get started, go through our Consultancy page and Managed Services PackageCloudThat’s offerings.


1. What are the key considerations when choosing a cloud migration pattern for legacy applications?

ANS: – Key considerations include application architecture, performance requirements, data dependencies, and organizational readiness. Organizations should thoroughly assess their applications to determine the most suitable migration pattern based on factors such as complexity, time-to-market, and cost.

2. How can organizations mitigate risks during the cloud migration process?

ANS: – Mitigating risks during cloud migration involves thorough planning, stakeholder engagement, and risk management practices. Organizations should prioritize security, compliance, and data integrity throughout migration, leveraging best practices and automation to minimize disruptions and ensure a smooth transition.

WRITTEN BY Deepakraj A L

Deepakraj A L works as a Research Intern at CloudThat. He is learning and gaining practical experience in AWS and Azure. Deepakraj is also passionate about continuously expanding his skill set and knowledge base by actively seeking opportunities to learn new skills. Deepakraj regularly explores blogs and articles related to various programming languages, technologies, and industry trends to stay up to date with the latest development in the field.



    Click to Comment

Get The Most Out Of Us

Our support doesn't end here. We have monthly newsletters, study guides, practice questions, and more to assist you in upgrading your cloud career. Subscribe to get them all!