What Is AWS Migration Checklist?

AWS Migration Checklist/Strategies

When we mention migration, it simply refers to movement from legacy systems to a cloud infrastructure. Amazon Web Services has emerged as one of the most trusted and secure cloud platforms enabling the safest ways to save data, run applications, and provision a wide range of computing services on the cloud. AWS cloud, like any other cloud platform, offers a host of services by which organizations can migrate whole or part of their applications to the cloud.

In this context of the discussion, we aim to familiarize our readers with some of the key information that forms a part of the AWS checklist.

Cloud Migration Checklist in AWS

All factors that influence the decisions pertaining to the cloud migrations process are listed as follows:

  • Understanding the process:

Migration must be performed by an expert in AWS, who has ample experience in migrating so that there is no major disruption in the operational flow of business. This checklist is the basic protocol that needs to be followed by organizations, which are aiming for migrating their application to cloud environments.

  • Cloud migration tools: 

Several cloud migration tools are used for migrating applications to the cloud. Few commonly used AWS cloud migration tools are listed as follows:

  • AWS Migration Hub: This tool provides a mechanism for tracking the progress of application migrations across multiple AWS platforms and partner solutions, in a single location. Therefore, AWS Migration Hub offers centralized tracking, flexibility to migrate, and improved visibility.
  • AWS Application Discovery Services: This tool facilitates enterprise cloud migration planning with the help of on-premise data centers. AWS Application Discovery Services gathers sufficient data from an organization’s on-premise environment to gauge the behavior of data from the servers for an efficient understanding of workloads so that migration can be done more effectively. 
  • AWS Cloud Adoption Readiness Tool (CART): The CART helps organizations to plan out migration activities by assessing cloud migration readiness with respect to business, people, process, platform, operations, and security. 
  • AWS Migration Acceleration Program: This tool facilitates the migration of current workloads to the AWS cloud platform. This program offers services such as training, consulting, and support to reduce the risk of cloud migration along with building a strong operational foundation.

Migration to the cloud is rather an iterative process that keeps evolving as an organization evolves over time with the development of new skills, processes, tools, and so on. Cloud migration adds benefits such as business agility, cost efficiency, higher productivity which leads to a greater degree of operational efficiency. 

  • Migration of application to the clouds:

Ideally, an organization must plan on cloud migration for fewer applications and then gradually move to the complete environment, considering parameters such as cost, scalability, tools for performance control, security, and business continuity to fetch the maximum benefits. 

  • AWS Database Migration:

AWS offers dedicated database migration services to ensure an organization’s database is fully migrated, operational, and secure. 

  • AWS Migration process:

Every organization follows a different approach to cloud migration due to the varied factors that influence the decision to migrate to the cloud. AWS cloud architects can provide efficient solutions for migration to the cloud by offering best-fit solutions that meet all business requirements and ensure smooth functioning of the internal process.

AWS cloud migration is ideally carried out in the following phases –

  • Phase 1: Migration preparation and business planning:

This is the first step towards migration to the cloud, wherein the current state of application architecture is taken into consideration while planning a project migration activity. All aspects with respect to the stakeholders involved in the business and how will they be affected should be considered to make the process smooth, and ensure uninterrupted operational efficiency. A migration plan should always include a rollback strategy because often due to unforeseen reasons there could be a situation where the entire application or part of it fails to migrate to the cloud and in such cases, it should be rolled back to its previous environment setup. 

  • Phase 2: Analysis of current solution and planning:

The analysis phase comprises identifying and understanding the dependencies of the applications and focuses on defining priorities for migrating to the cloud. Less complex and critical applications should ideally be moved first, followed by the more critical ones. 

  • Phase 3 & 4: Designing, migrating, and validating applications:

After the migration is done, the next and final phase includes addressing individual components of an application. There are six ‘R’s’ that act as references for migrations. We define the six ‘R’s’ briefly as follows:

  • Re-host – This method is the most economical method for migrating non-cloud services to the AWS cloud environment. Rehosting is highly automated, enables rapid migration, and allows multiple large migrations.
  • Re-platform – This strategy is ideally applied in situations where there is a need to change application architecture to achieve cloud optimization. The purpose of cloud optimization is aimed at achieving specific goals, such as reducing database management time or moving to a fully managed cloud.
  • Re-purchase – This process is an approach towards the transition from a proprietary system to a SaaS platform. Organizations that have workloads that are easily migratable to new versions ensure a smoother transition with this method.
  • Re-architect – This step is meant for applications that are native to the cloud for incorporating features such as autoscaling to ensure high performance. This comprises rethinking the application to use services and architecture native to the cloud.
  • Retire – To make the cloud more efficient for an application’s operations, it is important to determine which assets should be withdrawn, in case these are no longer necessary, and which all require more time and attention.
  • Retain – In a few cases, organizations may choose to retain some part of their applications on their own servers and move the other part to the cloud. This leads to a hybrid approach, which becomes a case of continuous reevaluation.


Migrating to the AWS cloud could be beneficial to a business in a wide variety of ways. AWS is a very cost-efficient mechanism, allowing auto-scaling of resources, which means paying only for services that are being used. Transformation to the cloud architecture is also a step towards achieving team productivity by providing a consolidated view of the work in progress and adds agility for any business, as it becomes much faster to market their products to gain competitive advantage.

It is recommended that a business must plan on KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), which might be helpful to measure and validate the process of migration has been successful.