Cloud adoption, migration and big data in AWS Cloud — all the essentials you need to know

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Let’s talk about cloud adoption and migration, especially this one which is focused on big data. So, to begin with we need to understand that cloud is becoming more and more popular, not only in terms of its possibilities but also that is one of the most convenient and financially great solutions instead to maintain an on-premise environment. And as I am mentioning it I’m thinking about the EMEA region. We have brand new Milan AWS Region recently opened and Spain Region coming soon. Working on AWS Cloud for a quite some time I can easily say that it is one powerful creation that gives us so many opportunities to level up our businesses.

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Cloud Adoption Framework is the key while considering the migration to AWS Cloud. It helps in understanding the way cloud can transform your business, identify the obstacles and gaps in existing infrastructure and provide all needed services to make your environment more flexible and adjusted to the needs of your customer and in the same time reducing maintenance cost, boost the performance and increase the overall security level.

While implementing the best practices using CAF you need to focus on 6 perspectives, which are made of capabilities. Capabilities describe what you own or manage during your cloud adoption journey. In those capabilities are skills and processes that provide all needed information to fix the gaps and identify the obstacles to make the cloud adoption go smoothly. Let’s go back to perspectives, they are Business, People, Governance, Platform, Security and Operations. The exact description of each you can find in the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework Overview. To make this step correctly you should prepare the AWS CAF Action Plan. All the details and template you can find in PDF file from AWS.

Moving on to the migration topic and processing large amounts of data. Processing them in the on-premise environment is usually bound with excessive costs of maintenance or administrative problems while chasing the shadow of innovation. Often or we can say more than often there’s a problem with massive and uneven workloads to cope with. And yes, you guessed right that the answer to that is migration to the cloud!

As I know the AWS Cloud inside out I can say that the possibilities and solutions it gives to the problems my clients have are beyond great. To back up my words AWS offers a wide selection of flexible on-demand computing resources, robust and inexpensive permanent storage, and managed services that provide current, known environments for creating and operating big data applications.

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When it comes to big data there are few AWS services that help and are really the key during the migration process. And they are Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR) and AWS Glue. Also, open-source software is essential while processing big amounts of data. Apache Hadoop is software for distributed storage and processing of large data sets using computer clusters. Apache Spark is a software that is a programming platform for distributed computing. Hadoop is designed to efficiently support batch processing, while Spark is designed to efficiently handle data in real-time. Hadoop is a high-latency computing structure that has no interactive mode, while Spark gives low-latency computing and can process data interactively. Apache Spark is also a component of the Hadoop Ecosystem. Spark’s main idea was to perform memory processing. Those thing helps to make the whole process go smoother.

Then we have 3 options to migrate your infrastructure to the cloud suggested by AWS. But before that CAF comes in handy once again. To make the right decision related to infrastructure migration to the cloud, you should first consider the needs of the environment, the issues related to the benefits of using the cloud, which can also help you optimize costs, increase security, and increase architecture performance. Back to the 3 mentioned options:

- Re-architecting — it relies on redesigning the existing infrastructure in such a way as to make full use of cloud computing. The approach relies on the analysing the existing architecture and the way it’s being designed, which will allow to provide benefits such as lower memory and hardware costs, increase operational flexibility to ensure business benefits.

- Lift and shift — it is an ideal solution when we need more efficient infrastructure. By transferring the workloads of the existing environment, we can avoid most of the changes that can occur during re-architecting. A smaller number of changes also reduces the risk associated with unexpected work, and thus your solution can come back sooner or enter the market.

- Hybrid— is a combination of two previous approaches. In this mode, the part responsible for fast migration is associated with lift and shift. Re-architecting, in turn, supports the possibilities of redesigning the needed solutions. This approach allows a great deal of flexibility, which allows you to experiment with cloud solutions and gain the necessary experience before you permanently decide to move to the cloud.

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When you have decided which approach to choose, the next step is prototyping. We all know that there comes the time we need to learn some new things and the same way it works with cloud. As the old saying goes: practice makes a master. Maybe not in the literal meaning, but prototyping should be crucial when implementing new services and products. There are many factors that affect this. It’s worth running applications with loads that can occur in the real world in a test environment.

To recap, the process of migration to the cloud certainly belongs to ambitious projects. However, by choosing the right method of migrating the environment, taking into account the best practices and Cloud Adoption Framework you are able to achieve the set goals for the first time. There are also such benefits as flexibility, security and scalability factors you can gain by migration to the cloud. The cloud develops in a consistent manner with the needs of customers. It’s a trend that brings many benefits — from lower costs to guaranteed data security, and if the cloud adoption process still seems complicated, you should consider the help of an expert who will help you use its potential for 100%.

Cloud Enthusiast & Engineer, AWS APN Ambassador, 2 x Professional Certified Expert of AWS (8+ years as Solution Architect), CEO&CTO at LCloud (www.lcloud.pl)