AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

Making it Easier for You to Migrate Customers to AWS – re:Invent 2015 Migration Services Announcements

During his keynote at re:Invent 2015, Andy Jassy, SVP of AWS, discussed how important it is to have the freedom to easily get data into or out of the cloud, and the freedom from bad (database) relationships. Being able to simply and effectively migrate customers to AWS is one of the biggest priorities of our Partner ecosystem, and we’ve listened to your feedback on what we can do to help.  Whether you’re building a SaaS platform or helping your customers migrate their own workloads to the cloud, your time is invaluable. We’ve spent a lot of time building new services to speed migrations and reduce the need for repetitive manual work, which frees you to do more value-add work for your customers.

Since 2014, we’ve been championing Amazon Kinesis to capture streaming data at scale, and move it into AWS. APN Partners have responded by building some amazing applications. As it turns out, you’ve also spent a lot of time writing code for Kinesis just to dump this data into Amazon S3 buckets or Amazon Redshift databases. Because of this, we built Amazon Kinesis Firehose, which automatically captures and loads streaming data into Amazon Redshift and Amazon S3 without all the coding. Now instead of writing code to capture data, you can spend more time architecting your platform, or focusing on the more complex aspects of your customer’s migration.

Another bottleneck in the migration process is moving database workloads. Anyone who has dealt with databases knows that migrating databases is a very difficult thing to do. Unlike application code, the data inside relational databases is constantly changing, so keeping the source and target databases in sync is key to a short cutover. Without any tools (which is often the case) this can be a tall order, especially when the databases are large or involve a heterogeneous migration between different platforms that introduces complex schema changes.

To help with this, we introduced the AWS Database Migration Service, now in Preview, which automates moving data into databases on AWS easily and securely with minimal downtime. In addition to supporting homogenous migration such as Oracle to Oracle, it also includes a Schema Conversion Tool to help with heterogeneous migrations such as Oracle to Amazon Aurora or Microsoft SQL to MySQL. Now, instead of spending a bunch of time manually rewriting application code, you can let the Schema Migration Tool do the heavy lifting and focus on the objects the tool couldn’t automate. With the time saved from automating data migration and schema conversion, your talented DBAs should be able to focus on higher-level DBA work like performance tuning and architecture, while your customers should enjoy shorter project timelines and reduced downtime during migration cutovers.

Another area we’ve addressed is moving large amounts of data into and out of the cloud, not just on new, cloud-generated data, but on terabytes of legacy, on-premises data as well. For example, your customers want to use analysis tools like the new Amazon QuickSight. Moving terabytes of data over even a gigabit wire can be prohibitively time-consuming, so we launched AWS Import/Export Snowball, a petabyte-scale data transport solution that uses secure appliances to transfer data into and out of AWS, up to 50TB per Snowball device.  Now you can bulk-load a hundred terabytes of customer data into Amazon Redshift S3 in under a week, which may, for example, open up many more BI and analytics opportunities for your customer engagements.

These tools are simple and inexpensive to use, and address key migration-centric requests from both customers and APN Partners. To help jump-start their migration efforts, customers want to know which APN Partners can help them in their journey to migrate to the cloud.  In response, at the Global Partner Summit keynote, we announced an AWS Migration Competency, coming soon, which will help customers migrate applications and data centers to AWS. As the name suggests, Migration Competency Partners will be able to offer technologies for server migration, data migration, and synchronization.  Customers can have confidence that Migration Competency Partners are up on the latest and greatest AWS migration services. Stay tuned to the APN Blog for announcements pertaining to the AWS Migration Competency.