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Application Migration Tools: Key Features and 10 Tools You Should Know

Read Time: 10 minutes

What Are Application Migration Tools? 

Application migration tools are software or services that facilitate the transfer of applications from one environment to another without requiring complete reconfiguration or re-coding. These tools help businesses shift applications to modern infrastructures like cloud computing platforms, ensuring compatibility and functionality in the new environment. They are vital for organizations looking to modernize legacy systems, consolidate data centers, or adopt multi-cloud strategies.

This is part of a series of articles about VMware migration.

Key Features of Application Migration Tools 

Discovery and Assessment

Application migration begins with discovery and assessment, where tools scan the existing setup to catalog applications and their dependencies. This phase is crucial for understanding the complexities of the IT landscape, including interconnected systems. Detailed assessments allow planners to identify potential challenges and dependencies that could impact migration success.

These tools also analyze the compatibility of current applications with the target environment. Analysis can include performance baselines, resource utilization, and security requirements, providing a comprehensive view that enables informed migration decision-making.

Migration Planning

Effective migration tools streamline the creation of a migration plan. They use data from the discovery phase to define a sequence of moving applications, often suggesting grouping strategies that minimize downtime and mitigate risk. Planning also involves setting realistic timelines and identifying required resources to ensure a smooth transition.

Migration planning tools typically include features like scenario modeling and cost projections. These capabilities allow organizations to compare different migration strategies and predict potential costs associated with each, enabling more strategic planning and budget allocation.

Workflow Automation

Workflow automation is a key feature of migration tools, simplifying the execution of migration processes. These tools automate repetitive tasks such as data copying, application provisioning, and configuration. Automation not only speeds up the migration but also reduces the likelihood of human errors, reducing migration risks.

Additionally, automation tools can synchronize changes across different environments during migration. This functionality is essential when maintaining operational continuity and ensuring that updates in the source environment are reflected in the target environment throughout the migration period.

Performance and Monitoring

Once applications have been moved, ongoing performance monitoring and optimization are critical. Migration tools commonly include features that monitor application performance in real-time in the new environment. They identify any issues that could affect application functionality or user experience, allowing for quick remediation.

These tools also provide analytics and reporting features that assess the impact of migration on application performance. Organizations use these insights to fine-tune systems, improve efficiency, and ensure that applications meet expected performance criteria post-migration.

Related content: Read our guide to application migration strategy

General Application Migration Tools

The following tools are commercial offerings that can support application migration projects between many types of on-premise and cloud environments.

1. Faddom

With Faddom’s application dependency mapping, you can ensure business continuity as you plan application migration. It will detect all your servers, business applications and their inter-dependencies.

  • Faddom is agentless and doesn’t require credentials
  • It is cheap, starting at $10K/year
  • Map the entire environment in real-time, updating 24/7
  • Quick: One person can map the entire organization in an hour

Learn more about Faddom or start a free trial to the right

2. Carbonite Migrate

Carbonite Migrate is a comprehensive tool that enables secure migration of workloads across various environments. It supports migrations between physical, virtual, and cloud platforms with minimal risk and near-zero downtime.

Features of Carbonite Migrate:

  • Hardware and platform agnosticism: Enables full-server or data-only migrations that are not dependent on specific hardware or platforms, supporting a wide range of physical, virtual, and cloud environments.
  • Automated migration processes: The tool simplifies migration by automating configuration and management, which helps in reducing the manual efforts and potential errors.
  • Continuous data replication: Implements real-time, byte-level replication that minimizes performance impact and bandwidth usage, ensuring data integrity and security during transmission with AES 256-bit encryption.
  • Virtual machine auto-provisioning: Automatically provisions virtual machines for Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere, which streamlines the setup and integration into the new environment.

3. Cloudsfer

Cloudsfer is a versatile cloud data migration tool developed by Tzunami Inc., which streamlines the process of transferring and syncing data across various cloud and on-premise systems. It provides a user-friendly interface, robust security measures, and automation capabilities.

Features of Cloudsfer:

  • Multi-platform support: Allows users to migrate and sync data across over 20 cloud storage providers as well as on-premise systems. This includes popular platforms like Google Drive, Dropbox, SharePoint, and OneDrive.
  • Enhanced security: Ensures that all data is fully secured during the migration process, with encrypted communications between systems to safeguard data integrity and privacy.
  • Automation and simplicity: Features an automated, one-click migration and sync process that saves time and reduces the risk of data migration errors.
  • Cloud backup and sync services: Provides automatic cloud backup from and to any integration, supporting data backup from on-premise to cloud and vice versa. Cloudsfer can also sync between cloud services, ensuring data consistency and up-to-date file status across platforms.

Source: Cloudsfer

4. IBM Turbonomic

IBM Turbonomic offers a migration planning platform that simplifies and accelerates the process of moving to a cloud environment. Designed to optimize cloud consumption from the outset, Turbonomic provides tools tailored for cloud-first, hybrid cloud, or multicloud strategies, helping organizations capitalize on potential cost savings through efficient utilization of cloud resources.

Features of IBM Turbonomic:

  • Migration plan optimization: Turbonomic analyzes the real-time resource needs of application workloads, whether based in the cloud or on-premises. It generates detailed migration plans that suggest specific actions and recommend cloud configurations best suited for each workload, helping optimize workloads during the migration process.
  • Discount-aware migration plans: The software considers billing details and price adjustments negotiated with cloud service providers. It strategically includes options to shift workloads to discounted pricing models, such as reserved instances or committed use discounts, to enhance cost efficiency.
  • Guided workflow for migration planning: Offers a user-friendly guided workflow that assists in configuring various scenarios based on an organization’s specific needs. Users can select workloads to migrate, target locations within the cloud environment, and preferences for discount pricing and licensing.
  • Speed and convenience in planning: The platform’s ability to rapidly produce actionable migration plans allows organizations to move forward with their cloud strategies quickly, efficiently managing multicloud sprawl and controlling costs through automated solutions.

Source: IBM

5. Flexera

Flexera offers a suite of tools that guide organizations through cloud migration and modernization. The Flexera One platform equips businesses with the intelligence required to optimize migrations from on-premise infrastructure to various cloud environments, ensuring that each step of the migration is informed by visibility into IT systems and their dependencies.

Features of Flexera:

  • Cloud migration planning: Creates a strategic migration plan that accounts for all aspects of the existing IT environment. This plan helps determine the most efficient path for migrating applications and infrastructure to the cloud.
  • Cloud cost assessment: Offers tools to assess and forecast the costs associated with cloud migration and operation. This feature aids in financial planning and helps organizations find the most cost-effective cloud solutions for their needs.
  • Workload placement: Helps decide where to place workloads based on performance needs, compliance requirements, and cost considerations, ensuring optimal deployment of resources within the cloud.
  • Visibility and business context integration: Provides an overview of applications and their interdependencies across the IT landscape. This visibility supports better decision-making by incorporating business context into the migration strategy, helping to improve outcomes for external-facing applications and overall business impact.

Source: Flexera

6. AppDynamics

AppDynamics provides a set of tools that can improve the effectiveness of cloud migrations. By focusing on real-time performance monitoring and key metrics analysis, AppDynamics helps organizations ensure that their migration activities are aligned with business-critical KPIs and that they are efficiently using their resources throughout the migration process.

AppDynamics migration-related features:

  • Comprehensive performance baseline: Establishes a baseline for every application, end-user experience, and key infrastructure metric. This visibility aids in precise planning, prioritization, and sizing of cloud infrastructure.
  • Real-time monitoring and dashboards: Offers real-time monitoring capabilities that provide full visibility into application performance and user experience issues. Dashboards display service level agreement compliance as events unfold, enabling immediate response to potential disruptions.
  • Dependency mapping: Utilizes flow maps to reveal dependencies across applications, including complex systems like SAP and mainframes.
  • Proactive problem management: Employs AI-driven root cause analysis and anomaly detection to expedite the identification and resolution of issues across hybrid cloud architectures.

Source: AppDynamics

7. Datadog

Datadog is a monitoring and analytics platform that enhances cloud migration processes by providing visibility into cloud, on-premises, and hybrid environments. It is designed to assist organizations in maintaining platform reliability and meeting performance targets throughout the migration journey.

Datadog migration-related features:

  • Unified visibility across environments: Offers a holistic view of servers, containers, applications, and services across all infrastructure types—cloud, on-premises, and hybrid. This is important for effective capacity planning and ensuring that resources are appropriately sized during cloud migrations.
  • Mapping applications and dependencies: Through its service map and network map tools, Datadog allows developers to visualize data flows between services and infrastructure components.
  • Real-time monitoring and adjustments: Provides real-time visibility and performance monitoring across different environments, retaining detailed performance metrics for up to 15 months, tracking applications before, during, and after migration.
  • Comprehensive migration tracking: Datadog includes tools that help track the progress of cloud migrations, with real-time dashboards that display key performance indicators at every stage. This feature aids in rapid problem identification and resolution.

Source: Datadog

Cloud Provider Application Migration Tools 

The following tools, offered for free by the respective cloud providers, provide automation and planning for cloud migrations between on-premises data centers and a specific cloud provider.

8. Azure Migrate

Azure Migrate is a migration platform that simplifies the process of transitioning applications to the Microsoft Azure cloud. It helps organizations assess, migrate, and optimize their on-premises resources into the Azure environment. This tool is designed to support a phased migration strategy, allowing for systematic assessment, migration, and modernization of infrastructure, databases, applications, and virtual desktop interfaces.

Features of Azure Migrate:

  • Discovery and assessment: Starts with a thorough discovery of on-premises resources. Azure Migrate evaluates these resources to provide detailed insights and readiness assessments, helping organizations understand the best strategies and approaches for migration.
  • Centralized migration management: Utilizes a central dashboard that allows for efficient tracking and management of the migration process, facilitating a smoother transition with better oversight.
  • Phased migration planning: Supports creating detailed migration plans based on a phased approach. This method ensures that all related resources are moved together to maintain performance and minimize disruptions during the migration process.
  • Integrated modernization capabilities: Once migrated, Azure Migrate helps in modernizing the applications and infrastructure to enhance performance, scalability, and cost-efficiency in Azure.

Source: Microsoft

9. AWS Application Migration Service

AWS Application Migration Service enables seamless migration of applications from any source infrastructure that runs supported operating systems into the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. It aims to reduce the complexities typically associated with migration while maintaining business continuity and optimizing applications during the transition to AWS.

Features of AWS Application Migration Service:

  • Broad compatibility: Supports migrating applications from a variety of environments, including physical servers, VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, and other public clouds, to AWS. This allows flexibility in source infrastructure.
  • Modernization options: Offers the capability to modernize applications during the migration process. Options include disaster recovery planning, operating system upgrades, and license conversions (e.g., bring-your-own-license to AWS).
  • Automated migration process: Automates the conversion of source servers to run natively on AWS, which minimizes manual intervention and reduces the scope for errors.
  • Operational continuity: Ensures that normal business operations can continue without disruption during the application replication and migration process, critical for maintaining service availability and minimizing downtime.

Source: AWS

10. Google Cloud Migration Center

Google Cloud Migration Center assists with the entire process of migrating from on-premises or other cloud environments to Google Cloud. It offers a range of tools and features that assist organizations in planning, executing, and managing their cloud migrations efficiently, with a focus on minimizing costs and optimizing resource allocation.

Features of Google Cloud Migration Center:

  • Asset discovery: Automatically scans and inventories the assets in your current environment, saving time and effort that would otherwise be required for manual data collection, ensuring nothing is overlooked during the migration.
  • Cloud cost estimation: Provides tools to generate detailed estimates of future cloud costs based on the current setup’s size and configuration. This helps in budget planning and removes much of the uncertainty associated with cloud migration expenses.
  • Infrastructure assessment: Integrates with Google Cloud products like StratoZone to offer deep analysis and holistic views of your environment. It generates total cost of ownership reports, identifies application and network dependencies, and recommends Google Cloud products tailored to your needs.
  • Migration planning: Utilizes the detailed assessments to help plan the migration more effectively. This includes best practices and prescriptive recommendations on what to migrate and how to approach the migration, thereby reducing risks and streamlining the process.

Source: Google

Conclusion

Application migration tools play a critical role in helping organizations transition their IT infrastructure and applications to new environments, particularly cloud platforms. These tools help minimize the risks associated with such transitions by automating processes, optimizing resource usage, and ensuring operational continuity. With features that support discovery, planning, monitoring, and optimization, they are indispensable for businesses aiming to modernize their operations and leverage the advantages of cloud technology.

Learn more about Faddom for application migration

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