The 7 Rs Of Cloud Migration Strategies Explained

The cloud is essential for success in the digital age, as more and more organizations are moving their resources to the cloud to boost their growth. By 2024, almost half of the IT spending will shift from traditional technologies and solutions to the cloud.

However, migrating to the cloud is not easy. Many cloud projects fail, and organizations have difficulty in getting the full benefits of cloud investments if the migration is not done carefully and systematically.

The key to achieving true cloud transformation is choosing the right cloud migration approach for your IT assets and planning accordingly. This article aims to help you understand the cloud migration strategies, helping you create a path for migration and smoothly transition to the cloud.

What Are Cloud Migration Strategies?

A cloud migration strategy is a plan an organization adopts to move its existing infrastructure (such as data, applications, services, and other resources) to the cloud.

Formulating a robust strategy is the first step toward migration. The goal is to have a seamless transition of the workloads from on-premises to the desired cloud infrastructure without impacting availability or day-to-day operations.

This strategic framework is often tailored to ensure that the transition to the cloud is smooth, secure, and aligned with the organization’s overall business objectives, operational needs, and budget constraints.

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However, the journey to the cloud differs for every organization, as there is no one-size-fits-all migration plan. Each IT asset to be migrated is unique in terms of cost, performance, and complexity. So you cannot move all components to the cloud with one common method. Moreover, some workloads may be suitable for migration.

Thus, making a roadmap for migration helps answer all the questions of what, how, and in what order to move these components. This is where cloud migration strategies come into play.

The 7 Rs of Cloud Migration Strategies

The 7 Rs of cloud migration are a series of strategies that organizations can use to effectively plan, execute, and optimize their migration projects. These strategies offer a roadmap for determining the ideal approach to transferring applications and data from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud. 

By adopting these strategies, you can ensure a smooth and successful transition to the cloud, maximizing the benefits of cloud computing while minimizing potential challenges and risks.


Known in the tech world as “lift and shift,” rehosting simply means taking your current applications and data and moving them to the cloud as they are. 

Imagine it as relocating your belongings from one home to another without sorting or repacking them. It’s a fast track to the cloud, appealing for businesses looking to move quickly without delving deep into the cloud’s extensive toolkit. 

However, this direct move may not fully tap into the cloud’s extensive array of features and optimizations, potentially leaving some cloud benefits on the table. 

Rehosting is typically chosen by organizations needing to move quickly due to data center leases expiring, for instance, or when in-house expertise on cloud-native technologies is limited.

Pros Cons
Makes the transition smoother and faster. Limits use of cloud-native features, leading to missed opportunities for better performance.
Saves on the cost and time needed to redesign applications. Could lead to future changes that cancel out any initial savings.
Keeps business operations running smoothly without interruptions.


Replatforming is a strategic approach to migrating applications to the cloud while making targeted modifications to optimize their performance in the cloud environment. 

This method is akin to renovating a house before relocating to a new place. Instead of completely overhauling the structure of the house, you make selective changes such as repainting, upgrading furniture, or installing new appliances. By doing so, you can reap the benefits of the new location without investing excessive time and resources into rebuilding the entire house.

By making minor adjustments, like adopting managed database services, organizations can improve performance and reduce costs. However, the scope of modifications is carefully managed to avoid extensive redevelopment. 

Replatforming suits businesses looking to enhance their cloud presence with minimal disruption and a moderate level of cloud integration.

Pros Cons
Boosts performance and scalability with minimal adjustments. Could lead to compatibility issues requiring additional fixes.
Reduces expenses through more efficient use of cloud features and resources. Replatforming might not leverage all the advantages and features of the cloud.
Less disruptive than refactoring and smoother to migrate.


The Repurchase strategy is akin to opting for a new, modern home over moving your old furniture to a new place. 

Organizations choose to switch to cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, foregoing the need to migrate old applications and data. 

This path offers a fresh start with new features and capabilities that were previously unattainable. It simplifies maintenance and scales easily with demand. However, transitioning to SaaS might mean losing customized features of legacy systems and adjusting existing workflows to fit the new platform. 

Repurchase is ideal for companies willing to adopt new ways of working for the sake of advanced functionalities and reduced overhead.

Pros Cons
Gain access to new features that were previously unavailable. Incur higher costs over time due to subscription fees.
Let others handle the maintenance, making things easier. Sacrifice custom features and potentially alter workflows.
Effortlessly scale capacity as needed without complications.


Refactor involves re-imagining and redesigning your applications to be cloud-native, taking full advantage of the cloud’s scalability, resilience, and flexibility.

In simpler terms, cloud-native refers to modifying your applications and code to better suit the cloud environment. It’s like remodeling your house, tearing down walls and adding extensions, to create your ideal home. It means tailoring your applications to fully exploit cloud advantages such as scalability, resilience, and cost-efficiency. 

While refactoring can unlock the full spectrum of cloud benefits, it requires a significant investment of time, resources, and expertise. 

Organizations that choose to refactor are typically looking to future-proof their applications, making them as adaptable and efficient as possible within the cloud ecosystem.

Pros Cons
Maximizes the cloud’s potential for improved performance, scalability, and cost-efficiency. Requires significant investment in terms of time, resources, and money.
Prepares applications for the future, ensure their adaptability  Challenging learning curve and the possibility of downtime during the switch.


The Relocate strategy marks the newest trend in cloud migration tactics. It’s all about moving data and applications from one cloud platform to another, much like switching from one furnished apartment to another in search of a better view or improved amenities.

Setting itself apart from traditional methods such as rehosting or replatforming, the Relocate approach is centered on moving between cloud environments. This strategy allows for a fresh start in a new cloud setting without the need for significant changes. 

It provides a straightforward solution for businesses looking to enhance their cloud setup, enabling a smooth transition to a better-suited cloud provider with minimal fuss.

Pros Cons
Strategic moves for cost, performance, or politics. Expensive.
Easier to switch providers than to change applications. Needs careful planning for smooth integration.


Sometimes, the best move is not to move at all. Retain advocates for a selective approach towards cloud migration, recognizing that not all applications are best served by a move to the cloud. 

This strategy is grounded in the understanding that certain applications may require remaining on-premises due to factors such as regulatory compliance, latency sensitivities, or unique hardware dependencies.

It’s about finding the perfect harmony between cloud and on-premises resources, ensuring that your IT infrastructure is in tune with your business needs.

Pros Cons
Complies with strict regulations. Limits scalability and flexibility.
Reduces latency issues. Increases costs over time.


The Retire cloud migration strategy is the approach used to migrate a workload into the AWS Cloud by decommissioning or archiving it. 

This strategy is suitable for applications that are no longer needed, have no business value, or pose security risks. By retiring these applications, the organization can save costs, reduce complexity, and focus on more valuable services. 

This method is about identifying and eliminating redundancies within the IT portfolio, thereby streamlining operations and focusing resources on areas that drive value.

Pros Cons
Cuts costs by getting rid of old or useless applications. Needs careful analysis to avoid business or data problems.
Makes IT simpler, easier, safer, and more innovative. Risks losing data if archiving is not done well or dependencies are not clear.
Reduces security risks from old applications that are not supported or safe.

When to Use Each Migration Model

Migrating applications and data to the cloud involves various strategies, and choosing the right migration model depends on the specific needs and circumstances of an organization. 

Here are some scenarios where each migration model can be useful:

Migration Strategy Ideal Use Case
Retire For phasing out obsolete workloads and applications that no longer contribute to the organization’s goals, thereby reducing IT resource wastage.
Retain Suited for businesses aiming to keep control over specific IT assets, especially those exploring hybrid cloud solutions or needing to comply with specific regulatory or security requirements.
Relocate Appropriate for transferring applications between cloud environments or providers, with minimal need for changes, ideal for optimizing performance or cost without substantial alterations.
Rehost Intended for organizations seeking a rapid and cost-effective transition to the cloud, planning to undertake further optimizations post-migration.
Replatform For those looking to migrate to the cloud cautiously, allowing for incremental upgrades without a full-scale overhaul of existing systems.
Repurchase Favors entities looking to adopt cloud-native capabilities swiftly, leveraging a pay-as-you-go model to access modern features without redesigning from scratch.
Refactor Best for complex applications requiring significant modifications for performance optimization or to meet new compliance and security standards, fully embracing cloud-native benefits.


It’s important to note that the choice of migration model may vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the applications, the level of customization required, the desired level of control, and the organization’s long-term goals and strategies. 

Organizations should carefully evaluate their specific needs and consult with cloud migration experts to determine the most appropriate migration model for their unique circumstances.

How Renova Cloud Can Help Your Cloud Migration Journey

Embarking on your cloud migration journey is a big step towards transforming your business, and Renova Cloud is here to make that transition as smooth as possible. As a leading provider of cloud solutions in Vietnam, Renova Cloud is dedicated to helping businesses like yours leverage the power of cloud computing to its fullest potential.

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At Renova Cloud, we offer a wide range of cloud services designed to fit the unique needs of your business. Our flexible and scalable solutions are specifically crafted to support your business goals on AWS. Our team is stacked with certified cloud experts who are passionate about bringing you the best in cloud architecture, security, and cost efficiency. 

We’ve helped numerous businesses achieve remarkable results through cloud migration. For instance, we worked with a financial services company to streamline their cloud strategy, cutting operational costs by 30% and speeding up their product launch times. 

Reach out to us and let’s talk about how we can support your successful transition to the cloud.