AWS cloud migration of retail applications

AWS Cloud Migration: A Practical Guide

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24 mins

For nearly two decades, Amazon has been playing a major role in the global expansion of cloud computing. In this post, we’ll examine Amazon Web Services, one of the most well-known cloud-service platforms, and all the factors that influence the decision to use AWS. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a secure cloud services platform that offers compute power, database storage, analytic, application services, deployment, management, developer tools, and other functionalities that help businesses scale and grow.

Cloud migration challenges

Any cloud migration path will probably involve some challenges, issues, or timelines. The following are some of the most significant cloud migration obstacles to be prepared for: 

  1. Lack of expertise
  2. Possessing an unclear end state
  3. Security issues
  4. Governance and compliance
  5. Financial Cost
    • Retail cloud-based application architecture revision
    • Investing in the people and resources required for a successful migration
    • Latency, interoperability, dependency on non-cloud apps, and downtime are all examples of performance concerns
    • Training relevant users for the new systems

Looking to migrate your retail applications to the cloud!

Pre-migration planning

Customers frequently want to know what the best techniques are for quickly and confidently transferring applications to AWS. SkillNet’s Mass Migration team has discovered that there are some patterns and techniques that tend to hold true for every type of company, despite the fact that the organizational structure and business goals of every corporation differ. Here is a partial list of a few of these:

  1. Have a clear vision of where IT and business should overlap in the future​
  2. Outline and share a clear cloud governance model​
  3. Train staff early in the process​
  4. Spend time and effort outlining how operations will take shape in AWS​
  5. Know which IT assets you currently own and which you’re including in each migration
  6. Select the right partner(s) to help you along the Journey

The cloud expert team at SkillNet has created comprehensive strategy for cloud migration.

Assess IT infrastructure, tools and services

At the start of your journey, assess your organization’s current readiness for operating in the cloud. Most importantly, you want to identify the desired business outcomes and develop the business case for migration. Some helpful Pre-migration tools listed below: 

  1. The AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (AWS CAF)
  2. Migration Evaluator
  3. AWS Migration Hub
  4. AWS Application Discovery Service

Checklist for migration process

Follow the checklist documented in https://docs.aws.amazon.com/prescriptive-guidance/latest/patterns/rehost-on-premises-workloads-in-the-aws-cloud-migration-checklist.html

Looking to migrate your retail applications to the cloud!

Migration process

The 6 most common application migration strategies are:​ 

  1. Rehost (“lift and shift”)
  2. Replatform (“lift, tinker and shift”)   
  3. Repurchase (“drop and shop”)
  4. Refactoring / Re-architecting
  5. Retire
  6. Retain (“Revisit” or “Do nothing”)

AWS migration tools​

Although migrating databases and apps to the AWS cloud is a difficult procedure, middleware software can make it as easy as feasible. Some helpful tools for AWS migration are the ones listed below: 

  1. AWS Application Migration Service (AWS MGN)
  2. AWS Database Migration Service (AWS DMS)
  3. AWS DataSync
  4. AWS Transfer Family
  5. AWS Snow Family

AWS Storage options​ 

The next step is to evaluate your options for cloud storage based on their prices, response times, accessibility, and consistency of updates. The types of cloud storage offered by AWS includes Object, file, and block storage​ 

  1. Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service offering industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance
  2. Amazon Elastic File System (EFS) is Serverless, fully elastic file storage and automatically grows and shrinks as you add and remove files with no need for management or provisioning
  3. Amazon FSx makes it easy and cost effective to launch, run, and scale feature-rich, high-performance file systems in the cloud
  4. Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) is an easy-to-use, scalable, high-performance block-storage service designed for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)

Migration process flow

AWS-Migration-Process-for-retail-applications
Figure: Process flow for Retail Applications AWS Cloud Migration, Source: SkillNet Solutions

Post-migration optimization

Enterprises must follow the right procedures after a move to guarantee they get the most out of their cloud-based installations and solutions. Although the cloud’s flexibility and agility can be a huge advantage, they must be monitored and managed to prevent problems like under-utilization, budgeted costs, increased risk, and compliance. Fundamental actions consist of the following in order to avoid these issues:

  1. Define objectives and standards for key metrics such as performance, cost, availability, RPO/RTO, and compliance
  2. Establish governance with regular oversight, management reviews, and ongoing measurement and monitoring. Data that is operating and historical must be maintained
  3. Implement ongoing, proactive cloud environment optimization across all tiers, including cost

Testing – A critical stage in the cloud migration process is testing. The main benefit is that it guarantees flawless application operation in the new cloud environment.

Security – Validate that the AWS cloud provider supports secure authentication, user identity management, and access control to mitigate concerns regarding security following migration.

High Availability and DR – Consider implementing a multi-location or multi-cloud environment with sufficient disaster recovery, backup, and availability techniques to prevent disruptions.

AWS optimization tools and services

AWS cloud management is a crucial part of cloud computing, and it’s crucial to optimize your environment for performance, cost, security, and scalability. You can make sure that your environment is optimized for your needs and that you are getting the most out of your investment in AWS by using best practices like right-sizing your resources, using auto-scaling, monitoring, and logging, using AWS cost optimization tools, and using free tier services.  

Monitoring and Logging - AWS provides a wide range of tools and services for monitoring and logging, including Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon CloudTrail, and Amazon S3.

AWS Cost Optimization Tools – AWS provides a range of cost optimization tools to help you control costs and optimize your environment.

Looking to migrate your retail applications to the cloud!

Conclusion

For all businesses, migrating from legacy infrastructure to the cloud is a significant endeavor. However, businesses will be better equipped to take the required precautions to avoid them if they are aware of the potential migration issues in advance. The migration will go more smoothly for all those involved if it is well planned out, and if a timeline is created in advance to diagnose and fix issues as they arise. Businesses will be well on their path to business transformation following that.

AWS Consulting – Success Story

About the Client

The client is a leading luxury fashion retailer. The client designs and retails ready to wear clothing, leather accessories, and footwear.

Business Challenges

The client traditionally hosted the central applications on premises. These systems would typically allow connections from stores spread across several time zones and geographic regions using a variety of local ISPs. These presented a wide range of challenges, such as latency, scaling to handle peak traffic, and availability.

The client was looking to improve business agility and expandability, quick deployment, low Latency, high availability and reliability.

Solution

After conduction a thorough analysis of the existing infrastructure, Team SkillNet devised a comprehensive migration plan. Leveraging our in-house tools and migration framework, the project team seamlessly implemented the POS applications on AWS, thereby consolidating all back-office operations of store functions within Amazon Cloud.

Given the significance of security in enterprise applications, SkillNet’s AWS migration team took stringent measures. They utilized either AWS Direct Connect or VPN to establish secure and dedicated network connections between store registers and the central application, effectively minimizing latency.

To ensure optimal performance, enhanced availability, and the ability to adapt swiftly to business needs, the migration team deployed centralized applications and databases across multiple zones and regions. This strategic approach enables us to handle high availability requirements and ensures effective disaster recovery measures.

AWS Services

Amazon Route 53, Amazon EC2, AWS IAM, Amazon RDS for Oracle/SQL server, Amazon CloudWatch, Elastic Load Balancer, Amazon VPC, And more AWS services.

Results

Reduction in capital and operational costs, management overhead, and increased business agility.

Since, availability is 99% it causes minimal disruption to the client. The estimated annual downtime is within acceptable range (including possible DR scenario) and falls within the AWS SLA.

Contact us for more specific outcomes

This blog is written by Satheesh Kumar Thiyagarahan, with contribution from Dhaval Thakar.

Reference Links

  1. https://docs.aws.amazon.com/prescriptive-guidance/latest/strategy-rehosting/migration-process.html
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/learning/migrating-to-aws/postmigration-considerations
  3. https://docs.aws.amazon.com/whitepapers/latest/cost-optimization-laying-the-foundation/reporting-cost-optimization-tools.html
  4. https://docs.aws.amazon.com/prescriptive-guidance/latest/patterns/rehost-on-premises-workloads-in-the-aws-cloud-migration-checklist.html
  5. https://allcode.com/top-aws-services/

FAQ’s

One must consider migrating to AWS predominantly for the following reasons:

  • Enhanced Security: AWS cloud infrastructure provides enhanced security through, because it is maintained solely by AWS employees. AWS also offers a deep set of cloud security tools, with more than 200 security, compliance, and governance services and key features. AWS’s scale allows for significant investment in security policing and countermeasures where even the largest organizations may lack the resources and funding to maintain such a structure.
  • Improved Availability: AWS has data centers in all geographic regions, so users can localize workloads to their region. AWS also designs its data centers with significant excess bandwidth connections, so that if a major disruption occurs, there is sufficient capacity to enable traffic to be load-balanced to the remaining sites.
  • Scalability: AWS has the capacity and technology to support workloads at any scale. Customers can select the proper hardware for their workload types and the amount of storage needed, and then scale accordingly as demand increases or decreases. This eliminates the ongoing cost of maintaining idle hardware.
  • Cost Saving: By eliminating the internal hardware required to build and deploy applications at enterprise scale and reducing significant capital expenditure on software, on-going maintenance, and data center operations, organizations can save millions of dollars in infrastructure costs.

Migrating applications to AWS is beneficial, at the same time it is challenging task as well. There are a number of obstacles that must be overcome, including ensuring application compatibility, migrating data efficiently, and ensuring security and compliance:

Data migration: One of the biggest challenges of migrating to AWS is handling massive volumes of data. Large datasets need to be migrated to the cloud, which can take a long time and use a lot of bandwidth. To reduce downtime and ensure data integrity, organizations need to create a data migration strategy.

Security and compliance: When migrating data to the cloud, applications are more vulnerable to security breaches. It is essential to ensure data security and industry compliance throughout the AWS cloud migration process. Organizations need to set up the appropriate access controls, encryption techniques, and monitoring systems to protect sensitive data during the migration and in the AWS environment.

Performance: Application performance in the cloud may differ from on-premises environments. Extensive testing is crucial to ensure smooth performance and meet performance goals post-migration. If needed, seeking advice from an AWS cloud migration specialist can help identify ways to enhance cloud resource performance.

There is no one size fit all approach while migrating to cloud. The process of migrating to the AWS cloud is completely dependent upon the application and size of data.

When migrating data to AWS, it is essential to keep the data secure while it is in transit and at rest. AWS values security highly, and all of its data migration services have security components. Each service uses AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to manage resource access through the AWS Management Console or programmatically.

Security of the cloud: AWS is responsible for protecting the infrastructure that runs AWS services in the AWS Cloud. AWS also provides you with services that you can use securely. Third-party auditors regularly test and verify the effectiveness of the security as part of the AWS Compliance Programs.

Security in the cloud: Your responsibility for security is determined by the AWS service that you use. You are also responsible for other factors, such as the sensitivity of the data, your requirements, and applicable laws and regulations.

AWS ServicesSecurity features
AWS Database Migration Services (DMS)AWS DMS utilizes Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) for endpoint connections. Encryption keys from AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) are employed to encrypt both the storage used by the replication instance and its endpoint connection.
AWS Application Migration Services (MGN)AWS Application Migration Service, being a managed service, benefits from protection through AWS’s global network security procedures.
AWS Direct ConnectProvides a dedicated physical connection without any Internet data transit.
Captures API calls made by or on behalf of a customer account by integrating with AWS CloudTrail.

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About the Author


Author-Satheesh-K-T

Satheesh K Thiyagarajan

Associate Consultant

Satheesh Kumar Thiyagarajan is an AWS certified Solution Architect with eight years of experience in successfully migrating workloads to the AWS cloud infrastructure. His areas of expertise include infrastructure provisioning, re-hydration and its automation, workload/application migration, database migration, infrastructure and application monitoring, high availability, and disaster recovery configuration.

Satheesh is inspired by his family – parents, spouse and two kids. He enjoys playing indoor games with his kids, traveling, and trekking.​

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