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How to Plan Your Migration to the AWS Cloud

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Migration is moving anything to everything, including applications, data, or any digital assets, from your on-premises environment, hosting facility, or another cloud environment into the cloud.
The migration process is considered cumbersome, and people generally rush to get a suitable migration tool. This process will be more effective with a structured approach. In this blog, let’s look for ways by which we can make the journey to AWS cloud easy and structured.

Why do organizations migrate to the cloud?

Before we discuss the migration process, we need clarity on why we are migrating to the cloud. Let’s look at some of the common migration drivers:
1. Cost Reduction: This is one of the main reasons we migrated to the cloud. By using the cloud capabilities, we pay for only what we use, and this helps us from the huge Capex (Capital Expenditure) involved if we had to run our on-premises. Also, using the on-premises hardware to full capacity is highly unlikely.

2. Improved Resilience: By moving to the cloud, there are different ways to improve resilience. High availability can be achieved by deploying resources across multiple Availability Zones and AWS Regions based on the application requirement. Storage option like S3 provides 11 9’s (99.9999999 percent) durability. We can operate on the cloud and for failover use on-premises datacentre.

3. Improved Security: Migrating to AWS Cloud, security and compliance is a shared responsibility between customers and AWS. Its customer’s responsibility for security is “IN” the cloud, and AWS has responsibility for security “OF” the cloud. You can use the Security Group to secure your application and Network Access Control List (NACL) to secure your resources in the subnet. Using Key Management Service (KMS) to create and manage cryptographic keys to encrypt data. We can use IAM to associate necessary permission for resource access.

4. Agility and development productivity: When you are on the cloud adding new IT resources is just a few clicks away, increasing agility. As the infrastructure maintenance is taken off our responsibility, we can focus on improving your application.

5. Innovation and digital transformation: Using AWS, you can enhance your speed for digital transformation, as AWS provides tools on the latest technologies like containerization, Machine Learning, and Data Analytics, which are easily accessible.

6. Data Center consolidation: The cost and operational overhead of handling multiple data centers is high, which can be easily offloaded to AWS using AWS cloud capabilities.

7. Mergers and acquisitions: We can expedite the integration process using AWS global network during mergers and acquisitions.

8. Large-scale compute-intensive workload: For some specific use cases, we will require large-scale compute workloads which can be very expensive to purchase and maintain in our on-premises. Hence using the capability of AWS can be fruitful.

9. Real-estate or facility decisions: Real-estate issues like rental increment or lease contract expiration can drive migration to the cloud.

10. Colocation or outsourcing contract changes: The colocation or outsourcing contract expiration can also be a driving factor.
Before starting our cloud journey, we must have one or more valid reasons for migrating to AWS.

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The Migration Process

AWS recommends a three-phase structured approach to migration. For a successful migration, each phase has its contribution. The phases are as follows:
1. Assess
2. Mobilize
3. Migrate & Modernize
Now let us understand what needs to be done in each migration phase.


We assess an organization’s readiness to operate in the cloud in this phase. We will identify the desired business outcomes and develop a business case for migration. AWS can help you create a business case using AWS Cloud Economics Center, which has plenty of customer engagements with tested methodology. This phase will help us justify before starting large-scale migration.
The services provided by AWS which can be used in the assessment phase:
1. Migration Evaluator
2. AWS Migration Hub
3. AWS Prescriptive Guidance


This phase identifies the gaps in the readiness identified from the assessment phase, and then we can create a migration plan and refine our business case accordingly. A successful migration plan should consider all the interdependencies between the applications, which is critical to collecting the application portfolio data.
The services provided by AWS which can be used in the mobilization phase:
1. AWS Application Discovery Services
2. Migration partner solutions
3. AWS Management and Governance
4. AWS Landing Zone
5. AWS Control Tower

Migrate and Modernize

In this phase, the application is designed, migrated, and validated. Migration is a continued process that doesn’t complete by migrating the applications to the cloud. Still, it’s a continued process where we must continuously optimize our workloads for better performance, cost, and security. The best approach to migrate can be to move to the cloud and then iterate and evolve to an efficient operating model.
The services which help us in the migration and modernization phase are:
1. AWS Application Migration Service
2. AWS Server Migration Service
3. AWS Database Migration Service
4. VMWare Cloud on AWS
5. AWS Marketplace
6. AWS DataSync
7. AWS Transfer Family
8. AWS Snow Family
9. AWS Managed Services
10. AWS Service Catalog
11. AWS Storage Gateway

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