It is no secret anymore that to stay agile, compete favorably, and grow in the ever-evolving global business environment, you have to move your on-premise servers to the cloud. Business leaders like Ferrari, Moderna, Snapchat, and Intuit have relocated their data centers to Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is time to consider a data center to AWS migration.

To get started, you’ll need a comprehensive checklist of the information and resources required for a smooth cloud migration to get started. Such a checklist will help you easily navigate the complexity of data center migration and protect you from cloud migration issues like service downtime, data loss, and poor management of resources. You could even opt for ReluTech’s AWS cloud migration solution for a seamless data relocation journey.

This article provides a comprehensive checklist to easily move your data center to AWS cloud services to enjoy the innovative, scalability, advanced security, and cost-saving benefits your competitors are presently enjoying.

on premise to cloud migration

1. Pre-Migration Planning

As cliche as it may sound, failure to plan is indeed planning to fail. Effective planning is required for a smooth cloud migration process, and this planning must commence once the decision has been made to migrate your data center to AWS. Things to consider at this stage include:

Assess Your Current Environment: The first step is to analyze your current infrastructure and applications. Analyze the entirety of your on-premises servers and their workload. Then you can identify dependencies and interconnections within the system to help you determine which applications to migrate without causing disruptions in your business operations.

Define Business Objectives: Once you have inventoried your current infrastructure and identified dependencies, the next step is to consider your rationale for the data center to AWS migration you’re about to embark on. You need to determine if it is for cost savings, scalability, performance, tighter security, or easy access. At this stage, you are simply weighing the benefits of AWS migration against on-premises servers to make a case for top management. After building your case, sell it to the major stakeholders in the organization. All the relevant stakeholders need to buy into the data center relocation project and it has to align with the objectives of the business.

Establish a Migration Team: Top management has approved and all is set! It’s time to set up a data center migration team. Some roles to consider having in your cloud services migration team are Cloud/AWS Champion, Project Manager, Could Developer, Solution Architect, System Administrator, Cloud Support Engineer, etc. The roles to establish would depend on the scale of the migration. Ensure to clearly state the responsibilities for each position and establish proper project management practices and governance. You may consider consulting an AWS cloud migration expert at this stage.

2. Financial Analysis and Budgeting

Migrating to AWS cloud services saves you on budget, but you first need to understand the total cost of moving your data center to AWS cloud services for better migration planning. Here’s how to go about this:

Cost Assessment: First, you need to draw up the current cost of operating your data center and compare it with the projected cost of operating with AWS. You can key into AWS Optimization and Licensing Assessment (AWS OLA) to assess your current data center cost based on resource utilization, third-party licensing, and application dependencies. Next is to perform a TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) analysis to identify the cost of migrating to the AWS cloud. To supplement the cost, ReluTech offers a data center buy out program that can help infuse capital back into your migration journey. They do this by purchasing your cloud-committed equipment and leasing it back to you for the duration of the migration while also maintaining the same SLA you had with your previous support vendor.

Budget Planning: Once you have identified the total cost of migrating your data center to AWS, the next step is to budget for the identified cost elements such as the migration tools, services, and potential overages. With your budget, create an economic model simulating the total cost of AWS adoption and monitor closely during implementation to mitigate financial risks.

benefits of cloud migration

3. Security and Compliance

It is important that your data is secured during data center to AWS migration, and that you continue to comply with industry regulations and standards after moving to AWS. Therefore, you must perform the following:

Security Assessment: Identify existing security requirements and gaps in your current on-premise data system and select AWS services that can fill the gaps or provide better security measures for your data. Ensure to implement these security features from AWS during the migration process.

Compliance Check: Comply with industry regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, etc., when migrating to AWS. To do this, find out the compliance needs related to your industry and ensure that they are implemented throughout the migration process. You may consider sitting with your legal team, or employing one if you don’t have one, to navigate compliance regulations.

4. Choosing the Right Migration Strategy

Data center to AWS migrations are not a one-size-fits-all approach. There are different AWS cloud migration approaches to pick from that best suit your IT needs and organization’s goals.

Migration Approaches: Here are three common approaches organizations employ when migrating their data center to AWS.

  • Lift and Shift (Rehosting) – This method moves your existing applications from your on-premise system, using either Server Migration Service (SMS) or manual procedures, to AWS. This process requires little or no modifications to your applications.
ProsConsCase Study
Due to the plug-and-play nature of this method, it is faster to implement and cost-effective.This method does not allow for enough flexibility and it could be difficult to modify your applications.Lift and Shift is most suitable for companies with large legacy databases and less cloud technology skills. They want to transition to the cloud and maintain their existing features and functions.
  • Re-platforming – This method also moves your application from the on-premise environment to AWS but with some modifications performed on the applications to enable you to enjoy certain benefits on AWS. The modifications do not change the core architecture of the applications, however.
ProsConsCase Study
Migration is also fast in re-platforming as it requires less integration and testing.This method does not allow you to enjoy the full benefits of the AWS cloud services.Companies that migrate using re-platforming are also conservative but are more willing to try out some of the features of the cloud to optimize certain functions.
  • Refactoring – This method is complex and involves changing the architecture of your on-premise applications to enable you to enjoy the full native benefits of AWS cloud service. It could be likened to replacing your on-premise applications with AWS applications.
ProsConsCase Study
Refactoring allows you to enjoy new features that your On-premise applications didn’t have as well as leverage cloud capabilitiesIt is cost-intensive and takes time for your organization to adapt and rebuild its processes around the new system.Repurchase is ideal for companies looking to try a completely new application to enjoy the innovativeness and competitive edge it offers.

5. Preparing Your Applications and Data

Now that you have selected the migration method that best suits your organization, it’s time to get ready to migrate.

Application Readiness: You need to analyze your applications to confirm their suitability for cloud migration, considering their architecture, scalability requirements, and dependencies. Also, identify priority applications that should be moved to the cloud first and if they are not suitable for migration, modify them to be compatible with the cloud.

Data Migration: The same analysis performed on the applications should be performed on your data. You need to identify the databases and file systems that must be migrated and choose whether to use the online or offline data transfer method to move them to the cloud. The online method may seem simpler and less expensive; however, it may expose your data to breaches, especially if you’re transferring over a public network. The offline method is faster and safer but could cost the organization a fortune. Regardless of the method chosen, ensure to perform data validation and integrity checks throughout the data transfer process.

cloud migration service providers

6. Setting Up AWS Infrastructure

After preparing your applications and data, the next step is to design your AWS infrastructure and establish a landing zone.

Designing Your AWS Architecture: This involves setting up your network architecture from scratch or partially depending on your company’s AWS cloud migration needs. Setting up the AWS network infrastructure from scratch is a technical operation that requires the creation of VPCs, subnets, route tables, security groups, etc. It is best to consult an expert for this. On the other hand, you can choose to migrate to AWS yourself by selecting from a range of AWS services and configurations including the AWS Migration Hub, AWS Application Migration Service, AWS Database Migration Service, VMware Cloud on AWS, AWS Marketplace, and AWS Managed Services.

Establishing a Landing Zone: Security is a key principle of AWS’s well-architecture framework. Therefore, in creating an AWS well-architecture infrastructure, you would need to set up a foundational AWS account and configure it properly to be well-secured and aligned with AWS best practices for scalability and management. ReluTech’s technicians are always available to guide you in setting up your AWS architecture to ensure it meets industry best practices.

7. Migration Execution

Now that all the preparatory activities have been completed, it’s time for execution. Datacenter to AWS migration can either be done as a pilot or full-scale.

Pilot Migration: This is a cautious type of migration execution whereby you migrate a subset of applications. In most cases, you execute with applications that are less critical to your operations. The advantage of this execution method is that it helps identify issues in the process that require refinement before you migrate the entire infrastructure.

Full-Scale Migration: This approach involves migrating applications to the cloud in phases, beginning with the non-critical systems before moving to the critical ones.

Whichever execution method you adopt, it is crucial to closely monitor the process at every stage to test for performance, security, functionality, and other benefits you had envisioned for the AWS migration.

cloud migration benefits

8. Post-Migration Optimization

Migration completed, well done! However, the journey continues. You have to optimize your applications in the new cloud environment.

Performance Tuning: This involves monitoring the performance of your applications on AWS to ensure they are performing optimally. Also, optimize your cost to minimize expenses while efficiently utilizing available resources. Right-sizing, Savings Plans, and Spot instances are some cost optimization strategies to adopt. Right-sizing is fitting your resource capacity to your actual usage so that you don’t make excess provision for resources. Savings Plans involve committing in advance to a certain volume of usage to enjoy discounts, and Spot Instances entail getting unused compute capacity at a cost lower than on-demand instances.

Monitoring and Maintenance: Continuous monitoring and maintenance will guarantee the smooth running of your applications and database on the AWS cloud. You can take advantage of AWS tools like Amazon CloudWatch to monitor certain metrics that are important to you and set alarms for certain events. AWS performs routine maintenance and updates to maximize efficiency on the platform. These go on with minimal disruptions to instances.

9. Training and Change Management

Datacenter to AWS migration is beneficial but these benefits may be undermined without properly training the staff and preparing them for the change.

Staff Training: IT staff are the daily users of the cloud infrastructure. Train them on how to use AWS tools and best practices after the migration process. Don’t forget your end-users as well; they are the ones who can give you valuable feedback on the performance of your system or application as they rely on them for their daily operations. Ensure to inform them before the migration to prepare them for the new features to experience.

Change Management: Change management is another aspect of stakeholder engagement that must be done to bring everyone in sync. You have to communicate the benefits of data center to AWS transition migration to the relevant stakeholders in the organization and update them on the progress throughout the migration process.

on prem to cloud migration


A well-planned migration prevents you from encountering avoidable data center to AWS migration challenges such as incurring unexpected costs, unnecessary downtime during migration, and database exposure to security breaches. It allows for a smooth and seamless data center migration to AWS that guarantees scalability, innovation, security, and cost-effectiveness.

Cloud migration is especially stress-free and convenient when you employ ReluTech’s cloud acceleration service. We work based on your IT needs and organizational goals to make your AWS migration journey successful.

Request a quote today to get started!