When companies first consider migrating their IT to the cloud, the task might feel akin to a common proverb such as eating an elephant in one sitting or building Rome in a day.
In short, none of the above are necessary nor are they humanly possible, and that includes cloud adoption. Rather than trying to ‘lift and shift’ your legacy IT infrastructure over to AWS (or Azure, GCP, etc.) in one go, think of it as a process – a pathway leading from where you are now to a future of greater efficiency, flexibility and creativity within the cloud.
To help guide you along the right pathway to the cloud, AWS has laid out 4 key steps to take during your cloud migration.
The journey towards full cloud adoption usually begins with running a few small projects in the cloud. This helps build familiarity and experience with some of the benefits first-hand. This is a great way to build a case for your next board meeting. You will be able to present facts, figures and charts rather than just hyperbole.
Some examples of suitable native cloud projects include hosting a WordPress website, deploying a Python or Node.js web app, or replacing tape storage with cloud storage. By monitoring performance (availability, page load time, latency, cost, etc.), you can demonstrate the power and cost-effectiveness of the cloud on a small scale.
Need a little more guidance? See our guid on configuring and deploying applications in AWS.
Once you’ve built a basic case for your cloud migration, it’s time to create the foundation for a full-scale cloud adoption. This means configuring a secure, multi-account AWS environment and establishing a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE). Your CCoE should be thought of as a lever which will progressively shift your legacy IT into the cloud through talented DevOps specialists (either promoted from within or hired from outside your organization).
In addition to building and deploying applications in an agile, experimental environment, your CCoE will also be able to make best use of powerful AWS management tools such as Auto Scaling, Amazon CloudWatch, Elastic Load Balancing and AWS Trusted Advisor.
A successful cloud migration begins with identifying and moving the applications and services which are most cloud-ready. This will generate some quick wins in terms of cost and time savings and, in turn, will free up IT resources for more complex, mission-critical migrations including entire data centers. At this point you can begin retiring legacy IT hardware and recovering from your tech debt.
The time, cost and performance benefits of deploying an ever-increasing portion of your IT portfolio in the cloud will start to accelerate until you reach a critical mass.
See our article on cloud migration best practice for more specific information.
As a cloud native business, you will have achieved escape velocity and be ready to explore the AWS universe. As your business moves from inefficient waterfall methods of app development to DevOps-led iterative experimentation, you’ll certainly understand what is meant by the phrase: ‘software is never done.’
The flexibility of the AWS cloud will transform your business by accelerating time to market and by helping your team focus their collective energy on constant innovation.
Ready to get started with your AWS migration? Excellent! But before you do, we recommend linking up with an experienced consultant to ensure you’re taking the correct steps towards a seamless cloud migration.
Shamrock: An Award-Winning, Path-Walking Partner
As a member of the AWS Partner Network, Shamrock Consulting Group can help you with every step of your cloud adoption journey. Every stage of the process presents its own unique challenges, from procuring Direct Connect circuits to configuring your access and identity management for optimum security. Our entire team is AWS cloud certified so we’ve seen it all and can prepare you for every snag or hiccup that you might encounter along the way.
Whatever the size of your business, getting to the cloud will become an integral part to your success. Shamrock can help. Reach out today for a free AWS consultation.
By Ben Ferguson, Vice President, Shamrock Consulting Group, LLC