Reasons to Modernize and Migrate Windows Workloads with AWS

March 13 2020
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When it comes to modernizing and migrating Windows workloads, the question isn’t as much “should I do it” as “how should I do it??”

One of the best ways — for many reasons — is to use AWS. AWS has offered cloud services longer than any other cloud services provider. By helping thousands of Windows users move to the cloud, AWS has developed a deep knowledge of the ins and outs of Windows workload modernization and migration.

Experience, Flexibility and More

AWS has created industry-leading best practices, drawing on its own research and resources, in addition to the lessons learned from many successful real-world migrations. It also offers an abundance of services, tools, resources, and options for greater flexibility to meet your organization’s needs.

For example, AWS enables you to:

  • Rebuild the whole application, migrate from one data store to another, and support big data workloads.

  • Run the full Windows Stack on AWS, including .NET applications, Active Directory and SQL Server.

  • Containerize your Windows workloads on AWS to enhance existing applications with modern development best practices and the speed, scalability, and cost-efficiency of the cloud.

  • Use Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) to run SQL Server instances for database workloads, or Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) for running SQL Server databases as a managed service.

  • Take advantage of first-class support for all four SQL Server editions — Express, Web, Standard, and Enterprise.

  • Leverage AWS’s licensing options, whether you bring your Microsoft licenses with you, run your Windows workloads on Amazon EC2 dedicated instances, or use Microsoft License Mobility through Software Assurance on shared or default tenant Amazon EC2 instances.

You’ll find many more options described in our eBook, Modernize and Migrate Windows Workloads with AWS.

Modernization and Migration Requirements

All modernization and migration projects are unique. They can be driven by hardware upgrades, pending software license renewals, data center lease expiration, regulatory compliance requirements, global market expansion, or other variables. Some may require moving a single data center or multiple data centers. In addition, not all applications were developed for running optimally in the cloud, particularly the legacy variety.

Bottom line: there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. You must determine what to do with each application. Options include:

  • Rehosting the application by moving it to the cloud without modifying the code.

  • Replatforming the application by modifying the application code in order to use the base platform services.

  • Refactoring the application, which entails recoding some portion of an existing application.

  • Re-architecting the application, which involves materially altering or decomposing the application into services (e.g. microservices deployed on containers) rather than a complete rebuild.

Less common options such as retiring the application altogether or replacing it with a new, off-the-shelf application may be appropriate as well.

Whichever you choose, you’ll need to be ready to address the challenges that inevitably arise. For example, legacy applications often can’t meet the demands of cloud computing, big data, mobility, social media and AI because they still depend on flat files and hierarchical databases. That can make data store modernization — moving data to modern data stores — as important as application modernization. Data store modernization requires specialized knowledge.

Partner with ClearScale for a Smoother Project

Fortunately, AWS maintains its AWS Partner Network (APN). It’s comprised of vetted partners with demonstrated technical proficiency and proven customer success in Windows workload modernization and cloud migration. One of them is ClearScale.

ClearScale has completed over 850 projects with AWS customers. As an AWS Premier Consulting Partner since 2015, ClearScale holds competencies in several areas — including modernization and migration. We also leverage a variety of AWS-sponsored programs that provide discounts, credits, incentives, and other funding to assist in various aspects of Windows workload modernization.

Every customer’s situation is different. A typical project usually begins with us learning about your goals. Next, we’ll audit your infrastructure and applications and compare them to current standards and best practices in security, availability, and other areas.

From there, we’ll draw on our Windows workloads expertise, AWS tools, and best practices to make recommendations for designing the most agile, scalable and secure cloud solution. We’ll work with you to determine the best approach for migrating the applications: rehost, replatform, refactor or re-architect applications as necessary. Proof of concepts and testing are next.

Next up is building a secure, compliant cloud environment on AWS using automation. We’ll then work with you to transfer data to AWS, thoroughly test all functionality and security, and make the cut over to the new environment.

Start Your Modernization and Migration Effort Now

For more information about Windows workload modernization and migration, download our free eBook, Modernize and Migrate Windows Workloads with AWS.

If you’re interested in learning how ClearScale can help you get in on the action, contact us.

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