Accelerating your Migration to AWS with DoiT International
by Jason Gregson and Artem Shchodro
DoiT is here to assist you in understanding the complexities of migrating your workloads to AWS. This landscape requires a technical understanding but more importantly a deep appreciation of the business value in migrating to AWS.
Today we will walk you through some of the elements in play around migrations and how DoiT approaches the challenges head on.
Q:Where does this start?
We start with an introduction to DoiT and explain in as much detail as you require to understand our value proposition, our support, our obsession with the customer value and the Zero cost model and from here we can kick things off in earnest.

The key to a successful migration is to ensure that you are migrating for the “right” reasons. Asking questions around your growth, scale, current pain points, executive buy in, etc. No “More mess for less”, we look at the bigger picture to ensure that there is a genuine business value to be derived from the migration. Why are you migrating to the cloud?

31%

average infrastructure cost savings vs on premises*

69%

reduction in unplanned downtime**

24 regions

and 76 availability zones globally

62%

more efficient IT infrastructure management vs on premises*

*IDC #US43535718, Fostering Business and Organizational Transformation to Generate Business Value with Amazon Web Services; February 2018

Q: What business challenges/opportunities are realised in a successful migration to Amazon?

This question is the first step in understanding the business value that will be delivered as part of the migration and from here we can understand the technical elements that would be in play as part of the migration.

Now we have a sound understanding of the customer business value, we are able to look at the technical elements and the costs associated with the migration process, always looking at the initial engagement on the business value that this migration would bring.

Like all good things – we start with a well thought out and consultative plan to ensure that the technical and business aspects of the migration are achieved.

We would then look at some of the tooling involved that would allow us and Amazon to discover the scope/scale of the migration using real data to explore all the various elements in play.

Let’s dive a little deeper into the planning and execution of the migration assessment.

As you can see from the diagram, we have started the process with “Assess”. At DoiT this is the most important part of the process. All our assumptions and recommendations flow from the requirements gathered in the assessment.

Another element of the requirements gathering is the 6Rs of migration:

• Retiring – Do we still need that FTP server in 2022? (Sometimes the answer is yes!)

• Retaining – We have assets to sweat here. Leave this for now.
• Rehosting – Lift and shift as is.
• Replatforming – We can virtualise it but leave it as is, we know nothing of the “Voodoo” that runs this system’s
• Refactoring & Re-architecting – We have learned our lessons, time to rebuild with a cloud centric view of the application stack.

The diagram below helps show these 6 R’s of migrations

In addition there is tooling (AWS Migration Evaluator and AWS Application Discovery Service) that we can use in coordination with Amazon to gather a lot of the detail for your current stack along with metrics (CPU/Disk/Utilisation/etc) to help with a deeper understanding of the landscape. This tooling allows the capture of you in situ estate either with an agent on the current hosts to gather detailed information on the instances or agentless survey that is less detailed, but may still be enough detail to start the planning.

Below is a table of all the free tooling available from Amazon to help with your migration planning:
Product Description Free Tier Offer Details Product Pricing
A single location to track the progress of application migrations ALWAYS FREE

Unlimited - Obtain unlimited right-sized EC2 instance recommendations.

Unlimited - Track unlimited number of applications as they migrate.
Collects server specification information, performance data and details of running processes and network connections ALWAYS FREE

1,000 Applications per account
Agentless service to migrate virtual-only workloads from on-premises infrastructure or from Microsoft Azure to AWS ALWAYS FREE

Unlimited - Migrate an unlimited number of servers to AWS at no charge
Create and manage catalogs of IT services that are approved for use on AWS ALWAYS FREE

1,000 API Calls per Month
AWS Database Migration Service helps you migrate databases to AWS quickly and securely. ALWAYS FREE

750 Hours of Amazon DMS Single-AZ dms.t2.micro instance usage

50 GB of included general purpose (SSD) storage
Simplify and expedite migrations while reducing cost 90 DAYS FREE

With the information gathered in the conversations and tooling we would be in a position to discuss the options available to you. As you can see from the Portfolio assessment diagram, the tooling will assist with some of the technical requirements to carry out the migrations.

To get started, you can choose to upload exports from third-party tools such as Configuration Management Database (CMDB) or install a collector agent to monitor. You will receive an assessment after data collection, which includes a projected cost estimate and savings of running your on-premises workloads in the AWS Cloud. This estimate will provide a summary of the projected costs to re-host on AWS based on usage patterns. It will show the breakdown of costs by infrastructure and software licences. With this information, you can make the business case and plan next steps. There is also information from the projected costs to look at other payment methods as opposed to “On Demand”. We would be able to look at savings that can be made using “Saving plans”, “Reserved instances” and DoiT’s very own Flexsave and Spot0.

How we deliver our AWS migration service:
• Business objectives and migration readiness
• Analysis of current infrastructure, utilisation and applications
• Deep dive into the flow of the applications and dependencies
• Ensuring the scope of the migration meets the business objectives
• Architecture and design of the new environment/s
• Feature parity checks and common pitfalls
• Cost optimisation and rightsizing
• Modern cloud architecture approaches
• Working with current software vendors
• Ongoing, zero cost, technical and experienced guidance throughout the migration

Now that we have some real world data pertaining to your environments that are in play, we need to scope the work that will be migrated. Some of the elements discovered may not need to be migrated or they are going to be replaced with something new.

The first phase of a cloud migration focuses on the Assess phase and this will include a Cloud Readiness Assessment of your enterprise’s current state. These assessment tasks give you a clear picture of what you will migrate, as well as a business case for migration and total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis for migration.

A Migration Readiness Assessment (MRA) is a process that provides you with the following:
• An understanding about how far along your enterprise is in the cloud journey
• An understanding of your current strengths and weaknesses in relation to a cloud-ready enterprise
• An action plan to close identified gaps

This assessment is based on the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (AWS CAF) and perspectives:

• Business
• People
• Governance
• Platform
• Security
• Operations
Using this framework during the assessment phase helps ensure that you have a holistic view of the transformation initiative that will support an effective move to the cloud.

Mobilize

With a strong understanding of your current state and your portfolio along with the solid business case, you develop in the assessment phase, you can demonstrate the value of the cloud to your organisation and how this will impact the current estate.

The goal of the mobilize phase is to build foundational capability both in the organisation and with the AWS environment. With our hands-on migration experience focused on security and operations automation we can ensure that you are addressing the elements that deliver both the technical and business requirements. This process brings together your portfolio of tools and practices in a scalable and secure AWS landing zone. In this phase, you migrate a small set of business applications to the cloud, while enforcing an agile and scalable delivery culture, team structure, and change management process. Executive buy in is critical to success due to the nature of cloud adoption (See CAF)

The AWS mobilize approach includes a defined set of activities across eight distinct workstreams:
• Detailed business case
• Detailed portfolio discovery
• Application migration
• Migration governance
• AWS landing zone
• Security, risk, and compliance
• Operations
• People: skills, culture, change, and leadership
With this approach, activities under these workstreams are delivered across a number of two-week sprints.
Mobilize delivers the following outcomes:
• Improve your IT staff’s skill and competency for migration and organisational transformation by building confidence with methodology, processes, and tooling
• Define and automate security, risk, and compliance policies to accommodate operational controls
• Define and implement an AWS landing zone that can scale as you migrate additional applications
• Establish your cloud operating model Run applications in production capacity

DoiT will continue to have a regular cadence during the Migration mobilize phase as this is an iterative process that evolves as your organisation develops new skills, tools, and capabilities and understands the challenges at a deeper level. These skills and capabilities build momentum and accelerate your migration efforts over time. Establishing the right foundation to build on is key to a successful migration. The AWS migration framework balances the business and technical efforts needed to complete a cloud migration. This model helps you identify key business drivers for migration and the best strategies for planning and implementing a successful cloud migration.

Migrate

Whilst DoiT will be available for all the phases of the migration (Assess/Mobilize and Migration) we would not be the hands on keyboards executing the migration phase of the project. The migrate phase uses:
• Patterns
• Processes
• Tools
• Resources
• Methodology
defined and tested during the mobilise phase to migrate applications at scale.
DoiT would be your Trusted advisory team to ensure that you are using the best practices and lessons learned from the earlier phases, you can implement a migration factory, a blueprint of scaling implementation and operations, through automation and agile delivery. DoiT will also be there to ensure that you have the team behind you to fill in any gaps you may have when it comes to best practices in defining and setting up the automation and agile frameworks to ensure that you are avoiding common pitfalls and get the appropriate advice when it’s needed.

We have the “coal face” experience when it comes to migrating and developing solutions that are both Cloud centric and designed with the Well Architected Framework at the top of mind.

Q: How much will all this cost?

The best part of this is that DoiT has a unique pricing model for helping our customers and this includes the approaches to Migrations to AWS. We do the work for Zero added costs, there are no additional costs associated with migrating your workloads to the cloud.

Q: Where is the catch?

Well, you will need to pay for your AWS bill through DoiT as a reseller and that’s it. We are in addition to the services and support you get directly from Amazon, we take nothing away from the relationship except for the payment of AWS billing, this is done directly through DoiT.
As you can appreciate, for the princely sum of $0 (Zero) DoiT will not be carrying out the migration itself, but we would act in an advisory capacity to ensure that you are getting the right advice at the right time with regards to the various stages of the migration. You will need to action the work or you can use a third party to carry out the execution.

If you would like to discuss your migration or are thinking about migrating to AWS, contact us and we will be happy to start our discussions.

Jason

Jason Gregson is a Global Head of AWS Programs and Operations for DoiT international. After many years as an Solution Architect including 5 years at Amazon he is passionate about helping customers to build modern applications on latest AWS services. A pragmatic technologist and engineer at heart, he loves community-driven learning and sharing of technology to ensure that everyone knows the Art of the possible. Follow him on Twitter at @JasonGregson.

Artem

Artem Shchodro is a Senior Cloud Architect at DoiT international. He is an ex-Amazonian helping customers get the best value from the cloud. Artem is pragmatic and straightforward. Blending the business value with technology. Don’t follow him on Twitter.