AWS Cloud Migration Demystified: The Ultimate Guide to Accelerate Your Digital Transformation

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July 3, 2023

In today’s digital age, the cloud has emerged as a revolutionary technology, transforming the way businesses operate. Cloud computing offers scalability, cost-efficiency, and enhanced agility, enabling organizations to innovate and stay ahead of the competition. As businesses increasingly recognize the benefits of cloud adoption, the process of migrating to the cloud has become a crucial endeavor.

To lay the groundwork for cloud migration, it is important to grasp the fundamentals of cloud computing. The cloud refers to the utilization of remote servers, accessed via the internet, to store, manage, and process data, eliminating the need for on-premises infrastructure.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore:

  1. Various Application Migration Strategies
  2. What is AWS Cloud Migration
  3. Need Of Cloud Migration
  4. Different Phases Involved in the Migration

Application Migration Strategies

alt_text Image Source: AWS

Migration strategies depend upon what is in your environment and what is suitable for the portfolio, taking into account the business and technical requirements.

The most read AWS Enterprise Strategy blog of all time is the 6 Strategies for Migrating Applications to the Cloud written by the founding member of the team Stephen Orban all the way back on the 1st of November 2016

In addition, the previously infamous 6 R’s model (from Stephens original blog post) iterated to the 7 R’s mental model with the launch of VMWare Cloud for AWS in late 2017.

1. Re-Host (“Lift and Shift”)

You have your application ready and working then you can simply Re-host it on AWS. Also referred to as “Lift and Shift”. You lift your services and applications from your hosting environment and shift them to the cloud using a third party exporting tool.

2. Re-Platforming (“Lift, Tinker and shift”)

You have an outdated version of your application running on your hosting environment so you have to modify your application and then Re-host it. Re-platforming is a modification of “Lift and Shift”. It involves optimizing the cloud architecture to achieve the benefits without changing the core architecture of the application

Re-platforming helps achieve some tangible benefit without changing the core architecture of the application. For e.g., using RDS for databases or Elastic Beanstalk for applications.

3. Repurchase (“Drop and Shop”)

There would be certain applications that won’t be compatible with the new architecture. In that case, you need to purchase a new application for the new architecture.

Most commonly see repurchasing as a move to a SaaS platform. Moving a CRM to, an HR system to Workday, a CMS to Drupal, and so on.

4. Refactor / Re-Architect

Moving the application to Cloud, with major changes. Re-imagining how the application is architected and developed, typically using cloud-native features.

Driven by a strong business need to add features, scale, or performance with agility and improvement in business continuity that would otherwise be difficult to achieve in the application’s existing environment.

5. Retire

After AWS Migration you can differentiate between useful and use less resources. Hence, you cut off all the resources that are no longer useful to the business and build a strategy around the new resources.

This will cut down the extra cost. With lesser things to worry about, now you can focus on maintaining the resources used by the new business model.

6. Retain

As you know, the sections of your project you need to migrate. You can simply use any of the above-mentioned strategies.

Then, build a strategy to retain those applications, which, according to your business model are yet not ready to be migrated to the cloud or the applications that were upgraded recently i.e Retain portions of the IT portfolio, which have tight dependencies, difficult, not in priority or ready for migration

7. Relocate

Relocate (hypervisor-level lift & shift) is a strategy to move infrastructure to the cloud without purchasing new hardware, rewriting applications, or modifying your existing operations.

Using VMware Cloud on AWS, you can move infrastructure to the public cloud without the need to rewrite application code, buy new hardware, or alter existing operations.

Organizations who use VMware as their on-premises data center can create a virtual data center using the same vSphere building blocks in VMware Cloud. As a result, it becomes possible to move servers without affecting the workloads running on them

What Is AWS Cloud Migration


Cloud migration is the process of transferring applications, data, and infrastructure components from on-premises systems to the cloud. It involves moving workloads, databases, software, and IT resources to cloud-based platforms such as Amazon Web

Amazon Web Service (AWS) is a popular & comprehensive cloud computing platform built to handle online retail operations. It offers more than 200 fully featured services from data centers globally.

Amazon Web Services started offering various IT-related web-based cloud computing services in 2006. It is a cloud computing platform offered by Amazon for providing all sorts of cloud-based services, from database management to Machine learning and computing power. If your business is of any shape and size, these services are provided on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Need of Cloud Migration

Nowadays, due to numerous benefits such as scalability, cost saving, and flexibility, demand for AWS cloud migration has risen a lot.

There are several key drivers for organizations to migrate to the cloud, including:

  1. Operational Costs: Cloud migration allows businesses to reduce operational costs by leveraging the pay-as-you-go model and eliminating the need for infrastructure maintenance. IDC’s 2018 Report shows that companies spend 31% less on infrastructure with AWS than with similarly sized on-premise ones.
  2. Sustainability: AWS’s infrastructure is about 3.6 times more energy-efficient compared to regular data centers, according to the 2019 Study by 451 Research.
  3. Management: Amazon’s services come with various tools and templates for workflow optimization, improving the IT management capabilities by up to 62% compared to a regular environment.
  4. Workforce Productivity: Cloud services provide quick availability and easy access to resources, improving workforce productivity.
  5. Server capacity: Amazon has the largest server network among IaaS vendors. As a result, it offers 99.99% uptime and low application latency
  6. Security: AWS is backed by innovative security tools. Based on the previously mentioned IDC Report, Amazon’s IaaS can reduce 43% of breaches and other security events for an average company.
  7. Business Agility: Cloud adoption enables organizations to respond quickly to market conditions, facilitating business agility.

Phases of AWS Migration

alt_text Image Source: AWS

A white-paper by IDC(International Data Corporation), shows the customers that migrate to AWS can experience 51% reduced costs of operations, 62% increased IT staff productivity, and 94% reductions in downtime, But data Migration seems an easy process because, in layman’s terms, it means moving your data from one location to the other. However, it is more complex as the process involves different phases.

There are 5 main phases carried out for each migration to AWS. While these phases vary by organization, the basic purpose remains the same and can serve as a guideline for planning your migration.

Phase 1 and 2: Discovery and Assessment

Finding out Which APP can be moved to the cloud is the most essential Step.

There are times you need not require to move your entire business to the cloud. This is where segregation is important. You need to identify the applications which can be Migrated and which cannot.

You also need to Understand the IT portfolio, the dependencies between applications, and begin to consider what types of migration strategies needed to meet the business case objectives

The few AWS services that can help you with this stage can be:

  1. Migration Evaluator
  2. AWS Migration Hub
  3. AWS Application Discovery Service

Phase 3 and 4: Designing, Migrating and Validating applications

Phase 3 and 4 may be performed as distinct phases or may be combined, depending on your migration strategy(As Explained later in the Article).

The Few Major Steps Involved in it can be:

  1. Move focus from the portfolio level to the individual application level and design, migrate, and validate each application.
  2. Each application is designed, migrated, and validated according to one of the common application strategies (As Explained above)
  3. Once you have some foundational experience from migrating a few apps and a plan in place that the organization can get behind — it’s time to accelerate the migration and achieve scale.

The Few AWS Services that can help you with this stage can be:

  1. AWS Server Migration Service
  2. AWS Database Migration Service
  3. AWS Data Sync
  4. AWS Perspective Guidance

Note: Additionally there are several other tools provided by AWS, that can be useful for you depending on your business needs and requirements.

Phase 5: Operation

Once your applications and data are moved to the cloud and have been thoroughly tested, you are ready to move to production. To accomplish this, you need to shift any remaining workloads over to your cloud resources and begin shutting down on-premise operations.

After your migration you also need to carefully monitor your resources and workloads. This is the time when you should be focused on identifying misconfiguration or performance issues and applying corrections.

So, this was about the different phases of AWS Migration and how to implement it. Let’s explore the strategies for AWS Migration.


Successfully navigating the cloud migration journey requires a solid understanding of cloud fundamentals, careful selection of migration strategies, meticulous workload assessment, and leveraging the right tools. By embracing cloud computing, organizations can unlock unparalleled scalability, cost efficiency, agility, and security. With this guide as your reference, you can confidently embark on your cloud migration journey, ensuring a seamless transition to the cloud and reaping the myriad benefits it offers.

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