Over the past years, organizations and individuals stored data in physical storage devices. Technological advancements have led to an influx in data volumes around the globe. As a result, the cost of data storage has increased significantly. To cater to this problem, cloud storage was invented. Cloud storage allows individuals to store huge volumes of data without incurring the costs of purchasing and maintaining physical assets. Cloud data storages are centralized servers that allow users to upload and access specific data types whenever they need. The introduction of cloud storage resulted in cloud migration, where individuals and organizations shift from physical data storage to cloud. Cloud rationalization is a critical initial step of cloud migration. It is a feasibility analysis of the migration process conducted before storage is shifted to the cloud.

Importance of Cloud Rationalization

There are various reasons why cloud rationalization should be considered before migrating. They include;

Predicts the Expected Workload

Cloud rationalization prepares an organization for the work volume involved in migrating to cloud storage. Understanding the workload allows for planning for the number of technicians needed to affect the process. Additionally, it gives the organization or individuals the expected timeline for the entire process.

Financial Considerations

Cloud migration is a critical process for any organization. Therefore, financial adequate financial planning should be made to facilitate the entire process. Cloud migration leads to retiring of some assets previously owned by the organization or individuals. Cloud rationalization allows for the establishment of the financial benefits and losses that could be attained by cloud migration. If the cost of migration and hosting is higher than physical storage, it could be postponed to a later date when the organization is ready.

Work Scheduling

Cloud rationalization allows the organization to schedule the migration process. It allows scheduling of the first workload, which is an important step in the migration process. The first workload provides an opportunity to learn, demonstrate, and develop a growth mindset in cloud storage. The first workload should have minimal dependency with a defined testing path. Additionally, it should not interact with secure data.

Choice of Storage Service Provider

Cloud rationalization influences the choice of cloud storage services. It gives an opportunity to study the nature and volume of data to be stored. It also allows the determination of the number of expected users that might access the data at a given time.

The 5 Rs of Cloud Rationalization

Cloud rationalization varies slightly depending on the nature of data being migrated. However, a standardized analysis of the process gives considerations that cut across all forms of data. The analysis gives common options for cloud rationalization; the five Rs. These R’s stand for the following options.


Rehost refers to when a current state asset is moved to the cloud without significant changes to its architecture. It is also referred to as lift and shift. Factors that might influence rehost include minimal capital expense, freeing up data center space, and achieving rapid returns on investment.


Refactor is when an application is modified to match the current Platform as a service (PaaS)-based model. It is effective in cutting costs of moving application storage to the cloud. Refactor is influenced by benefits such as code portability and faster and shorter updates.


Rearchitect implies modification or creation of new programs that are compatible with cloud storage. It mostly applies in cases where applications were created long before cloud storage was built. Rearchitect is also applied where the application is cloud compatible but not native. It is therefore modified to match the cloud requirements.


In some cases, cloud migration could be too expensive to justify the entire process. This leads to the need to rebuild the entire application to suit the expected expenditure. Such situations are common with applications that were meant to support business needs but are now unsupported. The main aim of rebuilding is to lower operation costs.


Cloud rationalization and migration are done using the best technology and methods available. If the workload to be migrated fails to match the process, it can be scheduled for replacement.

Cloud rationalization plays an essential role in cloud migration. However, for it to be effective, the right equipment should be used. The migration process should be handled by technicians with adequate knowledge of cloud migration and storage.