Businesses gain many benefits a lot from migrating to AWS, such as boosted efficiency, improved performance, and 25-50% cost savings. However, cloud migrations can be quite complex, time-consuming, and challenging for customers. 

To support and facilitate these migrations, AWS developed an AWS Migration Acceleration Program (MAP) – a comprehensive and proven cloud migration program. This program is tailored to bolster AWS Partners such as N-iX in helping businesses transition to the AWS Cloud. So, what does this program involve? How can it help your business migrate to AWS? Read on to find out. 

What is the AWS Migration Acceleration Program?

The program outlines a three-phase strategy to facilitate efficient migrations for businesses, adaptable to various scales, be it tens, hundreds, or thousands of applications. Although each phase contributes to a successful migration, they interconnect and form an iterative process contingent on clients' progression in their cloud journey.

A pivotal feature of this approach is its ability to align key stakeholders on the path of cloud migration, including the technical and business metrics they aim to achieve. MAP places significant emphasis on the practical implementation and operational aspects of migration. One of the most notable aspects is the continuous support provided by both AWS and AWS Partners to clients, effectively mitigating risks, charting out roadmaps, and facilitating meticulous migration planning.

AWS Migration Acceleration Program in real life: steps, outcomes, benefits

AWS MAP outlines three distinct steps to ensure effective cloud migration. To better understand how AWS Partners apply the program in real life, let’s use N-iX – an AWS Advanced Tier Services Partner – as an example.

Step 1. Assess

During the initial phase, we evaluate the client’s readiness for cloud operations. This encompasses identifying source workloads, infrastructure dependencies, and application intricacies. We conduct a cost analysis to compare the current expenses with the projected AWS costs. The phase also involves proposing migration or modernization strategies and a business case to justify and encourage the decision to migrate or modernize.

The primary outcome of the Assess phase is a successful Migration Readiness Assessment. This document generates compelling business insights for the client to advance to the subsequent phases. The assessment identifies readiness levels and pinpoints areas that require attention to facilitate a seamless cloud migration.

For example, N-iX helped one of the world's largest consumer electronics and semiconductor manufacturers migrate their infrastructure to AWS. We began by analyzing the client’s infrastructure and identifying strengths and weaknesses from a cloud-readiness perspective. Next, we provided our client with an action plan to resolve the identified gaps so they can migrate their infrastructure to the AWS Cloud without delays. We then used the AWS Migration Evaluator to build the data-driven business case for migration to AWS. 

Step 2. Mobilize

The Mobilize phase involves planning, preparing, and empowering the client to transition to AWS through migration or modernization. We comprehensively analyze the client's environment, establish foundational landscapes (landing zones), integrate security and compliance requisites, formulate pattern and wave plans, and validate them using Proof of Concepts (POCs) or pilot tests.

The primary outcomes of the Mobilize phase are a well-defined trajectory and readiness for a large-scale migration, as well as initial efforts towards migration and modernization. Suppose the client is pursuing incentives such as credits or partner support. In that case, this phase also includes the client's commitment to achieving post-migration Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) and completing a Well-Architected Review for pilot workloads that undergo migration during this phase.

For our client from the previous section, during this step, we used AWS Professional Services to design a new database architecture. Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL and Amazon DynamoDB replaced the customer’s Oracle and MongoDB databases in this new architecture. For the customer's on-premises Oracle databases with high licensing costs and difficult scalability, we used Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL cloud databases. As a fully managed, PostgreSQL-compatible, and ACID-compliant relational database engine, Aurora PostgreSQL combines the speed, reliability, and manageability of Amazon Aurora with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open-source databases. Aurora PostgreSQL is a drop-in replacement for PostgreSQL. It makes it simple and cost-effective to set up, operate, and scale your new and existing PostgreSQL deployments, thus freeing you to focus on your business and applications.

We offered Amazon DynamoDB as a fully managed, serverless, NoSQL database for customer's MongoDB databases. DynamoDB is designed to run high-performance applications at any scale and offers built-in security, continuous backups, automated multi-region replication, in-memory caching, and data import and export tools.

Step 3. Migrate and Modernize

This final stage of the AWS Migration Acceleration Program marks the client's culmination of migration and modernization efforts to the cloud. We focus on ensuring the timely fulfillment of anticipated deliverables, implementing committed post-migration ARR, accomplishing intended business objectives, and identifying additional migration workloads or modernization prospects. The stage concludes the transition journey with a consolidated and optimized cloud-based operation.

Coming back to the example with our client, at this step, N-iX worked with Database Migration Global Delivery (DMGD) consultants to convert more than 3,000 SQL statements from Oracle PL/SQL to PostgreSQL PL/pgSQL. We used the AWS Schema Conversion Tool to automate the conversion. Next, we manually converted the most complex statements and validated that the converted code produced the same results as the source code. After we applied the converted code to the target Aurora PostgreSQL database, DMGD consultants tuned the performance of the new database. To set up the ongoing replication for data migration, we used the change data capture feature in AWS Data Migration Service. This approach was part of the seamless migration design because the customer could cut off to a new database without downtime.

Read more: Cloud migration roadmap: a definitive guide to planning and execution

MAP outcomes and business benefits

Through these carefully designed phases, MAP provides a systematic framework that enables successful cloud migrations. This framework also aligns clients with AWS's extensive capabilities and fosters their progress in the dynamic cloud landscape.

The shift to AWS represents more than just a technical migration for businesses—it embodies a strategic move towards redefining operations, improving customer engagement, and unlocking new avenues for innovation. While cost savings remain a compelling driver, the evolving landscape demands a broader perspective encompassing digital transformation and enhanced agility. The AWS Migration Acceleration Program emerges as a critical enabler, providing a structured approach that empowers AWS Partners such as N-iX to guide organizations seamlessly through the cloud migration journey. 

In addition, MAP ensures that businesses migrate successfully and capitalize on optimization opportunities, ultimately realizing their vision of a future-proof and dynamic technological landscape. As part of the MAP program, customers can get additional financial benefits from AWS, such as credits for AWS services after migration or funding for the migration services provided by the AWS Partner. As industries continue to evolve, the synergy between AWS, AWS Partners, and MAP positions businesses to not only navigate the complexities of cloud migration but also to thrive in an era of accelerated innovation and transformation.

Returning to our client's example, the successful migration made their infrastructure more robust and scalable with the new open-source-based microservices architecture. Now, the client can scale their service into a new AWS Region without increasing license costs. Also, the technical roadmap of Amazon Aurora aligns with the client’s service roadmap. This means that the client can focus more on core services' development than managing tools.

AWS MAP diagram

Read more: Optimize your cloud spending: best practices for AWS cost reduction

Why the Assess phase is the most crucial part of AWS MAP?

The Assess phase is arguably the most critical part of the AWS Migration Acceleration Program. It serves as the cornerstone for the entire migration to AWS, ensuring a smooth process and desired outcomes. So, how does an AWS Partner like N-iX ensure the effectiveness of the MAP Assess phase?

To accomplish the phase's objectives, we collect comprehensive data about the requirements of the client's existing applications, encompassing diverse elements such as security measures, infrastructure specifications, user and application permissions, relevant datasets, and interdependencies. These dependencies could involve other applications, mandatory uptime levels, and Service Level Agreement (SLA) mandates. This data aggregation allows for a thorough assessment of the client's existing setup and how it can be appropriately transitioned to the cloud.

Specific requirements can be gathered through automated processes, while others require methods like application workshops or reliance on a configuration management database (CMDB). To ensure the smooth progression of the MAP Assess phase, we meticulously identify the specific tools required to analyze the client's environment and facilitate migration. Subsequently, we formulate a detailed migration plan, accounting for factors such as migration scale, complexity, potential user and stakeholder impact, and the projected timeline for completion.

Employing the AWS Migration Readiness Assessment (MRA) tool proves instrumental in diagnosing migration readiness, aligning our client's leadership teams, and substantiating the need for change. Questionnaire surveys and interactive activities we conduct during consultative workshops further contribute to this process. Completing the MRA equips the client with enhanced readiness and internal alignment, pre-empting their migration project. This experience also highlights areas of vulnerability that can be addressed in the subsequent Mobilize phase.

Furthermore, we utilize tools such as the Optimization and Licensing Assessment and Cost Assessment to establish the scope of migrations. When assessing cloud migration options, accounting for the potential impacts of software licensing costs and strategies to manage them is imperative. OLA serves as a tool to optimize third-party licensing expenses and enhance the efficient utilization of resources. It offers a report to model potential deployment scenarios using existing licensing entitlements. Through these meticulous procedures, AWS Partners like N-iX ensure that the MAP Assess phase runs seamlessly and sets the stage for a successful cloud migration journey.

Read more: Cloud assessment done right: where to begin?

Ready to migrate to AWS?

Wrap up

The AWS Migration Acceleration Program is a vital resource for businesses looking to make a strategic shift to the cloud while ensuring optimization opportunities and redefining operations, customer engagement, and innovation. Official cloud platform partners can help businesses ensure that this shift is successful. With significant experience in both cloud consulting and development, these companies can effectively execute programs such as AWS MAP and help clients achieve their goals. 

What makes N-iX the right partner for your transition to AWS?

  • N-iX is among the 13% of AWS Partners that were able to achieve the Advanced Tier Services status;
  • We have 180+ certified cloud experts who can help you take full advantage of all cloud technologies;
  • In just the past five years, N-iX has successfully completed 150+ cloud projects with various goals and requirements, including the execution of AWS MAP;
  • N-iX has 170+ cloud designations, certifications, and awards that validate our deep expertise in the cloud.


Elevate your cloud journey: structure it with the three-phase AWS migration process!

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N-iX Staff
Andriy Varusha
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