Migrating to AWS
Over the past few weeks, we have outlined the criteria for selecting a candidate app to move to the cloud and we reviewed the deployment process. Now, it is time to put things into action. When it comes to migrating, there is not even remotely close to a one-size-fits-all solution for moving app data and users to the cloud. If you have a mostly static web site, it is going to be relatively easy to perform the cutover. You can simply replicate your data over and then adjust DNS when you are ready to move. Chances are, though, that your app is more complex than that.
Most likely, the best way to look at this initial migration is to view it as a disaster recovery site. If you are using Direct Connect, you will have an easy way to get any relevant data into Amazon. All of the things that you would have to do to successfully migrate to a DR site, you will have to do to switch to the cloud. The same tasks need to be taken into consideration such as data synchronization and user access points. For end user access, you can allow ssh access. If it is a web based application, you can use an Elastic Load Balancer to map to your server farm.
Getting your initial set of data to the cloud over a network could be very expensive and time consuming. Luckily, there is a solution. Amazon offers a service where it will ingest your data if you are able to ship it on physical media. Once your data is up in the cloud, you can perform delta updates as needed.
Migrating the app and performing the cutover should be like any other migration that you have done as long as your proper infrastructure is in place. If you are migrating an app server that connects to a database, you want to install the software in both locations. When the time comes to cutover, you only have to repoint your users and make sure that the data is in sync.
Down the road, when you are moving applications into the cloud onto something like Amazon’s Elastic Beanstalk, you will use an entirely different process. But for now, we want to make sure we nail that first migration so that we get the chance later to explore additional cloud features.
Next week, we will review how you can truly unleash the power of cloud computing. If you’d like to share your experience with migrating to the cloud, please post your story on our Facebook page! Or if you’d like to learn more about our service offerings, please visit our website.