Extending legacy workloads to Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Still running your legacy IT workloads via your own data center? Then stop! The time has come for you to think lean. Extending legacy workloads to AWS has never been easier – and more attractive business-wise. If done right of course.

Extending legacy workloads to AWS

What’s the point of extending legacy workloads to AWS?

More specifically, the point is switching from the static model of using your own data center to something more cost-effective, as well as more, well, elastic. Enter the concept of moving or extending legacy workloads to AWS. Migrating, moving, extending. Call it what you want, the paradigm shift of businesses moving their legacy workloads from data centers to the cloud is happening at a rapid pace.

A matter of cost

There are a number of factors fueling this trend. The main aspect for businesses in adopting such a policy is the cost savings which can occur as a result. That’s not it though. Extending legacy workloads to AWS for example, also makes for a more lean and agile set-up. Something which is vital in the modern IT landscape. Apart from cost savings of reduced infrastructure, here are a few other telling factors:

  •  reduced time to market
  • “always on” availability
  • increased business agility
  • virtually unlimited scalability and storage
  • on-demand provisioning and automation
  • flexible choice of programming models, languages and operating systems

Stackmasters recently became part of Amazon Web Services Partner Network as a Consulting Partner, so we are well versed on both the processes and benefits of extending legacy workloads to AWS. The good news is that it is not something to be afraid of. And the bad news? Well, there is no bad news.

It’s all about the path

The path you take to reach a target of utilizing AWS cloud resources to operate your legacy workloads is your starting point. And your path, which essentially guides your technical plan to execute, should respond to the following questions:

  • Budget – you need to define how is your cloud spending going to be sponsored
  • Timeline – when to expect first outcomes
  • Acceptance tests – how to check successful delivery
  • Business effect – do we solve a business related issue
  • Skills – in-house or partner

Extending legacy workloads to AWS or other clouds can involve changes in the deployment, operations and security processes. But, significantly, it does not touch application architecture or data stores and structures.

Build from the network up

Networking is the foundation on which your solution will work, and can provide a great level of security and usability following the recommended patterns. Essentially, VPN connection(s) is a primary service to be deployed, and is fully supported either as AWS VPC feature, or as standalone service based on software network gateway solutions.

Building from the network level and up, you will need to implement tasks such as:

  • Some form of automation to provision the required resources and deploy services
  • Set up monitoring services at both infrastructure and application level
  • Migrate data and possibly create custom image templates and snapshots
  • Test for the functional and non-functional characteristics of the delivered service in order to complete the migration from the data center to the AWS cloud.

Possible candidates for such a project could be ERP, CRM systems, websites, email and directory services, and whole test of disaster recovery environments.

A matter of experience

Basically, it all boils down to getting your feet wet. What we mean by that is trying things out on a small scale before deciding to go “all in”. We are seeing increasing numbers of enterprises migrating critical legacy workloads to the cloud. Why? Because they have already cut their cloud teeth (successfully) with smaller cloud projects. They have experienced first hand that moving to the cloud is not so tough. This encourages trust and confidence. And rightly so!

See you in the cloud

AWS’s own Stephen Orban, the head of enterprise strategy, continues to stress that the current wave of cloud computing is focusing strategically on legacy migration. It is a fact that it is indeed harder – and often more of a risk – to move large, mission-critical workloads and services.

But, as mentioned, as long as IT professionals have gained experience working with the cloud, they are going into it warm rather than cold. And this can only help with a smooth transition and operation afterwards on the road to using Managed Cloud services.

If you have little or no experience and need support (and this includes larger enterprises) extending legacy workloads to AWS, contact us for a free consultation and we’ll provide you with an assessment and a recommended solution based exclusively on your needs.

Extending legacy workloads to Amazon Web Services (AWS) was last modified: November 23rd, 2017 by Stackmasters