AWS Storage Blog

Introducing the Storage Migration Acceleration Program

At AWS, we understand migrating your data is not trivial, especially migrating out of tenured, familiar data storage solutions. It can involve serious and tedious work in designing, planning, and executing your data migration project plan, plus having a contingency plan in place in case of any hiccups. There are both technical and business risks that must be carefully considered, and not every business is always fully equipped or prepared for such a migration.

After working with customers to migrate their data for over 14 years, we have seen the gamut of migration stories. At AWS, we have always sought to offer our knowledge, expertise, and financial incentives to ensure your success when you choose to move your data to AWS. In this blog post, we discuss the Storage Migration Acceleration Program (MAP), a new AWS program alleviating pain points and making migrating to the AWS Cloud easier than ever.

Program overview

The Storage MAP accelerates the migration of large-scale storage workloads, for qualifying customers, through:

Storage MAP accelerates migrations in the following ways:

  1. We assist the development of a compelling business case and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analysis to get buy-in from executives and decision makers within your organization.
  2. Our financial incentives, in the form of service credits, help offset the cost of maintaining two environments (your existing on-premises and the cloud) during migrations. Financial incentives also help fund Storage migration partners and address budget constraints arising from unplanned migration expenses.
  3. We help accelerate migrations by providing incentives for using data transfer services such as AWS DataSync, AWS Storage Gateway, and AWS Direct Connect.
  4. Working directly with AWS Storage experts accelerates your migration and enables you to proceed with confidence and reduced risk.

How it works

To migrate large-scale datasets to AWS, we identified three phases of data storage migration: Assess, Mobilize, and Migrate and Modernize. The Storage MAP helps guide you through these three steps of storage migration:


In this phase, we help you improve storage discovery through a lightweight storage migration readiness assessment (MRA) focused on your existing storage infrastructure and data footprint. The results from the Storage MRA are then used to create a TCO and benefit analysis, and a directional business case. These elements are used to gain an executive alignment and buy-in with the decision makers in your organization.


During the Mobilize phase, you typically engage APN Partner or AWS Professional Service teams to build a detailed business case, prepare landing zones, and develop detailed migration plans. This phase includes deep dives to help you understand the data footprint, application dependencies, and user dependencies. Storage solution architects are involved in analyzing customer storage infrastructure to provide specific recommendations for migrating datasets. Customers planning to build detailed migration readiness work streams may receive incentives for AWS Professional Services or APN Partners delivered projects in this phase.

Migrate and Modernize

During this phase, we focus on migrating storage workloads with you into AWS and start operating them in AWS, supported by APN Technology Partners, APN Consulting Partners, and AWS teams. You can also engage storage solution architects to conduct AWS well-architected reviews to ensure use of best practices and identify opportunities to optimize performance and cost.

Common use cases

Some of the common storage related use cases you might consider when migrating data to AWS include:

Backup and restore: Many customers start simple with a “storage only” migration. They look for those workloads that don’t really require an application migration, and they start their cloud journey by just moving the data. Backup and restore is usually an easy place to start because it’s relatively non-disruptive to existing IT processes, and practically every major backup software vendor integrates directly with Amazon S3.

Archive and compliance: Customers with large data archives for long-term retention or for regulatory compliance are quickly moving to AWS because they know how unreliable and costly their on-premises tape infrastructure is. By moving that data to AWS, customers save money and ensure that their data is there when they need it because of the constant data validation performed at AWS.

Home directories: These are another storage-only migration that can provide significant storage cost savings with minimal disruption to existing processes. They gain significant scalability with options to replicate to another AWS Region for redundancy.

Data lakes: Tens of thousands of data lakes have been built on Amazon S3. Customers choose AWS storage because they know that data movement is one of the hardest parts of building a data lake. By storing their data in AWS, they can bring a variety of analytics tools to the same dataset, eliminating the data movement complexity and tearing down data silos. By consolidating all of that data in one place, their AWS data lake serves as an excellent foundation for artificial intelligence and machine learning, high performance computing environments, and big data analytics.

Business-critical applications: One of the most common workloads that customers want to bring to AWS is their business-critical applications including enterprise applications (e.g. enterprise resource planning, content management system, etc.), relational and non-relational databases (e.g Microsoft SQL Server, SAP HANA, Apache Cassandra etc.), big data analytics, streaming, and VDI workloads. And often, they simply want to lift and shift those applications into the cloud without making major changes right away. AWS provides Amazon EBS, which is high performance block storage designed for these critical workloads. Customers can also use migration services such as AWS DataSync and CloudEndure.

To illustrate the program benefits of the Storage MAP, the following table provides a few scenarios and example storage workloads.

Your workload Common migration triggers Benefits
Aged, infrequently accessed file shares and document repositories stored in on-premises NAS, SAN, or object storage infrastructure Data center modernization and cost optimization The Storage MAP can help you discover infrequently accessed storage infrastructure and propose a directional business case that optimizes your cost and offers incentives to offset migration and modernization costs.
Disaster recovery (DR) tape archives on-premises or offsite location Business continuity compliance, modernization, and cost optimization The Storage MAP can recommend APN Partner tools that help you understand compliance posture of your dataset before migrations.
Big data analytics, self-managed databases, and Hadoop/Spark clusters Data center exit, and cloud migration You can combine database and analytics workloads with storage spend to qualify and benefit from MAP incentives.
Hybrid access to your on-premises applications with cloud-backed storage End-of-life of on-premises storage infrastructure, and data center consolidation You can benefit from the MAP incentive applicable to AWS Storage Gateway, AWS Direct Connect, and in-cloud migrated storage service spend.
Enterprise data lake Data transformation, modernization, accelerate business insights You can benefit from the expertise, tools, and incentives for the combined storage and analytics workloads.
File-based workloads End-of-life of on-premises NAS storage infrastructure, and data center modernization The Storage MAP helps you develop a business case, migration plan and offer expertise, tools, and financial incentives to migrate and modernize your storage workloads.


We hope you now have a better idea on how the Storage Migration Acceleration Program (MAP) works. As we have said at the beginning, we fully understand and appreciate that there are always going to have some risks when migrating from one environment to another. Having the support of methodology, tools, expertise, and financial incentives should help reduce some of those risks and significantly improve the migration experience.

For more details on getting started with your storage migration, and to see if your project qualifies for Storage MAP, please visit the AWS Migration Acceleration Program for Storage page. Thanks for reading this blog post! If you have any comments or questions, please leave them in the comments section.


Rajesh Rajan

Rajesh Rajan

Rajesh is a Global Business Leader and a Go-to-Market Specialist at AWS, where he has been working for just over a year in San Francisco.

Chong Lee

Chong Lee

Chong Lee is a Worldwide Field Enablement Lead representing AWS Storage Product Marketing. He owns the strategy on how the AWS field communicates to customers about storage-related business use cases. He enjoys learning through figuring things out by rolling up his sleeves.

Sudhakar Mungamoori

Sudhakar Mungamoori

Sudhakar is a Principal Storage Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services (AWS), focusing on Storage migration, performance, and optimization for customer workloads.