AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

Accelerate Cloud Migrations with CAST Highlight Powered by AWS Migration Hub Journeys

By Emmanuelle Castaings, Solution Design WW Partners – CAST
By Kalyan Vennelakanty, AWS Migration Hub Journeys, Technical Program Manager – AWS
By Steven Koufoudakis, Solutions Architect – AWS
By Mohan CV, Principal Solutions Architect – AWS


As organizations migrate to the cloud, they need to find the optimal operational mix that balances effectiveness and efficiency in managing and operating cloud-based systems, including cloud-native managed services.

On-premises applications can pose a distinct challenge, however. These are often complex, monolithic stacks with limited documentation and fragile infrastructure. Such applications probably require re-factoring, if not re-architecting, before a migration can even start. These challenges can lead organizations to analysis paralysis and hinder progress.

CAST Highlight is a software analysis solution that helps organizations gain rapid insights into their custom-developed applications. It offers a comprehensive analysis for each application, providing insights into cloud readiness, software quality, code complexity, and open-source risks.

Based on this in-depth assessment, CAST Highlight also provides actionable recommendations for improvement, enabling businesses to make informed decisions about cloud migration, modernization, and digital transformation initiatives.

CAST Highlight has been designed to automatically discover large custom application portfolios suitable for migration and modernization, and to serve as a control tower throughout the waves of applications and their continuous life cycle.

CAST is an AWS Specialization Partner and AWS Marketplace Seller with the Migration and Modernization Competency. It’s a leader of software intelligence, providing automated actionable insights into custom-developed software.

Solution Overview

AWS Migration Hub Journeys is designed to templatize migration projects and orchestrate tasks between multiple project contributors. Amazon Web Services (AWS) and CAST have collaborated to offer a CAST Highlight Portfolio Assessment template in AWS Migration Hub Journeys, combining intelligent insights with effective orchestration.

AWS Migration Hub Journeys introduces the concept of a migration journey that users embark on to execute and track migrations from start to finish. It converts a migration into a pipeline of tasks that make up the entire journey via reusable templates, enabling repeatable migrations across teams.

The service provides visibility of progress to all practitioners, and alerts task owners and AWS personnel in case of delays. In addition, it uses AWS Prescriptive Guidance to access the latest up-to-date guidance and other resources created by AWS and AWS Partner experts.

AWS Migration Hub Journeys combined with CAST Highlight offers capabilities to efficiently orchestrate the process of analyzing hundreds of custom applications in 1-2 weeks. The resulting insights come at both portfolio and application levels and include items such as:

  • Portfolio categorization as per the Gartner 5Rs (Rehost, Refactor, Rearchitect, Rebuild, and Retire).
  • Cloud blockers with remediation effort estimates.

Beyond migration, CAST Highlight supports modernization by recommending AWS cloud-native managed services based on the source code design. It also detects open-source risks (common vulnerabilities and exposures, obsolescence, and copyleft license risks) and generates a Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) for the entire portfolio.

CAST Highlight applies to on-premises applications as well as those already rehosted to AWS that need modernization to cloud-native services. CAST Highlight is non-intrusive, as the source code doesn’t leave the organization’s premises (physical or on cloud) and it doesn’t touch the production system. It covers 50+ programming languages, 12+ database types,and hundreds of frameworks, including mainframe, Java, .NET, C#, and many more.

Why CAST Highlight?

The planning and execution of a migration and modernization project usually involves many people across multiple organizations, spread across business units and timelines. This includes application owners, architects, project managers, engineers, and security specialists. The Portfolio Assessment CAST Highlight template on AWS Migration Hub Journeys provides a central workspace where all parties can collaborate and track their activities with more speed and efficiency.

Using CAST Highlight, stakeholders involved in cloud migration and modernization projects gain accurate, data-driven, and actionable insights into their custom application portfolio as well as individual applications. This process typically requires 3-4 times less time and effort compared to manual application discovery. Users acquire guidance on various approaches such as rehosting, refactoring, rearchitecting, or containerizing applications.

Other benefits of CAST Highlight include understanding the estimated cost to remediate blockers detected in the code, leveraging cloud-native AWS services, and identifying which services that can be used based on the code design. Additionally, AWS Migration Hub Journeys allows stakeholders to continuously monitor the latest insights throughout the migration and modernization journey.

The process unfolds in five phases, as shown below. Each phase is predefined in the AWS Migration Hub Journeys template.

Figure 1 – Pre-defined phases of CAST Highlight in AWS Migration Hub Journeys.

After completing a full CAST Highlight portfolio assessment journey assisted by AWS Migration Hub Journeys, organizations will have access to comprehensive insights they can explore through the CAST Highlight dashboard. Sample insights are shown in the figures below.

In Figure 2, you can see the output of Application Portfolio Advisor for Cloud Maturity, with the categorization in 5Rs for each application (Rehost, Refactor, Rearchitect, Rebuild, Retire).

Figure 2 – Application Portfolio Advisor for Cloud Maturity with the 5Rs for each application.

Organizations can swiftly segment and prioritize applications using the Cloud Maturity Score, which is based on specific source code patterns that could either hinder (blockers) or accelerate (boosters) application optimization for the cloud.

CAST Highlight automatically identifies blockers (such as persistent file usage and COM components) and boosters (like the use of a web configuration file or MySQL). You get accurate guidance on the exact locations of each blocker within the code of each application. Additionally, it helps you learn how to remediate these blockers to enhance the cloud maturity level of applications and continuously optimize them for the cloud.

Figure 3 displays a screenshot of Cloud Maturity Insights, which includes blockers, boosters, and recommended AWS services.

Figure 3 – Cloud maturity insights including cloud blockers, boosters, and recommended AWS services.

CAST Highlight offers recommendations for cloud-native adoption, which are subsequently summarized to develop the overall roadmap for the application portfolio. Figure 4 displays a screenshot of specific cloud-native services on AWS that are recommended based on each application’s technical characteristics.

Figure 4 – Cloud service recommendations.

Additionally, AWS Migration Hub Journeys support orchestrating the delivery of the Application Portfolio Cloud Maturity assessment report describing the cloud migrations and modernization waves.


CAST is a software intelligence company and AWS Migration and Modernization Competency Partner focused on building technology that helps software owners improve their systems and respond to change.

With the intelligence of CAST software and the orchestration capabilities of AWS Migration Hub Journeys, organizations are empowered to efficiently orchestrate the analysis of their portfolio, and get insights that quickly turn into migration and modernization actions that minimize overall risk.

Find out more about CAST for AWS, and explore CAST Highlight on AWS Marketplace.

Sign up for a free CAST self-serve technical workshop to automatically and accurately analyze the cloud readiness of a portfolio of hundreds of custom applications of any technology.

To get access to the CAST Highlight Journey template in AWS Migration Hub Journeys, email CAST at


CAST – AWS Partner Spotlight

CAST is an AWS Specialization Partner and leader of software intelligence, providing automated actionable insights into custom-developed software.

Contact CAST | Partner Overview | AWS Marketplace