AWS Migration Considerations: Why Migrate to the Cloud

AWS Migration Considerations: Part 2 (8 part series) Posted 05 April 2021

Welcome to the second article in our AWS Migration Considerations Series. You can find the start of the series here.

There are several ways that the hyperscale cloud environment of AWS works, from classical virtual machines, to containers, and serverless offerings. The assessment of which migration path works for you is covered in the article Migration Methodologies.

Much has been said about cost savings, performance, reliability, and all these advantages should be considered, architected, implemented, and then operated in cloud. And that effort requires consideration; it does not just happen and is an operational cost.

But why choose AWS as your cloud provider?

Historical long term operational excellence

AWS started in 2006 with the Simple Queue Service, and as we hit 2021, that will mark 15 years of continual operation of the service. The same APIs that were defined a decade and a half ago can still be used today. The operational stability makes this dependable. And while the encryption protocols and ciphers used in transit may be updated to deal with today’s threats, older services can still rely on these systems.

Strong focus on security

AWS says that security is job zero. Their security teams are proactive on maintaining their managed services, ensuring that critical exploitable vulnerabilities are address effectively.

In 2014, when the Heartbleed vulnerability was breaking news, AWS managed load balancing service, Elastic Load Balancing, was patched worldwide for all customers within 24 hours. Meanwhile, there are still load balancers deployed outside of the cloud that are susceptible to this; in 2017 a report showed there were still around 200,000 impacted devices. Using Shodan.io in 2020 still has a handful remaining!

However, security is a joint responsibility: the security of the cloud, and security in the cloud. AWS manages the “of the cloud”, while the customer (or their managed services partner) manages the “in the cloud”.

The shared security model is a key concept to understand. It is not a given that your virtual machine, that you have secured, is going to get patched and updated for you by AWS (there is an AWS managed service, but you will still have to patch and maintain your application on your virtual machine).

General applicability to a wide range of workloads

Having the ASW environment flexible enough to run almost any workload makes it applicable to nearly everything. Some cloud providers have niche or specific workloads they cater for, forcing you to stitch together distributed solutions form different providers.

Commodity offerings, consistent world-wide

The industrial revolution has commoditised much the IT infrastructure game. In just the same way that universal access to electricity (via a grid) means that all people have reasonably reliable access to power, the same has been democratised and made universally available for not just compute, but multiple Availability-Zone based, well architected compute.

Data residency remains in the Region you choose

It’s disappointing to have to reference this one, but some cloud providers would replicate your data worldwide, or only offer durable storage if you choose another country to replicate to. Both options are highly unpalatable to many organisations. Should you select to have replication to other locations, this can be done (and even done as a managed service).

It is also worth noting some of the AWS AI services may copy data to other regions, as noted by Scott Piper in his post “to develop and improve AWS and affiliate machine-learning and artificial-intelligence technologies”.

On demand flexibility, no commitment requirements

The ability to add, and remove, chargeable resources, on demand, automated without having to negotiate, schedule, and wait is itself a miracle.

Large 3rd party software support

There is a lot of software that already supports AWS APIs, which makes solutions easy to deploy and maintain.

History of price optimisation and service innovation

You may not want to force your provider to under bill you, the long-term profitability and longevity of the service you depend upon may be in question. But you do not want it to be overpriced.

While we see efficiencies being made, then it makes sense to share some of that with the customer, which is why AWS has applied reduced pricing to some services over time. What is more impressive, the price drops are automatic, with no customer action required to benefit. This breeds customer loyalty, and often feeds more demand.

History of price optimisation and service innovation

Cloud Providers that don’t continuously improve their offerings, modernising and securing the parts of the technology stack that are their responsibility, are frozen in time. For example, a CDN service that today does not offer the current TLS 1.3 protocols for ensuring the secure transport of data over untrusted networks will soon be eclipsed by more nimble competitors. Likewise, a CDN service that does not restrict to only the latest protocols will fail compliance requirements for many organisations.

Strong providers in the Hyperscale Cloud space introduce new capabilities without any immediate negative impact on currently deployed customers. Managed seamless transitions in technologies – sunrises, transitions, and sunsets are key to stability and customer satisfactions.

Industry Analyst Reports

For the last 10+ years, Gartner has ranked AWS as the leading hyperscale Cloud provider. Forester Wave articles consistently call out various AWS services amongst the strongest in their field.

The level of detail that the analysts go through with the providers are extensive, and cover all areas of operations, service development, security, and much more.

While these reports of and by themselves are insufficient, as supporting evidence to the above considerations they help to confirm the capability to date, giving confidence to the consumer.

Summary

You have a lot to think about when choosing a cloud provider. And while many will show you instantaneous results, the reality is this takes time, effort, and attention to detail that can only be done with focus (and experience).


Modis has been an AWS Consulting Partner since 2013. You can learn more about our AWS Practice and services here.

Find out how Modis can provide you with innovative AWS cloud based solutions and servicesModis has been an AWS Advanced Tier Partner since 2014. Modis' AWS Cloud Consulting services encompasses fundamentals of cyber security, fault tolerant digital system architecture, modernisation, traditional virtual machine or through to modern Serverless approaches, commercial off-the-shelf software operation to bespoke software development, delivered with high throughput, repeatable DevOps approaches to operations. With over half a decade of running critical authoritative government data sets that affects the lives of millions of citizens and the economies of the state, Modis has one of the most mature, experienced and recognised consulting service providers in the world. More importantly, we like to work very closely with our customers, not providing something to purchase, but taking a deep understanding of their business, and providing the recommendations and implementations to ensure a modern, efficient, reliable and secure environment for digital business systems.Contact us
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