How well you can cope with your computer workloads is the thing that determines your business competitivity in the present digital era. To be precise, it matters only when you operate all your applications and websites on an on-premise basis. Both the hardware and software you own require a well-developed infrastructure, highly-skilled staff, and appropriately arranged workflows. And all of those instances are your investments (aka expenses) that depend on your organizational capability and business sustainability. In other words, they are always potentially vulnerable to numerous circumstances you cannot control all the time.
But your workloads cease to matter most when some digital giant takes responsibility for your infrastructure. The bridge between your business and digital giants is in cloud technologies. Even super-rich transnational corporations such as GE, BP, Coca-Cola, Samsung, and many others have handed over management of their digital workloads to such cloud behemoths as Amazon. Migration to clouds is a global trend that keeps growing. Gartner predicts the public cloud market will reach $331 billion by 2022.
Worldwide Public Cloud Service Revenue Forecast (Billions of U.S. Dollars) Source
Probably, the most famous cloud platform today is AWS (Amazon Web Services). Scalability, cost-efficiency, and business agility inherent in AWS with its 175 cloud services have encouraged hundreds of thousands of enterprises all over the world to relocate their IT assets to the platform. Nonetheless, some might argue that any one-fits-all solution is rather wishful thinking than reality: there are too many companies in the contemporary digital environment and their peculiar features are too diverse. Exactly, which is why Amazon’s cloud engineers offer different approaches to what is known as the AWS migration process. Both the arguments whether AWS migration is worth time and effort along with possible algorithms of doing so are what this post tells about.
What is in AWS for me?
Before doing any cloud migration, it is worth assessing possible outcomes for your business. Even though an AWS migration process can go almost automatically, errors and failures are never excluded. Migration can entail risks. If you invest a lot in your on-premise infrastructure, and your business goes quite satisfactory, you can follow the famous saying that the best is the enemy of the good. Do your business-as-usual if you don’t suffer from cost issues and a dramatic increase in the number of visitors to your website seems unlikely to occur any time soon. But if you have an optimistic vision for your business development, it is time to think about leveraging your IT capabilities and consider an appropriate AWS migration plan. Besides, some successful use cases from AWS customers can add a bit of enthusiasm to your movement.
AWS cloud migration plan in essence
Any AWS migration plan is broadly divided into three main stages:
- Before migration. Which business results will be achieved due to cloud migration is the question that arises before the process. A correct answer to this question will determine whether you will go on or not. If you do, the entire staff should be prepared properly for both the new after-migration style of management and synchronization of data between your on-premise infrastructure and a cloud. To minimize possible risks and errors a certified AWS partner is worth engaging in the process. A comprehensive AWS migration checklist won’t hurt as well;
- During migration. Hesitations are left behind and the AWS migration process is on. The most appropriate AWS migration tools, strategies, and patterns are run. Selection between them depends on your particular business: choose different tools if you need to move exabytes of data (AWS snowmobile) instead of petabytes in batches (AWS import/export snowball). If you do not want to refuse your on-premise structure completely, use a hybrid approach to cash your data locally with the AWS storage gateway. Multiple streaming data sources can be collected with AWS Kinesis Firehouse. Storage options in the AWS cloud depend on such variables as cost, durability, response time, accessibility, update frequency, size of objects, etc. Use Amazon RDS if you need to move complex transactional systems and web apps while migration of media files and video can be conducted better with Amazon S3 + CloudFront. If you doubt which application migration strategy to choose, appeal to a professional AWS partner for assistance.
- After migration. To start benefiting from the AWS migration process you should do some post-migration settings. Various Amazon’s support services can help in auto-scaling, monitoring, optimizing, and managing the entire AWS cloud environment. New Relic, Amazon Elastic MapReduce, and AWS CloudWatch Logs are just a few of the enterprise services that enable users to understand and control everything happening with their IT assets in the AWS cloud.
Migration patterns: making AWS migration process simpler
Over the last decade of the existence of AWS, cloud engineers from Amazon gained a rich experience in dealing with various customers. Their broad practice has proven that any application migration strategy would work better when ready-to-use migration patterns were available. Amazon’s specs have grouped their migration tools following the so-called “7 R’s” patterns to make the AWS migration process simpler for newcomers. Now, you can choose a pattern that fits best with your vision of how to move your particular applications to the cloud. Let’s compare a few of such patterns:
- Try the Re-host one if you need to conduct multiple large migrations rapidly in an automated mode. The method is fast and economical in the context of the subsequent rehosting to be done later on. However, the convenience of this application migration strategy makes it relatively expensive.
- If you are not against rethinking your applications’ architecture in accordance with what the in-cloud native operation implies, the Refactor (also known as the Re-architect) pattern can meet your expectations. The cloud-native applications can promise higher ROI and progressive cost reductions since your apps are optimized for cloud services. This pattern of the AWS migration process enables your applications to fully benefit from cloud resilience. At the same time, Refactor is the longest and the most resource-intensive method of migration.
- When you need to hold some parts of your application on your servers for whatever reason, a hybrid approach can be the most appropriate. The Retain pattern is just about it. No dramatic changes in your infrastructure are needed in such a case. However, this AWS migration plan has its downside: flexibility and cost-reduction capabilities inherent in clouds remain beyond your app existing in the on-premise environment.
The other migration patterns such as Re-purchase, Re-platform, Relocate, and Retire all have their peculiar features described in detail in a specially created e-book. It is worth reading when you are fully committed to developing your own AWS cloud migration plan. But the e-book can be more graspable if some professional AWS migration partner assists you with a practical experience.
Getting rid of patches and updates, gaining cloud-based resilience, reducing infrastructural problems and operation costs, earning more money with fewer efforts as well as many other business advantages can result from a properly executed AWS migration process. Amazon’s cloud engineers do their best to make the process going fast in an error-free manner. However, a successful application migration strategy is never a stupid simple errand. The diversity of specific options during AWS migration requires users to have a sufficient IT qualification. A practical cloud-migration experience won’t hurt as well. Contact us today if your AWS migration plan needs a trouble-free implementation.