The race to the cloud is continuing to gain velocity—everyone from global enterprises to government and public sector agencies are rapidly shifting applications to AWS in efforts to drive agility and improve operational efficiencies. AWS provides cloud adoption frameworks, tools, and expertise to enable successful migration. And of course, the robust AWS Migration Partner program validates leading MSPs— JHC, Onica, and Logicworks, to name a few—that enable the acceleration of successful migrations.
However, it is unlikely (and ill-advised) that an organization would view cloud migration as a set-it-and-forget-it initiative. For cloud adoption to be successful, it is important to consider the full implications of post-migration success during the initial migration planning stages.
As with digital transformation of any sort, enterprise organizations moving to the cloud need to consider how they will manage and optimize their environment to ensure they’re making the most of their cloud investment once they’re there. Specifically, they must consider three critical areas that can make or break cloud success:
- Cost and expense management
- Security and compliance
- Resource inventory and utilization
Why before the migration?
Far too often, we see customers ignore the reporting and monitoring questions until post-migration. However, waiting until problems arise can be a costly and complicated error to recover from. Wasted resources can rapidly cause burgeoning costs and burnt-out budgets, unidentified threats can easily cause damage to your infrastructure—or destroy businesses.
Conversely, ensuring real-time visibility and control can help organizations by eliminating waste, optimizing spend, and reducing risks and misconfigurations before they become issues. That’s why assessing and identifying potential cloud management solutions before migration begins is ideal.
By engaging a management solution at process inception, the user is able to identify the key monitoring metrics necessary for their specific business needs and map the migration Landing Zone (LZ) in way that ensures those metrics are readily accessible and available as the migration progresses and usage scales. Further, because most management solutions charge based on the size of the user’s environment, inserting this step early into the process entails very little hard dollar cost.
What to think about?
AWS offers significantly more data than users are accustomed to receiving. Metrics on everything from cost to usage to security to traffic flow to configurations and permissioning are available.
Users should consider this data and create everything from sophisticated ROI application, service, and product measurement models to detailed security and compliance reporting for standard fulfillment to sophisticated time to market tracking. As all of this is now readily available by using AWS supplied metrics, creating the right LZ and leveraging a sophisticated solution is key.
How to choose a solution?
The cloud offers the advantage of putting control in the end user’s hands. Users are able to self-provision resources and spend is calculated on an “as-used” metered basis. This means end users become responsible for everything from cost to security to compliance. Consequently, organizations should look for broader and more comprehensive solutions (relative to the siloed approach of traditional IT). Solutions that unite cost management with security and compliance are especially beneficial as they empower end users to fulfill their management responsibilities. Similarly, organizations should look for solutions that offer variable permissioning and automated roll-up. Although end users may self-provision, the cloud does not obviate the center’s responsibility for overall oversight. Solutions that combine both the multi-functional approach with the distinct ability to create hierarchical groups and views are most advantageous.
To drill down to the specifics, users should look for:
- Real-time reporting of dynamic resources, utilization, and expenses to optimize costs
- Sustainable, proactive security and compliance monitoring for an ephemeral environment
- Automated self-healing and optimization to support scalability and performance
- A single pane of glass to view AWS infrastructure
How CloudCheckr Works
CloudCheckr aggregates data from disparate sources like CloudTrail, VPC Flow Logs, AWS DBR, CloudWatch, and more to generate a complete picture of your AWS environment, while offering actionable insights. Over 450 Best Practice Checks integrate industry and AWS best practices inform purchasing decisions, mediate infrastructure vulnerabilities, and ensure compliance.
Cost and Expense Management
AWS Detailed Billing reports offer robust amounts of detail about resources, inventory, and cloud spend. However, organizations with multiple teams, departments, or business units may quickly find upon migration that it can be tricky to parse through DBRs to find the level of granularity that they require to forecast budgets, perform chargebacks, and allocate resources.
With CloudCheckr, organizations can pinpoint where charges come from, regaining control of complex billing details with in-depth analytics and proactive budget alerts. Fully configurable dashboards allow complete visibility across accounts, with customizable tags and filters to gain even deeper insight across spend. Larger savings can also be recognized over time by leveraging predictive analytics and purchasing recommendations—making it easier for teams to invest in growth and scaling.
Security and Compliance
The ease of quickly deploying applications on AWS is a double-edged sword: although it offers freedom and flexibility for teams beyond the IT department, it places a large amount of stress on security teams to ensure a sound infrastructure. As more instances are spun up, managing activities and maintaining governance can be a challenge. AWS CloudWatch monitors usage across accounts, to enable surveillance and response.
With CloudCheckr, AWS users can automate actions to enforce controls and permission, ensuring data stays secure. Additionally, remediation and self-healing can be automated to facilitate one-click-fixes on potentially vulnerable infrastructure. Over 200 pre-built and unlimited customizable security checks ensure continuous security and compliance across the environment.
With scaling cloud environments, organizations face challenges with allocating resources and costs across many accounts, while ensuring consistent security controls and permissions are maintained. As AWS continues to add availability zones and services over time, data only becomes more complicated to manage.
CloudCheckr integrates over 450 Best Practice checks directly into the platform, enabling one-click fixes to rebalance resources, enforce tagging policies, and more. Snapshots and AMI images are automatically generated, as well, to support auditing needs and provide historical analytics.
Managing Migrations and Deployments at Scale
Enterprises and organizations successfully running applications in the cloud understand the critical importance of maintaining visibility and control of their environment, beyond deployment. While AWS Consulting and Migration partners can ensure smooth transitions to the cloud, considering cost optimization, inventory and utilization, and security management are key factors to plan for as you create a migration roadmap.