On-Premise to AWS Migration: Know Why and How to do it?

May 28, 2019 7:30:00 PM

On-premise to AWS Migration with logo

Cloud is rapidly overtaking the traditional IT infrastructure. For scalability, security, and cost-effective solutions, enterprises swear by cloud computing and are opting for cloud migration to avail of the endless benefits that it brings. In fact, studies suggest that the global cloud migration market is expected to grow from $1961.44 million in 2016 to USD 8678.73 million by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 23.67%.

Amongst the various cloud services available today, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most popular one. AWS offers 90+ services in various segments including analytics, database, developer tools, mobile, computing, application services, deployment, and more. Moreover, the cost and efficiency of services is what help AWS stand firm against the competition. That is why when on-premise to cloud migration is on the list, businesses opt for Amazon Web Services as a pre-eminent option.

In the later segment, we are going to talk about the advantages that the cloud can offer over the traditional infra setup and discuss a strategy for on-premise to AWS migration.

On-Premise to AWS Migration: Why does your Business Need it?

Before we jump on to the right approach, tools, and mode to migrate infra, application, and data on-premise to the cloud, it is important to acknowledge the benefits that this switch can offer. Here are a few plus points of moving from on-premise to cloud.

  • Reduce Capital Expense (CapEx)

CapEx is the cost that a company invests in acquiring, upgrading, and maintaining physical assets. This may include an application server, databases, networking capacity, software licenses, storage, development stacks, etc. CapEx is often used to undertake new projects, which usually aim at maintaining or improving operations.

Moving an infrastructure or an application on cloud helps to reduce the CapEx cost. Say, your business invested in application infrastructure and the IT team took two months to set up the infra. But the development delayed for the next six months and the scope of the application also reduced. Such situations can lead to wastage of resources, cost, and extend the provisioning time.

When infrastructure is built on the cloud, i.e. your business opts for on-premise to AWS migration, the CapEx cost can be reduced. Cloud services like Amazon AWS give the flexibility to reduce or improve the resources needed as the application scope scales up or down. Also, it takes a few clicks and minutes to set up the required infrastructure.

  • Reduce Operating Expenses (OpEx)

Operating Expenses (OpEx) is the day-to-day cost that is needed to keep the company running. This includes the human resources, environment, and space for servers, Operating Systems, funds allocated for R&D, inventory costs, etc. By moving an application or its infra to the cloud, this OpEx cost can be reduced significantly as the entire infrastructure would be managed by the cloud service provider (AWS).

Cloud infrastructure ensures that applications have 99.999% uptime and that businesses don’t have to pay an overhead cost to keep the infra up and running all the time. Your business has the option to choose from hundreds of resources available and there is no hassle in managing it.

  • No Upfront Capacity Planning

Suppose, you have an eCommerce application that usually receives decent traffic. During the sale, the traffic shoots up and thus to tackle with the scenario, you scale up the infrastructure. While this upfront capacity planning might help to deal with help traffic scenarios, it leads to resource wastage when the sale is off. Just image, your business is paying for an infra that’s not even used.

When your business moves from on-premise to cloud, this part of upfront capacity planning is handled by the cloud service provider (AWS). With its scheduling and auto-scaling services, businesses can stay carefree about reducing or expanding the resources and only pay for utilized resources.

  • Pay-as-you-Go Models

Pay-as-you-Go models or PAYG cloud computing works like our utility bills, i.e. you will be charged only for the resources utilized. One of the highlighting advantages of PAYG models is there are no wasted resources. This is because your business only pays for services procured rather than provisioning for a certain amount of resources that may or may not get used.

Amazon EC2 is an example of a PAYG model wherein users are allowed to obtain and configure resource capacity according to their usage. Users can select CPU, memory, security, OS, networking capacity, access controls, etc. This configuration can be changed as the requirement fluctuates.

  • Compliances

Healthcare, finance, education- almost every industry needs application compliance to deal with data security concerns. What if your business comes across the requirement to create a HIPPA Compliant healthcare app? When creating a HIPPA compliant app, even the data centers need to follow a standard. Businesses subject to HIPPA can use the AWS environment to process, maintain, and store protected health information.

AWS offers a comprehensive set of features and services to make key management and encryption of PHI easy to manage and simpler to audit, including the AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS). For example,

  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) offers a set of network security features well-aligned to architecting for HIPAA compliance.
  • Amazon Redshift provides database encryption for its clusters to help protect data at rest. When customers enable encryption for a cluster, Amazon Redshift encrypts all data, including backups, by using hardware-accelerated Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)-256 symmetric keys.

Similar to HIPPA compliance, businesses can find a compliant environment for different industries, ensuring that a standard infrastructure is set up within the least provisioning time.

  • Easy DR and HA

Even a brief lapse in the workload can result in a lost sales opportunity, disruption to production, and even compromised customer trust. Thus, it is imperative to achieve business continuity by making the system resistant to natural disasters, mechanical failures, and human errors.

On-premise to AWS migration provides cost-effective disaster recovery and ensures high availability of resources. Cloud Service Providers like AWS provide a cloud disaster recovery strategy that helps businesses to stay up and running in events where the physical infra is unavailable for (any) length of time. Also, AWS enables faster disaster recovery of critical IT systems without having to incur infrastructure for a second physical site.

  • Geographic Availability

The AWS Cloud spans 66 Availability Zones within 21 geographic Regions around the world, with announced plans for 12 more Availability Zones and four more Regions in Bahrain, Cape Town, Jakarta, and Milan. AWS products in every concern- compute, storage network, AI, developer tools, IoT, etc. are provided for seamless development and rendering of applications.

ALSO READ: A CTO's Guide to DevOps and its Services

On-Premise to AWS Migration: How to do it?

Now that you have acknowledged the benefits of moving to cloud infrastructure and why your business should adopt it, you must be wondering how to achieve move your existing infra to the cloud. At Daffodil, we have been following a defined approach for on-premise to AWS migration of data, infra, and applications on the cloud. Here, we give you a sight of how we do it.

Step 1: Do the As-Is Analysis

As-is analysis helps in identifying and evaluating the current processes of a business. This involves using a set of tools, processes, and procedures to have an end-to-end view IT ecosystem. When we do the as-is analysis,

  • We thoroughly examine an application, its user base, access controls, security concerns, and data (type, state, amount, etc.).
  • We identify workloads, servers, storage devices databases, networks, resource consumption, dependencies amongst entities, etc.
  • We look for the cost of ownership and operations (CapEx and OpEx) to understand if a business actually needs to move to the cloud?
  • We check for tools and technologies being used and what are the business priorities?

Step 2: Check Migration Feasibility

In this stage, we look into factors like dependencies between applications, their services, identify migration objectives, workloads that can be moved to the cloud, and figure out the possibility of on-premise to AWS migration. In this phase,

  • We prioritize business and IT requirements to ensure what part of the workload of the application should be moved to cloud-first.

  • We check for the financial feasibility of a business to move the existing on-pre-premise application to the cloud.  

  • We look into the characteristics of an application and see if it can be mapped with that of the cloud.

At the end of the feasibility check, we determine the degree of difficulting in on-premise to AWS migration. This also includes enlisting the workloads that qualify for migration, the scope, effort required, and estimating the costs, benefits, and ROI of migration.

Step 3: Design a Migration Plan

According to the analysis done and migration feasibility, a practical plan is defined. This includes answering questions on how to move the application, its data, and infra from source to its destination.

Step 4: Audit & Security

  • Integration testing, DNS and IP remapping, identity and access controls, audit trails and logs, checking for SLOs/SLAs, etc.
  • Managing security using firewall, VPN connectivity, DDoS connection, incident tracking & management.

Step 5: Backup & Restoration

While the on-premise to AWS migration takes place, unexpected events can happen. Thus, it is significant to stay prepared with a backup plan to mitigate the risks involved. Maintaining a backup of applications and related sources by the time the entire system is up and running in a systematic way is necessary. This backup can be restored for unforeseen events, missing data patterns after migration, etc.

ALSO READ: The Ultimate Guide to Infrastructure Optimization on Cloud

AWS Migration Services: Tools and Technical Expertise

Now that you have an idea about how to proceed with on-premise to AWS migration, it's time to collaborate with a technology partner who can help your business in making this big move. While there are tools by AWS itself that can aid in simplifying the migration process but understanding their limitations, benefits, and making the most of them or migration needs technical expertise.

Daffodil, who is a certified APN consulting partner has been offering technical expertise to all scale businesses, enabling them to achieve better efficiency with the cloud. If you want our team to help you in moving your application from on-premise to cloud infrastructure, then set up a free consultation with our cloud-tech experts and know more.

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Topics: DevOps

Archna Oberoi

Written by Archna Oberoi

Content strategist by profession and blogger by passion, Archna is avid about updating herself with the freshest dose of technology and sharing them with the readers. Stay tuned here as she brings some trending stories from the tech-territory of mobile and web.