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The steps to a successful deployment in the Amazon Cloud

There are multiple benefits to making the move to the cloud including the flexibility to manage your infrastructure to reflect your changing needs as a business and control your IT costs. 

Moving to the cloud can be a long-term project for a business – particularly one that uses a suite of different applications and may require staging in order to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible.

It can be tempting to jump straight into the process of migrating to AWS – the Amazon Cloud – after all, setting up virtual machines using EC2 can be done in minutes, and you can quickly build up an infrastructure solution that mirrors the function of your existing server architecture.  Unfortunately, this approach is rarely successful.  Without being properly tailored to the needs of your application, and unplanned AWS deployment can become costly, inefficient and fail to meet the performance and access requirements that your business needs.

At igroup we have worked with organisations across multiple sectors to help them move their apps and services to AWS successfully.  We understand the process from planning through to ongoing monitoring and can help build a business case and develop infrastructure that is robust, efficient, and secure.

Our process of supporting deployment to AWS is built on analysing your needs to ensure that you have a suitable foundation for the move – both in terms of your software and business requirements.

We follow a 4-step process that is built on the best practice guidelines for cloud migration that were developed in partnership with Amazon.

Assessment

We start by reviewing your current application and hosting environment to understand what your requirements are likely to be in AWS.  This considers all aspects of your plan including:

  • User requirements
  • Business priorities
  • Compliance issues
  • Existing infrastructure

Within this assessment, we review stakeholder goals and current issues and review business opportunities as well as determining what should and can be migrated to AWS – it may not be possible to move everything in one go, or there may be data handling requirements to consider.

Planning

A comprehensive plan for your deployment should be developed which includes the following elements:

Prioritisation

What can and cannot be moved to AWS, and in what order.  This will also consider whether any applications require a redesign in order to work in a cloud environment.

Platform Choice

The basic functionality of the major cloud providers (Amazon and Microsoft) is similar, but one may be a better option than the other for your specific needs.  Some projects do switch focus as more information is gathered.

Architecture

Following analysis of your requirements, it is essential that a full architecture is developed that considers all aspects of your application including:

  • Networking
  • Security and Access Management
  • Data Protection
  • Monitoring

During this process, we will also consider what skills you have available in house to manage the cloud on an ongoing basis to ensure continued optimal performance.

Execution

The actual launch of your application in AWS is made smoother by the initial planning and work to develop a solution.  During this process, it is essential that business interruption is minimised. 

The actual migration to AWS requires multiple steps to ensure that the environment is ready, functional, and secure:

  • Framework deployment
  • Data Migration
  • Application Migration
  • Testing & Validation

At each stage of the process, it is important to review the steps taken and compare the outcome with the original plan.  Checking that everything is performing as expected from start to finish reduces the risk at the point of final deployment.

Support and Management

Once you have deployed successfully, there are opportunities to further optimise your environment.  Your needs will change over time – the amount of data you store will grow and the number of users on your platform can increase.  These changes can have implications for both cost and security.

We provide bespoke monitoring and management tools for our clients that help to keep their Amazon cloud environments running securely and efficiently.  Cloud Control provides monitoring and maintenance services including Anti Malware, identity management and OS updates and security patches, while our IT Cost Control software provides a full financial breakdown of your consumption to help identify cost saving opportunities.

For more information about how igroup can help you migrate to the Amazon Cloud, please contact a member of our team today.

Call now on 0203 697 0302 to speak to a member of our team

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