Cloud migration refers to moving data, applications, or other business components to a cloud computing environment.
A company can execute many types of cloud migrations. It is possible to move data and applications from a local on-premises data center to the popular model. On the other hand, a cloud migration could include moving data and applications from one cloud platform or provider to another; this is known as cloud-to-cloud migration. The third sort of migration is reverse cloud migration, also known as cloud repatriation or cloud departure. Data or applications are transferred from the cloud to a local data center.
What are the primary advantages of cloud migration?
The general goals or benefits of cloud migration are largely the same as the reasons to utilize the cloud itself: to host applications and data in the most cost-effective IT environment feasible, based on performance, security, and performance.
Many enterprises are migrating on-premises apps and data from their local data center to public cloud infrastructure to reap increased elasticity, self-service provisioning, redundancy, and a flexible pay-per-use model.
What are the best practices for AWS cloud migration?
When migrating workloads to AWS from an on-premises environment, there are a few factors to keep in mind. ThorTech experts have years of expertise working with AWS Cloud services and have witnessed the benefits of transferring workloads from applications, websites, databases, storage, real or virtual servers, or entire data centers. Throughout our years of experience, we’ve compiled a list of five AWS migration best practices that we’ve successfully implemented for our clients. It is our tried-and-true technique for AWS migration, and it assures that your company can reduce downtime and improve its cloud environment.
Stage of Pre-Migration
- Have a clear view of where IT and business will intersect in the future. Consider how this vision will affect your organization’s strategy and make it widely known. It is critical to articulate why the strategy is relevant to the organization effectively. For more information, read “What Makes Great Leaders Great.”
- Create and distribute a clear cloud governance model. Defining the roles and responsibilities of the larger team and adhering to your organization’s information security precepts of least-access privileges and separation of duties will go a long way toward ensuring business objectives are realized. It also enables you to implement the appropriate controls to strengthen your security posture. Before allowing internal users to access cloud services, you’ll need to answer any questions. How many Amazon Web Services accounts should you have? What information will be available to whom? What method will you use to grant that access? Contact AWS to learn about best practices and the benefits and drawbacks of each approach to cloud governance.
- Train employees early in the process. The more familiar your teams are with AWS, the easier the shift will be; the more internal evangelists you have on your side, the easier it will be to dispel FUD and tear down obstacles. Before making organizational-wide judgments on the future condition of your IT landscape in AWS, this step must take place early in the Journey. See “You already have the people you need to succeed in the Cloud” for additional information on training.
- Invest time and effort in detailing how operations will be implemented in AWS. Examine processes that may need to be adjusted or redesigned, operational tools that can help you in the cloud, and any operational training level that will empower your team. Thinking about operations ahead of time allows you to focus on the big picture and ensure that your environments align with the broader business strategy.
- Understand which IT assets you already hold and intend to migrate. It is necessary to define and measure the success of your cloud adoption completely. Invest time in locating the appropriate discovery tools (such as Risc Networks’ CloudScape, ScienceLogic’s, and AWS Application Discovery Service) and updating your application inventory. It will simplify migration planning and reduce the chances of missing a dependent during the move.
- Choose the right partner(s) to assist you on your journey. Look for individuals who have not only technical expertise and experience migrating to AWS but also the appropriate agile approach and project management framework. You may already have partnered with a cloud competency team in your house. Allow time to vet them and seek references before deciding on a cloud partner. Consider the operational model you intend to use and whether the partner can assist you in implementing it (creating CI/CD pipelines, managed services, etc.). For more information, see The Future of Managed Services in the Cloud.
Stage of Migration
- Begin small and easy. In other words, score some rapid victories. The more familiar your workforce becomes with AWS services, and the sooner your stakeholders understand the benefits, the easier it will be to “sell” the idea internally. Consistency and openness are required, and we find many firms relying on a succession of quick successes to get there.
- Make it automatic. The agility of the cloud realizes through automation. Spend time examining and building new procedures that can benefit from it as you transition. If not all of your processes can be automated, carefully select those that can empower your staff.
- Consider the cloud to be transformative. To do so, modify your internal processes so that they can accommodate this technical development. Use your transformational tendency to align stakeholders with this new paradigm. And be wary of those who claim, “But we’ve always done it this way…”
- Whenever possible, use completely managed services. Amazon RDS, AWS Directory Service, and Amazon DynamoDB are examples of such services. Allow AWS to handle day-to-day maintenance tasks, freeing up your staff to focus on what matters most: your customers.
Stage of Post-migration
- Keep track of everything. When it comes to strong architectures for your applications, having a comprehensive monitoring strategy will guarantee you incorporate every element. Having data-driven insights into how your environment is doing will enable you to make sound business decisions when weighing performance versus cost.
- Make use of cloud-based monitoring technologies. Numerous tools available on AWS give application-level analytics and monitoring (e.g., New Relic, APPDYNAMICS, AWS CloudWatch Logs). Be using the tools that seem to be particularly well suited to the business. Your operations team will appreciate it in the long run, and your business owners will have more data points on which to base their decisions.
- Make use of AWS enterprise assistance. AWS Technical Account Managers (TAMs) and billing concierges are useful resources included in the enterprise-support package. They become a part of your larger virtual cloud team and can serve as a single point of contact and escalation path with AWS and a vital source of technical information and guidance.
In Case of Massive Migrations (For Those Migrating Hundred of Applications at Once)
- Create a solid migration factory that comprises personnel, tools, and processes centered on migration activities. Before your initial wave of migrations, document and communicate details with your business. You want to be nimble to increase the velocity with which apps are transferred to AWS. You should also have sufficient safeguards to keep the migration momentum going, even when there are risks of slippage, such as when your personnel takes time off or when tools fail to perform as intended for specific workloads.
- Serve as a leader and create standards for the migration factory. Consider forming a program management office (PMO) to oversee overall migration efforts and ensure proper communication and change management procedures are followed. Create a Cloud Center of Excellence (CoE) to serve as the focal point of your migration operations. The CoE may operate as an advisory body for technical guidance or be more prescriptive, with members participating in migration efforts. “How to Create a Cloud Center of Excellence in Your Enterprise” goes into additional information about the benefits of a CoE. To ensure a successful migration project, both the PMO and the CoE must be alongside the migration factory.
- Implement an onboarding process for new team members while the project is still in progress. Consider this to be a different type of training. You’ll also need a specialized team to evaluate and approve tools for usage in the migration factory. Consider allocating a smaller team outside of the Cloud CoE to seek efficiencies and patterns specific to your environment to improve the results of your move. The migration may take months or perhaps years, depending on the breadth and cadence of your sprints. The migration factory must be treated as a live creature that constantly evolves and improves.
- Distribute talent wisely among your sprint teams. It guarantees that you have sufficient breadth and depth around AWS services and on-premises applications to handle minor issues during a sprint. Inadequate resources in a sprint might lead to rash decisions and confusion in all subsequent migration sprints.
When deciding on a migration plan for a certain application, consider various factors. Consider the company objectives, the roadmap, the risk posture, the costs, etc. At a high level, you will decide whether to migrate the application as-is or modify it somehow. If you choose either method, attempt to incorporate best practices for resiliency and cost savings whenever practical, and abstract the underlying infrastructure. Auto-scaling, load balancing, multi-AZ scenarios, and right-sizing EC2 instances are distinct possibilities. Allow your teams to use AWS best practices whenever possible, and begin optimizing as quickly as possible.
- Look for patterns and make plans for them. Depending on the strategy chosen, certain migratory patterns will emerge as the team goes through the planning tasks. Creating reusable blueprints for those patterns will accelerate the migration of workloads. Remember to share these with the migration teams as well. It will let those responsible for moving bits and bytes concentrate on speed and efficiency rather than making decisions about how to migrate apps with comparable features.
- Put your applications through testing. The integration and validation of cloud workloads is a vital component of the migration factory. Each application component should be subjected to predefined and well-documented tests. Getting approval from business owners will be much easier if you ask the application owners to supply you with test plans early in the project. Ideally, there will be a single template that every application owner will fill up with their individual testing needs. It can help to streamline validation efforts and reassure your business owners that their apps operate equally or better in AWS than on-premises.
- Ensure that all teams involved have a culture of over-communication. All migration decisions must be recorded and approved. Notify all teams across the organization, even those not directly involved in the migration, that there will be outages and maybe new IP addresses/URLs to send traffic to. Remember to alert any third parties who may have access to your systems.
How can I optimize and successfully perform an AWS Cloud migration?
To plan, implement, and deliver a successful cloud migration strategy for your firm, you begin with a certified AWS Partner. Our AWS Data Migration Service is critical in streamlining our clients’ workflow processes, boosting overall system security and visibility, lowering overhead in the software development life cycle, and enabling game-changing flexibility in bringing new features to market. We build and implement roadmaps for our client’s adoption of a cloud computing environment, saving them significant sums of money in their IT infrastructure budget.
Our AWS Cloud Consultants are certified to provide advice on various cloud migration initiatives. Our AWS Partners are pleased to assist you in determining whether a cloud migration is good for you, planning a migration, carrying it out, and performing QA testing. Our clients find that our services help them reduce IT infrastructure expenses, improve the scalability of business applications and workflows, accomplish their business objectives, and save money. We strive to give the greatest level of service and be a consulting partner you can rely on in every relocation project we undertake.
Contact Suffescom Solution to get started on your AWS Cloud migration project.