AWS Training and Certification Blog

How the AWS Storage Data Migration learning plan helped a Sr. Solutions Architect and AWS Instructor refresh his skills

By Alessandro (Ale) Ponzo, Sr. Solutions Architect, AWS Italy Enterprise Team

My name is Alessandro Ponzo and I’m a Sr. Solutions Architect in the Enterprise Italy team at AWS. I have been working in IT for more than 25 years, and Storage has always been my primary specialization and passion. My daily routine previously included working with different protocols like Fiber Channel or iSCSI, hardware vendors and models, creating and replicating volumes and Logical Unit Numbers (LUNs), copying and moving data, and making backup and restore tests.

When I joined AWS in 2015 as a support engineer, I immediately started exploring the different storage services available on AWS. I dove deep into the technology behind them to help our service teams introduce new features and functionalities, specializing in Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) and becoming a Subject Matter Expert (SME). Afterward, I became an AWS Authorized Instructor (AAI), and in this new role, I have enjoyed helping our customers deepen their knowledge of AWS technology. When I heard from the AWS Training and Certification team that we were working on creating new learning plans focused on AWS Storage, I asked to be involved in the creation of the first two, Object and Block, which were released at the beginning of this year.

During AWS Storage Day 2022, the AWS Storage team announced three new digital learning badges by AWS Training and Certification on AWS Skill Builder, including the AWS Learning: Data Migration badge. This badge, which is associated with the Storage Learning Plan: Data Migration, demonstrates an individual’s knowledge of AWS Storage services for creating, managing, and architecting highly available storage solutions.

Building my data migration expertise

More recently, I was very excited about the selection of new storage learning plans and badges, announced at AWS Storage Day 2022, including Data Migration, which is critical for customers seeking to migrate to the cloud.

image of the digital badge for AWS Storage: Data Migration

Data Migration is often where our customer start their cloud journey on AWS—with a “lift and shift” or with re-host, re-platform, or refactoring. Their objectives include modernizing their infrastructure, getting the most benefit from the cloud, and retiring technical debt.

To ensure I can provide the best and up-to-date guidance to my customers and to refresh my skills, with enthusiasm I challenged myself to complete the Storage Learning Plan: Data Migration. From Data Transfer services, like AWS DataSync, to hybrid scenarios with the AWS Snowball family to copy or move your data to the cloud, the training content and videos detail how to choose the right service to match your need.

Whether you need to move a few terabytes of data with our smallest device, AWS Snowcone (fun fact: we sent it to space!), or you need to move many petabytes with AWS Snowmobile, please remember your data on AWS will be always welcome and we have plenty of Object/Block/File storage space available for you!

Yet, performing a migration is not just a matter of choosing the right services. You need to develop a proper strategy to migrate correctly, fully understand your current (and future) setup with an exhaustive assessment, evaluate, prevent, or mitigate risks, and then implement monitoring for performance and tuning.

The Storage Learning Plan: Data Migration will guide you through all of these steps with clear guidance, examples, and detailed description of the storage services involved. You’ll know how to chose the best services to fit your needs and how they align with your business case, as you migrate your data and workloads to AWS.

The learning plan makes it easy to learn what you need for a proper data migration to the cloud—all in one place with best practices, real use-cases, customer examples, and engaging learning. The material, documentation, and videos keep it fun while providing a deeper understanding at the same time.

Applying my knowledge to customer scenarios

I have helped many retail enterprise customers build their migration plan, shorten their time to production, and avoid typical pitfalls—like poor or unstable network and internet connections or the constraint of some technology or protocol they were using on-premises. As covered in the learning plan as a best practice, I’ve advised customers on how and why to use Snowball to implement the first step of their migration strategy. They utilize Snowball to create a one-off data copy and then resync the backups from on-prem to have less impact on production environments. I worked with another customer to recommend Snowcone for the perfect use case. They conduct aerial photography mapping and were able to use the device onboard their aircraft to store their data for the all-day flights and then migrate the data to AWS during the night.

Now it is your turn to earn the AWS Storage: Data Migration badge

If I’ve piqued your interest in the AWS Storage learning plans and associated badges, the first step is to create a free AWS Skill Builder account. Then enroll in the desired Storage learning plan, e.g., Storage Learning Plan – Data Migration. To earn a badge, you must score 80% or higher on the assessment associated with the learning plan. To claim your badge, create a free account.

There are five total badges you can earn: Object, Block, File, Data Protection and Disaster Recovery, and Data Migration.

Earning Object, Block, and File badges will also earn you the AWS Storage Core badge. If you earn all of the individual badges, you’ll also earn the AWS Storage Technologist badge.

Image showing the path to earn the Storage Core digital badge, and the Storage Technologist badge. By earning each the Object, Block, and File badges, you will also earn you the AWS Storage Core badge. If you earn Object, Block, File, Storage Core, Data Protection & Disaster Recovery, and Data Migration, you’ll also earn the AWS Storage Technologist badge.

Challenge yourself, as I did, to earn AWS Storage badges. Remember to share your achievement(s) on social media and tag #AWSTraining. Go get them all!