AWS Migration Best Practices: Guide to AWS Platform Migration

Maciej Gamrat

Mar 31, 2021 • 8 min read
AWS Migration Best Practices: Guide to AWS Platform Migration

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is on the rise, with over one million active users across 190 countries, according to Visual Capitalist. After quietly launching cloud computing services in 2006, AWS now dominates the public cloud market, accounting for 41.5% of it. That’s greater than Microsoft, Google, Rackspace, and IBM combined.

If you’re thinking about migrating workloads to AWS, there are several things to consider. These include the benefits of AWS, potential AWS migration challenges, best practices, and mistakes to avoid. Continue reading for the AWS lowdown.

Migrating to AWS – benefits

From ease of use and versatility to reliability and faster time to market, cloud migration brings value. AWS has helped thousands of organizations successfully migrate workloads to the cloud. These companies include Samsung, Coca-Cola, BP, and GE.

AWS migration involves moving workloads. They may be moving from an on-premises environment, a hosting facility, or other public clouds. These workloads include websites, databases, and applications. They also include storage, servers, and entire data centers.

AWS Cloud Services

Source: Visual Capitalist: The Impressive Stats Behind Amazon’s Dominance of the Cloud

AWS offers more than 170 products for app developers, alongside computing and storage. AWS services include Amazon Connect, AWS Lambda, and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). The specific benefits that come with AWS migration include:

Scalability

Thanks to AWS’s Elastic Load Balancing, your applications can handle thousands of concurrent users. Furthermore, incoming traffic distributes evenly. AWS offers autoscaling capabilities, so the infrastructure automatically responds to traffic spikes. How? By adding computing or storage resources.

Costs optimize, and you only pay for the resources you use; if you have unused resources, they scale down.

High availability and performance

With AWS, you can host your applications in multiple data centers across independent availability zones. AWS currently comprises 61 availability zones across 20 geographic regions worldwide. Why is that beneficial? Another zone takes over duties if there’s a data center failure. There’s little service disruption, providing business continuity.

AWS offers multiple edge locations to deliver your content to users as fast as possible. How? By directing user traffic to the closest location.

Security and resilience

AWS comes with cheap S3 storage that natively supports encryption at rest. That allows you to satisfy regulatory policies and make sure your users' data stays safe.

Amazon S3 aims to deliver 99.999999999% durability and scale past trillions of objects globally. Via impressive economies of scale, AWS has decreased prices more than 60 times since launching. At the same time, the service generates significant revenue. Additionally, S3’s backup storage and data versioning provide disaster recovery in case of human error or malicious attack.

Also, thanks to the Amazon Certificate Manager service, it’s possible to configure all user-facing load balancers with Transport Layer Security certificates. That translates to the protection of user data in transit.

AWS Benefits

Source: Visual Capitalist: The Impressive Stats Behind Amazon’s Dominance of the Cloud

AWS migration challenges

Alongside these benefits, there are some potential difficulties, too. Read on for AWS cloud migration challenges and considerations.

Minimizing downtime

To curtail downtime, it’s vital you prepare for cloud migration. That way, you gain confidence and minimize operational costs. Employ continuous testing, ensuring you’re ready for the moment user traffic switches. Think about automation, too. By automating the process as much as possible, the risk of errors diminishes.

Dealing with technical debt

When planning your cloud migration, you may encounter inefficiencies in your services. These will need resolving pre-migration. Take the opportunity to decide which services to upgrade and which you can retire completely. That way, you save money as well as increase efficiency.

To upgrade your existing services with as little disruption as possible, expert knowledge helps. Then, when you migrate, you can start fresh. This allows for greater design efficiency.

AWS migration best practices

To ensure smooth AWS cloud migration, there are several best practices to keep in mind:

Prepare a cloud migration plan

You may want to employ AWS cloud experts to aid migration planning.

  • Be sure to enumerate existing services and their computing and storage resources.
  • Moreover, identify application dependencies to find a viable migration order. It’s prudent to map your existing platform onto AWS services like EC2, ECS, S3, or RDS.

Migrate in small steps and employ continuous testing

  • Migrate in stages, application by application. Remember: smaller migrations are easier. Migrating incrementally allows for easier testing, meaning you gain confidence in the process.
  • When a migration stage is complete, monitor for unhealthy behavior or improper resource usage. Continuous testing also minimizes downtime.
  • Then, the last step is to carefully switch all incoming traffic to the new platform.

Skills are crucial for success

It’s essential for your employees to have the skills to operate a cloud platform. To facilitate that, train your maintenance team in monitoring solutions as well as automation. If you need additional expertise, AWS cloud experts can help train your staff.

AWS migration: Mistakes to avoid

For a successful migration, avoid these common AWS migration mistakes:

Opting for a simple rehosting strategy

It’s possible to migrate existing services with very little adjustment, only a change to the cloud server or provider. That’s not necessarily the best idea, though. Instead, investigate existing AWS offerings. They provide services tailored for different business use cases.

These include performant web hosting, secure data storage, and artificial intelligence solutions. By doing that, you optimize business value from the migration. Furthermore, when you choose the right service for different tasks, you can save on development and app maintenance costs.

Lacking expert knowledge

Without the requisite migration skills, you may run into unexpected difficulties along the way. If that’s a concern, our team of skilled cloud consultants can advise or prepare an end-to-end migration plan.
Knowledge transfer is crucial. It’s important for successful cloud provider migration, and also for maintaining operations and keeping costs low.

Create business value with cloud migration

Every third website in the world is powered by AWS. If you’re considering migrating to the popular service, there are a host of benefits. These include cost, flexibility, security, and scalability.

There are things to keep in mind when migrating business workloads to AWS. These range from downtime to technical debt.
There are also best practice considerations, such as planning carefully and continuously testing.
What’s more, to avert AWS migration mistakes, don’t opt for the simplest rehosting strategy and be sure your team has the required knowledge.

More posts by this author

Maciej Gamrat

codestories