AWS Cloud Migration Strategy and Process

In this post – ‘AWS Cloud Migration Strategy and Process’ will discuss upon – what is cloud migration,why we need them, how can you do migration to AWS cloud and AWS Cloud migration tools.

What is Cloud Migration ?

Cloud migration is a process of moving data, applications or other services to a cloud computing environment from an on-prem Data center. This process is called data center migration to cloud.

We can either move the entire data center fully into cloud or move part of it to cloud which is called Hybrid cloud or have the data center moved to multiple cloud providers like AWS cloud , Azure cloud, etch which is called multicloud.

Why do we need to do Cloud Migration?

The main drivers for AWS Cloud Migration are listed below,

  • Zero Capital cost on Server infrastructure.
  • Reduced operational costs.
  • Operational Resilience – Improving application availability / uptime by using of multi AZ replication / Region.
  • Ease of Vertical & Horizontal scalability.
  • Productivity / Agility –  How efficiently & quickly you are able to get your services to market.
  • Go Global in shorter time.
  • Security.
  • Self Servicing
  • Redundancy
  • Pay what you use.
  • Ease in managing services.

Furthermore to above mentioned factors there could  also be a various other factors influencing AWS Cloud migration, but the above listed are core benefits.

AWS Cloud Migration Strategy and Process

You can follow any of below strategy, of which Lift and Shift cloud migration is consider in most of the cases where and all applicable due to minimal changes.

AWS Cloud Migration Assessment

  • Financial Assessment – Cost for renting the servers, storage network and support.
  • Regulatory and Compliance Assessment – Legal and contractual regulations.
  • Security Assessment – Does you cloud migration strategy covers all your security compliance.

However it is more important for you to assess if is really worth moving to cloud like if it is financial effective, regulation/statutory compliance met,etc.

AWS Cloud Migration Process

AWS Cloud Migration Process is a step by step business infrastructure and application transformation into cloud. Which consists of Planning and preparation, discovery ,
migrate and Operate & Optimize. AWS Cloud migration process defines below phases,

Phase 1:Migration Preparation and Business Planning

This is a preparatory phase.Here you determine the need, objective and benefits that will derived out of AWS Cloud Migration. In this phase even you can perform a PoC and consequently verify the outcome. Therefore this is where you decide whether AWS Cloud migration is viable business case.

Phase 2 - Portfolio Discovery and Analysis

Here you will Identify/Discover the IT Assets that are in scope AWS Cloud Migration Process.

Discovery:

First of all you need to gather Business and Technical details. Business details includes

  • your number of servers in current infrastructure .
  • road map to migration .
  • applications in scope.
  • current owners of the application.

You have to record business critical functions,Regulatory compliance (GDPR), local rules, SLA’s and support.

You will also need to discover Technical details include

  • server size (CPU + Memory).
  • OS .
  • Network and other third party interfaces.
  • Risks.

Finally once above details are collected you will have to make a matrix out of it and plot the details against each of them. Like  Server Name, IP, Environment Type, Business purpose,OS , CPU , Memory, SSD size,etc.

There are third party tools available in the market to discover each of the above technical details or we can use AWS Application Discovery Servicefor the same. However you need to be install them on the server to discover these details.

Analysis:

Once the required informations were discovered, you will have the data need to be analyzed . Consequently establish complexity, weightage, compatible or incompatible software, target server -type, size, memory, storage, AZ, etc.

Phase 3 - Designing

The outcome of Phase-2  should help you to finalize AWS Cloud Migration Strategy in the likes of Rehost, Replatform, Repurchase, Refactor , Retire or Retain.

In this designing phase you will also plan delivery priorities and accordingly you will have to design your AWS Cloud migration process. Here you start designing with number environment and number of applications to delivered. You will also need to identify the dependencies between modules or application which would help to phase the AWS cloud Migration Process.

First of all your AWS Cloud Migration process design should meet AWS well-architected framework. You will have to finalize on below design strategies,

Account Strategy – An account for your Production Server and another for Test & Development instance and so on.
VPC Patterns- You desgin your routing flow,public and private subnet pattern, security and son on.
Architectural Pattern- Whether is fully on cloud or a Hybrid one, how secure, scalable , reliability, AZ and further more on AWS well Architected Framework.
Meeting your Security and Governance.

Phase 4 - Migration & Validation

Finally this is the phase where you will do your actual AWS Cloud Migration.First of all you will start with how you are going to migrate your data to AWS Data center like checking for  bandwidth , Network connectivity,  snowbal availability , any other third party tools, limitation on either side AWS & on-prem connectivity and so on.

Above all Database migration which is considered to be most crusial and critical you can decide on tooling in the likes of Database Schema migration tool, AWS Data Migration Service or standard export/import of dump files.

For application code/server migration you can try simple lift & shift or re-platform/refactor strategies. AWS Server Migration service as well is available which automates the migration process.

Validation

Finally Application & DB are migrated and now you need to verify and validate the migrated components. You may start with basic steps like logging into AWS Console and check the VPC, Public & Private subnet details, security group configuration,AZ,Load Balancers, Autoscaling configuration if any and all the servers (EC2 / RDS) and any other additional services.

Perform sanity tests or basic functionality  tests. Once above all are satisfactory perform integration tests and backups/ read replica sanity.  Finally you may handover the Testing to Business / UAT for sign-off.

Once Business Sign-off is given implement your cut-over strategy for switching to new AWS Cloud.

Phase 5: Operate & Optimize

Finally we have the application on AWS Cloud. Once the application is up and running on AWS Cloud, we should constantly iterate on modernizing & optimizing your Application. Optimization may include turning off instances when not in use or using reserved / scheduled instances . Introducing caching and CDN. Improvising application using serverless,  effectively using AWS monitoring and logging services. Taking or scheduling backups regularly. Implementing Devops like CI/CD pipeline, CloudFormation and so on. You can check for AWS Cloud services here.

AWS Cloud Migration Tools

AWS Cloud Migration assessment tools

  • AWS Migration Hub :

       To track the progress of application migrations into AWS Cloud.

  • AWS Application Discovery Service:

    Helps you plan migration projects by gathering information about their on-premises data centers.

  • AWS Server Migration Service :

    Is an agentless service which makes it easier and faster for you to migrate thousands of on-premises workloads to AWS. This is can used fo migrating application server.

  • AWS Database Migration Service:

    -Helps you migrate databases to AWS easily and securely.

AWS Data Migration

Data can be moved from on-prem to AWS Data center using following means,

  • Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration – Faster Transfer over internet,j ust  change the endpoint you use with your S3 bucket and acceleration is automatically applied.
  • AWS Snowball – a petabyte-scale data transport solution that uses secure appliances to transfer large amounts of data into and out of AWS.
  • AWS Direct Connect – you establish a dedicated network connection between your network and one of the AWS Direct Connect locations for transfer.

Conclusion

Probably by now you should have got a fair idea about AWS Cloud Migration Strategy and process, tools and transfer mechanisms available. Please provide your suggestions or comments in the below comment section if you have any questions or any value additions.

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