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On Prem Application migration to the AWS

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2020-05-16
We are migrating some of our J2EE based application from on-prem to the AWS cloud. I am trying to find some good document on what steps to be considered for the App migration. Since we already have an AWS account, and some of the applications have been migrated earlier, I don't have to worry about those aspects.. However I am thinking more towards
- Which App-server to use?
- Do i need to migrate DB as well..or just the App?
- Any licensing requirements for app.. we use mostly Open source.. So that should be fine..
- Operational monitoring after migrating to cloud..

Came across some of these articles.

 - https://serverguy.com/cloud/aws-migration/
 - Migration Scenario: Migrating Web Applications to the AWS Cloud : https://d36cz9buwru1tt.cloudfront.net/CloudMigration-scenario-wep-app.pdf

I would like to know If you have worked on this kind of work.. and If you point me to some helpful document/links.. or your pwn experience?
Watch Question

- Which App-server to use?
Same one you use today if you rely on some built-in features, or consider Elastic Beanstalk.

- Do i need to migrate DB as well..or just the App?
Yes, you should migrate DB. In some extreme cases, if the migration is impossible due to security/regulation veto, it is possible for a server in AWS private VPC to connect via VPN to on-prem databases. I shudder... Possible, but highly not recommended.

- Any licensing requirements for app.. we use mostly Open source.. So that should be fine..
Same licenses you have today.

- Operational monitoring after migrating to cloud..
Cloudwatch is the builtin AWS monitoring. Use 3rd party agents only if you must, but prefer a cloud native AWS aware solution if you do. Something like Datadog.

There are 2 migration strategies.

1. Lift and Shift.
You essentially recreate your application with all of its resources in your new virtual datacenter on AWS.
You will use the same app server, the same type of database, and other resources similar to what you use today.
Relatively easy to do, you don't really get the cloud benefits.

2. Re-architect for the cloud.
Make some design changes to benefit from the AWS cloud features that a legacy application does not see.
Aurora, auto scaling, cache as a service, CDN, Lambda functions, API gateway, CI/CD etc.

The biggest question and the driver to your decisions is why do you go to AWS.
Is it because you have very variable load on the app?
Is it because the CFO was in a conference and heard that it is easy to save money in AWS?
Is it because your datacenter lease is ending and you are so tired of managing outdated equipment?
Is it because your development team is demanding some cool features like voice recognition or ML?

The article on serverfault nailed it. This is what you should do. However, the actual journey for you will be different than for me, so find a good partner. The company I work at does that.

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Ask the Experts
Anthony GarciaDevops Staff

If you created an aws account you should also have an AWS representative that should be able to help with questions relating to migration and might help suggest different services. I suggest talking to them so they can help you with more detailed questions specific to your application.

If you have a J2EE application you might be able to use elasticbeanstalk, or you could configure an ec2 instance similar to how you have your server currently configured. You will more than likely want to migrate your database, but if you are in the initial stages of setting stuff up you might want to test just migrating your server first. You will need to set up a VPC and a vpn connection back to where your database is hosted. You can most likely use the aws DMS once you are ready to migrate the database.

For monitoring cloudwatch is built into most services. If you use an ec2 instance it will not have very detailed metrics unless you turn on detailed monitoring and will be missing stuff like memory usage unless you install an agent. There are also third party monitoring tools you can use.

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