Complete Guide to Migrating from On-Premise to AWS Cloud: Mastering the 6 R’s and Best Practices

Migrating from an on-premises environment to AWS Cloud is a significant task that involves careful planning and execution. AWS recommends the “6 R’s” framework as a guideline for choosing the best migration strategy for applications and workloads. Here’s a breakdown of the 6 R’s and best practices for a successful migration:

AWS Migration

1. The 6 R’s of Migration

The “6 R’s” refer to six strategies that can be used to migrate applications to the cloud:

  1. Rehosting (“Lift and Shift”): This involves moving applications without changes. It is often the fastest method, suitable for large-scale legacy migrations.
  2. Replatforming (“Lift, Tinker and Shift”): You make some optimizations to leverage cloud capabilities without significant changes to the core architecture of the application.
  3. Repurchasing (“Drop and Shop”): Moving from a traditional application to a cloud-native application, such as switching from an on-premise CRM to Salesforce.
  4. Refactoring / Re-architecting: This involves reimagining how the application is architected and developed by using cloud-native technologies. It is usually the most time-consuming, but it maximizes cloud efficiency.
  5. Retire: Identifying IT assets that are no longer useful and can be turned off to save costs.
  6. Retain: Keeping certain elements of the IT portfolio unchanged. You might retain applications that are tightly bound to physical devices, or that are subject to strict regulatory requirements.


2. Best Technique

The best migration technique depends on specific business goals, technical requirements, regulatory considerations, and cost constraints. For instance:

  • Cost-sensitive applications might benefit from rehosting to quickly realize cost savings.
  • Applications needing scalability might be better off being re-architected to take full advantage of cloud-native features like auto-scaling, serverless computing, and managed services.

3. Best Architecture Practices

When migrating to AWS, consider these architectural best practices:

  • Use AWS Well-Architected Framework: This framework helps cloud architects build secure, high-performing, resilient, and efficient infrastructure for their applications.
  • Multi-AZ Deployment: Ensure high availability and fault tolerance by deploying applications across multiple Availability Zones.
  • Automate: Use AWS services like AWS CloudFormation for infrastructure as code and AWS Elastic Beanstalk for application deployment automation.
  • Security: Implement security at every layer with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), Amazon VPC, and AWS Key Management Service (KMS).
  • Performance Monitoring: Leverage AWS CloudWatch and AWS X-Ray for monitoring and performance insights.

4. Migration Best Practices

  • Comprehensive Assessment: Before starting the migration, perform a thorough assessment of your current IT assets to determine which of the 6 R’s strategy each asset fits into.
  • Pilot Projects: Start with less complex applications as pilot projects to build confidence and refine your migration process.
  • Training and Change Management: Train your team on AWS technologies and change management processes to ensure a smooth transition.
  • Partner with AWS Experts: Consider partnering with AWS or an experienced vendor to help navigate complex migration scenarios.

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