Browse Definitions :
Definition

lift and shift

Contributor(s): Corinne Bernstein

Lift and shift is a strategy for moving an application or operation from one environment to another without stopping to redesign the app or operations workflow. The complexity of an application or operation is a key factor in deciding whether something should be lifted and shifted or re-architected from scratch as a new native cloud app or operation.

In the early days of cloud computing, the lift-and-shift approach was a common option for replicating on-premises apps in the cloud while avoiding costly, time-consuming re-design. However, many legacy colocation applications that were lifted and shifted to the cloud were not able to take full advantage of the cost-efficiencies of native cloud features, including autoscaling. While commercial, off-the-shelf applications with easily defined patterns were often good candidates for lifting and shifting, re-architecting was a better option for resource-intensive apps, such as those used for big data analysis and image rendering.

Lift and shift vs. refactoring

A common approach to lift and shift is to move an application to the cloud in order to reduce on-premises infrastructure costs in the short term, but then refactoring the app once it's in the cloud. Each approach has its own pros and cons.

compare two application migration models

Disadvantages of a lift and shift approach

Today, there are significantly more disadvantages to a lift-and-shift approach when compared to application refactoring, which is also known as rearchitecting. While it's usually best to refactor an application as part of a migration, sometimes organizations need to do so retroactively.

Lifting and shifting is often compared to moving a houseplant from one environment to another; being in a different habitat can affect whether the plant will thrive. Likewise, an IT project that started in an on-premises or original legacy system might not work as well in a new location.

For example, a lift-and-shift project that starts without sufficient documentation of requirements or operational design can easily go awry. The unfortunate results often involve data that is mismatched to its handling systems or data sets that outgrow their environment. Resource-intensive apps may need to be redesigned from scratch as cloud-native apps to avoid performance and latency issues.

Refactoring may also be necessary when performance fails to meet expectations after a lift and shift, especially when tuning doesn't solve the problem. An application that's been moved to the cloud may also benefit from refactoring when bills are unexpectedly high due to application or database inefficiencies or when security vulnerabilities arise because the application can't integrate with native security systems, such as identity and access management tools.

This was last updated in April 2019

Continue Reading About lift and shift

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

What method did your organization use to migrate applications to the cloud?
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a widely accepted set of policies and procedures intended to ...

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance framework

    A compliance framework is a structured set of guidelines that details an organization's processes for maintaining accordance with...

SearchSecurity

  • Trojan horse (computing)

    In computing, a Trojan horse is a program downloaded and installed on a computer that appears harmless, but is, in fact, ...

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

  • DNS over HTTPS (DoH)

    DNS over HTTPS (DoH) is a relatively new protocol that encrypts domain name system traffic by passing DNS queries through a ...

SearchHealthIT

  • telemedicine (telehealth)

    Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the ...

  • Project Nightingale

    Project Nightingale is a controversial partnership between Google and Ascension, the second largest health system in the United ...

  • medical practice management (MPM) software

    Medical practice management (MPM) software is a collection of computerized services used by healthcare professionals and ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification and is used in internally mounted ...

  • kilobyte (KB or Kbyte)

    A kilobyte (KB or Kbyte) is a unit of measurement for computer memory or data storage used by mathematics and computer science ...

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an operating system (OS) that uses hardware and software to allow a computer ...

Close