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3 min read
Zach Marky

How we evaluate, plan and complete a migration to AWS cloud


Making the jump to cloud can be daunting and rife with uncertainties. Those who have turned that leap into a confident stride are reaping the rewards. The migration of business capabilities to the cloud is an instinctive move for some, but not all. Hesitant? Then let us explore how to evaluate and plan a migration to Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud.


Right here, right now


Understanding the ‘as is’ is the crucial first step in any cloud migration effort. Discovering, collecting, evaluating and documenting data flows can be a time-consuming and arduous process. Fortunately, Amazon Web Services supply a choice of tools to rapidly build a thorough understanding of the on-premises server data flows and configuration of the architectural real estate.


Two pivotal tools we use in many instances are AWS Discovery Agent and AWS Agentless Collector. These enable our discovery team to capture utilisation patterns, performance data and API connectivity, among other data from the on-site servers and infrastructure. All data is securely encrypted on-site before it is transmitted to the AWS cloud for continuous sampling. Additional information, particularly around utilisation and configuration, may also be added manually to ensure the picture is as complete as possible.


At the end of this article, we have compiled a list of the AWS migration services we recommend.


Go with the flow


Utilising a dedicated AWS Migration Evaluator and AWS Application Discovery Service to process the data aggregated in the discovery phase, the Endava delivery team then assesses that information. With the help of data-driven algorithmic analysis alongside other techniques, potential migration scenarios are devised. For each scenario, migration and post-migration cost models are calculated to provide a precise predicted cost base.


The delivery team will also formulate migration options, which is especially important when migrating legacy systems or where hardware emulation is required. This includes legacy refactoring, where the cloud solution must be functionally equivalent to the existing business capability. Current middleware or outdated technologies may also require more modern replacements. In instances where the middleware is employed purely to support a legacy server or piece of infrastructure, it can usually be dispensed with following the migration.


Make the case


Using the scenarios, cost models and migration options, our delivery team completes the business case, including the migration plan and cost projections; AWS Cloud Economics Center is often used to prove those cost projections to ensure that they match the expected real-world costs. Every plan is bespoke, designed for each individual business and the business capabilities to be migrated.


In large or more complex migrations, the process may be divided into distinct phases to ensure that a transited functionality can be fully tested and stabilised before the next phase. Some migrations take the segmentation even further, entirely completing the migration of parts of the business capability first and then moving on to other parts. This is often employed when moving a range of products to AWS cloud, where the first to migrate is the proving ground for the rest.


Don’t look back


Our delivery team employs a range of tools to undertake the transition, including AWS Application Migration Service to automate app migration, AWS Database Migration Service to migrate data depositories and AWS Migration Hub to orchestrate and monitor every transaction. Once tested and stabilised, the migration is complete, and the switchover can proceed.


When considering a cloud migration, our architects look at the following AWS services:


  • AWS Discovery Agent to capture system configuration, system performance, running processes and details of the network connections between systems
  • AWS Agentless Collector for an on-premises application to collect information about on-premises environments
  • AWS Application Discovery Service to automatically identify applications running in on-premises data centres
  • AWS Application Migration Service as a tool for lift-and-shift migrations
  • AWS Migration Evaluator for predictive analytics to inform right-size and right-cost compute
  • AWS Database Migration Service to migrate data depositories
  • AWS Prescriptive Guidance as a knowledge base for AWS cloud migration
  • AWS Application Migration Service (AWS MGN) to automatically migrate applications from physical infrastructure to AWS
  • AWS Migration Hub to orchestrate and monitor all transactions.
  • AWS Cloud Economics Center for a centralised repository of information, resources and tools to help quantify the value of AWS investment


In the first part of our ‘Journey to the Centre of the Cloud with AWS’ series, we looked into the reasons for migrating to AWS cloud, and in the next part, we will explore the multitude of new opportunities AWS offers once you are on board. Get ready to jump!


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