Cloud migration offers numerous financial benefits — particularly when the migration is to AWS cloud services. Still, making the move isn’t free. Well thought-out migration planning is critical for creating a budget, adhering to it, and avoiding excessive and/or unexpected expenses.

In a previous blog, we discussed one aspect of that planning: using information about current on-premise infrastructure to calculate cloud environment costs. In addition, there will be costs associated with the actual migration process, including any application modernization required. The following information will help make sure you incorporate important cost factors into your cloud migration project budget.

Getting Your Apps Ready

If you haven’t already done so, conduct a cloud-readiness assessment. This will help you determine which apps can easily be moved to the cloud, which may require redesign, and which may be best suited for other IT environments.

If in-house staff will handle any app redesign or relocation to other IT environments in-house, assign time estimates so you can account for their labor. Also, take into consideration potential costs for maintaining legacy systems that can’t move to the cloud.

If your staff doesn’t have the expertise or time to handle app redesign, you may need to outsource some or all of the tasks to third-party companies. Get estimates so you can incorporate these charges into your migration project estimate.

Architecting Your Cloud Environment

While many apps will work just fine in an off-the-shelf public cloud environment, chances are yours may require something customized. Your use cases and business requirements will affect the design patterns and architectural options employed, as well as how elements such as scalability, dynamic resources, automation, managed services (instead of servers), and data storage are handled.

AWS is one of the cloud services providers (CSP) that offers an extensive array of resources to help create the optimal cloud environment. However, there still may be complexities and other challenges that require expertise your in-house staff lacks. Or, your staff may simply not be able to devote sufficient time to architecting your cloud environment. As such, this may be another area in which you need to enlist outside help.

Don’t automatically go with the least expensive services. You’ll save time and money if you work with solution architects who are experienced in building cloud environments for companies like yours or that have similar needs. If you’re moving to AWS, make sure to go with an AWS Premier Consulting Partner.

The Migration Method

Next, determine the migration method for moving your cloud-ready workloads. The options will typically involve using the Internet or a physical device, such as one of AWS’s cloud migration tools if you’re moving to the AWS cloud. Whichever method you choose, be sure to build in contingencies to cover unexpected issues that may arise.

If you’ll be working with a CSP or AWS consulting partner, it may charge fees for transferring data, whether it’s done physically or virtually. There may also be expenses for ensuring the data is properly in place and synchronized with legacy systems and applications that haven’t or won’t migrate.

In addition, account for creating and executing a test plan, and for addressing potential data privacy and security issues during the move. Don’t forget the costs for running parallel environments during the migration. Few companies can afford any downtime, even during a migration. It’s likely your company will continue to use its applications during the cloud migration. You’ll need to spend time and money to ensure the data in your on-premise systems stays in sync with what’s in the cloud.

Time is a key factor in the success and cost of cloud migrations. Working with an AWS consulting partner that has an extensive, proven track record of managing cloud migrations can expedite the process. So can employing the tools AWS offers, such as the AWS Migration Hub. It allows you to choose the AWS and partner migration tools that best fit your needs and provides a single location for tracking your cloud migration progress. This enables you to quickly identify and troubleshoot issues, reducing the overall time and effort spent on the migration.

Post-migration Needs

Once the cloud migration is completed, there may be costs for continued integration and app testing. In addition, training, labor, security and compliance, administration, and other expenses related to the cloud could emerge. Make sure to account for them in doing your cost analysis and budgeting for the migration project.

Also, keep in mind that one of the benefits of moving to AWS is cost savings. There’s potential for much more due to ongoing optimization after the cloud migration. For example, you’ll be able to take advantage of load-based auto-scaling to deliver the right amount of resources as needed. You can then scale down when not needed to save money. This is another area where working with an AWS consulting partner that has migration and post-migration optimization experience is beneficial.

Your AWS Premier Consulting Partner

Cloud migrations can benefit greatly from the services of experienced professionals. ClearScale is one of them. In addition to expertise and experience in cloud migrations, we’re well versed in AWS best practices and hold 10 AWS competencies, including the Migration Competency.

You can read about some of the AWS migration work we’ve done for clients here. If you’re considering a move to AWS, ClearScale can make that move successful.

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A Guide to Cost Considerations for Migrating to AWS Cloud