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Use the AWS Framework for Migration into AWS Cloud

The AWS Well-Architected Framework is used by Cloud Architects to plan, migrate, transform, and operate their workloads on AWS. Migrating your applications and servers from Data Centers into the AWS Cloud requires a specific approach and is different for all clients. But thanks to the AWS Well-Architected Framework, here at ConvergeOne we have the necessary tools and knowledge to access your applications/servers’ environments and design solutions that use the Five Pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework.

These five pillars should not only be used for cloud migrations. They are crucial points of consideration when designing in the cloud, applications, and even physical Data Centers. Below is a break down of the five pillars and some of the key important points to consider when migrating to the AWS Cloud:

Operational Excellence Pillar

This pillar focuses on defining your organizational objectives and how your applications work today, and then identifying how we will prepare, operate, and evolve these objectives for the AWS Cloud. We will review how you operate in a physical Data Center and then help you modernize and manage your resources in the AWS Cloud. Modernization is the key factor in this pillar. The benefits it provides for your organization are amazing, and this allows for innovation to occur. For example, instead of manually updating hundreds of servers manually, you can now consider using more modernization infrastructure-as-code tools, such as Terraform, CloudFormation, or AWS Systems Manager. The ultimate goal in this pillar is to keep evolving and learning from failures while learning to automate your operations.

Security Pillar

I would consider this the most important pillar of all. The purpose of this pillar is to apply security at all layers/services as much as possible. When it comes to access for your users, you should implement the principle of least-privilege access to specific tools, with appropriate two factor authentication. You should also implement logging, traceability, and security resolution not only on your applications, but also for your AWS Account(s). One of the best features available in the AWS Cloud for EC2 servers is using tools that allow you to encrypt data at rest and transit and/or utilizing offline storage, which is crucial to preventing malware, ransomware, and malicious attacks. Tools like AWS WAF, Vendors IDS/IPS technology, Cloudtrail, Cloud logging, VPC logging, and security automation can also be developed and tested quickly with the AWS Cloud, as you can leverage pay-as-you-go models to validate which security tools work best for your organization.

Reliability Pillar

This pillar focuses on providing resiliency for your workload to quickly recover from failures for business and customer demand. Some of the tools that can provide reliability would be leveraging resources in the AWS Cloud, such as building your VPC with High Availability in mind. For example, if running Active Directory in AWS on EC2 servers, you could deploy two AD servers in two separate Availity Zones within your VPC. You could also use backup tools like AWS Backup for managing backups in multiple accounts, or use a tool like Cloud Endure to replicate data into another region in case of complete region or physical Data Center outage(s). Lastly, consider using more AWS-managed tools (such as RDS) instead of hosting your own SQL EC2 servers, using AWS Managed AD and AWS Fargate, leveraging Route53 with weighted latency based DNS entries, and much more.

Performance Efficiency Pillar

This pillar involves helping you attain and preserve effective workloads in the cloud. We will leverage data provided by AWS to scale your compute, storage, and database infrastructure during migration and on a regular basis for your applications. Using the correct tools (which we have available) during migration to the AWS Cloud is critical in order to achieve the best instance size for your applications. Afterwards, you will review how much compute/storage is being used and possibly experiment a smaller instance size, migrate to more AWS managed services, or even experiment with container services to save costs.

Cost Optimization Pillar

The cost optimization pillar includes a review of the potential cost of AWS workloads, how to save on daily usage, and using cost data to show the return on investment (ROI) for running your resources in the AWS Cloud. AWS provides great tools, such as AWS trusted advisor, but here at ConvergeOne we also use tools like CloudCheckr that not only provides options for cost saving recommendations but also address the security and performance pillars mention above. Lastly, in regard to cost optimization, while experimenting with applications you can track your resources and schedule decommissions or shutdowns to save on costs for making your organization better.

How to Apply AWS Well Architected Pillars for Your Organization

Is your infrastructure and IT team prepared to use the AWS Cloud? Have you considered all the factors involved in the AWS Well Architected Pillars? If not, allow ConvergeOne to provide a Cloud Strategy Workshop, which goes through the AWS Well-Architected Framework and reviews what applications you have on-campus, what instance size you should use in the AWS Cloud, how to automate the migration of your on-campus workload to the AWS Cloud, and much more using automation tools we have available.

At ConvergeOne, we live by these pillars and have the personnel with the knowledge and tools that help our clients during migration to the AWS Cloud or even for running a disaster recovery workload from on-campus to the AWS Cloud.

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About the author:
Joel Gray is a senior cloud engineer at ConvergeOne with 15 years of IT experience. He specializes in data center networking, cloud migration, cloud modernization, and cloud delivery. He comes from a background in networking with physical data centers and is now an enthusiast of cloud networking, migration, and modernization. Joel has experience with migrating physical data centers to hybrid cloud data centers and developing infrastructure as code for cloud-native modernization in the AWS Cloud. He has shut down physical data centers and migrated to pure cloud-native networking for 200+ VPCs using automation with zero downtime.