Preparation is an important step in your AWS migration. We break down the assess phase and the tools you can use to make planning go as smoothly as possible.
Many business drivers lead customers to pursue a migration to the cloud. Cost reduction and optimization are generally at the top of the list. While cost is critical, oftentimes, additional factors play a role, including improved agility, going global in minutes and the desire to take advantage of AI/ML capabilities.
A recent IDC study, surveyed 27 companies around the world running various enterprise workloads on AWS to better understand the cloud’s impact on their business. The study found that customers using AWS lowered the cost of their IT services as well as transformed their business to better address market demand. These businesses achieved this by optimizing their IT environments. IDC calculates that organizations will spend 31 percent less on AWS than running workloads on traditional infrastructure.
By shifting their IT staff to focus on strategic business goals, IDC projects that teams will be, on average, 62 percent more efficient, and application developers will be 25 percent more productive on AWS. The study also found that on AWS, customers found seven times fewer downtime hours and three times more features delivered each year.
The benefits of using AWS migration to move to the cloud are numerous – but it still requires a huge lift on your business. Where do you get started?
Beginning Your AWS Migration Journey
While many companies in the cloud space have a different methodology for their cloud migration journey, one thing remains constant – you must start with a plan. Here at Centric, we refer to this phase as “strategy and planning,” others might say “discovery,” and AWS uses “assess.”
Dive Into the AWS Migration Assess Phase
The objective of the assess phase is to develop a well-defined business plan and total cost of ownership (TCO). During this phase, you’ll want to:
- Review your organization’s readiness to move to the cloud
- Take an inventory of your current environment
- Create a TCO and business plan model.
Let’s look at each of these steps more closely.
1. Determine if You Are Ready for an AWS Migration
To reach your objective, reviewing who in your organization will pioneer your move to the cloud is important. You’ll want to build a team that includes stakeholders from multiple business teams who will focus on your organization’s adoption of the cloud. By aligning these key players, you can secure buy-in early, as well as gain a plethora of perspectives. This increases collaboration and encourages cross-functional efforts.
This team will become your cloud subject matter experts (SMEs), tasked with building your company’s cloud best practice, educating peers and standardizing tools and methodologies. To help with this process, you’ll want to take advantage of the AWS Well-Architected Framework (WAF). You can look at this as a collection of best practices designed with reliable workload provisioning architecture that follows specific patterns and monitors performance efficiency.
2. Take Inventory of Your IT Environment
Before building out your TCO and business plan, you need to analyze your inventory. This includes evaluating clearly defined costs as well as intangible costs. It’s important to consider what you’re currently spending to run your data center (power, cooling, management, real estate). From here, you can identify candidates to migrate to the cloud and cloud benefit opportunities. To create your business case, take an inventory of your run cost, cost of change, impacts on staff productivity and business value.
To conduct the initial evaluation of your IT resources, AWS provides tools for storing this information and providing initial recommendations. You can use the AWS Migration Hub and AWS Migration Evaluator for early-stage analysis.
AWS Migration Hub
AWS Migration Hub is designed to be a single place to discover your existing servers, group servers into applications, and track the status of each application as it migrates.
Migration Hub has three ways to ingest data. You can import data using a .CSV file, deploy an agentless collector using a discovery connector or attach a discovery agent to each on-premises server to collect specifications on each of your Virtual Machines (VMs) or physical servers.
Migration Hub allows you to view the details of your IT inventory at a granular level. This includes the OS, physical configuration, RAM allocation and so on. Historical information, such as the average CPU utilization and read/write IOPS, makes Migration Hub particularly useful if you’d like a detailed, time-driven report on your server performance data. Migration Hub also provides instance recommendations that help you calculate how much your infrastructure will cost to run in the cloud.
AWS Migration Evaluator
If you’ve read our past blogs, you know we are big fans of Migration Evaluator (ME). The tool allows you to see a clear cost for your application both on-premises and in AWS, which helps you pull together your TCO and business plan for your AWS migration.
AWS Migration Evaluator is a tool you can use to analyze on-prem resources prior to deployment in the cloud. You can also use AWS Migration Evaluator to create directional business reports, identify optimal instance sizes and analyze licensing options all prior to cloud deployment. AWS Migration Evaluator helps customers determine if migration to the cloud is the best option for their business or if they need more insights before deciding.
AWS Migration Evaluator has a seamless method for collecting data and delivering insights. By installing an agentless collector, Migration Evaluator can collect inventory discovery and time-series performance data. This agentless collector supports VMware and Hyper-V discovery as well, even going as far as automating SQL server detection.
Migration Evaluator can group operating system (OS) instances by environment or application using business data and additional information not captured through collection. This allows for different cost models depending on the workload. For example, some clients may want to run an on-demand purchase plan of a dev/test environment and an all-upfront, reserved-instance plan for a production (PROD) environment.
3. Total Cost of Ownership
The assess phase is the perfect time to examine your current IT portfolio and calculate your current total cost of ownership (TCO). The benefit of this is for your company to define the positive outcomes from moving to the cloud. At a high level, you’ll want to determine the cost of your network hardware, subscriptions and licenses, as well as cost spent to maintain your data center. Teams can also use their current tools for tracking assets and other records related to cost. This builds a baseline for the TCO.
Choose the Right Partner
Even though there are excellent AWS migration tools to help you prepare, choosing a partner to support you during this process is vital to any migration. The cloud is still a relatively new concept, so it’s important to choose a vendor who has a proven track record in delivering compute resources. Even more importantly, you need a vendor that shows proficiency in migrating comprehensive and mature solutions that lead to business results.
By the end of your assess phase, you should have a business case created, considering the business side of your organization as well as your IT portfolio. The right plan, the right partner, and the right tools will have you on track to complete your migration to the cloud.