Navigating Your Cloud Migration

AWS Migration Readiness Assessment: Planning a Migration

Cloud computing is no longer optional for businesses that use technology and hope to remain competitive. It's gone far past being a trendy buzzword to almost total saturation of the business world. 90% of businesses are using some form of cloud-based technology at this point.

One of the good things about when tech goes mainstream is there are a lot of goods and services that come pre-made. This is great for companies that want to take advantage of cloud technology's capabilities without having to hire a team of developers or IT professionals. Public cloud services accounted for $104.79 billion in 2019.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the leading provider of public cloud services. They provide cloud services for 32% of all spending on cloud-based technologies.

There are so many reasons why a company might want to adopt a public cloud solution, ranging from security to practicality. Moving to the public cloud comes with a unique set of challenges, however.

If you're preparing to move over to AWS, we've compiled a guide to AWS migration readiness assessment to help ensure that your transition goes as smoothly and painlessly as possible.

Your Guide To AWS Migration Readiness Assessment

Before we begin, let's take a moment and define our terminology. Having a ready understanding of AWS migration will help you conceptualize AWS migration readiness assessment more easily.

What Is AWS Migration?

Before cloud-based technology became as prevalent as it is today, barely anything was standardized. Trying to merge files onto the cloud was a nightmare of conversion, redundancy, and lost data. That's not to say anything about running programs and applications from the cloud.

AWS migration is the process of moving any of your on-site assets to the cloud. When it's handled correctly, the process is smooth, painless, and efficient. This is one instance where the saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure" really comes into play.

Taking a moment and make sure that your organization is properly prepared before beginning to move to the cloud ensures that your files and digital assets are ready to be moved, greatly reducing the risk of any lost data or unnecessary work.

How To Prepare For AWS Migration

Since AWS cloud services have become so commonplace, AWS migration has become an industry in its own right. This means it's far more standardized than the early Wild West days of cloud adoption.

Here are the steps you need to consider as part of an AWS migration readiness assessment.

Assess Migration Readiness

Assessing your AWS readiness begins with the AWS cloud adoption framework (AWS CAF). The AWS CAF is a framework for objectively analyzing your network. It helps you see the big picture, which will give you a better idea of how the smaller pieces fit together.

These are some questions you should keep in mind when assessing your network via the AWS CAF:

  • Have you considered the size and scope of your AWS migration?
  • Is your private cloud server secure?
  • Has your team been trained for the new system?
  • Do you know how to use all of the software you'll need for your AWS migration?

Amazon even offers a checklist for assessing your network through the lens of AWS CAF. This is known as the Migration Readiness Assessment (MRA). It's designed to catch any omissions in your preparation and fill them before beginning the migration in earnest.

Application Discovery

Application discovery is the part of AWS CAF where you assess your physical environment. You'll take note of all of your servers, both physical and virtual. You'll also take stock of which applications are running on these servers. You'll also need to take note of what operating systems you're using.

Taking a moment and assessing your physical infrastructure will help you develop a strategy for your AWS migration. You'll be able to think carefully and plan out things like file sharing permissions, data security, and availability.

Even better, there are several automated tools for application discovery. This greatly reduces the risk of things getting overlooked or lost in translation.

Discovery Tools

The automated tools for application discovery are located in the AWS Marketplace under Migration. The Application Discovery Service (ADS) takes inventory of your servers and infrastructure. It then maintains the inventory by continually monitoring your system.

It also helps you visualize the interdependency of your data and how all of your applications work together.

ADS also keeps a record of all of the different versions of your operating systems. It also measures processes and applications running on your servers to find opportunities for improved performance.

Finally, ADS offers a way to catalogue applications and servers and monitor them in a way that's understandable for the users.

Application Portfolio Analysis

After ADS has made an inventory of your network, application portfolio analysis assesses that data to find patterns by which to group applications. It identifies the order of migration to create a migration strategy. This analysis provides an overview of your organization's resources, gathered by common traits.

Some examples of portfolio analysis might be:

  • Observing most of your applications are running a particular version of Windows. Some servers may require an OS upgrade for your apps to run properly.
  • Assessing database structures, such as SQL or Oracle
  • Grouping assets by function, i.e. sales and marketing, productivity, or infrastructure management
  • Grouping of resources by different environments, for instance, testing, development, or production

Migration Planning

With the migration planning stage of the AWS migration readiness assessment, you're getting close to being ready to begin your migration in earnest. The migration planning stage is where you'll decide on the scope of your migration. You'll create a schedule for how your migration will be implemented.

Next, you'll assess what kinds of tools and resources you'll need to undertake your AWS migration. You'll also take stock of any potential risks or problems you might face.

Finally, after you've gone over all of these stages, you'll communicate with your shareholders and anyone who could be directly impacted by your transition to the cloud.

To help make sure your migration goes as smoothly as possible, it's recommended that you adopt Agile methodologies to avoid any unnecessary disruptions. It is also recommended that you implement best practices for project management. Finally, it's a good idea for you to have a solid business communications strategy in place to help ensure your migration is a success.

You should also take stock of whatever project management tools, resources, and methodologies you'll be using over the course of your migration. You'll want to make sure that the team that will be using those tools are trained before beginning the migration in earnest.

Next, you'll want to lay out a step-by-step guide for business communication. You'll want to decide on what networks you'll be using to handle those communications. You'll also want to delegate who's in charge of that messaging.

Now you're going to create a detailed plan for mitigating risks. You'll also want to make a chart to determine who's responsible for what. Data migrations can be complex, with lots of moving parts across multiple sectors of your organization. You'll want to have as much concretely laid out and in writing as possible. Don't rely on memory; that's a mistake.

You'll also want to designate team leaders for every department taking part in the data migration. These leads will handle communications between your employees, management, and shareholders, helping to ensure that everyone's on the same page over the course of the cloud migration.

Technical Planning

You're very nearly ready to begin your AWS migration in earnest. Once you have your application analysis inventory in place, you'll create a list of applications and the priority they play in the data migration. Each application will be analyzed and assessed, as well, to make sure that as little disruption occurs as possible.

Your project management and Agile methodologies you put in place during the earlier steps will help prevent you and your team from getting overwhelmed during this process. You'll want to group applications and data in order of importance, as well. This will help you create a schedule and timeline for your migration as well as predict how much the entire process is going to cost.

Congratulations! You are now ready to begin moving your data, digital assets, and applications to your AWS server! When you've gone through these steps, thoroughly and carefully, migrating to the public cloud can be relatively quick, easy, and painless. You'll be up and running in less than no time!

Ready To Migrate To The Cloud?

Cloud-based technology is truly incredible. It offers unparalleled power and possibilities previously only available to Fortune 500 companies.

Whether you're just beginning your AWS migration readiness assessment or looking to upgrade your cloud-based apps, we can help streamline your process and make sure you're operating at peak efficiency. Contact us today to let us know how we can help you or to schedule a consultation!