Cynthia Lawton

06.03.2019

Progressive enterprises understand that migrating their business applications to the cloud is no longer a question of “if,” but “when.” If you’re ready to make the move with AWS, the benefits are clear:  It drives business value.  Customers that migrate to AWS can experience a 51% drop in the costs of operations, while increasing IT staff productivity by 62% with 94% reductions in downtime.

Still, for IT professionals at these organizations, the task can seem daunting or flat-out intimidating.

That’s why it’s crucial for businesses to have a well-planned strategy in order to execute a smooth and successful transition to AWS.

Lightstream’s Cloud Foundation helps ensure this strategy is in place with a blueprint for cloud adoption that discovers and analyzes your environment to ensure your AWS cloud readiness.

Lightstream is also certified to deliver an AWS Well-Architected Review that includes strategies to help you compare your workloads against best practices and obtain guidance to produce stable and efficient systems.

To be sure, everything works smoother when there is a roadmap to follow. Use this AWS migration checklist to help you get started:

 1. Target internal stakeholder buy-in early in the process

The more knowledgeable your teams are around AWS, the smoother the transition; the more internal evangelists you have on your side, the easier it will be to break down barriers. This process needs to happen early in the journey, before you make organizational-wide decisions on the future state of your IT landscape in AWS.

Lightstream’s Cloud Foundation has a thorough process for tackling adoption and ensuring your key stakeholders are on board.

2. Clarify the AWS account governance and billing processes

With AWS, you can have one master account or several accounts linked to each other. Many companies use separate accounts for different purposes (security versus administration, for example). Your choice depends on how you want your operation to function in the cloud. You can also segregate billing services to isolate specific costs per function or consolidate them into one. AWS offers flexible pricing options (on demand versus spot instances) that can change based on how you engage the cloud capacities.

To simplify the process even more, Lightstream offers Lightstream Connect as part of our Cloud Managed Services. Lightstream Connect offers a single pane of glass into your AWS spend and consolidates your orders, service inventory, usage and analytics in one place.

3. Assess security and access needs

Cloud computing requires constant access to cloud servers. To stay secure, you must adopt current, rigorous security practices and document your security requirements in the planning process.

AWS offers a series of access credential options so you can choose how to best manage your corporate security practices in AWS servers. Some of these include console passwords, symmetric access keys and multi-factor authentication tools.

Lightstream offers an AWS Cybersecurity Framework built on proven methodologies that takes the guesswork out of assessing your security needs and ensures your requirements are incorporated into your architecture.

4. Manage cloud-based assets

Plugging into the AWS cloud gives you access to the service-related metadata. You can combine your proprietary assets with the AWS cloud.

However, merging two separate sets of digital operations can be complex.

Amazon suggests developing an internal resource tagging strategy to clarify identification of proprietary resources and ease the integration with AWS resources.

Lightstream offer Reserved Instances management and tagging as part of our AWS Optimization and Containment Services.  We will help you create a unique tagging strategy, continuously align and optimize Reserved Instances and improve security- and network-related issues.

 5. Automate

The cloud’s agility is realized through automation. Spend time revisiting processes and establishing new ones that can take advantage of it as you migrate. If not all of your aspects can be automated, carefully determine which ones can, and empower your team to do so.

Be sure to keep in mind, though,  that if you’re going to automate, do it from the beginning. Add it in as early as possible and keep iterating. Automation does require extra effort so it’s important not to automate for automation’s sake.

Lightstream Cloud Foundation helps you make these types of determinations through our visualization and discovery processes that help your organization determine what types of technologies and approaches your organization will embrace and how to they will best work with your current environment.

6. Disaster Recovery (DR) and Backup Considerations

Planning for disaster reduces its impact. The AWS cloud offers DR options that will ensure your applications can recover when they fail and testing to confirm they’re functional after recovery has completed.

At a minimum, AWS recommends your DR strategy addresses global traffic management, regional redundancies, load-balancing and monitoring

7. Leverage Service-Provider Support

A good support team can be a critical ally during any cloud migration project. Cloud support staff are experts in the particular service they work for and they will be able to promptly answer technical questions or help you with any issues you have.

Look to Lightstream to be your trusted partner for AWS Migration and Management. We’ll help you implement Amazon EC2, Amazon Chime, AWS Lambda, Amazon RDS, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon S3 and many more.

To get started with a free AWS managed services consultation, contact us.

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