Is your IT team feeling overwhelmed by the thought of cloud migration or modernization? Imagine a world where repetitive tasks handle themselves, freeing your team to focus on strategic initiatives. This world is closer than you think, thanks to the power of automation!

We were recently joined by Amit Kumar, Senior Solutions Architect at AWS who, with his wealth of experience in large-scale cloud migration & modernization projects, to explore how automation is revolutionizing cloud journeys. In this blog, Amit shares his insights on how automation streamlines the process, reduces errors, and unlocks the full potential of the AWS cloud. Get ready to ditch the manual grind and embrace a faster, more efficient path to cloud success.

#1 How does automation play a role in large migrations and modernization projects?

I think automation plays a very crucial role in streamlining processes. It’s not just about migrating from one system to another system; it is about increasing the efficiency, reducing the risk of error during those migrations, and many migrations fail when these things are not considered in the planning phase. I have witnessed first-hand the transformational impact it can have on complex undertakings.

One of the key benefits of automation in cloud migration is the ability to consistently and reliably migrate workloads at scale. This is very important because manual migration can be time consuming, error prone, and often requires significant efforts in terms of documentation and coordination across multiple teams. By leveraging automation tools, like AWS Migration Hub, CloudFormation, CDK, and Systems Manager, an organization can overcome the challenges with manual migration. For example, AWS Migration Hub allows you to automate the entire migration life cycle, including the discovery and analysis of on-premises workloads, right-sizing, and provisioning of the target cloud infrastructure and resources.

Similarly, automation enables customers who may be struggling on-prem or struggling with their legacy system, to leverage cloud tools like CI/CD pipelines, AWS CodeCommit, CodeBuild, CodePipeline, etc.

So organizations don’t really need to take care of the underlying infrastructure; they can go and focus on their application life cycles. Automation through CI/CD pipeline is definitely a game-changer in large cloud modernization projects, ultimately accelerating the digital transformation for any customers looking to modernize their application.

#2 How do customers further benefit by implementing genAI?

Generative AI, or genAI, is indeed a rapidly evolving and highly promising technology that has the potential to further enhance automation capabilities in cloud migration and modernization projects. While the impact of generative AI on automations may be more apparent in the long term, there are already some interesting use cases that we have seen in the customer space and possibilities that customers can explore and benefit from.

In the context of cloud migration, genAI could potentially be leveraged to automate the various process tasks that traditionally require manual efforts and extensive domain expertise. For instance, genAI models can be trained to analyze and assess existing on-prem workloads, applications, and infrastructures and provide recommendations on more suitable migration strategies, cloud environments, and resource configurations.

In addition, genAI can be used to generate migration plans, documentation, and even the code or configuration script necessary for the migration process. This could significantly reduce the time and efforts required for migration planning and execution, while ensuring the consistency and adherence to best practices. In modernization, I feel that genAI could also automate the code refactoring, transforming, and generating the task required for code versions, all of which is important during modernization. GenAI could be used and trained to analyze legacy and monolithic applications and automatically identify the suitable candidates for microservices decompositions, or generate the necessary back-end code for configuration of the modernized microservices-based architecture.

And I have good news! In the last week, AWS launched Amazon Q for Developers which provides a significant improvement in refactoring application code to a newer version, or converting the entire code. It is a great code companion for Developers who are writing a code as it can suggest the next line of a code. Once they have finished their coding and want to execute this as a Lambda function, if any exceptions or errors arise, this tool would also provide suggestions on how they can solve those exceptions and errors.

The full impact of genAI on automation in cloud migration and modernization may not be immediately apparent, but it is a promising area that customers should keep an eye on. By embracing genAI and combining it with existing automation tools and platforms, organizations can potentially unlock new use cases, new levels of efficiencies, new levels of process scalability, and innovation in the digital transformation journey.

#3 What strategy do you typically use that supports AWS Partner success? And ultimately, how do customers benefit from this joint partnership?

This is one of my favorite topics where I can explain how I help my customers and partners to nurture all of the technologies. As a Solutions Architect at AWS I work very closely with the AWS Partners, which is a crucial part of my role, and I believe that fostering strong partnership and collaboration is essential for delivering successful and meaningful cloud solutions to the customer.

To support AWS Partners’ success I typically employ a three-pronged strategy:

  1. Identifying and connecting AWS partners with the relevant customer opportunities that align with their expertise and capabilities. When I understand the customer requirements I can map the customer with the right partner, and facilitate the introductions and engagement that lead to successful customer outcomes.
  2. Facilitating partner and customer engagements for large migrations and modernizations. We have some programs and initiatives that help customers to streamline and accelerate their cloud migration journey, for example Migration Acceleration Program (MAP). I work very closely with the AWS Partner to ensure their migration engagements are properly scoped, their solution architecture is very well defined and in line with the customer requirements, and/or introduce a Specialist to the mix in specific cases so that the customer gets the best experience.
  3. Promoting AWS practices to the partners to ensure they also have successful outcomes. It is critical at AWS that we follow the AWS best practices in all the solutions that we are offering for our customer, whether it’s coming from Partners or an existing AWS solution. I emphasize the importance of following the AWS Well Architected Framework principles whenever I am reviewing any partner solutions. I provide regular conversation with the partners and mentor them to ensure they’re up-to-date and aligned with new technologies; almost every week we are releasing new features for our services.

By implementing these three strategies in my work, I aim to create win-win situations for AWS, for partners, and ultimately for our customers.

#4 What has your experience been like working with SourceFuse?

I’m really glad that partners like you are leveraging automations as this is important and working with SourceFuse has been an incredibly positive and rewarding experience for me. Your passion for automation and cloud-native modernization aligns perfectly with my own beliefs and the values that we uphold at AWS.

One aspect that I truly appreciate is your deep expertise and commitment leveraging the automations to drive efficiencies and accelerate cloud modernization projects that you are already working on or the initiatives that you have. I recall a project that we collaborated on, for one of the large retail customers, where you played a pivotal role in modernizing their applications and workload platform. Your approach was automating a significant portion of that application through modernization processes, including some code refactoring, and then you containerized those applications.

What impressed me the most, one of the solutions that I really liked, was the SourceFuse ARC accelerator. If the audience is not aware please reach out to SourceFuse to learn more about ARC, as it helps in accelerating workload time-to-market with a catalog of prebuilt microservices which you can pick and choose from. This also enhanced the customer experience in modernizing their legacy applications with minimal disruption and reduced overall cloud spend, moving away from full servers to containers and microservices.

Learn more about ARC by SourceFuse, a first-of-its-kind open-source framework

So, overall my experience with SourceFuse has been exceptional. Your passion for automations, cloud-native modernization, and adherence to the AWS best practices, combined with collaborative commitment to customer success. This is really a good experience for me with a partner that is driving the digital transformation for our customers.

#5 What do you think the future holds for large migrations and modernizations?

I believe we will see several exciting trends and developments that will shape the overall landscape in the coming years. In my opinion, some of the new technologies we should watch out for include the increased adoption of AI and machine learning for intelligent automations – genAI is going to enhance the current automations, tools, and processes that we know today. 

Second is the expansion of low code and no code platforms which is definitely going to shine; genAI solutions like Amazon Q makes writing code a cakewalk for developers by automatically suggesting the next line of code. So low-code / no-code platforms are definitely going to help the modernization space specifically, and will enhance the customer experience when modernizing their applications – they can rely on these futuristic technologies and services to upgrade and rewrite codes with less effort.

Third is enhancing the cloud operations. It’s not just about moving the workload onto the cloud along with the legacy processes, it is equally important to improve cloud operations which can result in large cost savings. We have seen many customers that were able to optimize costs on AWS Cloud and including AI/ML for their cloud operations.

Fourth is the increased focus on sustainability and green computing when choosing a cloud platform, and how automations can play a vital role in optimizing resource utilizations and minimizing energy consumption. For example, choosing the right CPU architecture, such as Graviton, can save a lot of compute power at the back end.

Fifth is about the evolution of the cloud-native technologies or ecosystem. Technologies like containers, kubernetes, serverless computing, service meshes, etc. will continue to evolve and mature in the future. Automation will be essential in managing the increased complexity of these environments because right now we see thousands of virtual machines, but tomorrow we’re going to see millions of containers for a large organization, say. So it’s really important that we build automation today and leverage the futuristic technologies to have seamless deployment, scaling, and management of those cloud-native applications. 

Sixth is having security and compliance automation i.e. a defined security posture management which is validated and configured with best practices. For example, if somebody in the organization changes something, it would automatically generate alerts and correct itself. So, there will be a lot more enhancements which could play a crucial role in ensuring consistent application and infrastructure security policies, including the vulnerabilities and maintaining the compliances across the cloud environment.

So while these are just a few potential trends, one thing for certain is that automation will remain the central pillar in enabling the efficient, scalable, and secure cloud migration and modernization initiatives. And as technology continues to advance, organizations that embrace automation and stay ahead of the curve will be best positioned to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the evolving cloud landscape.

Are you ready to modernize on the cloud with SourceFuse?