AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

Partner SA Roundup – March 2017

by Kate Miller | on | in APN Technology Partners, AWS Partner Solutions Architect (SA) Guest Post, Networking, Security, Storage | | Comments

For this month’s Partner SA roundup, AWS Partner SAs Pratap Ramamurthy, Juan Villa, and Scott Ward discuss three APN Technology Partners: SoftNAS, Threat Stack, and Zscaler. Let’s dive in!

SoftNAS, by Juan Villa

Deploying and managing high performance and highly available NAS/SAN solutions can be difficult and error prone. SoftNAS, an APN Advanced Technology and Storage Competency Partner, provides an AWS Marketplace solution called SoftNAS Cloud, which is a software-defined NAS/SAN solution built for AWS. SoftNAS Cloud is an easy-to use and deploy NAS/SAN solution that can achieve high performance and high availability on AWS.

With SoftNAS Cloud you can leverage Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volumes for data storage and make the data available via multiple protocols: NFS, CIFS, AFP, and iSCSI. You can also use different EBS volume types and size combinations to meet performance requirements for your workload. For example, you can use the EBS Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) and Cold HDD (sc1) volume types (announced last year) to build a storage solution for high-throughput, sequential workloads (st1) and/or low-cost, infrequent access workloads (sc1). When you use Amazon S3, SoftNAS Cloud can take advantage of S3’s object storage and leverages thin provisioning to consume space only as required for data storage.

By leveraging Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) features such as Elastic IP addresses and subnet route tables combined with SoftNAS technology, SoftNAS Cloud can achieve high availability with fully automatic and seamless failover across Availability Zones. In addition, to achieve higher data durability and safety, SoftNAS supports automatic backups of storage pools using EBS snapshots.

For more information about this product, check out the SoftNAS website and AWS Marketplace listings.

Threat Stack, by Scott Ward

AWS provides customers with a tremendous amount of data around the configuration of their account and all the activity that is happening with the AWS services they are using. At times, monitoring for security events per the AWS Shared Responsibility Model may not be within a customer’s core competency. Threat Stack is an APN Technology Partner and AWS Security Competency Partner who can provide you with a security view into your activities on AWS.

Threat Stack can help you audit your current AWS environment, monitor and receive alerts on security events, and investigate how events happened so they can be resolved – all in one integrated platform. With Threat Stack you can deploy a lightweight agent on your Linux or Windows instances in Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). This agent will record and report on events in your operating system, look for signs of host intrusion, and perform vulnerability assessments.  All this information is delivered to the integrated Threat Stack platform where you can quickly visualize the data or events that are meaningful to you and set alarms.

Once you have the agent installed, Threat Stack will automatically detect which EC2 instances are running in your account and tell you which instances are not running an agent. In order to give you visibility into the rest of the services you are running on AWS, Threat Stack also ingests your AWS CloudTrail log files, allowing you to visualize activity within your AWS account and create alarms for important security events.

For more information on Threat Stack, check out the company’s website.

Zscaler Private Access (ZPA), by Pratap Ramamurthy

Zscaler Private Access (ZPA) is a cloud-based security solution by Zscaler, an Advanced APN Technology Partner, that helps customers securely access internal applications running on AWS.

Traditionally, companies often utilize a virtual private network (VPN) to create a secure connection to a virtual private cloud (VPC). ZPA is an alternative to VPN technology. With ZPA, there is no need to provision VPN termination hardware to get to apps in the cloud, or to ensure that such a deployment is globally distributed and redundant. There is no hardware to buy at all, because ZPA is offered as software as a service (SaaS).

ZPA creates a secure connection between users and application instead of users and network. This prevents malware that may have already entered the network to propagate to other hosts within the network. ZPA is also useful during migration operations. When you use ZPA to move your applications within the cloud or data center, there are no complex steps needed to update rules. ZPA’s management portal makes policy changes and other administrative changes easy. By using ZPA, you can shorten your workload migration process, because complex forecasting for HA, redundancy, and scalability are all built into the service.

You can request a demo of the ZPA solution here.

The content and opinions in this blog are those of the authors and are not an endorsement of the third-party products discussed. Please contact the vendors for details regarding performance and functionality. AWS is not responsible for the content or accuracy of this post. This blog is intended for informational purposes.

Why Did Siemens Convergence Creators Choose to go All-In with AWS?

by Kate Miller | on | in All-in with AWS, APN Technology Partners, Docker | | Comments

We strive to provide business, technical, and marketing support as our AWS Partner Network (APN) Technology Partners seek to build strong AWS-based solutions and reach a global customer base. And more and more, we are seeing Technology Partners with a global presence going all-in with AWS. By going all-in and making AWS their preferred cloud provider to build and deploy new solutions, ISVs can take advantage of all the AWS Cloud affords while forging a deeper relationship with AWS teams.

Siemens Convergence Creators is an Advanced APN Technology Partner that announced in the fall of 2016 they are all-in with AWS, having refactored and optimized the company’s powerful video management and delivery solution “Smart Video Engine” for AWS.

We recently caught up with Product Line Manager Michael Holocher from Siemens Convergence Creators to learn more about what makes the company unique, how they use AWS, why Siemens became an APN Partner, and the decision to go all-in with AWS.

Who is Siemens Convergence Creators?

Headquartered in Vienna, Siemens Convergence Creators is an independent Siemens unit with offices in Central and Eastern Europe, Germany, China, India, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and the United States. The company combines innovation and decades of experience to provide intelligent solutions to a variety of industries, bridging the gap between technology, processes, and services. “Our presence in emerging and mature market segments, together with a powerful network of partners, provides a strong basis for activities in more than 70 countries all over the world,” says Daniel-Rui Felicio, CEO. Siemens Convergence Creators.

Siemens Convergence Creators focuses on delivering services and solutions for six major industries: Telecommunication, Energy, Media, Public Safety & Security, Transportation, and Space. The company’s Smart Video Engine is a full E2E online Video distribution solution with support for advanced content and contract management, a full range of business models from subscription to advertisement based models, and state of the art analytics. The Siemens Convergence Creators technical platform offers telco-grade reliability and seamless scalability for up to millions of users.

Working with AWS and the APN

Similar to many companies, Siemens Convergence Creators began its journey on AWS through experimentation. “We started out by experimenting with certain AWS services. Our engineers liked it very much and thus at some stage we decided to port our solution to the AWS environment,” says Holocher. The team also saw a strong business benefit for customers in the OPEX-driven business models enabled by AWS.

“We believe AWS is the cloud technology leader. We analyzed the technical capabilities and found we can leverage the global footprint that allows us to roll out video solutions globally with a standard set of tools and processes,” explains Holocher. As the company looked to deepen its relationship with AWS, it evaluated the benefits of being an APN Partner. “In addition to the technical aspects, we wanted to benefit from the APN opportunities as well, allowing us to leverage not only AWS’ technological strength but also its strength in the market. The combination of those two values was particularly important for us,” he says.

The company has optimized its Smart Video Engine solution to run on AWS, taking advantage of a number of AWS services. “Our platform has been fully optimized for the AWS environment with respect to installation and scalability. In addition to services like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), we are using a plethora of integrated services like the Amazon EC2 Container Service (ECS), Amazon EC2 Container Registry (ECR), Application Load Balancers, Auto Scaling, AWS Lambda, Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon CloudTrail, and many more,” says Holocher. “The installation process of our standard product is completely templatized which supports rapid deployment of new systems.”

Going All-in with AWS

Siemens Convergence Creators made the decision early on that its time and resources would be best invested by going all-in with AWS. “As we continue to integrate with additional AWS services, our ties into AWS grow stronger and stronger,” says Holocher. “After an extensive evaluation process we decided to base an important dimension of our product on the single cloud vendor who we feel will make sure we have the best cloud architecture and engineering support available now, and in the future.” Siemens Convergence Creators’ customers have experienced a number of benefits as the company has continued to take advantage of AWS, including lower operational costs, more flexibility, enhanced security and reliability, and deep innovation. It also has enabled customers to start a video platform without the upfront costs or long-term commitments that used to be required, reducing the risks associated with investing in the technology. “Choosing Siemens Convergence Creators’ OTT solutions means making a future-oriented technology decision and benefiting from a Docker- and AWS-based solution architecture,” explains Holocher.

The company also has been impressed with the joint go-to-market opportunities supported by AWS and built on the strength of both brands. “AWS and Siemens are both strong brands and well-known in the global market. Siemens Convergence Creators leveraged the strong cloud presence of AWS to add to the value proposition of the Smart Video Engine,” says Holocher. “We were impressed by the smooth rollout and quick response times of the AWS team during the GTM phase, and took advantage of some of the marketing opportunities offered to APN Partners.”

What’s Next?

“AWS and Siemens Convergence Creators are, in my opinion, both highly service-oriented, which makes for a great pairing in favor of our customers,” says Holocher. “Our customers deserve to have access to the latest, most potent technologies to drive their business – it is our firm belief that this holds true for every aspect of our solution. With AWS, we have found a market-leading cloud solution provider who is continuously optimizing cloud infrastructure and developing innovative tools. We are enthusiastic about such future enhancements as they will contribute to our best-of-breed video platform maintaining its technological edge.”

To learn more, please visit Siemens Convergence Creators website here.

AWS Marketplace Helps Software Vendors with the Availability of a New Tax Calculation Service

by Kate Miller | on | in APN Technology Partners | | Comments

This is a guest post from the AWS Marketplace team.

Software vendors that sell products on AWS Marketplace can now choose to enroll paid product listings in Tax Calculation Service (TCS) for automatic U.S. sales tax calculation on all of your AWS Marketplace transactions. For products enrolled in TCS, AWS Marketplace calculates and collects U.S. sales & use tax on software purchases based on settings you provide. AWS Marketplace disburses collected taxes to you, along with a detailed tax report, to help you meet your U.S. sales and use tax obligations.

Use of this feature is optional. Existing software vendors with AWS Marketplace can enroll and configure their settings through a self-service page in the AWS Marketplace Management Portal (AMMP) – visit your Tax Calculation Service page in AMMP to get started!

Want to get started as an AWS Marketplace seller?

More than 100,000 active customers are using software from AWS Marketplace, and these customers use 300 million hours a month of Amazon EC2 for AWS Marketplace products. AWS Marketplace offers more than 3,500 software listings from more than 1,100 independent software vendors.

If you are a U.S.- or E.U.-based software vendor and would like to list your product for sale on AWS Marketplace, please visit our Sell on AWS Marketplace page to get started. If you are already an AWS Marketplace software vendor, visit your Tax Calculation Service page in the AWS Marketplace Management Portal to learn more or get started with TCS.


Calling All Partners in Innovation!

by Kate Miller | on | in AWS Public Sector, Education | | Comments

Apply now for the City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge  – winners in the Partners in Innovation category will receive $25,000 in AWS Promotional Credits

This is a guest post from the AWS Worldwide Public Sector team.

AWS recently launched the fourth City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge, a global program recognizing how local and regional governments are innovating on behalf of their citizens around the globe. New to the competition this year, we are opening the competition to school districts who are using the cloud to enrich learning, help teachers reach more students, and improve school or district operations.

There are three categories within the challenge: Dream Big, Best Practices, and Partners in Innovation.

We believe that cloud technology will be the backbone infrastructure for more sustainable cities and schools of the future. And the goal of the challenge is to help you transform through the use of the cloud. AWS and APN Partners globally can help cities and school districts implement solutions to support goals around energy efficiency, air quality, intelligent transportation, public safety, public health, and other programs focused on improving the quality of life for citizens and students.

The Partners in Innovation award category will recognize APN Technology Partners implementing a program or service on behalf of a government or school district. Looking for some inspiration? Check out some of the past winners of the Partners in Innovation category.

Learn more about City on a Cloud in the AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofit blog here. Submit your application today!

Learn more about the City on a Cloud rules here. 

Join Us at the AWS Summit – San Francisco

by Kate Miller | on | in AWS Events, AWS Summits, AWS Training and Certification | | Comments

The AWS Summit – San Francisco will bring together the cloud computing community to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS. This free event is designed to educate you on AWS.

Getting trained on AWS is one of the most important steps in the APN Partner journey. AWS Training and Certification can help APN Partners develop deeper AWS knowledge and skills to better serve customers. See below for all the ways you can learn, train, and network at the AWS Summit – San Francisco April 18-19.


There are four, full-day training bootcamps happening on April 18 including:

  • AWS Technical Essentials: Audience Level: Introductory

AWS Technical Essentials is a one-day, introductory-level bootcamp that introduces you to AWS products, services, and common solutions. Learn More.

  • Secrets to Successful Cloud Transformation: Audience Level: Introductory

Secrets to Successful Cloud Transformations is a one-day, introductory-level bootcamp that teaches you how to select the right strategy, people, migration plan, and financial management methodology needed when moving your workloads to the cloud. Learn More.

  • Building a Serverless Data Lake: Audience Level: Advanced

Building a Serverless Data Lake is a one-day, advanced-level bootcamp designed to teach you how to design, build, and operate a serverless data lake solution with AWS services. Learn More.

  • Running Container-Enabled Microservices on AWS: Audience Level: Expert

Running Container-Enabled Microservices on AWS is a one-day, expert-level bootcamp that provides an in-depth, hands-on introduction to managing and scaling container-enabled applications. Learn More.


There will be more than 50 learning opportunities you can take advantage of, including AWS service introductions, new service deep dives, and solutions and tech talks. Discover more about the exciting opportunities to learn from experts while at the Summit.

  • Sessions — One-hour breakout sessions led by AWS subject-matter experts and/or top AWS customers. You’ll find introductory sessions and deep dive technical content.
  • Workshop — Two-hour small-scale, hands-on session that provides a more tangible way to learn and maximize networking.
  • GameDay — Four-hour digital adventure game where you and your teammates take on explosive traffic growth, ever changing code deployments, internal and external threats, and the challenge of working together as a team to keep your infrastructure online and your customers happy.
  • Security Jam — Four-hour Jam consisting of a series of challenges related to incident response, forensics and security automation.
  • Severless Mini-Conference — Four-hour mini-conference where you will hear from AWS technical leaders about the latest innovations in serverless computing.

Networking at the HUB

Join your fellow AWS Summit attendees in the The HUB — a high-energy expo with top APN Technology and Consulting Partners and access to AWS engineers and architects. Learn more

We hope you will join us at the AWS Summit – San Francisco April 18-19. Learn more and register today!

AWS Server Migration Service – Server Migration to the Cloud Made Easy!

by Ahmed Omran | on | in AWS Partner Solutions Architect (SA) Guest Post, AWS Server Migration Service, How-to Guide, Migration | | Comments

This is a guest post by Ahmed Omran. Ahmed is a Migration Solutions Architect at AWS. 

Migrating on-premises servers to the cloud in a large-scale environment can be an involved process unless you have an orchestrator that can automate, schedule, minimize the bandwidth consumption for the replicated data, and reduce the cutover time of your migration.

In this post, I will show you how to efficiently migrate on-premises workloads to AWS using the AWS Server Migration Service (AWS SMS), via a step-by-step guide.

What is the AWS Server Migration Service?

In October 2016, we introduced AWS SMS with a goal to simplify the end-to-end server migration process. AWS SMS currently supports the migration of on-premises virtual machines (VMs) as an agentless service using a virtual appliance. AWS SMS provides the following key benefits:

  • Automates an incremental replication of live server volumes to AWS reducing server downtime at cutover.
  • Orchestrates large-scale server migrations in a cost effective manner.
  • Supports most widely used operating systems.
  • Manages and tracks the progress of your server migration through an easy to use UI.

AWS SMS is an ideal solution to use when you are planning a scaled migration from VMware environments to AWS where the downtime, agentless tools, incremental replication, and testing the application before the cutover are critical considerations.

AWS SMS is a free service to use for your server migration. You pay only for the storage resources used during the migration process such as Amazon EBS snapshots, and Amazon S3.

Currently, the service is available in the US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), US East (Ohio), EU (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Seoul), and Asia Pacific (Mumbai) Regions.

How does it work?

Before going through the steps of how to use AWS SMS to migrate your workload, we’ll give you some details about the migration process itself and how AWS SMS handles it.

The migration process goes through four stages, as illustrated in the following diagrams.



Overview of AWS SMS Migration Process

The final output of AWS SMS is an Amazon Machine Image (AMI); the migration process will produce an AMI for each replication run until the job is terminated (deleted by you or terminated automatically after 90 days).

The migration stages are iterative with an adjusted replication frequency. The minimum time between each replication run is 12 hours, and the maximum time is 24 hours. The lifetime of this iterative cycle is 90 days, and after that, the replication job is terminated.

You can select a group of VMs for migration. SMS supports up to 50 concurrent VM migrations per account.

How do you use AWS SMS?

AWS SMS requires a connector that orchestrates the workflow of the migration process. This connector is deployed in the vCenter.

Before you deploy the SMS connector, make sure that your environment meets the AWS SMS requirements and has the correct firewall configuration. Failing to reconfigure the firewall to permit stateful outbound connections for DHCP, DNS, HTTPS, ICMP, and NTP services will lead to an unsuccessful deployment.

You’ll also need to create a vCenter service account and an IAM user with the appropriate policy and permissions for AWS SMS, as detailed in the AWS SMS documentation.

Deploy the Server Migration Connector virtual appliance

The Server Migration Connector is a preconfigured FreeBSD virtual machine available in OVA format for deployment in the VMware environment. You can download the latest version of the Connector from AWS.

After downloading the Server Migration Connector, log in to the vCenter with sufficient credentials for the deployment.

Open the context (right-click) menu for your vCenter from the inventory, and choose Deploy OVF Template.


On the Select source page, specify the location where the source OVF template resides, and then choose Next.


On the Review details page, review the information about the OVF template, and then choose Next.


The appliance can be deployed with a size of 5.9 GB for thin provisioning, and 299.0 GB for thick provisioning. For a production environment, I recommend the thick provisioning option.

On the Select name and folder page, specify the appliance name and the location for the deployment.


On the Select a resource page, select the cluster, host, vAPP or the resource pool in which you want to deploy the OVF template.


On the Select storage page, choose Thick Provisioned Lazy Zeroed from the virtual disk format and select the datastore on which you need to deploy the OVF template.


On the Setup networks page, select a network from the Destination drop-down menu to set up the network mapping, and then choose Next.


On the Ready to complete page, review all the configuration settings, select Power on after deployment, and then choose Finish.


Before you configure the connector, make sure that the Server Migration Connector is able to resolve vCenter, and ESXi hosts FQDN.

For any required reconfiguration for network settings, log into the connector appliance console and follow the Advanced Network Configuration guide.

Configure the connector

In a web browser, access the Connector VM at its IP address to open the setup wizard.

Choose Get started now.


Review the license agreement, select the check box if you agree to the terms, and then choose Next.


Create a password for the Connector.


On the Network Info page, review the network information and then choose next.

Review and determine if you want to Upload logs automatically and participate in AWS Server Migration Service auto-upgrade.


For AWS Region, choose the desired region from the list.

For AWS Credentials, enter the IAM Access Key and Secret key of the IAM user created in the prerequisite steps.


For vCenter Service Account, enter the vCenter hostname, username, and password.

After accepting the vCenter certificate, complete the registration and view the Connector configuration dashboard.


Verify that the connector you registered shows up on the Connectors page.


The Connectors page is divided into four sections:

  • The AWS Server Migration Service section provides settings you can edit, such as AWS access key, secret access key, and vCenter logins.
  • The General Health section displays the health check and connectivity status.
  • The Actions section lets you change the SMS administrator password and unregister the connector. If you want to ensure you always have the latest update, enable the auto-upgrade action.
  • The Support section lets you download the logs, report an issue, or review the documentation.

Now you are ready to import your server inventory and orchestrate and automate your migration events.

Import the server catalog

Once a connector is installed and properly registered, go to the AWS SMS console and choose Connectors, Import server catalog to gather your complete list of servers. It may take some time for your server catalog to be fully populated and displayed in the table.


Note: You can re-import or clear the server catalog at any time.

Create a migration job

Before you initiate a migration job, make sure that you have enough space in the datastore for the temporary snapshots, and confirm that the selected VM doesn’t have any ISO attached to it.

In the AWS SMS console, choose Replication jobs, Create replication job, and follow the wizard.

Select the servers you want to replicate from the table, and then choose Next.


Select the license type for the AMIs that will be created from the replication job. Linux servers can only use Bring Your Own License (BYOL), and Windows servers can use either AWS-provided licenses or BYOL. When you’re done, choose Next.


Configure the replication job settings, and then choose Next. You can have replication runs start immediately or schedule them to start at a later date and time, up to 30 days from the current time.


You can choose the replication frequency by selecting the desired option from Replicate server every ‘drop down’ list. The minimum replication frequency is 12 hours, and the maximum is 24 hours. This means that you can have a point-in-time replica for your selected servers every 12 hours, at a minimum.

Review your settings. If the settings are correct, choose Create. If they are not, choose Previous to go back to the appropriate pages and change the settings.


In the AWS SMS console, Replication Jobs page, you can view all your replication jobs. When you select a single replication job, the Job details panel displays the details of the replication job.


As you can see from the previous screenshot, the migration started and is in the second stage, where the VMDK is uploaded to Amazon S3.

If you check the migration task status from the vCenter window, you can see that the snapshot initiated and the OVF template was exported for the transfer.


After the transfer, the migration process moves to the third stage to convert the VMDK to an Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) snapshot.


Once the conversion is complete, the migration process moves to the last stage to create an AMI for the point-in-time copy of this replication run.


You can view all the available AMIs for each replication run from the Replication jobs, Run history tab of the AWS SMS console.


Testing before the actual cutover

You have the opportunity to test your application before decommissioning the on-premises application. Depending on the replication frequency, you can test many point-in-time replicas and then schedule the last replication job for the deltas.

To launch an instance, Open the Run history as indicated in the previous step, select the replication job and choose Launch instance for the instance you wish to test. Follow the wizard to choose the instance type, configure the instance, add storage, tag the instance, and configure the security group.

Actual cutover

When you are done with testing and decide to do the actual cutover, quiesce all the IOPs, initiate the last incremental replication job immediately, and then launch the AMI. Since AWS SMS uses incremental replication, the cutover time will be at a minimum, depending on the changes from the previous replication run.

Deleting a replication job

Once the migration completes successfully and the migrated VMs are configured and running properly, you can delete the replication job to stop replication from your on-premises data center to AWS. On the Replication jobs page of the AWS SMS console, choose your job, and then choose Actions, Delete replication job.


In this post, I covered the benefits and features of the AWS Server Migration Service. I also demonstrated how to install and configure the SMS Connector and explained the four stages of the migration process to move your production workload from an on-premises data center to AWS with minimal downtime. I also discussed the ability to test several point-in-time replicas before actual cutover.

If you have comments about this blog post, please submit them in the Comments section of this post. I look forward to hearing from you.

For more information on getting started with the AWS Service Migration Service, visit our website.

Take Our Updated Big Data on AWS Training Course

by AWS Training and Certifications Team | on | in AWS Training and Certification, Big Data | | Comments

AWS offers training resources to APN Partners so you can more effectively help customers leverage the AWS Cloud. Training can help you feel confident that you can effectively explain the value of AWS services and solutions to customers. We’re always working to update our training content to keep pace with AWS innovation.

We’ve recently updated our Big Data on AWS instructor-led training course. This 3-day course introduces cloud-based big data solutions such as Amazon EMR, Amazon Redshift, Amazon Kinesis, and now Amazon Athena. The course teaches individuals how to create big data environments, how to process data, and how to leverage best practices to design big data environments for security and cost-effectiveness.

With this updated course, you can be sure you’re learning the latest and can keep your cloud skills fresh. We also suggest you recommend this course to your customers who are using AWS big data solutions. Individuals responsible for designing and implementing big data solutions, namely Solutions Architects, as well as Data Scientists and Data Analysts interested in learning about the services and architecture patterns behind big data solutions on AWS, would benefit from this training.

If you or your customers are interested in this course, you can search for a local Big Data on AWS class in our Global Class Schedule. APN Partners receive a 20% discount on AWS-delivered public classes. Or, if you’d like to arrange a private onsite class for your team or for your customers, you can contact us about scheduling.


Tapping the Benefits of the Cloud: A Webinar with BlazeClan & CloudVelox

by Kate Miller | on | in APN Consulting Partners, APN Technology Partners, AWS Competencies, Migration, Premier Partners, Third Party Webinars | | Comments

BlazeClan is a Premier APN Consulting Partner who holds the AWS Big Data and DevOps Competencies. CloudVelox is an Advanced APN Technology Partner who holds the AWS Migration and Storage Competencies. Together, these two APN Partners will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, March 9th, at 11 am PST/2 pm EST to discuss:

  • How you can get started with your cloud journey
  • An overview of BlazeClan’s assessment framework
  • How to migrate your applications to the cloud
  • How to accelerate your cloud migration with CloudVelox’s automation tool
  • Best practices and cloud migration success stories

The webinar will also include a live demo. BlazeClan and CloudVelox encourage business decision makers, CIOs, CTOs, IT Directors, and IT Managers to attend.

Register Here >>

To learn more about BlazeClan’s journey to become a Premier APN Consulting Partner, click here.

AWS Partner Network (APN) Technology Partner ATADATA: Helping Power SAP on AWS Migrations

by Kate Miller | on | in APN Technology Partners, AWS Competencies, AWS for SAP, Migration | | Comments

By Kalpan Raval, Global Program Lead, Migration, AWS Partner Program

Many Enterprise customers have begun to take advantage of AWS services to fuel innovation in their businesses, build environments more securely than ever before, retire technical debt, and save money. This has led to a rise in highly automated workload migration activity as customers look to move to AWS. Increasingly we find that customers are looking to AWS Migration Competency Partners to help deliver migrations of key workloads, and reduce risk through proven experience and high quality tools.

SAP environments are often complex and play a core role in many businesses workflows. Additional complexity is seen in the varied infrastructure types where SAP workloads may reside. From an x86 perspective, you will see Windows and Linux workloads, on both virtual and physical machines, running a large amount of CPU cores and RAM. This is in addition to potentially dozens of disk drives, where highly transactional databases might be Oracle, SQL, or SAP HANA®-based (among others). The conclusion can be drawn that when migrating mission-critical SAP workloads, the method and vendors should be carefully selected. We provide a number of resources for you to consult as you evaluate AWS for SAP. We also recommend visiting our AWS Migration Competency Partner page and SAP Competency Partner page for a list of APN Partners with whom you can engage. Today, I want to tell you a bit about one of our Migration Competency Partners and Advanced APN Technology Partner ATADATA, and discuss how the company’s platform can be used to migrate SAP workloads to AWS.

Migration of SAP workloads at scale

ATADATA has multiple agentless automation modules that function as a holistic platform to enable migration of Enterprise workloads at scale, including for SAP. The modules can be consumed individually, or as a unified offering, for not only Automated Live Migration, but also Discovery, Application Mapping, Cost Projections, Move Group Creation and Enablement, and Synchronization of migrated workloads. In addition to being a unified migration platform, the solution set is designed for Enterprise environments as fully self-contained, and rapid to deploy.

Typical workflow for automated migration enablement and execution:


    • Application Discovery / Mapping with ATAvision Discovery Module

Discovery and planning are essential phases in any migration. Whether the intent is to migrate, or otherwise transform your application portfolio, without a map of the territory, project efficiencies and timelines can get lost.  This is very important during SAP migrations. SAP can be highly complex: with its many modules, connections can affect multiple lines of business and even extend outside an on-premises environment to a multitude of end points, spanning an intricate supply chain. Knowing these dependencies is crucial in understanding which servers must be moved together, what their infrastructure dependencies are, and learning the most convenient migration window that will have the least impact.

By using the agentless ATAvision module within the ATADATA platform, SAP dependencies are discovered in a way that are suitable for migration. The migration architect must know which applications and supporting servers are tightly coupled, along with the ones which are interdependent to one another. ATAvision was designed for this purpose and uses integrated intelligence to group related infrastructure by application communication.

    • Creation of Migration Move Groups and Cost Projections with ATAvision Discovery Module

ATAvision was developed to provide the information necessary to formulate migration Move Groups and the Wave Plans that incorporate them. While there are still migration architects who manually task themselves with spreadsheets to combine servers into Move Groups by way of pivot tables, ATAvision now offers the ability to produce Automated Move Groups, which is especially useful in systems like those involving SAP.

Simply define the rules and the logic will take over. The intelligence and speed of the Automatic Move Group technology alone can save a huge amount of man hours and reduce the risk of human error made when solely relying on spreadsheets.

In addition, prior to migration, client and application teams can forecast AWS spend projections by individual Move Group or through filtering on any number of collected attributes.

    • “Point-to-Point” Migration and Sync to AWS with ATAmotion Migration Module

ATAmotion is ATADATA’s core product and has a robust architecture that was created with a mission to migrate Enterprise workloads at scale, enabled by a proprietary multi-threaded clone engine, and advanced AWS API integration points.

What do we mean when we describe ATAmotion as point-to-point? The data path flows from the source machine, directly to the target instance on a specified client subnet inside their VPC on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), without travelling through an intermediary stage, image library, or storage bucket. The architecture allows for the support of migration of dozens of live SAP workloads simultaneously, regardless of underlying OS or Database type, so the migration windows can shrink from weeks to hours for even complex SAP deployments.

ATAmotion supports Windows Server versions from 2003 32bit to 2016, and all common Linux distributions ranging from Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SuSE Enterprise Linux, Debian, OpenSuSE, CentOS, Oracle Linux, Amazon Linux, Fedora, and Ubuntu. It supports migration from any cloud environment or on-premises environment to AWS, and between/to all AWS Regions, including the AWS (US) GovCloud Region. If the migration is cross-continent or with low bandwidth capacity, ATAmotion monitors the copy for lag or interruptions and finds the most effective way to complete the data copy successfully.

ATAmotion software can migrate data-intensive SAP applications running on any supported Windows/Linux variant with virtually no downtime. This is mainly because ATAmotion consumes a very low CPU percentage and just a few MBs of memory on client hosts and such low resource utilization anticipates no disruption to services. And ATAmotion migrates all filesystems. It doesn’t matter whether your operating system and its data are split across several LVM logical and physical volumes, or if it’s stored in a hundred disks using fixed partitions, the tool will recreate the same device structure on the target server so that your disk configuration will remain the same.

Furthermore, it has the intelligence of choosing the appropriate method to move your data based on its structure. If the data is stored in filesystems, then it is copied using a file-based copy algorithm. However, if it’s stored in RAW devices, a typical scenario for databases where there is no filesystem, the data is instead copied using a block copy algorithm.

Lastly, ATAmotion incorporates multiple automated synchronization methods to allow for varied cut-over strategies during, and prior to cut-over.

ATADATA platform benefits for SAP on AWS migrations

  • Manage a single vendor for holistic end-to end, seamless AWS migration enablement
  • Reduce risk with a validated AWS Migration Partner solution to migrate SAP workloads to AWS
  • Gain complete insight into source SAP environments prior to AWS migration initiation
  • Accelerate timelines migrating dozens of SAP workloads simultaneously (think hours, not weeks)
  • Reduce costs and mitigate human error associated with legacy methodologies and technology
  • Leverage advanced automation as part of the journey to AWS
  • Retire resource intensive on-premises hardware

If you are an Enterprise customer or a service provider evaluating the migration of existing SAP workloads to AWS, you can take advantage of ATADATA’s automation and specific expertise today. Learn more about ATADATA at

The content and opinions in this blog are those of the author and is not an endorsement of the third-party product. AWS is not responsible for the content or accuracy of this post.

Announcing Three New APN Marketing Central Campaigns for AWS MSP Partners

by Annabelle Anderson | on | in AWS Marketing, Cloud Managed Services | | Comments

In response to APN Partner requests, we have expanded the benefits of the AWS MSP Program to include exclusive APN Marketing Central campaigns that highlight the advantages of working with a validated AWS MSP Partner. These new marketing campaigns are available exclusively to APN Partners in the AWS MSP Program and focus on topics core to the capabilities of next-generation MSPs: Cloud Migration, Cloud Security, and DevOps.

Start leveraging these campaigns today by accessing APN Marketing Central in the APN Portal.

What’s APN Marketing Central?

APN Marketing Central is a self-service marketing tool you have access to in the APN Portal as a Standard-tier and above APN Partner. With APN Marketing Central, you can easily customize and launch solution-based campaigns or find an agency with experience messaging AWS.

With these three new campaigns, you’ll find the following marketing assets that you can use individually or together to launch an integrated marketing campaign:

  • Emails
  • Landing Pages
  • Syndicated Content
  • Banner Ads
  • Social Media Posts & Images
  • Solution Briefs
  • Copy Blocks
  • Case Study Templates

How to Get Started

  1. Access APN Marketing Central
  2. Click on ‘Execute Campaigns’
  3. Select a Campaign Topic
    • The MSP campaigns can be found under their core solution area as a campaign track.
  4. Download the Assets or Launch Them Directly through APN Marketing Central

Need more help getting started? Contact the APN Marketing Central vPMM Team or attend one of our upcoming trainings.

Interested in Becoming an AWS MSP Partner?

Learn more at the AWS MSP Program website, where you can also find the current list of validated AWS MSP Partners.