Traditionally companies hosted their IT infrastructure, software applications and databases in on-premises servers in their local datacentres or in some third-party datacentres. Although this practice seemed like a feasible solution, in the past few years’ companies have adopted cloud services and solutions, plus the demand to migrate their on-premises infrastructure to cloud and the need to leverage new technologies to cater to their business continuity/efficiency has been soaring high. And the reason for this rapid shift in the hosting approach is due to some of the common challenges faced by the customers in their on-premises environment.
Following are some of the common concerns of hosting on-premises:
Setting up on-premises datacentre requires capital investment in hardware, software, and infrastructure. On-premises infrastructure’s hardware can reach end of life and might require the need to upgrade.
Once the datacentre is up and running, it requires ongoing maintenance and upkeep, including software updates and hardware upgrades. This also increase costs.
On-premises datacentre are often limited in their scalability, as it requires purchasing and installing new hardware. This can be a major challenge for organizations in response to changes their business needs.
On-premises datacentre are vulnerable to natural disasters, power outage and other unexpected events that can disrupt operations and cause data loss.
Many organizations want to free themselves from the rigid licensing agreements and contracts for their critical hardware and software setup. And they don’t want to deal with the application life cycles or to sign any inflexible contractual terms as it slows down their business efficiency.
Let’s discuss the basic migration phases and the tools used in this migration process. The On-Premises to AWS migration can be done in five phases as mentioned below.
The first phase of migration journey from on-premises to AWS cloud is the assessment phase, during which an organization's readiness for the cloud will be determined by conducting a rapid discovery and evaluation of its on-premises environment. This includes:
Network analysis on the On-Premises environment.
Gathers inventory data and application interdependencies between them.
TCO comparison between on-premises environment and AWS Cloud.
Relevant AWS migration strategy and the tool / service used to migrate their on-premises workload will be determined.
Cloud Readiness assessment and action plan to close identified gaps.
Business usecase creation
The Mobilization phase is the second major step in the AWS Migration process. This includes:
Proof of Concept which provides real-migration experience.
Detailed migration plan and migration wave group will be determined.
Landing zone setup
Establish Security best practices and Cloud Operating model.
Improvements based on the AWS WAR reports.
Once the resources and other workload have been defined in the plan and ready phase, the next step is the Migration phase. In this phase,
The workload from on-premises to AWS cloud will be migrated based on migration wave plan.
During the Migrate phase, every organization must validate the performance level of the workload that migrated, and it is functioning as acceptable.
After the Migrate phase, the next step is the Modernization phase which is the process of improving the migrated workload take full advantage of AWS services. AWS provides AWS Elastic Container Service (ECS), AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) to modernize their applications and organizations can migrate the workload to a container – based architecture to achieve better performance, improve efficiency and reduce costs.
After successful migration, it is advised to make sure to establish proactive monitoring processes. The goal is to ensure your application performs well in the cloud; using the expected resources and without incurring overhead. This includes,
Effective continuous monitoring
Best practices recommendations
For organizations to maximize long-term value, cloud optimization focuses on the key areas of utilization, cost, and security; this cannot be done solely through monitoring and troubleshooting. Optimization is a continuous cycle where intelligence drives automation to make sure cloud environments are always secure, performant, and no underutilized resources persists. This includes,
database performance tuning and monitoring
Re-engineering wherever requires
Implement new features and services
Configuration of alerts
Amazon recommends seven migration strategies in different ways.
This is the process of decommissioning the applications on on-premises which are no longer necessary.
Retaining is the process of maintaining some applications on on-premises and no need to migrate for now. Customer might choose to migrate in future accordingly.
This is the strategy which involves the as-is migration of moving existing on-premises to cloud without any little modification.
Relocation is the process of moving the workloads from on-premises platform to a cloud version of the platform. For example, you can use this strategy to transfer servers in bulk from VMware software-defined data center (SSDC) to VMware Cloud on AWS.
This is the process of lifted, making some changes on the application code, and shift to AWS to use PaaS offerings or AWS managed services like Amazon RDS.
Repurchasing involves replacing the existing applications by using Software-as-a-service (SaaS) or the products available on AWS marketplace.
Refactoring refers to the process of redesigning the applications to take full advantages of AWS services by using serverless computing or container-based services.
Redington leverages AWS services in Cloud migration journey which includes the following,
AWS Migration Readiness Assessment (MRA) is a process of gaining insights into how far along an organization is in their cloud journey, understanding their current cloud-readiness strengths and weaknesses, and building an action plan to close identified gaps.
AWS Migration Portfolio Assessment (MPA) is AWS service that simplifies the assessment process of the on-premises portfolio in preparation for the migration to AWS. It can be used in the early stages of migration to compare current on-premises costs against the potential cost savings of moving to AWS, or with high fidelity data to create a detailed business case and migration plan.
Migration Evaluator helps to speed up business decisions for migration to AWS and make it easier to acquire insights on data centre assets. Following analysis, Migration Evaluator generates an evaluation report that illustrates the projected savings and cost estimate of running your on-premises workloads on the AWS Cloud.
AWS Migration Hub is the assessment tool which assess and plan your migration from existing on-premises environment. It gathers inventory data for the assessment, planning and tracking process of migration such as number of existing servers and which servers are to be migrated.
AWS Application Discovery Service is an agent – based tool which helps by providing the detailed inventory of IT assets on their existing on-premises, network dependencies, server hostnames, IP addresses, and resource utilization prior to migration.
Creating the Landing Zone is the deployment of workload and applications by using an AWS Control Tower service or you can customize the landing zone creation.
AWS MGN is an Application Migration Service which replicates your on-premises physical, virtual servers, or any other workload into your AWS account. It is a 90-day free service when it is used continuously for migration.
AWS DMS Database Migration Service which acts as an intermediate between source endpoint and target endpoint and helps you to migrate your databases from on-premises to AWS cloud. It helps to migrate your existing data, or replicate ongoing changes, or both migrate existing data and replicate ongoing changes.
AWS provides Snowball edge device which has the capacity to store 80 TB data in a single device. Using AWS Snowball edge device one – time data migration can be done. It helps to keep data in AWS S3 Glacier when data is not frequently accessed.
Overall, AWS Migration helps every organization to modernize their IT infrastructure, to achieve business goals and staying updated in today’s landscape. Also, it is very important to approach the migration process with a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities involved.
AWS migration services support patching of hardware/software and error reporting. it also enables management of infrastructure in an automated fashion. Services like DMS supports heterogeneous data migration and has a breadth of options with mostly used commercial and open-source databases.
The business processes are undisturbed while running the replication as it replicates the source servers while still maintaining peak performance. This continuous replication reduces the cutover time.
Need to pay only for the services you use, no upfront cost and maintenance cost will be incurred unlike the traditional methods of hosting and migration. As the migration services in AWS primarily can lift and shift any application or database from on-premises infrastructure to cloud.
AWS provides access to a wide range of AWS cloud services such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Internet of Things (IOT) that help organizations to innovate and create new products or services in cloud.