You may have heard of Amazon Web Services before, it's one of the leading cloud services platforms on the market today. The AWS cloud is secure and relatively simple to use with plenty of resources and applications available to assist all of your cloud storage needs. If you are interested in upgrading your onsite data storage to the cloud, you may want to consider using the AWS Data Migration Service to migrate your data to the cloud.

In many circumstances, the process of migrating data is complicated and overwhelming. Amazon Web Services aims to change that by providing their customers with their own Data Migration service. Though Amazon has made the process fairly simple using their own technology, there are still many important points to consider before you begin migrating your data. If you are unsure of where to start, you can begin by following our checklist for migrating your data to the cloud using AWS Data Migration Service.

Tips for Using Amazon Web Services to Move Your Data to The Cloud

Why Choose AWS Data Migration Service?

Amazon Web Services has many advantages over other cloud storage options, especially with the inclusion of their own data migration service. The AWS Data Migration Service is secure and is able to migrate data faster than ever. One of the major advantages of the AWS Data Migration Service is that your source database remains fully operational as your data is being migrated. This means that you won’t experience any downtime while your data is being transferred, a major plus for many businesses that rely on applications for everyday tasks.

Where Do I Begin Migrating My Company’s Data to The Cloud?

Data migration is a delicate process. In some ways a data migration is not so different from moving to a different office. You want to make sure that the operation goes smoothly, that there are no major delays, and that nothing gets broken in transit. Before you take on the responsibility of performing a data migration for your company, first consider the following points.

Employee Training & Role Assignment

The first step of beginning any major project is to establish a leader. The leader in this case will take on the migration architect role and will oversee the operation using the AWS Data Migration Service. This could be someone internal or external at your company, but you want to make sure it is someone you trust with your data. Some of the responsibilities of the migration architect include:

Migration planning
Identifying necessary refactoring
Proposing several migration strategies
Communicating priorities
Predicting any potential data issues

It is important to nominate a migration architect to iron out these essential elements of any data migration. A trusted and competent migration architect can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful data migration.
Security Needs

A data breach is something that every company fears. Data breaches can affect companies large and small and, depending on your industry, can damage consumer confidence in your business. Much like moving furniture, your data is at its most vulnerable while in transit. Because a data migration is such a sensitive process, it is extra important to ensure that security measures are put in place to protect your data as it migrates, and once it reaches the target. The cloud security provided by Amazon Web Services is exceptional, so you won’t have to worry about a data breach once your data is safely in the Amazon cloud. However, your data is still vulnerable as it is being moved. Your migration architect will be able to identify sensitive information stored in your current database and take extra precautions when migrating it to the cloud. These precautions can involve firewalls for your more sensitive applications. However, if your migration architect has not put these safety measures in place, it could lead to a serious data breach or data loss.

Test Test Test

One of the most important steps you can take to protect your data during a data migration is to consistently test your data. The first step to take is test your applications as they are functioning normally to establish a baseline. This provides a benchmark for your cloud based service so you are able to tell whether it is functioning properly after migration. Once your data is fully migrated to the cloud, you can see how much your application functionality has improved. The other, and more important reason to establish benchmark analytics before your data migration is that you will be alerted if anything goes wrong with your applications. For example, if your application is showing lower traffic, it may mean that some users no longer have access to that application. Only by testing your data before a migration can your team identify these issues and fix them as they arise.

Essential Steps for Using Amazon Web Services to Move Your Data to The Cloud

Plan Your Amazon Web Services Data Migration

Now that you have completed the first steps using AWS Data Migration Service, it is time to plan for the actual migration. This is one of the most difficult parts of the process as every company is unique and will have different needs depending on the type of data being migrated. This will be a task for your migration architect to plan ahead of time before any data is actually migrated. In order to establish a workable plan, your migration architect will establish the data source, target, migration tools to be used, and a timeframe for your cloud storage to be up and running. Luckily, by using AWS Data Migration Service, your source will be able to continue operating until  every piece of data is migrated.

What Happens After The Migration?

After your data migration is complete, it is extra important to test your data. Though the migration is complete, some applications may still not be functioning properly or remain inaccessible to your employees. Likely, during post-migration testing you’ll see that your cloud storage is running much more efficiently than before. Should any problems arise, your migration architect will be able to address these issues.

Now that we have established a checklist for using the AWS Data Migration Service, it's time to reassess your current data storage methods. If you are in need of cloud storage and are unsure of how to make the jump, AWS could be the right next step for your company. Just make sure you follow our checklist and your data transfer will be running smoothly.