How to migrate

The migration process

The four-phase migration process is designed to help your organization approach a migration of tens, hundreds, or thousands of applications. While each phase is a common component of a successful migration, they are not discrete phases, but an iterative process. As you iterate and migrate more applications, you will be able to drive repeatability and predictability in processes and procedures, and find that the migration process accelerates. Our comprehensive portfolio of AWS migration tools and our mature third-party migration tooling ecosystem provides automation and intelligent recommendations based on AWS machine learning to simplify and accelerate each step of the four-phase migration process.

  • Assessment
  • Readiness and Planning
  • Migration
  • Operations and Optimizations
  • Assessment
  • Assessment

    At the start of your journey, you identify your organization’s current readiness for operating in the cloud and the potential business outcomes for the migration.

    An initial understanding of your existing environment is necessary to develop a business case for migration. Through data on actual utilization of your on-premises resources, you can create a more accurate forecast of the total cost of ownership (TCO) to run these workloads in AWS.

    Our tools help you assess your on-premises resources and build a right-sized and optimized cost projection for running applications in AWS. TSO Logic, an AWS company, provides a total cost of ownership (TCO) projection for AWS based on your actual utilization of resources. AWS Migration Hub generates right-sized EC2 instance recommendations for running on-premises workloads. AWS can help you develop this business case using the AWS Cloud Value Framework, a proven methodology that delivers a compelling, board-level business case and justification prior to embarking on a large-scale migration.


    TSO Logic

    TSO Logic delivers accurate data-driven recommendations to right-size and right-cost compute. Our predictive analytics provide insights on an ongoing basis to ensure that you are always running each application in the best place, with the right software and at the lowest TCO—even as your environment, cloud options, and prices change. TSO Logic helps you build a clear business case to accelerate your migration planning.

    Cloud Adoption Readiness Tool (CART)

    The AWS Cloud Adoption Readiness Tool (CART) helps you develop plans for cloud adoption and enterprise cloud migrations. CART assesses your cloud migration readiness across six perspectives including business, people, process, platform, operations, and security. Once you complete a CART survey, you can download a customized cloud migration assessment that charts your readiness and recommends next steps. The CART report includes a heatmap and radar chart with scoring and resources to help you improve your readiness score. View a sample CART report.

  • Readiness and Planning
  • Readiness and Planning

    During this phase, you address gaps in your organization’s readiness that were uncovered in the assessment phase.

    You analyze your environment, create a map of interdependencies, and determine migration strategies (e.g. lift-and-shift, re-platform, etc.) to build a detailed migration plan with priorities for each application. At this stage, you set up a secure, and well-architected multi-account AWS environment (AWS Landing Zone).

    As part of the readiness and planning phase, you create a migration plan (which includes building experience through initial migrations) and refine your business case. You also focus on building your baseline environment (the “landing zone”), driving operational readiness, and developing cloud skills.

    One critical aspect of developing your migration strategy is collecting application portfolio data and rationalizing applications using the seven common migration strategies: relocate, rehost, replatform, refactor, repurchase, retire, or retain.

    The AWS Application Discovery Service automatically collects and presents detailed information about application dependencies and utilization to help you make more informed decisions as you plan your migration. Our Migration Competency Partners, such as RISC Networks, Cloudamize, ATADATA Deloitte, and Turbonomic, also provide deep discovery and planning tools. AWS Migration Hub automates the planning and tracking of application migrations across multiple AWS and partner tools, allowing you to choose the migration tools that best fit your needs.


    AWS Migration Hub

    AWS Migration Hub provides a single location to track the progress of application migrations across multiple AWS and partner solutions. Migration Hub allows you to choose the AWS and partner migration tools that best fit your needs, while providing visibility into the status of migrations across your portfolio of applications. Migration Hub also provides key metrics and progress for individual applications, regardless of which tools are being used to migrate each of the applications. When you just need to generate right-sized EC2 instance recommendations for running on-premises workloads in AWS, use Migration Hub.

    AWS Application Discovery Services

    AWS Application Discovery Service helps you plan migration projects by gathering information about your on-premises data centers. AWS Application Discovery Service collects and presents configuration, usage, and behavior data from your servers to help you better understand your workloads.

    AWS Schema Conversion Tool

    AWS Schema Conversion Tool (SCT) makes heterogeneous database migrations predictable by automatically converting the source database schema and a majority of the database code objects to a format compatible with the target database. During the migration planning, AWS SCT finds the gap between the source Oracle database and alternative targets among the Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) open-source database engines. AWS SCT assessment report helps identify the target database, estimate effort required to fill-in the functional gaps between the current database platform and AWS RDS, and allows to plan for right skills to deliver successful your database migrations.

    AWS Landing Zone

    AWS Landing Zone solution helps you set up a secure, multi-account AWS environment based on AWS best practices. Before you start to migrate first few applications, Landing Zone solution helps set-up your initial security baseline for your core accounts and resources.

    AWS Control Tower

    AWS Control Tower helps setup an automated landing zone, which is a well-architected, multi-account AWS environment. You can use Control Tower to manage your AWS environment during and after the migration. During the application migration process, Control Tower dashboards provide continuous visibility into your AWS environment.

  • Migration
  • Migration

    In this phase, the focus shifts from the portfolio level to the individual application. Each application is designed, migrated, and validated.

    You will need the capability to automatically migrate thousands of applications from different source environments (physical, virtual, and cloud-based) to AWS. These applications typically involve widely used commercial and open-source databases. Additionally, you will likely require a one-time migration of a large volume of data to AWS.

    Migration Hub allows you to quickly get progress updates across all of your migrations, identify and troubleshoot any issues, and reduce the overall time and effort spent on your migration projects.

    The best approach for many applications is to rapidly move to cloud and then re-architect in AWS. CloudEndure Migration quickly rehosts a large number of machines from multiple source platforms (physical, virtual, or another cloud) to AWS without worrying about compatibility, performance disruption, long cutover windows, or long distance data replications. For situations where you cannot install an agent-based migration service on your server, AWS Server Migration Service provides an agentless service to make it easier and faster to migrate thousands of on-premises workloads to AWS from a snapshot of the existing server.

    If you have VMware Cloud Foundation-based environments, VMware Cloud on AWS quickly relocates hundreds of applications virtualized on vSphere to the AWS Cloud in just days, while maintaining consistent operations with your on-premises environments.

    When migrating from one database source or version to a new platform or software version, AWS Database Migration Service keeps the source database remains fully operational during the migration, minimizing downtime to applications that rely on the database.

    Services for migrating servers, databases, and applications

    CloudEndure Migration

    CloudEndure Migration simplifies, expedites, and automates the application migration from physical, virtual, and cloud-based infrastructure to AWS. CloudEndure Migration is an agent-based service that continually replicates your source machines into a staging area in your AWS account without causing downtime. During this replication process, your applications will continue to run at the source without downtime or performance disruption. After a minimal cutover window, your migrated servers will run natively in AWS.

    AWS Server Migration Service

    AWS Server Migration Service (SMS) is an agentless service which makes it easier and faster to migrate virtual-only workloads from on-premises infrastructure or from Microsoft Azure to AWS when you cannot install an agent. AWS SMS helps you migrate on-premises workloads from VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V environments to AWS.

    AWS Database Migration Service

    AWS Database Migration Service (DMS) can migrate your data to and from most widely used commercial and open-source databases. AWS DMS supports homogeneous migrations such as Oracle to Oracle, as well as heterogeneous migrations between different database platforms, such as Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server to Amazon Aurora. You can use AWS DMS to continuously replicate your data with high availability and consolidate databases into a petabyte-scale data warehouse by streaming data to Amazon Redshift and Amazon S3.

    VMware Cloud on AWS

    VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC) allows you to quickly relocate hundreds of applications virtualized on vSphere to the AWS Cloud in just days and to maintain consistent operations with your VMware Cloud Foundation-based environments. VMware Cloud on AWS enables seamless bi-directional application migration with consistent policies by using vSphere vMotion between your on-premises data center and the AWS Cloud without converting or re-architecting any workload.

    AWS Marketplace

    AWS Marketplace is a curated digital catalog that helps you reduce costs by not over-purchasing with an in-perpetuity license. You can find, buy, deploy, and manage third-party software and services to build solutions for your business.

    Services for data transfer

    AWS Storage Gateway

    AWS Storage Gateway is a hybrid storage service that enables your on-premises applications to seamlessly use AWS cloud storage and shift on-premises data sets to the cloud. Storage Gateway can help you lift and shift certain workloads, such tape backups with the Tape Gateway virtual tape library, databases backed up on file shares with File Gateway, or application data on block volumes with Volume Gateway and Amazon EBS Snapshots. After migrating data to Amazon S3 with AWS DataSync or AWS Snowball Edge, you can use Storage Gateway to maintain on-premises access to data, with the gateway appliance’s local cache for recently used data.

    AWS DataSync

    AWS DataSync is a data transfer service that simplifies, automates and accelerates moving data between on-premises storage, and Amazon S3 or Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS). DataSync uses an on-premises agent to connect to an NFS file system and migrate file data rapidly – up to 10 times faster than open-source copy tools -- without the burden of writing and managing scripts. DataSync does full initial copies, incremental transfers, and the verification of transferred data. If you have available network bandwidth, DataSync is the easiest approach to migrate file-based data.

    AWS Transfer for SFTP

    AWS Transfer for SFTP is a fully managed service that helps you seamlessly migrate your file transfer workflows to AWS. Transfer for SFTP enables the transfer of files directly into and out of Amazon S3 using the Secure Shell (SSH) File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). It integrates with existing authentication systems, and providing DNS routing with Amazon Route 53—so nothing changes for your customers, partners, and internal teams. When migrating Data Lake and analytics workloads to AWS, Transfer for SFTP can help you maintain critical data exchange workflows without disruption.

    AWS Direct Connect

    AWS Direct Connect lets you establish a dedicated network connection between your network and one of the AWS Direct Connect locations. This allows you to use the same connection to access public resources such as objects stored in Amazon S3 using public IP address space, and private resources such as Amazon EC2 instances running within an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) using private IP space, while maintaining network separation between the public and private environments.

    AWS Snow Family

    AWS Snowball and AWS Snowball Edge use secure, ruggedized, shippable devices of various capacity to migrate data into and out of Amazon S3, offline, when you lack adequate network bandwidth for transfers. The services can be used to move petabyte-scale data sets with multiple suitcase sized devices, which have up to 72 TB of usable capacity per unit. Snowball Edge also includes on-board compute with Amazon EC2, and AWS IOT Greengrass and AWS Lambda, so that you can pre-process data before moving it into AWS.

    AWS Snowmobile is an exabyte-scale data transfer service that uses a 45-foot long ruggedized shipping container, pulled by a semi-trailer truck to move up to 100 PB from per trip from your data center. Snowmobile is used for migrating truly massive video libraries, image repositories, or even complete data centers. It overcomes the physics of network links to move 100s of Petabytes of data in months instead of years.

  • Operations and Optimizations
  • Operations and Optimizations

    As applications are migrated, you optimize your new foundation, turn off old systems, and constantly iterate towards a modern operating model.

    At this stage, you need to efficiently operate, manage and optimize workloads in the cloud. Ideally, you build off the foundational expertise you already developed. If not, use your first few application migrations to develop that foundation to improve and sophisticate your operating model. You can use AWS Management and Governance services for end-to-end IT lifecycle management for both your AWS and non-AWS resources. AWS Managed Services (AMS) can also help you accelerate your migration by providing ongoing management, cost optimization, and operations of your AWS infrastructure.

    AWS Managed Services

    AWS Managed Services (AMS) operates AWS on your behalf, providing a production-ready enterprise operating model, on-going cost optimization, and day-to-day infrastructure management. AMS takes responsibility for operating your cloud environment post migration, such as analyzing alerts and responding to incidents, enabling your internal resources to focus on the more strategic areas of your business. AWS Managed Services automates common activities, such as change requests, monitoring, patch management, security, and backup services, and provides full-lifecycle services to provision, run, and support your infrastructure.

    AWS Management and Governance

    With AWS Management and Governance Services, you don’t need to choose between innovating faster and maintaining control over cost, compliance, and security. AWS helps you manage and govern both your AWS and non-AWS resources. AWS provides services for end-to-end IT lifecycle management, helping customers control and secure their environments, reduce costs, simplify compliance, and enhance operational efficiency.

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