In our second blog about the phases of AWS Migration, we discuss the mobilize phase, walking you through the eight core areas to remember during this process.
In our first blog about AWS migration, we discussed how to get started on the huge lift that is migrating your business to the cloud. The assess phase plays a crucial role in preparing for your migration.
In this blog, we’ll look at the second phase, the mobilize phase, which is the next major step in your AWS migration journey.
What is the AWS Migration Mobilize Phase?
The “mobilize” phase in an AWS migration aims to establish a functional base for the migration process and address any deficiencies identified in the assess phase. The mobilize phase streamlines the migration process by offering clear guidance on migration strategies.
Per AWS best practices, you will want to prepare a scalable framework that will work for your migration. Generally, this stage can take around two to six months, depending on your industry and regulations. As we mentioned in the first blog, we highly recommend using a vendor to make sure your migration is a success.
The mobilize phase focuses on eight core areas:
- Discovery and Planning – Details discovery, migration strategy and wave planning
- Security and Compliance – Ensures architectural design meets security and compliance requirements
- Operating Model – Details how resources will run in AWS
- Landing Zone – Establishes connectivity, governance and security
- Skills and CCoE – Sets up a cloud center of excellence (CCoE) and identifies any training requirements
- Business Case – Creates a detailed business case using additional business points collected during the mobilize phase
- Migration Governance – Determines who is responsible for what
- Applications Migrated – Identifies pilot migrations to test architecture and provides hands-on experience of the migration process.
Let’s take a closer look at what each area means for your AWS migration journey.
Eight Areas of the AWS Migration Mobilize Phase
Discovery and Planning
During this phase, your goal is to perform a very detailed discovery. This discovery includes identifying data sources, application level information, and establishing a migration strategy. You will uncover detailed performance metrics that will assist with allocating and right-sizing target resources on AWS. Also, service naming and tagging will help you identify patterns and group servers and applications.
Although you and your partner would have already completed some data capture in the assess phase, you now need more detailed information. This includes dependencies, server network activity and application information. You can then use this information to create the migration waves.
AWS offers several services to help with this planning, including AWS Application Discovery Services (ADS), an agent-based discovery tool.
Discovery tools cannot collect all the information required for your migration planning (criticality of your application, business units, service level requirements). You can collect this extra detail using the AWS Migration Portfolio Assessment (MPA) tool. MPA allows users to create a questionnaire to capture all the relevant information. Once designed, it sends a link to the application owner, and they can provide the requested information.
The reason you want to collect this information is to help determine the migration strategy for each application. Gartner originally introduced the 7Rs concept, which lists seven cloud migration options: refactor, re-platform, repurchase, rehost, relocate, retain and retire.
Security and Compliance
AWS follows the shared responsibility model, meaning the customer is responsible for what is in the cloud, and AWS is responsible for the security of the cloud.
When looking at security and compliance, you must identify the organization’s needs. You need this step to ensure you correctly configure the landing zone and security controls. Some key areas of security are:
- Identity and access management – How will you manage all-around access of resources, who can access what and as well as authentication?
- Logging and monitoring – What will you identify as security logging requirements, and how will you monitor these resources?
- Infrastructure protection – How will the company protect infrastructure, firewalls and networks?
- Data protection – What will you identify as infrastructure requirements, and how will you determine management keys?
- Security Incident Response – How will the company react and respond to a security incident?
During this step, you need to review all the existing operating models and make updates to support the would-be environment in the cloud. The goal is to provide best-practices guidance and enhance the operational model both in hybrid mode and when in AWS. These AWS migration best-practice guidelines would include:
- Design guides for operational areas
- Operational playbooks for applications running in AWS
- Identified and trained operational support teams that will interact with the cloud environments.
A landing zone is an AWS environment that acts as a starting point for deploying workloads and applications. You should design this with a well-architected, multi-account setup, which includes elements such as identity management, governance, security, network design and logging.
AWS offers two options for creating a landing zone: using a service-based AWS Control Tower or building a custom landing zone. AWS manages the former option and uses automated processes to save time and ensure a secure and scalable environment. The latter requires a higher level of AWS knowledge. With Control Tower, you can use integrated services like AWS Service Catalog and AWS Organizations to manage access to accounts in the landing zone.
Cloud Center of Excellence
CCoE is a cross-functional team from across the organization made up of experts on cloud best practices. They are responsible for enabling the organization to use the value of the cloud. When creating a CCoE, diversity and cross-functional representation are key. The team’s structure should evolve as the business progresses through the transformation stages.
Ideally, the CCoE team will help enable business-facing software teams to focus on rapid experimentation and delivering customer outcomes by codifying routine platform tasks and best practices. Your CCoE team will help implement consistent patterns and frameworks, so teams can flexibly operate according to their unique needs and remain within the organization’s governance and compliance standards.
During the AWS migration mobilize phase, you or your partner want to provide multiple, highly accurate data points and create a business case for the adoption or reinvention of the cloud. The business case should include a total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis comprised of your company’s baseline spend, migration cost, and AWS run costs. Be sure to include business benefits such as staff productivity, operational resiliency and business agility.
AWS Migration Governance
Migration governance refers to the policies, processes and practices an organization follows to manage and control its migrated data. This includes planning and risk management, compliance, data security and change management. The purpose of migration governance is to ensure you execute your AWS migration efficiently and that it aligns with any regulatory requirements. Ideally, you’d like to avoid risks and minimize downtime, ensuring that the migration process results in a positive outcome for the organization.
Applications Migrated – Pilot Migrations
This is the final stage of the mobilize phase. Here, you can expect to migrate a handful (three to five) of pilot applications. These pilot migrations should represent the architecture and technology stack of similar business applications. Once you’ve identified and actioned these pilot applications, this will test out the newly created landing zone. It will also provide hands-on skills for tools you can use as a blueprint during the migration.
The mobilize phase of an AWS migration is where you get into the nitty-gritty aspects of preparation, even beginning your first migrations by the end of the phase. We highly recommend partnering with a vendor proficient in migrating exhaustive and mature solutions.
Our next blog will cover the final phase of AWS migrations, the migrate phase.