Migrations to AWS include moving any workload — application, website, database, storage, migrating physical server to AWS or virtual server, or an entire data center — from an on-premises environment, hosting facility, or other public clouds to AWS.
Based on our years of experience, we’ve built a complete and proven approach for migrating one to thousands of workloads to AWS so that you can reach your business goals quickly and with confidence.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides over 100 cloud computing services that allow you to set up dynamic, scalable, automated computing environments. Whether you are migrating to AWS to reduce costs, improve resource utilization, or benefit from new infrastructure capabilities that are unavailable on-premise, migration will be a non-trivial effort.
This article presents Amazon’s basic framework for migration — basic migration phrases that are relevant for any AWS migration project, and strategies for migrating each of your applications to AWS, from lift-and-shift to refactor/re-architect. It can also help you plan for common challenges that affect almost every migration project.
AWS Cloud Migration Phases
Amazon’s cloud migration guide outlines five phases for migration to the AWS cloud.
Phase 1: Migration Preparation and Business Planning
Get a clear picture of your current situation, the architecture of your existing applications, the challenges you are facing and your business goals. Build a business case for your Amazon migration by defining your objectives. Are you migrating to reduce costs, improve scalability, improve reliability? Based on those goals, determine which applications you need to move to the cloud.
Phase 2: Discovery and Planning
Now that you have an idea of your goals, examine your IT portfolio and consider which migration strategies you’ll use for each of your applications (see the next section). Learn about tools AWS provides that can assist with migration, such as Server Migration Service (SMS), Database Migration Service (DMS) and Amazon DirectConnect, and which might be relevant for your use case.
Phase 3 & Phase 4: Designing, Migrating, and Validating Applications
Create a detailed migration plan for each of your applications. Start with a few apps as a Proof of Concept and see how migration strategies and tools actually play out in your environment. Then get buy-in from stakeholders in your organization and move forward with a full migration plan.
Phase 5: Operate
As applications move to the cloud, you start operating them within AWS and turn off the old versions on-premises (unless you opt for a hybrid model). Build on your experience from applications already running in the cloud for additional applications you’ll need to migrate.
Now that we understand the basic process for migrating an app to AWS, let’s review six alternative strategies that define if and how you will migrate each of your applications to the cloud.