Today’s businesses use more computing resources than ever before, and technology is moving at a more rapid pace. Because of this, many companies are realizing that it’s no longer in their best interest to maintain an on-premise infrastructure. Moving to the cloud removes the burden of maintaining on-premise infrastructure, allows companies to become more agile, and helps to focus more on their core business.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) was one of the first large scale providers of cloud services. Therefore, they have years of experience creating systems that help companies migrate their Windows workload to the cloud. According to AWS, the number of AWS enterprise customers using AWS for Windows Server is growing more than 400% between 2015 and 2018.
Let’s discuss why cloud computing makes sense and understand how you can determine which of your workloads make the most sense for an AWS migration.
Why Migrate to AWS?
Amazon’s years of experience and powerful tools mean nothing if they won’t benefit your business. Let’s look beyond Amazon’s credentials and look at how specifically an AWS-based cloud solution will help your company build a better infrastructure solution.
- Easier to scale: As your business grows, so do its computing needs. It’s a consequence of a larger company. With on-premise solutions, that means spending more money on infrastructure and the labor to maintain it and extended downtime as your staff makes the initial upgrades. With AWS, scaling from a small business up to a large enterprise can be done right from your computer because someone else will be handling the infrastructure changes for you.
- Lower costs and better reliability: We’ve already discussed how moving to a cloud services provider can save you on the cost of infrastructure and the labor required to run it. Let’s now quantify those savings. An IDC report examining the benefits of running Windows on AWS found that companies who spend 56% less on their 5-year cost of operations and experience 98% less unplanned downtime.
- Increased security: AWS offers 210 security, compliance, and governance services and key features. Not only is that more than most on-premise solutions will have, but it’s also about 40% more than the next largest cloud provider.
- Development tools: The Microsoft .NET toolchain that your developers love is not only fully supported by AWS, but it’s also extended. Amazon has many useful services to improve the performance and capabilities of your software, such as Amazon S3, Amazon EC2, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, and Amazon DynamoDB. They also have innovated technologies like AWS Fargate and AWS Lambda, Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) that will take your software to the next level. All of it’s accessible through easy to use .NET APIs.
The Chance to Modernize
This next reason is less about Amazon and more about how your business operates, now and in the future. Many businesses are still using legacy software that doesn’t quite live up to the expectations of a modern business environment. Yet only 28% of IT professionals report that their companies are working on becoming more agile. Moving to AWS not only offer tools that help in modernizing legacy software but also provides you with a platform that is better positioned to change with the times.
How to Identify the Best Candidates for Cloud Migration?
The first thing you should do when determining which services to migrate to the cloud is to look at the governance policies. Ensure there are no regulatory compliance, privacy rules, or business issues that prevent you from bringing a given workload to the public cloud.
Once you know a workload is suitable for cloud migration, it is good to start with the ones that are already starving for resources. This is where you will immediately save money on upgrade costs. Workloads that utilize a lot of CPU hours are also prime candidates for the cloud because they will be making most of the capacity that you are paying for.
If this is your first migration, you may want to start with the lowest hanging fruit. You must understand the cloud migration steps and identify which workloads will be the easiest to migrate to the cloud. Doing those first will help your cloud migration team build its confidence with the process.
Licensing Options: BYOL vs Porting to AWS
Your business must already have a substantial investment in its technology stack. Some of that, such as hardware, will be fully or partially replaced by AWS provided resources. This is the same as replacing older technology with newer versions, and as we’ve discussed, will pay off in cost savings quickly. Other resources don’t require replacement.
You’ve spent a lot on software licenses. You may want to abandon some of them for AWS services to bundle everything into one lower price. Others are software licenses that you’ll need to use your AWS containers. This includes licenses for Windows, but also to tools like Oracle databases. You can lower your AWS bill by bringing your licenses to the service. By comparing the cost of Amazon-provided licenses with the deals you already have for licensing, you can choose the option that saves your company the most money.
A typical business routinely upgrades its technology stack. Migrating to AWS is just another type of upgrade. Once you had decided to leap, determine which workloads to migrate first, and decide which licensing option to take. The process is very similar to any other technology switch. Typically, a company will start with the easiest to migrate to the cloud, as mentioned earlier. After that though, it benefits the company to look at the harder to migrate workloads and see what opportunities AWS offers to modernize and future proof those processes using the .NET APIs and innovative technologies we discussed previously.
If you’d like to know more about migrating your Windows workloads to AWS EC2, you can consult with our experts who have hands-on experience in AWS EC2 migration. We are an AWS Service Delivery Partner and have helped many businesses like yours make the switch to a more cost-efficient and future-proof technology infrastructure. In the second week of February, we’ll be releasing a webinar all about AWS migration. We also give an assessment offering to help you determine how AWS can benefit your business. Feel free to share your queries with [email protected] or schedule a call with us.
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