Lift-and-Shift & Co: Which way into the cloud fits for me?

Datum: 01.04.2020

Lift and Shift Cloud gridscale

From Lift-and-Shift to Full Rebuild. There are many ways into the cloud. Not every path is suitable for every application in every case. Applications from large companies have often been developed over many years or even decades. They work just as they are. On-premises.

The motto “Never touch a running system” carries a long way, but at some point the question arises for every application whether it is still up to the demands of the digital age; or whether it is not time to move to the cloud.

A good time to consider a switch is in the run-up to a major investment in IT infrastructure; or when an application needs additional capacity or new functionality. Moving to an Infrastructure-as-a-Service environment via Lift-and-Shift or to a Platform-as-a-Service environment via Lift-and-Extend can be more sensible than continuing to use local infrastructure. The additional capacities and functions required could also be created in the cloud via Hybrid Extension, with its open and expandable architecture. The full potential of a platform can be exploited with Full Rebuild.

But how big is the risk? How high are the costs and what development effort is involved? Which way is the right one for my application? Should it be Lift-and-Shift, Lift-and-Extend, Hybrid Extension or even a Full Rebuild?

The paths to the cloud


In the lift-and-shift scenario, the complete application as it is is copied from its own infrastructure to the cloud infrastructure, where it benefits from state-of-the-art hardware. gridscale relies exclusively on enterprise hardware.

Even though the relevance of this scenario has diminished compared to lift-and-extend, there are still many use cases: For example, when speed and budget are top priorities, when technological legacy issues need to be eliminated or when the costs of the data center are rising so rapidly that the application needs to be “temporarily stored”.

Best suited are applications that are already cloud-ready. In all other cases, it is advisable to weigh up the ad-hoc savings and running costs. Another use case would be legacy applications that benefit in the cloud from security services such as role-based access control or multi-factor authentication. Other use cases: Standard applications and disaster recovery. Lift-and-shift is a fast cloud migration that requires few resources; no large team needs to be deployed.


In the lift-and-extend scenario, the application is optimized for the platform while maintaining functionality and user experience. The application architecture can also be switched to microservices/containers.

The initial cost of optimizing the application is higher, but this is quickly recouped through lower ongoing costs. The optimization also leads to more security and higher stability. Lift-and-Extend is ideal for companies that are looking for efficient continuous operation and want to take advantage of the many possibilities of the cloud platform.

Hybrid Extension

In the Hybrid Extension scenario, the on-premises infrastructure remains intact. However, new features and additional capacity are provided via the cloud and connected to the internal applications via a secure hybrid connection.

Hybrid Extension is a fast approach with minimal risk. Companies can use capacity in the cloud without having to make changes to operating systems, applications or the existing infrastructure.

This approach is ideal for addressing peak loads and seasonal fluctuations in resource consumption, planning new features, or taking the first steps in the cloud. It is also an alternative to hardware investments.

However, switching between the cloud and your own data center can cause distance-dependent latency in data transfer. A cloud location in Germany like gridscale is advantageous here.

Full rebuild

In the full rebuild scenario, a team of developers carries out the complete redevelopment of the application, taking into account cloud-native paradigms. Due to the costs involved, this approach is particularly suitable for selected business-critical systems where cloud optimization has a major positive impact on costs and revenues.

By taking extensive advantage of cloud frameworks and functions, including platform-specific developer tools, pay-per-use costs are kept low. The time-consuming and cost-intensive upfront process is therefore contrasted with the particularly cost-efficient operation. The fact that the potential for your own business is best realized with Full Rebuild also means a strong bond with the provider.

We support you in every scenario

Whichever way you choose for your application, gridscale provides you with infrastructures and platforms that you can intuitively adapt to your needs. As cloud computing experts, we have developed many tools to help you along the way. Many things run automatically in the background – like magic.

Three points that are important to us:

  • We offer the proximity, security and privacy of a German data center.
  • We do not believe in data silos. Our API gives you full control.
  • Thanks to Machine Learning, we are the leader in error prevention and can offer you a 100% SLA
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