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Moving Legacy Oracle Workloads to the AWS Cloud Securely – Yes, You Can! 

By Bill Saltys, Senior VP, Alliances at Apps Associates

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At Apps Associates, an industry leader for migrating and managing Oracle workloads to the cloud, we recently conducted an independent survey of more than 300 Oracle application customers to uncover what’s holding IT decision makers (ITDMs) back from moving their Oracle apps to the cloud.

The resulting study uncovered several myths that many ITDMs still believe to be true, with good reasoning, although many of these myths have since been debunked—not by declaration but by repeatable, proven success.

Reasons cited most often by ITDMs for not migrating Oracle workloads to the cloud include:

  • Cybersecurity concerns outrank cloud benefits.
  • It’s too difficult to navigate license compliance.
  • My company can’t afford cloud migration.
  • It’s not feasible to move Oracle applications to the cloud.
  • Oracle applications users have limited cloud options.

Read our eBook detailing the full survey results: Oracle to the Cloud: Top 5 Myths Debunked >>

One of the most interesting (but perhaps least surprising) statistics from our survey is that 97 percent of ITDMs ranked security as the main concern holding them back from migrating to the cloud.

In this post, I’ll explore the driving forces behind this hesitation. Not only can your Oracle workloads be securely migrated and managed on Amazon Web Services (AWS), security can and should become a strength as you chart your Cloud Adoption Journey.

Apps Associates is an AWS Partner Network (APN) Premier Consulting Partner with AWS Competencies in both Oracle and Migration. We’re also a member of the AWS Managed Service Provider (MSP) Partner Program, bringing the knowledge, flexibility, and customer-first focus companies rely upon to help them move to the cloud.

Myth Busting: Security Concerns Outweigh Cloud Benefits

Our survey results clearly showed that ITDMs are concerned about securely moving their footprint of traditional, licensed Oracle applications to the cloud. This is regardless of whether their workloads are currently housed on-premises or in a third-party co-location facility.

ITDMs are right to be concerned about security; breaches consistently remain a trending topic in the news. With Oracle applications often being the backbone of business operations for their entire organization, who can blame ITDMs for taking things slowly? Security isn’t just top of mind, it’s crucial for the evolution and future success of their company.

Despite these concerns, however, ITDMs in our survey overwhelmingly confirmed that the time is right—59 percent are planning to move Oracle applications to cloud in the next year, and 32 percent indicated they had already done so. Meanwhile, 94 percent of respondents feel moving to cloud would make things easier for their organizations.

So what’s the next step? The bottom-line message we heard from ITDMs was that their traditional Oracle workloads are going to the cloud one way or another. Business transformation and competitive realities are driving this change, and while security remains a concern, it will no longer be a deterrent and does not impede progress toward realizing the full benefits and positive impact offered by the AWS Cloud.

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Take the Beaten Path to Success

When planning an Oracle-to-AWS migration, you don’t need to go it alone or be a pioneer. As the shift to cloud continues to accelerate and mature, there’s an increased understanding of market leaders, best practices, and standards that can provide guidance and a level of comfort to organizations moving through adoption.

AWS supports Oracle databases and offers enterprises a number of solutions for migrating and deploying their traditional, licensed Oracle applications on the AWS Cloud.

Customers can launch entire Oracle enterprise software and technology stacks on AWS, and you can build enterprise-grade applications using database and middleware software from Oracle or AWS according to your company’s overall strategy or discretion.

Organizations of all sizes have embraced the potential of AWS. For example, when American Commercial Lines (ACL), one of the largest shipping companies in the U.S., went looking for a cloud provider, they chose AWS for their flexibility, cost reductions, and the ability to pay as you go. ACL successfully migrated their Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) to AWS within three months with a transition downtime of only four hours.

Learn more about Oracle on AWS >>

AWS Security and Your Oracle Workloads

Many Oracle customers that ask “Why should we run our workloads on AWS?” are already using AWS in other areas for cloud-native services and solutions. The benefits of migrating traditional Oracle workloads to AWS include platform maturity and stability, breadth of integrated services, and the ability to decouple and objectively rationalize application and workload inventory, to name a few.

If your organization is not yet using AWS, these benefits are central to the overall decision for migrating your on-premises Oracle workloads. One size does not fit all, and without these capabilities you may be forced into an option that is inherently limiting or does make sense for the long-term. Caveat emptor—let the buyer beware—is the principle to follow when planning the roadmap of migrating your Oracle workloads to cloud.

But what about security, which in our survey was ITDMs’ most cited reason for hesitation? Does the risk or cost of cloud security for traditional Oracle workloads outrank the benefits? This belief has been debunked time and again by repeatable, proven success. The irony is that organizations are reporting higher levels of security than they can achieve on their own.

Cloud security at AWS is given the highest priority, and AWS customers benefit from a data center and network architecture built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organizations.

Designing an environment with secure, foundational infrastructure provided by AWS is a solid starting point for moving your Oracle workloads to the cloud, especially if your organization is already leveraging AWS products and services. Furthermore, for general cloud security guidance there are independent organizations such as Cloud Security Alliance or UK National Cyber Security Centre that offer excellent source of publications and standards.

Shared Responsibility for Cloud Security

To make your cloud environment secure, it’s critical to design and execute a comprehensive and tightly integrated approach.

Under the AWS Shared Responsibility Model, AWS is responsible for securing the cloud itself. This includes all the hardware, software, physical infrastructure, and assorted connections such as networking, database, storage, and compute resources. AWS also achieves third-party validations for thousands of global compliance requirements and updates security controls on a regular basis.

Customers, meanwhile, are responsible for all system security above the hypervisor. This includes data, platform, applications, operating system, and networking traffic protection. Significant advancements have been made in this area, and many products and offerings are available to allow you to migrate and manage your Oracle application environments against the highest security standards.

Apps Associates works with AWS to ensure best practices and procedures are applied to Oracle application environments during migration and as part of our managed services offering.

Additionally, Apps Associates works alongside Alert Logic, a leading security solution provider and AWS Security Competency Partner, to integrate their services into our Oracle on AWS solution. Alert Logic delivers Security-as-a-Service that combines cloud-based software and threat analytics with expert services to defend applications and workloads in any environment.

Summary

Moving to the cloud can seem like a daunting task, but it’s one that organizations must tackle. Per our recent study, 86 percent of ITDMs indicated their senior management has mandated a cloud adoption strategy, while three out of five ITDMs say they’re planning to move their Oracle legacy applications to the cloud this year.

Moving securely to cloud is possible. In the past five years, AWS and security vendors have invested a tremendous amount of resources to provide robust infrastructure, solutions, and services with security built-in. The current generation of cloud-native security provides foundational assurance against the highest level of security standards, that goes well beyond what organizations can afford to do on their own.

Traditional Oracle workloads are going to the cloud one way or another. Our survey of ITDMs indicates the tipping point in cloud adoption will occur in the next 12 months, with 59 percent planning to move. The driving forces are competition and the need for innovation as the cornerstone of business transformation. Clearly, time is of the essence for many organizations.

Blueprints and expertise exist for every aspect of cloud adoption, including security, governance, licensing, automation, and performance. Apps Associates works closely with AWS and Alert Logic to integrate their products and best practices into our Oracle on AWS services and solutions. This approach reduces risk up-and-down the entire Oracle stack, from underlying infrastructure through database, analytics, and applications.

To learn more, here are a few resources to help jump start your Oracle to AWS initiative:

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

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Apps Associates – APN Partner Spotlight

Apps Associates is an AWS Oracle Competency Partner. With more than 140 successful Oracle-to-AWS customer migrations, they bring the knowledge, flexibility and customer-first focus companies rely upon to help them move to the cloud.

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