A Complete Guide to Planning an AWS Migration

There is a lot to consider when planning an AWS migration. This complete guide walks you through it.

Pilotcore
Pilotcore
9 min read
A Complete Guide to Planning an AWS Migration

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Cloud migration has been going on for a long time now, but many companies have yet to take full advantage of all the cloud has to offer, let alone adopt a cloud-first strategy. Cloud infrastructure offers enormous advantages over funding, building, managing, securing, and maintaining an on-premises data centre. The range of cloud resources available today makes it possible for companies to get up and running quickly with a wide variety of applications, including those that are web-based, mobile, big data processing, or even Internet of Things (IoT) based. Choosing the right cloud service provider is one of the most important decisions a CTO can make.

AWS provides a comprehensive set of services to help you migrate your workloads to the cloud. This guide provides an overview of some of the most important factors to consider when planning your migration, as well as information and resources to help you get started.

What Does AWS Infrastructure Have to Offer?

Cloud computing offers several advantages over traditional on-premises infrastructure. AWS, the leader in public cloud computing, provides a comprehensive set of services that can be used to build and run just about any type of application or workload. On top of its core compute, cloud storage, and networking services, AWS cloud offers services for content delivery, database management, and cloud security. Several managed services make it easy to get started with common workloads without having to worry about provisioning and configuring the underlying infrastructure. AWS is a giant toolkit for any use case.

AWS also provides a rich set of tools and SDKs that make it easy to work with AWS services from a variety of programming languages. And because AWS runs in multiple regions around the world, you can deploy your applications closer to your users for lower latency.

If you're considering migrating workloads to AWS, you should first assess your application's current architecture and how it might need to be modified to run in the cloud. In this guide, we will cover some of the key considerations for migrating an application to AWS.

We will also provide an overview of the AWS services that can be used to migrate and run your applications.

What is The Process of AWS Migration?

AWS Migration is the overall process of moving data, applications, and workloads from an on-premises data centre or another cloud environment to Amazon Web Services. The goal of AWS Migration is to minimize downtime and disruption during the move while ensuring that all data and applications are migrated successfully.

The complexity of migrating existing applications varies as widely as the applications themselves. There are several different ways to migrate data and workloads to the AWS cloud, depending on the size and complexity of the data transfers and workloads being migrated. Common AWS migration strategies include lift-and-shift (also known as rehosting), re-platforming, and refactoring.

What to Consider When Migrating an Application to AWS

There are a few key things to consider when migrating an application to AWS:

  1. Compute Resources: How will my application be hosted? Will I use EC2 instances or containers? What kind of instance types will I need? What size and type of database will I use?
  2. Storage Resources: What kind of data will my application be storing? How will it be accessed? Will I need to use Amazon S3, EBS, or EFS?
  3. Networking Resources: How will my application be connected to the internet? What kind of firewall rules will I need? Do I need a VPN or Direct Connect connection?
  4. Security Resources: How will my application be secured? What type of authentication and authorization will I need? What resources does my application need to be protected from malware and DDoS attacks?
  5. Management and Monitoring Resources: How will I manage and monitor my application? What tools do I need in place to ensure that my application is running smoothly?

Why Migrate to AWS Cloud?

There are numerous reasons why an organization might choose to migrate to AWS. Some of the most common reasons include:

  1. To reduce costs: AWS can offer cost savings over on-premises or other cloud environments, especially when you take into account the cost of hardware, software, and personnel required to maintain an on-premises infrastructure.
  2. To increase agility and speed: With AWS, you can provision resources quickly and easily, without having to go through a lengthy procurement process. This can help you accelerate your time to market and improve your responsiveness to changing business needs.
  3. To improve security and compliance: AWS provides a comprehensive set of security and compliance features that can help you meet your organization’s security and compliance goals.
  4. To increase scalability and flexibility: With AWS, you can easily scale your resources up or down to meet changing demand, without having to make significant upfront investments.
  5. To improve business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities: AWS provides a robust set of tools and services that can help you improve your business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities.
  6. To benefit from security and compliance features: AWS provides a comprehensive set of security and compliance features that can help you meet your organization’s security and compliance goals.
  7. To take advantage of cloud-native capabilities: AWS offers a wide range of cloud-native services and cloud-native features that can help you build, deploy, and operate modern applications.

Some things to consider

As we mentioned, there are many reasons to migrate your workloads to AWS. Perhaps you’re looking to improve agility and speed of innovation, lower costs, or increase scalability and reliability. Whatever your reasons, there are a few things you should keep in mind as you plan your migration.

Define Your Objectives

As the first step, clearly define your objectives. What are you trying to accomplish by migrating to the cloud? What workloads do you want to move? Are you looking to migrate everything at once or in phases? Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can begin to develop a plan for how to best achieve them.

Assess Your Workloads

Some workloads may be more suited for the cloud than others. It’s important to assess your workloads to determine which ones will benefit most from a move to AWS. To do this, you’ll need to consider factors such as how mission-critical the workload is, how much data it generates, how frequently it changes, and whether or not it’s latency sensitive.

Estimate Your Costs

One of the greatest advantages of migrating to AWS is the cost savings you can achieve. But it’s essential to remember that not all workloads will be cheaper in the cloud. Make sure to estimate your migration costs upfront so you have a clear understanding of what you’re spending on migration and running your workloads in the cloud.

Select the Right Tools and Services

AWS offers a broad range of tools and services to help you migrate your workloads. It’s important to select the right ones for your specific needs. The AWS Migration Hub is a great starting point to get an overview of the available services and how they can help you with your migration.

Plan for Success

Last but not least, it’s important to have a plan in place for how you’re going to ensure a successful migration. This includes having the right people and resources in place, as well as establishing clear timelines and milestones. Make sure to also test your migration before going live to avoid any potential issues.

How to migrate to AWS step-by-step:

The migration process is crucial to consider and to get right. There are a few necessary steps you'll need to take to migrate to AWS:

  1. Define Your Migration Strategy: The first step is to define your AWS migration strategy. You'll need to decide which data and workloads you want to move, and how you're going to move them. You may choose lift-and-shift, re-platforming, or any of the other standard options. It's important to choose the right one for your needs.
  2. Prepare Your Data and Workloads: Once you've decided which data and workloads you're going to migrate, you'll need to prepare them for the move. This may involve backing up data, converting file formats, or making other changes required for compatibility with AWS. AWS has many services discussed in the next section, as well as tools offered in the AWS Marketplace that simplify the migration process.
  3. Migrate Your Data and Workloads: The next step in the migration process is to migrate your data and workloads to AWS. There are many different migration tools and services available to help with this, so it's important to choose the right ones for your needs.
  4. Test and Validate Your Migration: Once your data and workloads are migrated, it's important to test and validate the AWS migration to make sure everything is working as expected. This may involve running tests, monitoring performance, or checking for errors.
  5. Clean Up: After you've tested and validated your AWS migration, you can clean up any resources that you no longer need, such as old data backups or unused servers. The migration process is complete.

Top Services for AWS Migration

There are several different tools and services available to help with migrating data and workloads to AWS. Cloud migration is much easier than it once was. Some of the most popular options include:

AWS Migration Hub

Migration Hub is a service that helps you track your data and workload migrations to AWS. It provides a central place for you to view the status of your cloud migration processes and can help you troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

AWS Database Migration Service

Database Migration Service is a tool that helps you migrate data from your on-premises database to an Amazon RDS or Amazon Aurora database.

AWS Server Migration Service

Server Migration Service is a tool that helps you migrate on-premises servers to AWS. You can also migrate VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V/SCVMM, and Azure VMs with SES. It can automate the process of migrating your servers and provides several features to help make sure the cloud migration journey is successful.

AWS Application Migration Service

Application Migration Service is a tool that can automate the process of migrating your applications and helps you migrate applications to AWS by converting them to run natively in AWS. Using AWS Application Migration Service can save you a lot of time.

AWS DataSync

DataSync is a tool that helps you synchronize data between on-premises storage and Amazon S3 or Amazon EFS. It's particularly useful for keeping data synchronized between multiple locations.

AWS Snowball

Snowball is a physical device that you can use to migrate data to AWS. It's particularly well suited for large data sets and can be used in situations where Internet connectivity is limited. The broader Snow Family offers a range of related services, hardware tools, and even big rig trucks to move your data to AWS.

These are just a few of the many tools and services available to help with migrating to AWS. The right option for you will depend on your specific needs and requirements.

AWS Migration Best Practices

There are several best practices that you should follow when migrating to AWS. These include:

Planning Your AWS Migration

Carefully planning your cloud migration is essential for ensuring its success. You'll need to consider which data and workloads you're going to migrate, and how you're going to do it.

Testing Your AWS Migration

Before you go live with your cloud migration, it's important to test it thoroughly. This will help ensure that everything is working as expected, and can help you avoid any potential issues.

Monitoring Your AWS Migration

Once your cloud migration is live, it's important to monitor it closely. This will help you identify any problems that may arise, and enable you to take corrective action if necessary.

Following these best practices will help ensure that your migration to AWS is successful.

Common Migration Challenges

Several common challenges can arise when migrating workloads to AWS. These include:

Data Loss

One of the most common issues that can occur during AWS migration is data loss. This can happen for several reasons, such as incorrect data format conversion or failing to properly migrate all data.

Compatibility issues

Another common issue is compatibility problems between on-premises systems and AWS. This can happen if data or workloads are not converted correctly, or if there are differences in the way that AWS operates.

Performance Issues

Migrations can also lead to performance issues, such as increased latency or reduced throughput. This can be caused by many factors, such as incorrect server sizing or poor network connectivity.

These are just a few of the most common challenges that can occur when migrating to AWS. It's important to be aware of these issues and to plan for them accordingly.

How to Avoid or Mitigate Migration Challenges

There are many things you can do to avoid or mitigate cloud migration challenges. These include:

Planning Carefully

One of the best ways to avoid challenges is to plan your AWS migration carefully. This includes considering which data and workloads you're going to migrate, and how you're going to do it, what sort of AWS infrastructure your applications will live in.

Testing Thoroughly

Another way to avoid problems is to test your cloud migration thoroughly before going live. This will help ensure that everything is working as expected, and can help you avoid any potential issues.

Monitoring Closely

Once your cloud migration is live, it's important to monitor it closely. This will help you identify any problems that may arise, and enable you to take corrective action if necessary.

By following these best practices, you can help ensure a successful migration to AWS.

How to Get Started with AWS Migration

If you're looking to get started with cloud migration, there are a few things you'll need to do. First, you'll need to assess your needs and requirements. This will help you determine which data and workloads you need to migrate, and how you're going to do it.

Next, you'll need to choose the right tools and services for your cloud migration journey. There are several options available, so it's important to select the ones that best fit your needs.

Finally, you'll need to test your AWS migration before going live. This will help ensure that everything is working as expected, and can help you avoid any potential issues.

By following these steps, you can get started with AWS migration and help ensure a successful transition.

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