Lift-and-shift cloud migration

For businesses transitioning to the cloud, migrating existing applications to an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform via a “lift-and-shift” approach is a common first step. The lift-and-shift cloud migration model involves moving the underlying infrastructure to run on virtual servers in the cloud and then replicating existing applications to run on the (public or private) cloud platform, without redesigning them.

Dynatrace, the market leader in application performance management (APM) software, offers the industry's best solution to help prepare you for a successful cloud migration project

Cloud migration

Pros and cons of lift-and-shift


  • Redesigning a monolithic application to take advantage of new technologies and cloud platform features can be time consuming and expensive
  • Hosting a ported application on a cloud platform may be less expensive than on traditional static infrastructure


  • Applications typically make less efficient use of cloud computing resources than cloud-native applications
  • Applications might not be as scalable or cost effective to operate in the cloud as hoped

Pros and cons

Not all applications are suitable for lift-and-shift

Migrating resource-intensive applications (data-crunching, media processing, modeling, simulation) running on mainframes can introduce performance or latency issues. It may be less expensive to leave such applications where they are.

Applications that rely on local third-party services also might not be good candidates for migration, because it might not be possible to (or the business might not be licensed to) run the third-party services in the cloud.

Unsuitable for cloud

Best practice: Start small

Starting small and migrating a single application (or part of an application) at a time is a better practice than trying to migrate everything at once. Understanding all the dependencies between applications, services, and cloud components will help you determine which part to migrate first, and whether other parts should be migrated at the same time.

Look before you leap: Understanding all your current app dependencies

Before you can lift and shift anything, you need a rock-solid understanding of how everything works together. Dynatrace lets you know what you don't know by giving you a full picture of your entire application environment and all dependencies. With its unique Smartscape application topology discovery and mapping technology, Dynatrace automatically

  • detects billions of causal dependencies between websites, applications, services, processes, hosts, networks, and cloud infrastructure within minutes
  • maps out your entire application topology in an interactive infographic
Smartscape technology shows your all your application’s dependencies.

Ensure SLAs: Keeping a close eye on performance metrics

To make sure you're getting the benefits you expected from your lift-and-shift, monitor your service-level agreement (SLA) performance metrics before, during, and after migration. Dynatrace discovers all your application services before migration and automatically links them to the new equivalent cloud services—so you don't lose historic SLA and performance data!

Automatically discovered datacenters with geo location data.

Keep up with your cloud: Monitoring dynamic environments

Monitoring application performance in the cloud can be more complex than humans can manage by themselves—there are simply too many changes happening too fast. Dynatrace self-learning capabilities and artificial intelligence–powered big data analytics were built to automate smarter monitoring in today's dynamic environments.

Dynatrace automatically discovers your entire application stack from your customers' web browsers to your application, down to containers, infrastructure and cloud.
Automatic root-cause analysis is a unique Dynatrace capability that's changing the lives of operations teams.

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