Migrating to the cloud can be complex, so make it easier by creating a plan that lets you tackle it in phases. That will let you take a more focused approach rather than being overwhelmed by the process. Here are some tips for a 3-phase migration process that lets you successfully transition to the cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Phase 1: Migration Preparation

The preparation phase may be the most important phase of your cloud migration; the more you investigate, analyze, and prepare in advance, the smoother the actual cloud migration process will be.

If you haven’t selected the specific application to migrate, take a step back and review your application portfolio to select the initial candidate. Once you’ve got that, begin your migration planning with a migration assessment. This means carefully evaluating the architecture of that application and its performance requirements so you can select the right instance and storage types.

There are multiple instance types available, and you need to choose the right number of CPUs, the right amount of memory, and the right network connectivity to support your application and data. There are also different types of permanent storage, and you’ll want to choose the type that support the number of input/output operations per second that you need.

Once the target architecture is selected, you can begin planning your migration. In most cases, you should focus on a simple transition to the new platform rather than rearchitecting the application to take advantage of new features; that effort is often easier once you’ve been running in AWS for a while and have more understanding of its capabilities. Make sure to address security, compliance, and governance issues before the transition begins.

Also, spend some time planning the non-technical aspects of the transition, such as how your business processes will adapt to handle AWS costs and any self-service utilization.

Phase 2: Migration Execution

To ensure the actual migration tasks minimize risk, start with a small project—one big enough to show the benefits of switching to the cloud, but not so big that delays or problems will endanger your business. Create a development environment where you can test out your transition process before executing it with production data and production users.

Leverage the tools AWS provides to help you move your data. The AWS Database Migration Service and AWS Schema Conversion Tools can help you load your data into your cloud instance more easily and reliably than any homegrown process.

Before you cutover your production processing, test your new AWS environment thoroughly to verify that all necessary data, processing capacity, and security features are fully operational. Don’t neglect testing replication, failover, and disaster recovery.

Phase 3: Migration Follow-Up

Your work isn’t done the day you go live on AWS. Make sure you know how you will monitor the applications and provide support to users who experience any problems. There are a variety of cloud monitoring tools that can help you understand your AWS environment’s performance. Know which metrics are important to you and your business and focus on them. These stats not only tell you how the system is operating; they can also help prove the benefit of the migration.

Another way to make sure your AWS instances are functioning successfully is to select managed AWS services from dcVAST. Our team will design and support your AWS environment 24×7, with proactive services that resolve problems before they impact your business. Contact us to learn more about how you can make your AWS migration a success.

Additional AWS Resources

3 Phases for Migrating to Amazon Web Services 

Use Amazon’s Tools to Monitor Amazon Web Services Infrastructure

Design an AWS Monitoring Strategy With These Tools