What is AWS Migration and Benefits of Migrating to Cloud?

2.5 quintillion new bytes of data generated each day (IBM, 2015)

With so much data around, cloud migration is an ideal solution today. It is the process of moving data, applications, or other business components from an organization’s on-premises infrastructure to the cloud, or moving them from one cloud service to another.

Why Should I Consider Cloud Migration?

Consider this:

According to recent stats, it is estimated that by 2020, more than 1/3rd of the data will pass through the cloud. Well, it would be better to learn swimming than to sink.

Here are the following benefits of cloud migration:

  • Modernize Current IT asset base
  • Prepare for future needs
  • Lower infrastructure costs
  • Increase Business agility
  • Disaster RecoverySecurity


Common questions asked by Enterprises

  • Is Cloud Secure?

49% of IT decision makers admitted they are ‘very or extremely anxious’ about the security implications of cloud services. (BT Global Services, 2015)

I think there are a lot of myths surrounding to cloud security. Undoubtedly, without the right amount of planning and advanced technology, cloud-based platforms are as risky as your existing enterprise systems.

  • How does the cloud work with my existing on-premise investments?

If you already have made on-premise investments, you can still work in a hybrid cloud model.

Challenges Faced In AWS Migration

Some of the challenges faced by the companies while AWS migration is:

  • Lack of details and scope with respect to security, operating system, compliance, etc
  • Limited or no accurate tools for discovery and process
  • Lack of application contexts/ info
  • Similar data storages/limited CMDB
  • Inaccurate on-premises cost

These challenges lead to increased costs, longer time to value, and inaction. Therefore, it becomes crucial to do a detailed analysis of the business needs and available options.

Factors Influencing a Successful Migration

  • Complexity of Application Architecture
  • How loosely coupled your application is?
  • Efforts Required: how much effort you are willing to put into migration

How to Migrate Application/Data to AWS Cloud

The how to of AWS migration is divided into 3 stages – Before Migration, During Migration, and After Migration.

Before Migration Stage

1. Purpose of moving to cloud

Purpose 1: My business is growing and my site usually goes down because of high-traffic, what should I go for?
Ans: Public or Private cloud

Purpose 2: I have made enough investments for on-premises storage, how can I get the best of Cloud alongside?
Ans: Hybrid

2. Staff Training

It is important to train the staff early in the process. This will help you with:

  • Smoother transition
  • Easier to dissipate FUD and break down barriers since you have more knowledgeable internal teams.

Make sure this step takes place before you make organization-wide decisions on the improvising your IT asset.

3. Selecting Right Partners

Well, if you have the right partners by your side, the journey will be smoother and more effective.
But how to find your AWS soulmate?

  • Look for the ones having technical expertise and good experience in migrating to AWS.
  • Experts having the right project management framework and agile methodology.
  • Check on if your cloud partner can help facilitate the operational model you plan on adopting. Since the AWS certified partners have the right expertise to help in hassle-free migration.

During Migration Stage

Before further moving to how of AWS migration, here’s a formula suggested by AWS to determine how much data can be moved and how fast.

Number of Days = (Total Bytes)/(Megabits per second * 125 * 1000 * Network Utilization * 60 seconds * 60 minutes * 24 hours)

AWS Migration: 5 Steps to Cloud Migration

The 5 AWS Migration steps are:

1. Planning and Assessment

The planning and assessment phase is divided into:

  1. Financial Assessment
  2. Security & Compliance Assessment
  3. Technical and Functional assessment


This step helps you build a business case for moving to the cloud. Let’s explore each phase:

1.1 Financial Assessment

Before making a decision to move to the cloud, you need to estimate the cost of moving data to AWS cloud. A careful and detailed analysis is required to weigh the financial considerations of on-premises center versus employing a cloud-based infrastructure.

P.s You also need to evaluate the on-premises costs which include server cost, storage cost, network cost, and IT labor costs.

1.2 Security and Compliance Assessment

If you are wondering about:

  • Overall risk tolerance
  • Main concerns around availability, durability, and confidentiality of your data.
  • Security threats
  • Options available to retrieve all data back from the cloud

Then it is better to involve your security advisers and auditors early in this process.

Since data security is a challenging task, therefore, you must understand your threats, risks, and on the basis of that classify the data into different categories. This will help you know which datasets to move to the cloud and which ones to keep in-house.

1.3 Technical and Functional Assessment

Assessing the need to understand which applications are more suited to the cloud strategically and architecturally. This helps you decide:

  • Which application/data to move into the cloud first
  • Which data to move later
  • Which applications should remain in-house

Questions you should ask yourself before moving data into the cloud:

  • Which applications should the business move to the cloud first?
  • Can we reuse our existing resource management and configuration tools?
  • How can we get rid of support contracts for hardware, software, and network?
  • Does the cloud provide all of the infrastructure building blocks we require?   


2. Migration Tools

There are physical limitations when it comes to migrating data from on-premises locations into the cloud. That’s where migration tools come to rescue. The following tools will help you move data through roads, networks, and technology partners.

For best results, you should opt the following:

Connection Data Scale Method
Less than 10 Mbps Less than 500 GB Unmanaged
More than 10 Mbps More than 500 GB Managed


2.1 Unmanaged Cloud Data Migration Tools

If you need easy, one-and-done methods to move data at small scales, go for the following tools:

  • Glacier command line interface

On-premises data → Glacier vaults

  • S3 command line interface

Write commands → Data moves directly into S3 buckets

  • Rsync

Open source tool combined with 3rd party file system tools

Copy data directly → S3 buckets

2.2 Amazon Managed Cloud Data Migration tools

On the basis of optimizing or replacing the internet and friendly interfaces to S3, there are following tools you can leverage:

 

A. Optimizing or Replacing the Internet

Ideal for moving data lakes, large archives and more.

Ideal for Data Migration Tool to Be Used
1. Migrate petabytes of data in batches to the cloud AWS Import/Export Snowball
2. Migrate exabytes of data in batches to the cloud AWS Snowmobile
3. Connect directly into an AWS regional datacenter AWS Direct Connect
4. Migrate recurring jobs (with incremental changes over long distances) Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration


B. Friendly Interfaces to S3

Makes it simple to use S3 with existing native applications. Helps you to integrate existing process flows like recovery, backup, etc.

Ideal for Data Migration Tool to Be Used
1. Push backups or archives to the cloud with least disruption Technology Partnerships
2. Cache data locally in a hybrid model Gateways (AWS or Partner)
3. Collect and ingest multiple streaming data sources Amazon Kinesis Firehose
4. Migrate petabytes of data in batches + apply on-board storage + compute capabilities AWS Snowball Edge


For better understanding, see:

 

3. Various Storage Options Available in the AWS Cloud

Decide which storage option is feasible for you on the basis of:

  1. Cost,
  2. Durability,
  3. Latency performance (response time),
  4. Availability,
  5. Size of object stored (large, small),
  6. Accessibility,
  7. Cache-ability,
  8. Consistency (eventual, strict),
  9. Relational (SQL joins)
  10. Update Frequency

The table will help explain which storage option to use:-
Here are two strategies that will help you move part of or an entire system to the cloud without disrupting the current business.

4. 2 Major Strategies for AWS Migration

1. Forklift Migration Strategy

  • Self-contained applications, tightly coupled applications, or stateless applications might be better served by this approach.
  • “Pick it all up at once and move it to the cloud” approach.

Pros

  • Shrinking IT infrastructure footprint: Using this approach for certain application types, you have to worry less about the IT infrastructure.
  • Focus on Other Important Resources: With this approach, you will be able to focus on your core and differentiating resources to be ahead of the competition.

Cons

  • Might not be able to take immediate advantage of scalability and elasticity of the cloud

2. Hybrid Migration Strategy

  • Taking some parts of an application and moving them to the cloud while leaving other parts of the application in place.
  • Ideal for large systems involving several applications.

Pros

  • Low-risk approach to the migration of applications to the cloud.
  • Parts can be moved and optimized one at a time.
  • Reduced risk of unexpected behavior after migration.

Cons

  • Time-consuming.

Configuring and Creating AMI

  • AMI provides the information needed to launch an instance. This is provided by AWS or solution provider.
  • You will need to create an AMI for each component designed to run in a separate Amazon EC2 instance.
  • Create an automated or semi-automated deployment process to reduce efforts and time.
  • Think of a process for configuration management to ensure your servers running in the cloud are included in your process.

5. Application Migration Options

Well… here are some relevant application migration options available:

1. Live Migration

  • The process of moving a running application from physical machines to cloud without disconnecting the application.
  • Memory, network connectivity, and storage of the virtual machine are replicated from the physical machine to cloud.

2. Host Cloning

  • It is cloning the Operating System image and typically one-time migration.

3. Data Migration

  • Synchronizing the data between computer storage types or file formats to the cloud. The data is selectively pushed to AWS Cloud.

4. App Containerization

  • An OS-level virtualization method for deploying and running distributed applications.

5. VM Conversion

  • Converts Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) into AWS recognizable format. The data is transferred via API.

The level of Efforts Required with Each Migration Method:

 

Post Migration Stage

1. Leveraging the Cloud

After migrating your application, don’t forget to run the necessary tests, and confirm everything is in place. Invest time and resources to explore the additional benefits of AWS cloud. You must:

  • Leverage AWS Enterprise Support
  • Leverage other AWS services like Auto Scaling Service, Amazon CloudFront, and Amazon Elastic MapReduce.

2. Monitor and Optimize

  • Understand usage patterns

Understand → Monitor → Examine → Observe
Follow this to know your load patterns and manage the cloud environment more effectively.

  • Improve efficiency

Since AWS charges only for the infrastructure (having utility pricing structure) that has been used, you can cut cost here by optimizing your systems.

3. Use Cloud Monitoring Tools

There are various tools available that help in application-level insights and monitoring on AWS. Some of them are:

  • New Relic
  • AWS CloudWatch Logs
  • APPDYNAMICS

Conclusion

Crunched time? Don’t worry. Talk to our experts to analyze your needs and we will manage the rest of the things for you!

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