Azure to Amazon Web Services (AWS) Migration Question and Answers

Cloud Computing has drastically changed the IT landscape. It has transformed the way companies buy and consume IT products and services. The speed and flexibility that Cloud Computing has provided have enabled organizations to innovate faster and reduce their IT spending, making it a key element of IT strategy.

In January 2018, RightScale conducted its seventh annual State of the Cloud Survey. They found that  96% of surveyed enterprises use cloud and  81% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy. Interestingly, survey respondents were already utilizing 3.1 clouds and are playing with the idea of using with 1.7 more, for a total of 4.8 clouds.

In its latest Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service report, Gartner named AWS as the undisputed leader of the public cloud. Its cloud platform is mature, proven, and credible — a safe choice for enterprises. Microsoft Azure is a second strong contender.

Azure and AWS both offer great functionality, but if your current cloud strategy relies exclusively on Microsoft Azure, you are more likely to suffer from cloud vendor lock-in. Lock-in is a scenario in which you cannot easily change or transition to a new cloud service provider. Considering a multi-provider or hybrid cloud strategy may provide your organization with greater benefits that being tied to an exclusive cloud provider.

In this article, we will answer the top 3 questions organizations have when considering an Azure to AWS migration, the 3 steps for a successful AWS migration.

Top 3 Questions about Azure to AWS Migration

If you are considering a migration of some of your cloud workloads to AWS from Microsoft Azure, you may have been asking yourself some of these questions:

How hard is it to Migrate from Azure to AWS?

Every migration has its own challenges, but as more and more customers look for hybrid cloud approaches to optimize their IT spending, cloud providers have been releasing a set of tools to simplify the migration process. Some of the AWS tools that can help you simplify your migration are:

AWS Server Migration Service (SMS), is a service that simplifies the process of moving workloads to the AWS cloud. With AWS SMS you can automate, schedule, and track incremental replications of live server volumes, this helps you execute the migration with minimal disruption and downtime.

AWS Database Migration Service is a tool to simplify the migration of databases to AWS. The source database remains fully operational during the migration, reducing the downtime of the applications that use the database. The AWS Database Migration Service supports migrations from heterogeneous databases, like Oracle, to Amazon Aurora or Microsoft SQL Server to MySQL.

Another set of specialized tools for data migration are Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration which helps make transfers to Amazon S3 faster. AWS Snowball and AWS Snowmobile can be used to securely transfer large amounts of data into and out of AWS.

An experienced service provider like eSOZO is equipped to help you overcome the challenges of an Azure to AWS Migration, and make the process simpler and more efficient.

Will I have to buy new licenses?

One of the advantages of Cloud Computing is a simplified and more transparent licensing pricing, in which you pay only for what you use.  So, one of the big questions organizations have when moving to AWS is if they will have to buy new licenses.

If you have Microsoft licenses, you can take advantage of the Microsoft License Mobility, which allows the customer to deploy eligible Microsoft licenses on AWS. This enables you to move your workloads to Amazon Web Services without any additional Microsoft software licensing fees.

Will I have to move all my workloads to AWS?

According to the RightScale report we mentioned earlier, 81% of companies are using a multi-vendor approach to Cloud computing. You don’t have to move all of your workloads to AWS. You can start by moving non-critical workloads that don’t rely on specific Azure services, as those would be easier to migrate and can help you understand the real benefits that an Azure to AWS migration can have for you.

The 3 Steps of a Successful Azure to AWS Migration

1.        Discover

The first step for a successful migration to AWS is to understand your current applications, the infrastructure that supports them, and the interrelation that those applications have with each other. This can be an overwhelming task, as one usually encounters complex topologies that are hard to understand.

Fortunately, discovery tools like AWS Application Discovery Service can greatly simplify this process. AWS Application Discovery Service helps you collect configuration, usage, and behavioral data about servers.

2.        Assess

Some applications and workloads are easier to migrate than others. When creating a migration plan, it is essential to identify which applications and workloads are the right candidates for an Azure to AWS migration.  Keep in mind that moving workloads between cloud providers is not only a technical decision but also a business decision, so you should perform a comprehensive analysis of the risks and benefits.

From a technical perspective, a simple way to identify the potential complexity of moving a cloud workload is to consider the type of migration you should do. Some of the most common migration types are:

Rehost: Rehosting an application implies moving the whole application as-is without any modification. Self-contained applications that don’t use any external service are great candidates for this type of migration. These are usually the simplest workload to move.

Refactor/Rearchitect: Refactoring/rearchitecting refers to changes made to runtime environments, applications, or application frameworks. This is usually required when you are using services that are specific to the cloud provider — for example a notification service. In these cases, the cost of the refactor should be considered versus the benefits of moving to another cloud provider.

Rebuild: In this scenario, you develop your application or service again in AWS. This scenario may be worth it if you use a microservice architecture, in which the complexity and cost of rebuilding a service can be lower than the benefits of moving to AWS.

Replace/Repurchase: For commercial applications with standard functionality, purchasing an equivalent cloud-enabled alternative may be the best choice, many vendors even offer Software as A Service equivalents for their existing applications that can be deployed in AWS easily.

Retain: Some applications may not benefit from a cloud environment enough to justify the risk and cost involved in doing the migration. In these cases, migration to AWS might not be worth it.

3.        Migrate:

Now that the workloads have been analyzed and the potential benefits and risks of moving from Azure to AWS weighed, it’s time to execute the migration. Create test environments so you can become familiar with the tools and best practices before you execute the migration on your production applications. Consider having the eSOZO team help you reduce the migration risk to your New York or New Jersey organization.

Why eSOZO?

eSOZO has helped dozens of small and medium business companies in the New Jersey and New York migrate from Azure to AWS and realize the full potential of multi-vendor cloud strategy. We want to become your trusted IT services partner. Our team of bright, personable, and industry-certified technicians will be there for you at any steps of the process.

Want to read more helpful articles? We’ve got some outstanding ones HERE.

Author: Aaron White, Date: 9th July 2018


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