This Guidance shows how to migrate your VMware virtual machines (VMs) to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) using AWS Application Migration Service (AWS MGN). Migrating on-premises VMware workloads to Amazon EC2 offers enhanced scalability, improved performance, and reduced operational costs. AWS MGN streamlines the migration process with seamless, automated block-level replication, allowing you to thoroughly test migrated VMs on Amazon EC2 while continuously replicating the original source server. This Guidance minimizes the cutover window and facilitates live migrations with no downtime or minimal customer impact.

Please note: [Disclaimer]

Architecture Diagram

[Architecture diagram description]

Download the architecture diagram PDF 

Well-Architected Pillars

The AWS Well-Architected Framework helps you understand the pros and cons of the decisions you make when building systems in the cloud. The six pillars of the Framework allow you to learn architectural best practices for designing and operating reliable, secure, efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable systems. Using the AWS Well-Architected Tool, available at no charge in the AWS Management Console, you can review your workloads against these best practices by answering a set of questions for each pillar.

The architecture diagram above is an example of a Solution created with Well-Architected best practices in mind. To be fully Well-Architected, you should follow as many Well-Architected best practices as possible.

  • AWS MGN is natively integrated with Amazon EC2 and Systems Manager services. AWS MGN helps you migrate VMware VMs to Amazon EC2, perform non-disruptive tests, achieve cutover (within minutes), and automate optimization or application modernization using Systems Manager. AWS MGN allows you to migrate applications to AWS without disrupting operations, using an automated process that requires no changes to applications, architecture, or servers, minimizing manual effort. It enables application benchmarking, test cutovers to identify issues before impacting operations, and simplified configuration and management of migrated resources through Systems Manager.

    Read the Operational Excellence whitepaper 
  • AWS MGN enhances data replication security through traffic encryption, access controls, and VPC endpoints, enabling private connections between VPC resources and AWS services. Security groups restrict access to VPC endpoints from allowed IP ranges. AWS MGN uses TLS over TCP ports 443 (management plane) and TCP port 1500 (data plane), improving security in the default configuration. VPC endpoints keep traffic between EC2 instances and AWS services within the AWS network. Security groups further safeguard workloads and communication between on-premises and cloud environments.

    Read the Security whitepaper 
  • AWS MGN has a retry mechanism to handle replication issues and provides detailed error information with explanations and mitigation steps when user intervention is needed (for example, network connectivity or authentication problems). Further, AWS MGN test and cutover instances together with Systems Manager allow you to validate whether workload meets functional and non-functional requirements as before the migration.

    AWS MGN allows to focus on the migration and rely on the service reliability to deal with temporary network unavailability.

    Read the Reliability whitepaper 
  • Once initial replication is complete, the AWS MGN agent compresses and sends deltas which has minimal performance hit on the replicating servers. AWS MGN uses LZ4 compression during transit resulting in 60-70% compression depending on the type of data.

    The agent setup doesn’t require reboot, making it ideal for production servers. Replication servers continue to run their workload without any interruption from the agent or replication, improving cost reduction and network bandwidth.

    Read the Performance Efficiency whitepaper 
  • AWS MGN Launch settings allow launching test or cutover instances with instance types matched to the source VM’s hardware configuration and usage patterns, optimizing cost and performance.

    Additionally, AWS MGN uses an optimal number of lightweight replication instances to replicate data between multiple VMware VMs and can continuously replicate the data without launching test or cutover instances. This helps eliminate the need to pay for compute resources equivalent to the source environment during replication.

    Read the Cost Optimization whitepaper 
  • AWS MGN Launch settings help improve the efficiency of your migrated workload by using the fewest compute resources while achieving high utilization. Further, with lightweight, auto-scaled replication instances, you don't provision the full compute required for the source environment during replication, effectively minimizing your workload’s environmental impact.

    Read the Sustainability whitepaper 

Implementation Resources

A detailed guide is provided to experiment and use within your AWS account. Each stage of building the Guidance, including deployment, usage, and cleanup, is examined to prepare it for deployment.

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The sample code; software libraries; command line tools; proofs of concept; templates; or other related technology (including any of the foregoing that are provided by our personnel) is provided to you as AWS Content under the AWS Customer Agreement, or the relevant written agreement between you and AWS (whichever applies). You should not use this AWS Content in your production accounts, or on production or other critical data. You are responsible for testing, securing, and optimizing the AWS Content, such as sample code, as appropriate for production grade use based on your specific quality control practices and standards. Deploying AWS Content may incur AWS charges for creating or using AWS chargeable resources, such as running Amazon EC2 instances or using Amazon S3 storage.

References to third-party services or organizations in this Guidance do not imply an endorsement, sponsorship, or affiliation between Amazon or AWS and the third party. Guidance from AWS is a technical starting point, and you can customize your integration with third-party services when you deploy the architecture.

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