AWS Cloud Migration Process – Directeam’s Path

Cloud migration requires strategic planning, controlled processes and precise execution to maximize the potential of the utility computing model. Migrating complex workloads to AWS from other vendors is a technology and a business challenge. In order to address these challenges, applications and infrastructure environments are modernized to deliver value with new architectural patterns, cloud operation models and the service delivery process.

At Directeam, we follow a holistic approach to drive innovation through application modernization and transformation to run effectively on the AWS cloud environment. Specifically, migrating your cloud workloads to the AWS cloud platform follows a three-phased approach: 

  1. Assessment Phase: Evaluate your state of cloud readiness, identify the challenges and build a profitable business case for cloud migration.
  2. Mobilize Phase: Preparing and engaging internal resources to help realize the technology and business goals of your cloud migration strategy.
  3. Migrate and Modernize Phase: A systematic execution process initialized on a solid foundation from Assessment and Mobilize phases, and built with industry-proven best practices to simplify and accelerate migration to the AWS cloud.

Let’s explore the AWS cloud migration phases in detail and understand how every action task can help you reach your cloud migration goals:

Assessment Phase

The cloud journey begins with a Migration Readiness Assessment (MRA), a prescriptive model designed to gain insights into your state of cloud readiness, opportunities and challenges facing application and infrastructure modernization, and executing an action plan to fill those gaps.

The outcome of this phase is to align the migration process with your organization’s business goals. The assessment helps identify process bottlenecks and best practices to streamline the transition. Identifying these gaps early during the migration stage helps reduce the risk of project delays and misalignment over the course of the migration journey that is built upon the unique strengths and weaknesses of your organization. A formal action plan is developed, assigning project owners, documenting objectives and delivery schedules to drive the process forward.

The path to cloud adoption is devised based on your cloud readiness across six fronts: business, people, processes, platform, operations, and security. This information is typically curated using a well-established framework such as the AWS CART assessment tool. The observations are presented to key stakeholders of your organization and an action plan is advised against all dimensions of the report findings. Following a comprehensive stakeholder buy-in, an iterative approach to cloud migration is developed to ensure alignment with organizational goals throughout the cloud migration journey.

Mobilize Phase

The next phase of AWS cloud migration deals with mobilizing the workforce and resources. This phase establishes a solid foundation for AWS migration, bringing together the tooling and hands-on migration expertise to enable agile, secure and scalable delivery of the migration process. The following work-streams are considered as part of our AWS cloud migration process:

  1. Business Case: A long-term business case that estimates all financial aspects of the cloud adoption and identifies project management goals for the migration of different cloud workloads. This information helps business decision makers and executives evaluate their cloud migration options and follow a process that best aligns with their organizational goals.
  2. Portfolio Discovery: A reliable migration plan that determines the migration schedule, dependencies and resource allocation for the selected workloads. Migration drivers and a portfolio plan are devised in collaboration with stakeholders.
  3. Application Migration: Migration patterns and the migration delivery process are evaluated for different applications. The outlined operating model for deploying, monitoring and running applications on the cloud is also validated.
  4. Security, Risk, and Compliance: The current state of cloud infrastructure and Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is reviewed. Changes are proposed to address potential vulnerabilities and scalability issues when migrating to a new cloud environment that offers better security, regulatory compliance and risk management capabilities.
  5. Operations: A desired state of ITSM is determined. Current operational practices are assessed to prepare for potential disruptions during the migration process. The outcomes of this segment are the design guides and playbooks for operational processes, disaster recovery, as well as improvements in the ITSM and Service/Operational Level Agreements (SLAs/OLAs).
  6. People – skills, culture, change, and leadership: Finally, a plan is created to prepare for the cultural and organizational change associated with cloud migration. The plan identifies all functional areas, teams and stakeholders that must be mobilized.

Migrate and Modernize Phase

Following the Mobilize phase, a standard operating procedure is developed to simplify, automate and accelerate repeatable migration functions and processes. This procedure is initialized and calibrated to meet your organizational and technology needs throughout the cloud migration journey. The process is divided into two key stages: Initialization and Implementation.

The Initialize Stage prepares your organization, the cloud platform and environment for the migration according to the approved design guides and operating procedures. The action tasks involved are precisely defined, connected and automated to ensure an efficient and scalable cloud migration journey. These tasks are defined across the following domains:

  • Foundation Procedures – that prepare the platform and people for cloud migration.
  • Project Governance Procedures – that define rules, boundaries and scope of migration activities.
  • Portfolio Design Guide – that identifies the scope and strategy for migrating different workloads.
  • Migration Patterns – that include run-book templates, improved migration patterns and framework for automating the migration process.
  • Health-Check Matrix – that evaluates the current state of the migration process and identifies areas of improvement for process alignment.

At the Implementation Stage, run-book tasks are executed iteratively. In the beginning, small migration work-streams are considered, gradually shifting to large work-streams that involve mission-critical application workloads. The run-books are reviewed, revised and improved over the course of the migration journey based on feedback from stakeholders and technology performance at each cutover.

As an AWS Migration Acceleration Program (MAP) partner, Directeam uses this framework to plan and execute a successful cloud migration project in line with your long-term business goals. The migration program covers financial planning, architecture design and strategically shifting complex application components and data workloads to the AWS environments.

The resulting architectural changes reduce the complexity of your cloud environments, shorten development lifecycle, and solve the technical challenges with your existing cloud vendors. The environment is optimized to meet your technology requirements by reducing the overall expense for running workloads in the cloud, maximizing cloud optimization. Platform Modernization such as moving from monolithic applications to microservices, utilizing containers and the Kubernetes platform further improve application performance and service dependability. Finally, additional customer support compliance or governance requirements ensure improved security of your cloud workloads.