AWS Cloud Operations & Migrations Blog

Accelerate Cloud Transformation: Migrate workloads in Weeks with our EBA Migration Parties

Migrations are complex and involve many teams from all levels of an organization. A 2020 Accenture Cloud Value Study found the top barriers to cloud value realization outlined by 700+ IT leaders were misalignment, legacy infrastructure, and lack of skills. Organizations want to keep their applications secure and compliant as they move to the cloud, but often teams have limited skillsets which slows teams down, and a risk adverse culture leads to analysis paralysis. Leadership has a vision for what their organization should look like in the cloud, but has a limited view of how to get there and what process changes need to take place to be effective. Through working with enterprise customers, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has established a set of best practices for migration and built a repeatable methodology called Experience-Based Acceleration (EBA). In this blog post, we discuss how you can address migration challenges, while building sustainable processes that accelerates cloud value using a specific type of EBA known as the Migration Party.

Why are migrations so hard?

Through working with organizations, AWS has identified non-technical friction points that a company will face during migrations. Leadership challenges include inconsistent communication across departments and levels, lengthy analysis and planning, and limitations on experimentation. People challenges arise as teams have limited cloud skills and are uncertain about their roles and responsibilities. Some enterprises encounter process challenges when trying to prioritize migrations, defining future operating models, and building new processes. Application challenges arise from limited migration experience and monolithic applications being perceived as too complex or too critical. In all, while customers may be strong technically, migration deadlines suffer through dated project management approaches that maintain disjointed teams and distract from migration priorities. The people and process challenges can be equally as important as the technical challenges to keep projects within timeline and budget.

EBA Migration Party Overview

The Migration Party is a 3-day, sprint-based, interactive event designed to accelerate application migrations to AWS. It is built on the AWS Experience-Based Acceleration (EBA) framework which is a transformation methodology that uses a learn-by-doing approach in real time. As part of the EBA planning process, business outcomes are identified and migration patterns which can be used to migrate applications are identified. Typically 2-3 applications are migrated to AWS during the Migration Party. AWS brings experienced migration expertise and methodology to enable and augment customer teams to achieve their target outcomes. The process could take your organization ~4-6 weeks to plan, depending on the maturity of your current environment and availability of resources.

AWS has simplified the process of planning, organizing, and executing Migration Parties. The Migration Party embodies a mindset of “two pizza teams”, enabling two-way decisions, deep exploration, iterative learning, and a strong bias for action. Tailoring the event to each enterprise’s journey, AWS adjust to their experience, structure, and dependencies. We align workstreams and goals with the business objectives which accelerates the time to value. An EBA workstream is a functional area that is comprised of subject matter experts and their respective technology. Through collaborative efforts using the AWS EBA methodology, we jointly achieve target objectives. While diligence is required, the rewards are shared, as participants accomplish what would normally take weeks or months. Using EBA, Amdocs was able to reduce months of work into days for their Amdocs Microservices360 (MS360) deployment kit.

Image of People participating in an EBA party. EBA participants are grouped into their respective workstreams

Figure 1: A typical EBA in action

Migration Party Patterns

When thinking about Migrating to AWS, customers follow the “6R” patterns of migration. For Migration Party EBA’s the three commonly used patterns are:

1. Rehost – The “rehost” strategy, also known as “lift and shift,” involves moving your applications to the AWS Cloud without altering them. For example, you can migrate from on-premises to AWS. It’s quick but doesn’t optimize for cloud benefits.

2. Replatform – The “replatform” strategy enhances applications during migration to the cloud. Changes are made for efficiency or cost savings. Common scenarios include using managed services or transitioning to Linux. It balances optimization with migration.

3. Relocate – The “relocate” strategy transfers servers or objects from on-premises to the cloud without major changes. It’s fast and minimizes disruption, maintaining your existing architecture.

For Migration initiatives that focus on delivering Modernization outcomes, Refactor / Re-Architect, refer to Modernization EBA (ModAx). Retain applications as-is is not addressed here.

Delivering a Migration Party

A Migration Party EBA must have a customer executive sponsor who fully supports the goals of the engagement. It starts by identifying a specific migration objective in a kickoff session. All relevant parties will meet to discuss expected outcomes and ensure all stakeholders are aligned. The kickoff session typically identifies 2-3 migration candidates, but a single candidate can be identified based on complexity and resources. Once the candidates are identified, architecture diagrams are created based on design patterns and best practices. Typical Migration EBA workstreams are illustrated below. Each workstream sets goals, milestones, and deliverables contributing to the overall Migration Party objectives.

After selecting the workloads for migration, regular deep dive sessions with workstream leads are scheduled prior to the event. These sessions are led by AWS Solution Architects or AWS Partners in conjunction with your organization’s EBA workstream leads . Teams may plan for training activities if they would like to learn more about a migration methodology or are unfamiliar with a service in scope. AWS offers on-demand virtual trainings, AWS led immersion days, Labs, and other training opportunities.

Details on 4- Step EBA Mechanism - Executive Alignment, Cloud Readiness, Acceleration, and Transformation At Scale

Figure 2: Four steps of a Migration EBA

Migration Party benefits

The Migration Party EBA expedites AWS migrations, identifying optimal patterns for common scenarios and facilitates the key needs for the customers to create the best possible migration patterns for migrating multiple application archetypes. EBAs benefit organizations at multiple levels with benefits seen by executives, managers, and builders. EBA’s help remove process roadblocks, breakdown silos within an organization and create a durable working model that supports leadership alignment. The benefits include reducing friction points through 2-way door decision making and increased agile experimentation. EBA’s give builders an opportunity to focus on tasks without interruption while learning directly from AWS specialists. It can be a recurring event with agile collaboration, generating real-world data for business cases. Refer to this AWS Blog on various types of EBAs & best practices around it.

Get started with EBA

Ready to get started on process change and rapid delivery of migration? Get in touch with your AWS account team to learn more about Migration Party EBA and how it can help you accelerate your cloud journey. New to the cloud? Contact AWS Sales to get started with transforming your business.

About the Authors

Gavin Guzman

Gavin Guzman leads Enterprise Customers through strategic challenges as a Customer Solutions Manager (CSM) at AWS. Passionate about technology, he believes the world’s greatest challenges can be confronted by giving the right tools to innovative leaders.

Saurabh Sharma

Saurabh Sharma is a Technical and Strategic Sr. Customer Solutions Manager (CSM) at AWS. He is part of the account team that supports enterprise customers in their cloud transformation journey. In this role, Saurabh works with customers to drive cloud strategy & adoption, provides thought leadership on how to move and modernize their workloads that can help them move fast to cloud, and drive a culture of innovation.