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Migrating to AWS Cloud Infrastructure: A Step-by-Step Guide

A step-by-step guide to migrating business infrastructure to AWS cloud, exploring AWS components and services, strategic advantages, key steps in the migration journey, and AWS cloud infrastructure components.

Zan Faruqui
May 16, 2023

Migrating business infrastructure to the cloud can be daunting, but most IT leaders would agree that leveraging AWS cloud infrastructure offers strategic advantages.

This practical guide walks through a step-by-step plan for transitioning legacy infrastructure to AWS, enabling teams to realize increased agility, resilience, and innovation.

You'll discover best practices for assessing compatibility, designing optimal AWS architecture, implementing DevOps automation, validating migration, and continuously optimizing the cloud environment post-migration.

Introduction to AWS Cloud Infrastructure and Migration

Migrating to AWS cloud infrastructure provides teams with scalable, reliable, and cost-efficient infrastructure to support development and operations. AWS offers over 200 services including computing, storage, databases, analytics, networking, mobile, developer tools, management tools, IoT, security, and enterprise applications. These services integrate together to provide a robust cloud platform.

Exploring AWS Components and Services

AWS services are organized into categories that work together to enable teams to build sophisticated, cloud-native applications. Some key categories include:

These services integrate together to provide a flexible, programmable infrastructure. Teams can start small and scale on-demand to meet application needs.

The Strategic Advantages of AWS Migration

Key benefits of migrating include:

By migrating, teams can focus less on infrastructure management and more delivering business value quicker.

Key Steps in the AWS Cloud Migration Journey

The migration journey involves:

AWS provides both self-service tools and managed professional services to successfully execute the migration.

In summary, AWS cloud infrastructure enables on-demand scalability, reliability, and innovation to transform business operations. Following a structured migration approach helps organizations unlock these strategic benefits.

What is the AWS cloud infrastructure?

The AWS cloud infrastructure refers to the global network of AWS data centers and cloud computing services. AWS operates state-of-the-art, highly secure data centers around the world that host the various AWS services available to customers.

Some key things to know about the AWS cloud infrastructure:

In summary, the AWS cloud infrastructure is an on-demand, flexible, cost-effective, scalable and highly secure platform for running cloud-based applications. Its global scale and broad selection of services make it an appealing option for organizations of all sizes looking to leverage the cloud.

What are infrastructure components in AWS?

AWS cloud infrastructure consists of several key components that provide the foundation for cloud services:

Availability Zones (AZs)

Availability Zones (AZs) are isolated locations within AWS Regions that operate on their own physically distinct infrastructure. They are engineered to be highly reliable and minimize the risk of simultaneous failures. Launching resources across multiple AZs provides high availability.


AWS has Regions all around the world. These Regions provide multiple physically separated and isolated Availability Zones, which allows customers to run applications and store data in locations that meet their requirements.

Edge Locations

Edge Locations are endpoints for AWS services hosted in data centers globally. Content is cached at Edge Locations to provide low latency and high data transfer speeds for end users.

Regional Edge Caches

Regional Edge Caches store copies of CloudFront content closer to viewers. They speed up distribution of content to end users.

Local Zones

Local Zones extend AWS infrastructure and services to on-premises data centers. This allows applications to use AWS services while maintaining ultra-low latency access to on-premises resources.

Wavelength Zones

Wavelength deploys AWS compute and storage services to telecommunications providers' 5G networks. This allows developers to build applications taking advantage of 5G low latency and high bandwidth.


AWS Outposts offer fully managed AWS infrastructure, services, APIs, and tools in customer data centers and colocation facilities. This provides low latency access to on-premises systems while leveraging AWS services.

What do you mean by cloud infrastructure?

Cloud infrastructure refers to the collection of hardware and software components that enable cloud computing. This includes elements like:

Cloud infrastructure also typically includes management interfaces and APIs to provision and configure these virtualized resources on-demand. Companies like AWS, GCP, and Azure provide turnkey cloud infrastructure to abstract away data center details so developers can focus on applications instead of infrastructure management.

Migrating from on-premises data centers to cloud infrastructure provides benefits like:

However, successfully transitioning legacy systems and workflows can be challenging without careful planning and execution.

Is AWS a platform or infrastructure?

AWS provides both infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud computing services.

As an IaaS provider, AWS offers fundamental computing infrastructure that developers can use to deploy applications and services. This includes services like:

As a PaaS provider, AWS offers higher-level cloud services that abstract away infrastructure complexities. These services make it faster and easier to build, deploy, and scale applications without managing the underlying infrastructure. Examples of AWS PaaS services include:

So in summary:

AWS offers both IaaS and PaaS cloud solutions, giving developers a breadth of services to choose from based on their specific needs. This combination of IaaS flexibility and PaaS convenience is a key part of what makes AWS a widely adopted cloud platform.


Planning Your Migration to AWS Infrastructure

Migrating your infrastructure to AWS requires careful planning and assessment to ensure a smooth transition. Here are some key steps:

Assessing Compatibility with AWS Infrastructure Map

The first step is taking an inventory of your current on-premises infrastructure, including servers, databases, networks, applications etc. and assessing how they map to AWS infrastructure components and services. This will identify:

This assessment establishes the scope for migration and transformation needed.

Envisioning Your Target AWS Architecture

Next, envision your optimal infrastructure within AWS post-migration based on goals around scalability, security, compliance etc.

Consider aspects like:

This provides a blueprint to migrate and transform systems incrementally into the target AWS architecture.

Establishing Migration Priorities and Dependencies

With the assessment and blueprint completed, prioritize which systems to migrate first based on:

Sequence items along the critical path first. For complex migrations, take an iterative approach migrating in phases while maintaining continuity.

This migration plan, with priorities set, provides a high-level roadmap to transition to AWS infrastructure.

Designing Your AWS Cloud Infrastructure

Migrating infrastructure to AWS provides opportunities to redesign your architecture for improved resilience, scalability, and global reach. Careful planning is key.

Incorporating AWS Regional Services and Availability Zones

AWS divides its infrastructure globally into Regions and Availability Zones (AZs). When designing your AWS architecture:

Considering Connectivity with AWS Local Zones and Edge Locations

To reduce latency for end users and enable use cases like IoT and local data processing:

Adhering to Compliance with AWS Data Center Locations

When compliance dictates data sovereignty or residency requirements:

Thoughtful design considering AWS's global infrastructure will maximize resilience, reduce latency, and adhere to compliance.

Implementing AWS Services for DevOps During Migration

Migrating to AWS provides an opportune time to build more automation into your development workflows. Leveraging AWS' suite of DevOps-focused services can help streamline deployments, monitoring, and operations management.

Automating Deployments with AWS Code Services

AWS CodeCommit provides a fully-managed source control service to host Git repositories in the cloud. Combined with AWS CodeBuild for automating build steps and AWS CodeDeploy for orchestrating deployments, you can set up an end-to-end continuous delivery pipeline powered by AWS.

The benefits include:

To get started:

Enhancing Monitoring and Management with AWS DevOps Tools

Robust monitoring and infrastructure management are key for smooth cloud operations.

AWS CloudWatch provides system-wide observability, including metrics, logs, and events. CloudWatch alarms can trigger notifications or auto-scaling actions.

AWS CloudFormation allows you to manage infrastructure as code. Resources can be provisioned and configured through templatized YAML or JSON files.

Benefits include:

To implement:

Streamlining Operations with AWS Management Services

AWS Systems Manager (SSM) and OpsWorks provide automation for tasks like configuration management, software deployment, and environment consistency.

Key features:

Getting started:

Thoughtfully adopting these AWS services during migration lays the foundation for more automated, resilient cloud operations.

Validating and Optimizing Post-Migration

Validating and optimizing the AWS cloud infrastructure after migration is critical to ensuring performance, security, and cost-efficiency.

Conducting Post-Migration Validation

After migrating to AWS, comprehensive testing and validation should be conducted to confirm all systems and services are functioning as expected, including:

Be sure to test all usage scenarios and conditions to uncover any latent issues. Leverage AWS tools like CloudWatch alarms and dashboards to monitor key metrics.

Optimizing Costs with AWS Cost Management Tools

Managing costs in the cloud requires taking advantage of the various AWS cost optimization tools:

Continuously monitor spend and adjust resource allocations to minimize waste.

Improving Performance with AWS Optimization Techniques

There are several best practices for optimizing performance on AWS:

Tuning and optimizing your AWS deployments for performance takes diligence but pays dividends.

Conclusion: Embracing the Cloud with AWS

Reviewing the Migration Journey to AWS

Migrating to AWS cloud infrastructure can seem daunting, but with careful planning and execution, organizations can successfully transition their workloads and realize transformative benefits. As we have covered, key steps in the migration journey include assessing your current infrastructure and applications, determining migration strategies, executing the migration in phases, and continuously optimizing workloads on AWS.

To review, critical activities include taking inventory of assets, categorizing applications, creating a migration plan, setting up AWS accounts and networks, migrating data, validating applications, and refactoring architectures over time. AWS and its partners provide discovery tools, Total Cost of Ownership calculators, training, and professional services to assist.

Ultimately, those who invest the time upfront to map out dependencies, run pilots, build skills, and develop cloud-optimized applications will be best positioned for an orderly and successful migration to AWS.

Recognizing the Business Impact of AWS Adoption

The payoff for thoughtfully migrating workloads into AWS’ reliable and scalable infrastructure can be immense. Organizations stand to benefit in these key areas:

AWS migration enables digital transformation. As processes improve and technology capabilities expand, organizations position themselves to better compete and thrive in the modern business landscape.

Establishing a Culture of Continuous Improvement in the Cloud

To fully leverage AWS over time, organizations should focus on skills development and cultivate a culture of cloud optimization after migration.

Hands-on cloud training, centers of excellence, and external expertise from partners can help IT teams master advanced cloud architectural patterns. Developers should reskill on containers, serverless, and modern application design.

Ongoing refinement of workloads, consolidation of resources, automation of operations, and analysis of usage data can yield further efficiency gains in the cloud. Organizations that make cloud optimization a strategic priority will extract the most value from AWS.

With the right vision, planning, and initiative, AWS adoption can transform business potential. A carefully executed migration followed by continuous innovation in the cloud creates a foundation for long-term success.


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