How to Use AWS Migration Evaluator to Harness the Power of the Cloud

The cloud solution you choose can enable you to effectively manage business challenges, as well as develop and scale operations no matter what industry you serve. The International Data Corporation (IDC)’s recent research found the top benefits organizations cited in migrating to the public cloud include:

  • Higher business and IT productivity
  • Faster application and digital services deployment
  • Better customer experience and ability to retain customer loyalty
  • Easy access to cloud-based ecosystem innovation
  • Faster time to market
  • Increased revenues and profit.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is an on-demand cloud computing platform that provides flexibility, scalability and reliability for building and running applications, storage, networking, remote computing, mobile development, security and analytics.

Proper preparation is a key component to any cloud migration. Identifying your company’s strengths, weakness, total cost of ownership (TCO), and dependencies prior to the migration allows for a seamless transition to the cloud.

Phases of an Enterprise Cloud Migration

Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Migration Evaluator (ME) tool is a valued resource when preparing for a cloud migration of any size. It provides insights and an assessment with a cost estimate and savings of running workloads in the AWS Cloud. We’ll dive more into the tool later in this blog.

A strong partner will help your organization plan for a successful AWS migration using the following process:

  1. Strategy and Planning – Building a vision statement is the foundation of cloud first adoption. This includes developing a cloud strategy and roadmap for implementation, building a cloud landing zone design and architecture, working through inventory and assessing your current digital estate, performing total cost of ownership (TCO) modeling, ensuring infrastructure prerequisites, and setting up identity and access management (IAM).
  2. Governance – After strategy and planning, move to governance, to ensure all environments align with the AWS Well-Architected Framework best practices. This includes establishing base security controls – minimum viable product (MVP), policy and tagging, planning for regulatory compliance needs, establishing infrastructure as code (IaC) and automation standards, and deploying a cloud infrastructure framework.
  3. Operations – It is key to maximize your cost savings while optimizing across the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), IT service management (ITSM) and project management office (PMO). This includes monitoring and maintaining the environment, troubleshooting logs and alerts, executing cloud cost optimization, integrating ITSM and ITIL processes, and building your cloud center of excellence.
  4. Migration – Modernize your application set to maximize your use of the cloud. Steps include rationalization and complexity matrix, establishing DevOps process and teams, finalizing the migration plan road map and initiating organizational change management (OCM).

Of these steps, the initial strategy and planning phase holds particular importance. When moving to the AWS Cloud, you should ensure you deploy secure, high-performing, resilient and efficient solutions – all AWS best practices.

What is AWS Migration Evaluator?

AWS Migration Evaluator is a tool used to analyze on-prem resources prior to deployment in the cloud. You can use AWS Migration Evaluator to create directional business reports, identify optimal instance sizes and analyze licensing options all prior to cloud deployment. AWS Migration Evaluator helps customers determine if a migration to the cloud is the best option for your business or if you need more insights before making a decision.

Each company has varying business drivers for moving to the cloud. For some, TCO is an enormous dependence. AWS Migration Evaluator has a seamless method for collecting this information and delivering insights. By installing an agentless collector, Migration Evaluator can collect inventory discovery and time-series performance data. This agentless collector supports VMware and Hyper-V discovery as well, even going as far as automating SQL server detection.

Migration Evaluator can group operating system (OS) instances by environment or application using business data and additional information not captured through collection. This allows for different cost models depending on the workload. For example, some clients may want to run an on-demand purchase plan of dev/test environment and an all-upfront, reserved-instance plan for a production (PROD) environment. The tool allows you to see a clear cost for your application both on-premise and in AWS.

What About Licensing?

We know how confusing it can be to manage your Microsoft licenses. With Migration Evaluator, you can bring your existing Microsoft SQL licenses to AWS with Software Assurance. ME allows users to create bring-your-own-license (BYOL), Dedicated Host and license-included cost modeling scenarios. You can compare cost models and determine the best fit for your business.

When using BYOL cost models, you reduce your AWS cost because the customer provides the Microsoft SQL/Windows server licenses. Migration Evaluator will recommend the least expensive instance option based on pre-determined specifications.

What Makes AWS ME Different?

There are many migration assessment tools in the market, so it is important to know what makes AWS stand apart from the rest. Key differentiators include:

  • No Time Limits: Unlike other tools in the market, ME doesn’t set a time restriction for customers. In short, this means you can run the collector as long as you’d like to capture results, you have access to insights collected without a time limit.
  • Time and Cost Savings: Because the collector is agentless, there is no requirement to install an agent on each machine, saving the customer time and resources. ME has configuration options to detect server type and licensing dependencies. You can export recommendations to other AWS teams as well.
AWS Migration Evaluator Can Help Build Your Business Case

AWS Migration Evaluator uses detailed outcomes to build business cases. It ingests millions of data points are ingested from the customer’s existing environment to analyze use and costs. AWS Migration Evaluator models and profiles compute patterns and recommends the best fit and lowest-cost placements from thousands of potential combinations on AWS.


Migrating to the cloud is never a simple feat. The AWS Migration Evaluator makes your transition into cloud as seamless as possible by providing the information and insights needed to be as prepared. This tool, plus the right migration partner, will ensure your migration to AWS results in business success.

How can we help?